Monday, April 23, 2007

 

23 April 2007: Collected reports from B.C. Supreme Courtroom 54

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DIRTY LAUNDRY
Trial hears details of Basi activities while working for Liberals
By Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - Monday, April 23, 2007

More dirty laundry was aired Monday at the trial of three former government aides to the provincial Liberal government.{SNIP} ...

Full story at:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=70736cf5-2745-4804-b07e-39a34329a215&k=39329

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ACCUSED IN B.C. FRAUD TRIAL WAS WAGING "DIRTY TRICKS" CAMPAIGN
MARK HUME
Globe and Mail Update
April 23, 2007 at 9:21 PM EST

VANCOUVER — One of the accused men in a corruption trial was waging a campaign of “dirty tricks” that was directed by top advisers to Premier Gordon Campbell, the Supreme Court of British Columbia was told Monday.

In a series of allegations made during pretrial arguments, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough exposed what he called the “ethically devoid” world of hardball politics and drew Mr. Campbell's inner circle into a case that has long had undercurrents of political intrigue.

He said that Dave Basi – one of three former government employees charged with fraud, accepting bribes and money laundering – was a political operative who was used among other things to make phony calls to radio talk shows, upstage anti-government protests and disrupt an NDP convention with fake demonstrators.

“The use of these political operatives was from the top down,” Mr. McCullough told Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett as he argued that Mr. Basi was merely following orders when he got involved with a BC Rail deal in 2003.

Mr. Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi are accused of fraud, accepting bribes and money laundering in relation to a privatization deal in which the B.C. government sold BC Rail to CN Rail for $1-billion.

Using wiretap evidence gathered by the RCMP in a project code named Everywhichway, which in December 2003 led to a raid on the legislature, Mr. McCullough said it is clear that Mr. Campbell was aware that Mr. Basi was routinely engaged in political actions. {Snip} ...

Mr. Basi is advised whenever Mr. Campbell and other Liberals are appearing on talk shows and is asked to set up supportive callers.

“The premier mentioned (in caucus) one of Dave's callers being good,” Mr. McCullough said, quoting an RCMP synopsis of a call in which Mr. McDonald talks about Mr. Campbell's appearance on a show.

“This call demonstrates that not only was the premier aware. . .(it) was a set-up, phony call, but the premier was pleased,” he said. “That call was not something Mr. Basi dreamed up on his own, but rather was directed to do.”

In preparation for another radio appearance by Mr. Campbell, the court heard that Mr. Morton says in a call to Mr. Basi: “Thanks Dave, I will let the Premier know that your team is on the job.”

In one call, Mr. Basi is alerted to an upcoming appearance by NDP Opposition leader Carole James on Bill Good's top rated CKNW radio talk show.

“Mike [McDonald] asks Dave to get the posse together,” said Mr. McCullough, reading from a police synopsis of a wiretap. {Snip} ...

When fish farm protesters plan a rally outside a Safeway in Victoria, Mr. Basi is directed to disrupt it.

“The government was supporting fish farms . . . this was another effort that the B.C. government was engaging in, in their political efforts,” said Mr. McCullough.

Mr. McCullough said many of the calls to Mr. Basi “are just fraught with political overtone and direction.”

One series of 42 calls was made between Mr. Basi and Mr. Reichert, where they talk about “the Youbou thing,” an apparent reference to a protest that was staged at an NDP convention.

When Mr. Reichert raises concerns that an email might later surface through a Freedom of Information request, Mr. Basi tells him not to worry because he'll just print it out and delete it.

“FOI is for [the] puritanical,” he says.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070423.wvirk0423/BNStory/National/home

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SHOCKING ALLEGATIONS AGAIN IN BC SUPREME COURT
UPDATE from BC Supreme Court - Basi-Virk Defence Disclosure Application
Bill Tieleman - 24 HOURS
Monday April 23, 2007

More shocking allegations today of heavy involvement in manipulating radio talk shows - right from the office of Premier Gordon Campbell.

Kevin McCullough, defence lawyer for former ministerial aide Bob Virk, said he was quoting from evidence disclosed by the Crown in preparation for the trial. He read from an email he alleged came from Mike Morton, who was and is Premier Campbell's press secretary.

"The first of these emails is from Mike Morton in the Premier's office. It's dated March 11, 2003," McCullough said.

" 'Thanks Dave - I'll let the Premier know your team is in place, whereas MM's is not. The Premier will be on John McComb's show - there will be a call-in,' " McCullough read in court.

In another document McCullough referred to Mike McDonald, the former BC Liberal Caucus Communications Director in Victoria.

" 'Dave's asking Mike if he want to make some calls to CKNW after the MLA is on,' " McCullough alleged.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett interjected: "Is this a Liberal MLA?"

McCullough: "Yes."

Bennett: " I should have known that."

McCullough also quoted a November 23, 2003 document alleging calls being set up to ambush NDP Leader Carole James.

"It's a call in response to Carole James - she's going to be on the Bill Good Show tomorrow - Mike asks him to 'get the posse together', " McCullough said.

"They're not just lobbing softball questions to the Premier - they're setting the stage for calls to the leader of the Opposition," McCullough alleged.

There was much, much more, including allegations that the RCMP and Special Prosecutor allowed key Crown witness Erik Bornmann to continue his lucrative lobbying business and falsely declare he had been cleared of any wrongdoing in 2004.

More on all of this in Tuesday's 24 hours newspaper and on The Tyee online as well as right here: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

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POLITICAL TACTICS REVEALED AT TRIAL
Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - 23 April 2007

... One of the key issues in the trial, [Michael] Bolton said, is whether Dave Basi was authorized to do the things he is alleged to have done.

"The nature of this case is, of course, that it's going to pass a bright spotlight on the roles and activities of that part of the public service known as political servants, as opposed to civil servants," the lawyer said.

"Mr. Basi's role was a political aide," Bolton said. "His job is distinctly political. It has very much less to do with being a public servant than it does to being a loyal supporter of the Liberal party."

In court McCullough, Virk's lawyer, said that during a call on Nov. 27, 2003, Basi was told by an unnamed MLA and deputy house leader that the premier mentioned in a caucus meeting that he thought "one of Dave's callers" was good when the premier appeared earlier that morning on a CFAX radio program in Victoria.

The trial heard last week that Basi made the call himself to the premier during a radio appearance -- Basi disguised his voice and claimed to be a man named Don from East Saanich who praised the government's $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail, saying it was "the best thing you could have done for the province."

The government had announced two days earlier, on Nov. 25, 2003, that the winning bid for BC Rail was Canadian National Railway.

The phoney call was intercepted by the RCMP during a wiretap operation, which allowed police to secretly listen to all of Basi's phone conversations.

Full story at:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=7cac27c1-b46b-4ca0-9ec8-6a6f379eea60&k=27196
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TWO EX-AIDES SET UP PHONEY SUPPORTERS
Susan Lazaruk
The Province - April 24, 2007

Two ministerial aides facing corruption charges carried out duties -- including setting up phoney government supporters -- on the direction and with the knowledge of the premier's office and other government officials, their trial heard yesterday.

And defence lawyer Kevin McCullough asked why Premier Gordon Campbell wasn't interviewed as part of the RCMP's probe into the B.C. Rail sale in 2003, which involved a raid on the legislature.

Calls intercepted by the RCMP at that time showed the Mounties were tailoring the case against the accused, David Basi and Robert Virk, McCullough told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett.

This evidence "should assist you in determining there is in fact a very particular course this investigation follows, which is to put this investigation on the backs of Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk and take it away from elected officials," said McCullough. {Snip} ...

McCullough also recounted several instances where Basi was asked by McDonald, or by Mike Morton, Campbell's press secretary, to arrange for positive calls or e-mails for Liberals on talk shows.

Basi was also instructed to give a "rough ride" to former Social Credit premier Bill Vander Zalm on a talk show and to "get the posse together" for when NDP Leader Carole James was scheduled for the Bill Good radio show, McCullough said.

Basi and Virk are charged with leaking documents in the hope of getting federal government jobs, putting the bidding process for the B.C. Rail sale at risk. [Excuse me, Ms Slazaruk, this final comment of yours is putting a very odd slant on the serious charges facing the accused, isn't it? - BC Mary.]

slazaruk@png.canwest.com
Read the full story at:
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=b0d3979f-4cd7-479a-bab0-ce7362e064bf&k=41489

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Comments:
. . . all these directives given to Basi by whom?

Just follow the links to which rock to look under:

Could it possibly be Martyn Brown in charge of all things 'political' in the Premier's Office - The same Mr. Brown who hires all of the Cabinet Ministers aides in their offices?

What a revelation about Bill Goode's program on CKNW - stacking the phone lines (roll eyes now)!!!

The experience of being questionned persistently by Goode's producer, about what one wants to speak about - then left endlessly waiting to get one's turn . . . speaks volumes.

Gee I guess one could assume that one is judged NOT to be onside with the 'Circle's' possee. I stopped listening a long time ago. I have heard their ratings have dipped.

Of course, the big boys were pulling the strings of Basi & Virk - let's just hope this trial stays on the tracks.
 
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