Tuesday, April 10, 2007

 

Breaking news - trial date is 18 April '07

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Please stand by for confirmation of an early report that the Basi, Virk, Basi (B.C. Rail) trial will begin on April 18 with 6 months being set aside for the case - Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett announced today.

No plea has been entered by the accused.

Trial will deal first with disclosure submissions.
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Comments:
The Trial is not going to begin on April 18/07. This won't start until atleast the fall if we are lucky. With all these motions and issues with the government withholding valuable documents these dates are as valid as the last 6 court dates that have been set and then moved. The only thing thats going to "start" is the pre trial motions which, if anybody is paying attention, already "started" back in October 2006 when the lawyers for the defence went to court asking the judge to release more documents.
 
Were the Campbell government lawyers in the court room today?

I would wonder what they could possibly say in response to the fact that they are withholding important documents.
 
jw
you may be right, but that was not the announcement that was on the CBC radio news at 11 am this morning.

I heard it myself
GW
 
Basi, Virk trial could last six months
NEAL HALL, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The trial of two former provincial government aides accused of corruption could take up to six months to finish, the trial judge heard today during a pre-trial conference.
During discussions between lawyers and B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett, one estimate of how long the trial of Bob Virk and David Basi might take was 120 days, which is the equivalent of six months of court time, based on the fact that a trial sits five days a week or 20 days a month.
There were also discussions about taking days off at various points in the trial to accommodate planned vacations of the defence lawyers and the prosecution team.
The trial was scheduled to begin next Monday but now will start two days later, on April 18, at the Vancouver Law Courts.
At one point during the hearing today, the judge mentioned she had been part of an advocacy class for young lawyers that included Erik Bornmann, who recently graduated from the University of B.C. law school and will be the Crown’s star witness at the Basi-Virk trial.
She asked counsel if she should recuse herself from the case but none of the lawyers asked for that. Special prosecutor Bill Berardino was also part of the advocacy class for law students, held at the Vancouver Law Courts in 2004, but Berardino previously stated that he has never met Bornmann.
Basi, 40, a former ministerial assistant to former finance minister Gary Collins, and Virk, 33, a former assistant to then transportation minister Judith Reid, are charged with accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust in relation to the government’s $1-billion sale of BC Rail operation to Canadian National Railway in November 2003.
The Crown has alleged that Bornmann, then a lobbyist representing OmniTRAX, one of the bidders for BC Rail, paid more than $20,000 to Basi in exchange for information. The police investigation led to a raid on the legislative offices of Basi and Virk on Dec. 28, 2003.
Basi’s cousin, Anneal Basi, is also accused of two counts of money laundering for allegedly accepting cheques from Bornmann and transferring funds to his cousin. dl
nhall@png.canwest.com
 
I will say it again the trial already "started" in October 2006 when the defence filed papers about not getting the information they needed. What is scheduled to happen in April is more applications for information to force the government to cough up documents. The trial won't start for several more months. There have been six previous trial "dates" that have been nothing but artifical dates so people like us can talk about an upcoming trial.
 
You are incorrect JW. This date, April 18 2007 is the first confirmed date and that's when the trial proper will start it is not like the 'possible' dates you've pointed out.



It will not involve sworn testimony for the first few weeks and, in all probability the Accused will not be in the court during much of that time but this is the actual trial.

The accused, by the way, have not yet entered a plea.
 
I will repeat for a third time, the trial will not start on April 18/07. That date is a continuation of what happened in October 2006 where the lawyers went in front of the judge to "start" debating motions on getting more information. Go back and read what the lawyers filed on February 26/07, they are asking for more information by telling the judge what is still outstanding and how there last foray into the evidence room yielded significant information ol berardino told us didn't exist. The documents on bc rail are still with the government who refuses to hand them over. There are many legal documents yet to be given to the defence. Sorry to pop your bubble. There have been 6 supposed trial dates (or confirmed dates as you stated) since this odyssey started, the dates given today are no different. Go back and check your facts anoymous 7:00
 
Oh... one thing that I haven't seen mentioned.. Judge ordered that the prosecution deliver all the documents that the defendents lawyers were asking for by 12:00 that afternoon.
 
Whoa, Meaghan! Are you serious?? ALL the documents?

Sure hope ol' Bill's team was able to deliver on that.

Now what we really need to know is, did Madam Justice Bennett say: "Deliver ... or else"? And if so, or else what??

Because I betcha all the Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts you can handle at one sitting that there are certain B.C. government documents which will never be given to the defence. In which case, we need to know who gets slapped with the "or else".

Over to you ... ?
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I had a serious problem with the court hearing, because of my hearing. So I was relying upon a fellow blogger, who was there taking notes, who said he was going to be getting in touch with you ASAP.

I recall him saying that was one of the outcomes.. that prosecutors had till 12:00 that day to meet defendents request for documents. I don't know about the what else.. because I couldn't actually Hear any of this.

I've emailed Bill Tielman to ask what he recalls... and our mutual anon friend should also be able to shed light. My hearing is so bad that going to court is almost pointless for me...

ONE other thing.. there was discussion surrounding the press and access by the press to the trial... but no mention was made about publics' access to the trial - which was of concern to both myself and our anon mutual friend.

Anon mutual friend had to leave to take her/his daughter to an appointment.. but we were discussing what should happen, if the public be barred from the trial.
 
Meaghan--

Nope, not pointless at all. Your eyes and your words have told us a huge amount of stuff already.

Thanks.

RossK

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