Tuesday, May 15, 2007
More stunning allegations today
MORE STUNNING ALLEGATIONS IN BASI-VIRK CASE - B.C. LIBERAL PARTY ASKED RCMP NOT TO LAY DIRTY TRICKS CHARGES AGAINST DAVID BASI.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
UPDATE ON THE BC LEGISLATURE RAID CASE
The defence in the David Basi-Bob Virk trial made more stunning claims today - alleging that the BC Liberal Party asked the RCMP not to press charges against David Basi over his involvement in dirty tricks when he was on a contract with the Liberals in addition to his full-time government job.
And there were new details on those dirty tricks, including an allegation that Basi was involved with dumping a load of manure on the front lawn of the home of Jim Sinclair, BC Federation of Labour President and organizing phony protestors outside the 2003 Federation of Labour convention.
Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough alleged that BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kelly Reichert was consulted by the RCMP and told Premier Gordon Campbell that criminal charges were being recommended.
The allegations come from a previously undislosed document provided by the Special Prosecutor to the defence, an RCMP report titled: "Kelly Reichert - Do Not Disclose".
McCullough read into the court record some of the June 24, 2005 document, saying a tape recorded interview with Reichert was stopped but a conversation with RCMP investigators continued.
"After the tape was turned off Mr. Reichert was asked if the Liberal Party would be harmed by the disclosure that a load of manure was dumped on Jim Sinclair's lawn and protestors sent to the BC Federation of Labour Convention," McCullough read.
"Mr. Reichert replied that any benefit to the Liberal Party would be outweighed by the harm of embarrassment," he added.
The RCMP report continued, McCullough said: "Careful consideration will have to be given to the wishes of the victim. The likelihood of successful charges versus the embarrassment to the victim."
Presumably McCullough believes the BC Liberals were being described as the victim by RCMP because Basi was under two $10,000 private contracts to conduct "media monitoring" for the party, activities that have previously been alleged in court to include stacking radio and TV talk show call ins and organizing phony protestors at other events.
McCullough alleged that Reichert told Campbell that day that the RCMP was recommending charges be laid against Basi.
"When the tape was turned off, he [Reichert] didn't want charges approved against Basi because it would be embarrassing that manure was dumped on the lawn of Jim Sinclair and protestors were sent to the BC Federation of Labour," McCullough alleged.
"The wishes of the Liberal Party and Mr. Reichert, the same day he notifies the Premier, all came true," McCullough concluded, noting that charges were indeed never approved against Basi for those activities.
"We have the effort by Reichert to not have the charges approved. That reeks of political interference," McCullough alleged.
When contacted today, Jim Sinclair said he was unaware of a manure attack on his home in 2003 but was aware of organized protestors outside the BC Federation of Labour Convention.
And Sinclair said it was very unusual that Campbell was informed about possible RCMP charges but not himself.
"I was never informed by the RCMP about the protests or manure allegation but I understand Premier Campbell was informed that charges were being considered. And I was never consulted when charges were dropped," Sinclair said in an interview.
"This just seems to be getting dirtier and dirtier. I don't think the public would be impressed that a full-time public official is allegedly involved in organizing dirty tricks," he said.
Outside the BC Supreme Court room NDP MLA Leonard Krog, attending the hearing today, called for a complete investigation.
"If the allegations are true, political interference is the only conclusion. The government at a minimum should be committing not only to a full public inquiry into BC Rail but into the whole affair, from top to bottom," he said.
The defence has also made other allegations regarding Basi's involvement in manipulating media, allegations that include an RCMP investigation into possible charges against Basi.
The victim in this coverup has been the open and transparent operation of the justice system in this country and the practice of politics as an honourable profession.
How these guys and gals can now table legislation to give each other better than 29% raises; a golden parachute at retirement time and a free ride while they are in Victoria is a mystery of almost the same magnitude as the virgin birth.
Campbell should resign in disgrace, not ask the taxpayers, who've watched the progress of this shameful shadow across the province, for a increase in salary.
The people are the real victims.
Wouldn't you love to see Stuart Chase's report from Court 54 today?
Perhaps we can FOI it!
Trouble is, I don't think I'll live long enough to obtain a copy of any Chase Reports under the B.C. Freedom of Information Act. Might as well call FoI the Official Stone Wall Act.
First he says that his clients were following orders from the minister. He says that his clients should not even be charged. Then he gets damning evidence read into the court about dirty tricks. Now he has further disclosed a cover-up that reeks of political interference. If the prosecution can't squash all this his clients will get off. Meanwhile he is painting a picture of illegal interference by a lot of politicians and we the public are benefitting from this. Thus deflecting guilt away from his client. Brilliant.
By the time this man finishes we should be seeing a government fall.
Unless of course we see more political interference and the Liberals demand that the prosecution drops the case. Do you think they might try that?
If things do go the way you suggest it is critical that we get the ball moving towards a public inquiry* with a wide ranging mandate.
Otherwise, I fear, for one, fear that an early end to the trial will lead to maximum stonewalling in an effort to keep the true story from ever seeing the light of day.
*Jim Sinclair, in response to the manure dumping allegation and, more importantly, the staged demonstration, took the opportunity to call for an inquiry today.
That was the BEST news ... thanks to Jim Sinclair, calling for a Public Inquiry. Thanks to Gary. And you.
No matter how the Basi-Virk trial ends, there needs to be a Public Inquiry as soon as it's over.
Then, I suppose, we begin the effort to make sure the findings are made public.
Seems like citizens can't be bystanders any longer.
At 2PM much of the mainstream media is represented. There's CBC radio - a first? - CBC TV, CKNW and John Daly of BCTV. Daly like CBC's Alan Waterman shoots footage of NDP critic Leonard Krog as well as the Defence and others. He also spends most of the afternoon there.
So what happened to Daly's story? CBC TV: strong story up front in the news, CTV same thing with footage from Question Period. BCTV: Nada. Somebody killed it dead.
Applause, footstomping, and where's my clarion??
Now we can rattle cages and say "OK, tell us what you saw!"
Jeez, this is more like it.
Thanks again for a great report!
Bingo. Along comes an allegation that dirty tricks were pulled on one of the most powerful labour leaders in the Province. What a collossal stroke of luck.
I have always feared an early end to the trial. So much so that it is hard to concentrate on other things.
It was mentioned above that John Daly was there. He was there in the beggining of April when I was there. Meaghan Champion reported on it as well as the mans antics towards her. I didn't see word one from him. But since an NDP MLA was there you can bet that the reason he hasn't reported today is that he has yet to find the spin to blame Kruger.
Finally: did anyone from the public or the media get a chance to ask this Chase fella to explain anything about the goins on in court. Sure would like to hear from you.
I'm thinking the BCTV desk might have replied "the better the story the less likely we are to run it, John".
Robin Mathews was chatting with this kid -- who said he was there to take notes and report to the Attorney General's office. They were both sitting in the public gallery! A fresh-faced kid who told Robin he was worried that he wouldn't get his report in to the AG's office quickly enough; he thought the media would have already got the salient events into print.
To which the old professor smiled and replied, "No they won't."
Shows how young the kid is. And for a certainty, he never told Robin he was there to help people by explaining the trial procedures.
I don't think it would've entered Robin's mind that this green kid was there to interpret the judiciary to the media.
Mary, if this Chase fellow is as young as you (and Robin) think he is, I wonder why Carol James hasn't looked into that angle. And, true if he is that young he wouldn't have the expertise to handle the goings on in this court.
Of course he could be like me and look very young for his age.
What a horrible situation for a youngster to be in. And being mentioned in the legislature as well. I wonder if he knows what is going on over in the House? Also, if Robin thought he was that young and green why on earth would the attorney General paint him as something he might not be?
After all that has gone on this week I think the Attorney General had better take the Oppositions' advise and come clean.
While people suffer from unaffordable housing, drug addiction, and inadequate health care, the best Carole and the opposition can do is spend weeks in the legislature harping about prank phone calls and party crashing. Has there been a single item yet come to light that actually impacts the day to day life of the working stiff in this Province?
At first the Liberals must have been quite worried about the information that might be disclosed during the trial, now I am sure that they are quite joyfully watching the NDP self destruct in public opinion.
Gee, Anon, I never thought of the Basi, Virk, Basi trial as an issue of dollars and cents.
That's what you're saying, isn't it? What's in it for me?
If you stop and think about it, there's a huge difference to working people between clean government and a corrupt government ... and how do you know which we've got in B.C. unless we look squarely at what happened.
Watching the NDP self-destruct in public opinion, you say? Wishful thinking, pal.
An awful way of looking at your world.
Anyone want to make odds on the first pundit to call for an public inquiry?