Friday, May 11, 2007

 

Press clippings - 11 May 2007

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THE LEGISLATURE RAID
JUDGE TO ORDER CROWN TO REVEAL DOCUMENTS
The Globe and Mail - May 11, 207
MARK HUME

VANCOUVER -- While arguments continue in a political corruption trial about how many documents the Crown must disclose, the defence won concessions yesterday that will see more material released within days.

"We're going to be getting a lot more," defence lawyer Kevin McCullough said as he left the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Mr. McCullough and other members of the team defending Dave Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi on charges of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, have been pressing Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett to order the Crown to produce more material. {Snip}

But in closing her response to the defence application, Ms. Winteringham told the court that the Crown will soon be providing more documents and will be seeking other material for the defence that the prosecution does not yet have.

Among the material she promised to acquire for the defence are the financial records of Erik Bornmann, a former Victoria lobbyist who is expected to be a key Crown witness.

She also said the Crown will seek any material related to the role played by former solicitor-general Rich Coleman.

The defence has alleged that Mr. Coleman, who is now Forests and Range Minister for B.C., intervened [to] persuade RCMP investigators not to interview then-finance-minister Gary Collins after a December 2003 raid of the legislature. {Snip}

The defence has argued there must be government documents that would clarify the situation. Ms. Winteringham said the Crown will ask both the solicitor-general's office and the Speaker's office for any material they have that is related to the case.

She said if the government refuses to produce documents, on the basis of parliamentary privilege, "then we will cross that bridge when we come to it."

The Crown also promised to release a document containing confidential financial details on the privatization deal, in which BC Rail was sold to CN Rail for $1-billion, and to give the defence 22 police reports on briefings by secret informants. {Snip}

Court will not resume sitting until next Tuesday in order to allow the Crown time to gather and deliver the material to the defence.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070511.BCBASI11/TPStory/?query=mark+hume

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DEFENCE SEEKS DRUG INFORMANTS' REPORTS
Lawyers in corruption case demand documents


Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - Friday, May 11, 2007

VANCOUVER - Defence lawyers representing three former government aides accused of corruption want to get access to hundreds of reports concerning 11 confidential informants who provided information to police during a drug investigation.

The Vancouver Island drug investigation, codenamed Project Everywhichway, targeted a criminal organization shipping kilograms of cocaine to the Toronto area and sent back cash by courier.

Police learned during a wiretap operation that the alleged drug ringleader was repeatedly calling Dave Basi in the summer of 2003.

At the time, Basi was the ministerial assistant to then-finance minister Gary Collins. The man calling Basi was his cousin, court was told earlier. {Snip}

The special prosecution team spent Thursday morning responding to a variety of defence allegations made during 11 days of legal arguments that began April 18.

One of the issues the defence has hammered away at is the immunity from prosecution deal reached with Erik Bornmann, who is expected to be the Crown's star witness.

Earlier this week, Winteringham told the judge that the special prosecutor, Bill Berardino, could make a statement in court as to why the deal with Bornmann was cancelled in 2004.

The prosecutor has said there was no signed deal with Bornmann, so there was no document disclosed to the defence, so the terms of deal haven't been disclosed.

But defence lawyer Kevin McCullough complained Thursday that he doesn't know what Winteringham means when she said Berardino will come to court and make a statement about the Bornmann deal.

"Is it something he's going to say to the court or is something in writing?" the defence lawyer asked the judge.

"I understood he was prepared to come and answer questions about it," the judge replied.

"We're entitled to know what he's going to say," McCullough argued.

Winteringham said she'll respond to a number of defence requests by Tuesday, when the hearing will resume at 9:30 a.m. at the Vancouver Law Courts. It will only sit Tuesday and Wednesday next week. {Snip}

Read Neal Hall's complete story at:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=28b68872-823e-4c37-b554-1e135a5baade

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Comments:
Mary, there are quite a few references to documents requested, orders from the judge requested and partial or incomplete disclosure in the February 26 Notice of Application for Discovery.

I think someone may have to go back and start exploring for the public the long long list of things the Prosecution seems to be 'stonewalling' the defence about.

There's even some reference there to the little multi-media effort (at least that's what I think they're referring to) that failed so miserably when Andrea MacKay - who seems to have juniored Bill Berardino, Q.C. in at least one other high profile case.

They were at the defendant's table then though. I bet you'd love to know who their clients were then?
 
Well, all right, Anon 1029, I'll bite.

Yes I would like to know who were the clients of that dazzling team of MacKay & Berardino!

And I'd like to know who they were ... um, er ... up against (as in versus). As in who was the prosecution?

Why not toss in the reason for that other high profile case. Murder? Arson? Treason? All of the above?

Oh. And did they win?

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I'm sorry but I just can't see how getting calls from your cousin is criminal!! I guess "freedom of association" doesn't mean anything. The entire province of bc should be under suspicion, after all based on this logic if somebody is calling you and they are up to no good that obviously means you must be involved. Wow, do we live in Stalinist Russia or maybe communist China under Mao??

Isn't this what happened to Arar, he was "hanging out" with a person suspected of being a terrorist? Look what happened there. Maybe somebody should give these people a lesson on the charter of rights and freedoms and basic law.

Robin you are right, pay a few informants some money, after all they are such upstanding citizens, and pow you have allegations. This reminds me of the recent scandal about an informant who took the rcmp's money and made it up as he went along culminating in a major crime spree where this very informant committed murder. I wasn't shocked to learn this was an informant tied directly to our finest local horsemen in victoria and the very same drug cops that told us tony soprano was working in the legislature.
 
Nope Mary, they didn't win - at least not as far as the case has progressed to date.

In fact, Mary, William Berardino and his sidekick Andrea MacKay were working for a number of very big deal clients in a case started several years ago that involved the tobacco industry.

I'll post a link to a little commentary about the decision of the BC Court of Appeal.

It wasn't a criminal case so I may have used the wrong terminology. Sill, suffice to say, Bill Berardino was NOT working for the Crown.

Of course, nothing wrong with that. I'm sure that his clients in that case paid well too.

Berardino/MacKay and several other members of the high-roller legal fraternity were trying to get the court to rule that the terms of the province's Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act S.B.C. 2000 c. 30 (TDHCCRA) were unconstitutional.

In fact, the court found unanimously in the Crown's favour.

You can read all about it here:

http://www.lexpert.ca/deal.php?id=2354

Interesting, eh?
 
Oh come on, Anonymous 1241, nobody said (or even suggested) that "getting calls from your cousin is criminal".

You are reducing the discussion to the absurd. Why? What's up with you?

The facts are that the RCMP wiretap overheard discussions which led them to believe ... certain things were going on that were criminal.

Even there, charges have not been laid. So what's with you?

Visit another web-site if you want to establish a Let's-hate-this-group or Let's-hate-that-group.

Your final sentence is way over the line. Perhaps your entire message should be deleted.

What do others think?

Is it a fair comment? Let it stand? or delete it and start over?

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Its an interesting point mary but the rcmp did hype this thing to the status of hysteria and anonymous is right this informant issue was on the front pages of the ottawa citizen and the globe and mail. if you want more information on this the lawyer in victoria who exposed this corruption and coverup in the rcmp is tom bulmer. he is listed in the phone book and very happy to talk about this. he told me he will be testifying in front of a house of commons committee on this very subject.
 
Until the debruyckere thing came out in court I would tend to be neutral. After that nugget and the serious questions that it raises I have no faith in the rcmp officers involved in this investigation. From my perspective they have done everything they can to protect campbell and his cronies. Whats next, is there more information to come that will reveal more troubling linkages and rcmp collusion with the campbell government.
 
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I hope that everyone who feels keenly about this case, will express their concerns where it will do the most good. Write, phone, or visit CBC, TV and radio (all stations), all the newspapers (big and small, daily and weekly), get on the phone-in shows, speak out, do whatever you can to make the issue of B.C. Rail and the Legislature Raids a topic of intelligent concern.

I think you're correct -- that the citizens may have to push this trial forward. And there's absolutely no reason why the Basi, Virk, Basi trial can't be made to reveal everything British Columbians need to know about their government.

I know you'd like BC Mary to interview and investigate, research and conclude. But I'm only one person with a compromised heart. I do what I can, and I think you'll agree that this web-site has been fully committed from Day One.

I'd like to do more, and would if I could.

Right now, the rest is up to you ... and the timing is right.

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Well Mary, I WAS heartened to see the headline on Mark Hume's May 11 story:
JUDGE TO ORDER CROWN TO REVEAL DOCUMENTS.

I think it may be time to turn our attention back to some of the things Defence Counsel wrote in the Notice of Application for Disclosure - that 32 page document we first saw after it was presented to Madame Justice Bennett on February 26. We spent a lot of time looking that the defence theory - paragraphs 1 - 75.

Now it's time to look at what the defence has been aksing the prosecution for since this case began.

Unfortunately, since the court has decided that no further evidence will be placed before the public until the discovery phase of the trial ends, that document is really all the the public has any right to examine and wonder about.

Even so, there is a lot to think about buried in those pages.
 
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