Friday, June 15, 2007


Contempt from the Court, says Robin

Robin Mathews, writing on the Betty Krawczyk, Harriet Nahanee case, included the following. Full article, is at vive le canada.

Vive le Canada
Robin Mathews

... But look - look at another case, the case surrounding the huge Gordon Campbell dirty sell-out of publicly owned B.C. Rail, called the criminal case against Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi for kinds of fraud and breach of trust. Look at the farrago, going on now. It is a case in which the rich and powerful can be spied just off stage at every turn of events. (Are the rich and powerful being especially protected, kept off the stage, do you suppose?)

It is a case in which many reasonable and prudent people have almost no doubt that the RCMP has been obstructing, that the Special Crown Prosecutor may have been - to use a generous expression - lax in pursuing his duties. It is a case in which it is possible there has been collusion between RCMP and Gordon Campbell cabinet members. Has there been collusion with the Crown? Very serious matters. Very, very serious matters! What has been the result?

The case in which charges were laid in 2004 is still, in 2007, stumbling and falling and inching and dodging and hesitating towards (what may not eventuate in) a trial. More and more people are becoming convinced the wrong men are named as "the accused". In fact, a continuing theme of the Defence argument is that others are the instigators of wrong-doing; and, of course, the others appear nowhere in the charges.

Goaded and prodded and begged by the Defence, the judge presiding showed she knows hijinks are the order of the day in the case. After three years she made an order the other day (June 4 07) that all RCMP officers and others involved with investigations "forthwith" search all their records and deliver up anything to do with the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. Three years after charges were laid! Four years after the search warrant "raids" on legislature offices in Victoria!

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett shows she knows that what reasonable Canadians, using ordinary language, would call 'contempt of court' has almost certainly been shown by RCMP officers, by the Crown, probably by members of Gordon Campbell's cabinet who played and play various roles in the matter stretching, now, THROUGH FOUR YEARS since the search warrant "raids" on legislature offices. Even so, when she "ordered" all RCMP officers and others involved in the Basi, Virk, and Basi investigations to deliver up all relevant papers, she didn't set a time limit, and she didn't say "if they do not do so, or are found later not to have done so, I will cite them with Criminal Contempt of Court and I will fall on them far more heavily than Madam Justice Brenda Brown fell on the environmental protesters, Harriett Nahanee and Betty Krawczyk."

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is willing to write: "There has been a substantial failure to respect the disclosure rights of the accused." But four years after the search warrant "raids" on B.C. legislature offices, she finds herself able to write: "The issues of good faith and bad faith have not been addressed and I will not comment on the process in this regard." (page 11)

In this case the threat and then, if necessary, the imposition of Criminal Contempt charges against clearly obstructive and manipulating entities is much, much more reasonable than in the case of the Eagle Ridge bluffs environmental protesters. (And would have been reasonable many months ago.) Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett did not say "I am sending this order to the top RCMP officer in B.C. to deliver to every RCMP officer in the Province and he will prove to me he has done so within X days." Nothing like that.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, you see, is living in the world in which there is "for the rich and powerful, 'Law' (?) . For the others, contempt from the court". The law for the rich and powerful requires that they are never strongly challenged, never embarrassed, never called upon to respect the rules of society, never (if possible) confronted with their wrong doing. That, in itself, shows contempt from the court for all the others in society. But let those others actually approach the Bench; let them ask that justice be done; that they be treated with respect as human beings. Then observe the contempt from the court as we have observed it with Harriett Nahanee, and now with Betty Krawczyk. And - I am afraid - we have to ask if we are also forced to witness contempt from the court in both the sluggish, almost comatose pace with which Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is guiding the B.C. Rail proceeding and in her insistence that she still will not ask if bad faith is present - but will carry on as if she is in a situation in which nice people just keep making mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake in a case of enormous importance to all British Columbians, especially to the ordinary people of British Columbia.

What was it Monika Sheardown wrote? Ah yes: "Our judicial system is [becoming] an increasing embarrassment to British Columbia and to Canada".

Mark that down.


A powerful piece by Robin...I'm sure ol' Will would concur:


What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes
with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see how yond
justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark, in
thine ear: change places; and, handy-dandy, which
is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen
a farmer's dog bark at a beggar?


Ay, sir.


...Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks:
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it.

King Lear, Act 4, Scene 6.
Ol' Will pretty well saw it all and commented on it - for a number of decades, starting during William and Mary, "King Lear" wasn't allowed to be performed, interesting, eh? The powers that were felt it cut too close to the current ruling bone.

Speaking of ol' Will,
Where mightith be Ol' Bill?

Basi and Bill
Went up the Hill
To fetch a Pail of Papers

Basi fell down
Was charged by the crown
Ol' Bill was ne'er seen after.
Right on, kootcoot, ;-)

Yup, quite the "special" disappearing trick by special ol' Bill B.

'Course it's all done with mirrors...and a few "well-placed" wabbits.
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