Monday, June 04, 2007

 

Judge in B.C. legislature raid case slams RCMP, Crown over disclosure

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On the front page of The Globe and Mail - Tuesday 5 June 07 this article is headed 'Sweeping' disclosure order rocks BC fraud case
Basi-Virk trial - Police, civilians must turn over 'every scrap of paper"

Judge in B.C. legislature raid case slams RCMP, Crown over disclosure

MARK HUME
Globe and Mail Update Online - June 4, 2007

VANCOUVER — A political corruption case that has been slowly unfolding in the Supreme Court of British Columbia took a dramatic turn Monday when Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett delivered a disclosure order that was stunning in scope. {Snip} ...

“Every police officer or civilian who touched or spoke about this investigation, regardless of what branch of the investigation they were involved in and regardless of rank or role undertaken, will review every piece of paper he or she has and ensure that it is submitted to the Crown forthwith. This includes but is not limited to notes, briefing notes, continuation reports, e-mail and anything marked ‘not for disclosure.'” {Snip} ...

But Judge Bennett said she was troubled by unexplained gaps in police notes, a tape recorder that was turned off during a police interview, missing files, and a cabinet minister under suspicion who suddenly – and without explanation – vanished from the police radar when police apparently decided he was innocent.

The judge said it all added up to a big problem.

“There has been a substantial failure to respect the disclosure rights of the accused in this case,” said Judge Bennett, whose order came in response to disclosure applications by defence lawyers Kevin McCullough, Michael Bolton and Joseph Doyle.

For months, the lawyers for the three accused men have been complaining about missing police documents and other unexplained information gaps.

Judge Bennett agreed with the defence on almost every point of complaint, saying repeatedly that “some notes must exist,” even though the police and the Crown were saying they didn't. {Snip} ...

Among the issues being questioned by defence are why police suddenly lost interest in investigating Gary Collins, who at the time was the finance minister and Dave Basi's boss.

No police notes have ever been produced by the Crown to explain why the RCMP investigation, code named Everywhichway, dropped Mr. Collins.

“It is clear that minister Collins was under police suspicion in December, 2003,” Judge Bennett said. “Requests were made for briefings to the highest level of the RCMP, yet there is nothing that I have seen in writing that indicates who made the decision to stop pursuing minister Collins as a suspect and when that decision was made. It would be very surprising that such a document does not exist.”


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070604.wbcbasi0604/BNStory/National/

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