Friday, July 06, 2007

 

Getting to wonder ... who else?

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Vancouver Supreme Courtroom 54 has been booked for 6 months to cover the Basi Virk Basi trial. So there will be many witnesses called ... witnesses we don't know about yet. For example, there were 32 uniformed sergeants who raided the B.C. Legislature ... so we can expect testimony from the R.C.M.P. and Victoria Police. There must also be elected members of government,
B.C. Rail, OmniTRAX and CP personnel, as well as clerks, media officers, drivers, waiters, and others ready to testify under oath as to what they saw and heard about the B.C. Rail auction. But apart from the accused, Basi, Virk, Basi, we don't know all their names except for these two whose testimony appears to be essential:

Today: the R.C.M.P. witnesses

Kevin deBruyckere as team commander of the Basi Virk Basi investigation, was allegedly biased because his brother-in-law, Kelly Reichert, was executive director of the B.C. Liberal party and worked with Finance Minister Gary Collins and Premier Gordon Campbell.

deBruyckere (then RCMP Staff Sergeant) never disclosed his relationship with Reichert to his superiors until March 1, 2004, the defence lawyer told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett.

deBruyckere should have disclosed the relationship in late 2003, when he was making decisions about the investigation and Reichert was detected calling Dave Basi to discuss Liberal party business in a phone call taped by police, the lawyer said.

The lawyer also alleged that Reichert tipped off the premier on June 24, 2004, that the investigation was going to result in criminal charges. He implied that deBruyckere must have told Reichert this.

Special Prosecutor Janet Winteringham also refuted earlier defence allegations that deBruyckere had steered the police investigation towards Basi and Virk and away from Collins because deBruyckere's brother-in-law is B.C. Liberal Party executive director Kelly Reichert.

In fact, Winteringham argued, deBruyckere (now an Inspector) believed Collins was under investigation, while other RCMP investigators felt he was not.


Staff Sgt Bud Bishop, a 32-year member of the RCMP, who discovered he had more notes in one of two note books he kept during the Basi-Virk-Basi investigation. Some of the new notes relate to John Preissell, who has already testified about a phone call in the spring of 2003 from Kieran, who "threatened me three or four times" not to embarrass then-finance minister Gary Collins.

He said he complained about Kieran's threats to two RCMP officers, including Bishop, in January 2005, after hearing Kieran's name being linked to an investigation of the BC Rail bidding process.

Sgt Bishop's name is familiar as the man who executed the Search Warrants on former premier Glen Clark's home and testified at the trial which found Clark innocent.
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A memorable quote from Anne McLellan, former Minister of Justice, during debate in the House of Commons, Ottawa:

In fact, I would hope that nobody in this House would suggest that any government, of whatever stripe, should involve itself in the operational details of the national police force. There are too many shocking examples of other countries around the world where police forces end up being directed by governments or political parties, and it is not a democracy.

As far as I am concerned, the RCMP Act is clear. The administration and day to day operations of the force are left up to the commissioner and his officers, his assistant commissioners and others across the country.


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