Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Robin Mathews' offer to Judge Bennett
In order to fight what I believe is an offensive and unprecedented attempt to reshape the meaning of justice and equality before the law in B.C. and Canada, I have written the following letter to Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, judge of the Supreme Court of B.C.
xxx XXXXXXXX Drive,
Vancouver, B.C., VXX XXX,
November 27, 2007
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett,
The Law Courts,
800 Smithe Street,
Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 2E1
cc. Chief Justice, B. McLaughlin, Supreme Court of
Canada; Joe Comartin MP; Marlene Jennings MP;
Leonard Krog MLA; B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc.;
William Berardino, QC; Michael Bolton, QC;
Joseph Doyle; Kevin McCullough; Press/Media;
Dear Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett:
William Berardino, Special Crown Prosecutor in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters, announced to you, in courtroom 55, on November 23, 2007, that he will bring before you on December 3 a request to have witnesses (secret witnesses?) appear in camera to give their testimony. The meaning of the Latin phrase "in camera" in English is "in secret".
Since the intent of what we call "courts" and "trials" is to conduct the important legal business of the community before public representatives in open tribunals, a request for processes held "in secret" offends fundamental democratic transactions and freedoms. The accusations against Basi, Virk, and Basi are criminal accusations. That means the wrong-doings alleged against them and whatever treatment they may receive are of interest and significance to all Canadians; and so "the Crown", in effect, is the prosecutor, acting for all Canadians. Neither the Prosecution nor the Defence nor the judge presiding can pretend that Canadians in general are anything but profoundly interested parties in the case.
What is more, the charges brought against Basi, Virk, and Basi have arisen out of the scandalous and corrupt sale of B.C. Rail by the Gordon Campbell cabinet in which the three accused men acted as aides to cabinet ministers who are necessarily and by constitutional convention responsible for all decisions made on the B.C. Rail matter by cabinet.
That means every word uttered in your court on the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter is political. It cannot be anything else than political. You, yourself, cannot utter a word in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter that is not political.
But "political" is not necessarily "partisan". The core of the question, then, is whether words and actions by you, the Special Crown Prosecutor, or Defence counsel are partisan words and actions? In short, are any of you acting or speaking on behalf of the Gordon
Campbell cabinet, the Opposition in the B.C. legislature, or some other political or corporate interest group with goals other than the goal of justice?
Suspicions of partisanship in the matters involved in the accusations against Basi, Virk, and Basi - as you must know - are rampant; and you, yourself, are not, I must say with respect and regret, excluded from the suspicions. The request by the Special Crown Prosecutor feeds directly into deeply unfortunate suspicions.
I have decided - all of those matters considered carefully - to present to you by means of this letter FORMAL REQUEST to appear, with full and equal status, in your court on December 3 to argue against the request (or application) by Special Crown Prosecutor William Berardino to gain your consent to hear in secret (in camera) certain witnesses appearing in the criminal fraud and breach of trust trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi.
I wish to be present in the court. I wish to argue - as Prosecution and Defence are given opportunity to argue. And I wish to argue as an ordinary Canadian - not one representing and defending the accused or prosecuting the accused.
What I am asking is, of course, "political" because I am deeply concerned about the state of political freedoms in Canada. The Berardino request constitutes, I believe, an attempt to gain extraordinary treatment that would, if granted, erase certain Canadian political freedoms. Your response will necessarily be "political" because it will be concerned with Canadian political freedoms. You must take the greatest care that your response is not (and is not "seen to be") partisan. You must take special care not to be "believed" to be serving the interests of the Gordon Campbell cabinet or any other institutionalized partisan force in the Province rather than to be serving justice.
I do not want to be instructed to "hire a lawyer". I do not want to be told about forms to fill out, depositions to prepare, or other. I am making, with deepest respect, a simple, straightforward request requiring a simple, straightforward reply.
This is one half of the article. For the full article, please go to Vive le Canada.ca.
Thank you, Robin. - BC Mary.
This is what we've needed all along. A common member of the public to stand up for the rest of us. Robin would be perfect. If there is anything I can possibly do to help let me know.
I will be in Vancouver on the 3rd and 4th but as I have said it is for an operation. Maybe while I'm there, there may be something I can do. Grunt work or whatever. Because of the nature of the operation I can't stray too far from my daughters house, but there is a phone. Mary, let me know if I can feed you a e-mail adress without it being published. Probably could if you decided it was off topic. lol.
This day....December 3rd, the courtroom should be filled to capacity with other "ordinary" citizens of BC from the Vancouver and area locales.
As one who is on pension, I cannot afford the 50.00 dollar plus ferry there and back so I am asking ... begging ... anyone from the mainland to take the time and please go to the courthouse to support Robin!
Additional information Nov. 17 2007. from Tieleman's "Secret Witness's" column. "And McCullough alleged in court that the RCMP had wiretapped calls between the defendents and their lawyers, though he did not provide details. "Solicitor client calls being listened to, passed on to other officers," he told Bennett. Still looming is an abuse of process motion...........That cannot be good news for the special prosecutor.Any lawyers out there that want to comment on the legalities of the RCMP wiretapping calls between the defendents and their lawyers and how it will effect this trial? I believe we will hear more on these wiretaps soon.
I guess that the RCMP can get a confidential informer any time they want to-even years later. Many of the players would love to have no defence lawyers present. Remember way back in May/June when Clark and Coleman were mentioned re: a treasure trove of lost notes from the RCMP? How about the finance boys? Paul Taylor or his wife? Mr.Taylor and his neighbour Brian Kieran were rather cozy with the omnitrax boys. Will we see another KPMG investigation regarding Paul and Kieran's latest email? Any thoughts on who is leaking these emails to the NDP and others? It will be interesting to see if they(KPMG) can find a phone book to find key witness's phone numbers this time.No cross examination for our in camera witness's is a travesty of justice. I hope the media lawyers(Dan Burnett and company) tear a strip off of this absurd motion? Delay Delay Delay
PS I would love to know how these defendents can afford these lawyers? that has got to be expensive.
I would like to encourage both law and journalism students to attend this highly significant trial. As a group. Perhaps for thesis work. It no doubt will provide a real glimpse of the world they are about to eagerly enter.
I'm sure your studies continually and emphatically note the great obligation/duty both law and journalism have towards the upholding of the public good - to justice, ethics, integrity, and freedom of information. Perhaps you could let us know if the full weight of those duty-bound words are being honoured....let us know if noble theory has indeed become noble practice.
"I would like to encourage both law and journalism students to attend this highly significant trial."
From what we've seen so far, it would be counter-productive for journalism students to go observe something with so little journalistic relevance (i.e. Lucinda Chodin and "Pointy LaPointe, various statements about the lack of importance of these proceedings - supported by lack of coverage by MSM).
As for law students, watching this pretense/nonsense of legal proceedings unfold with the alacrity of paint drying might persuade them to pursue a more constructive and exciting career like..... perhaps constructing ceramic casserole dishes for cooking actual food, that actual people then actually eat.
Actually I do agree with you Lynx, but I do also believe actual (graduated and working) journalists should be paying more attention AND the plentiful lawyers involved should be accomplishing much more in these nigh onto four years.
To my mind that there is OBFUSCATION is undeniable. The only question is where is it coming from and WHY?
Gary E and others,
Anytime you want to send a confidential or SECRET message to BC Mary, it's really quite simple to do.
All you need to do is prepare a comment in the usual way, but in the top line print:
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
which means, I can read it but will not publish it.
I agree, kootcoot, but since the graduated and the working troops have deserted the front line, I just thought a sea of expectant faces ( besides observing, taking notes, and writing about this case) may be a good counterplay, a play within an already carefully contrived play.....ummmm, a mirror of conscience of sorts and a reminder of how far this four year, long and verrrry winding trail of distracting crumbs has strayed from the expected path of justice unfolding.
Maybe, I am being naive that anything will jog the long ago memory of those honour and duty-bound oaths taken when young - enough to consider the kind of torch that is being passed onto that sea of waiting hands and eager, expectant faces. Not to mention, the kind of future being created for us all.
But I certainly agree, so far this case has been nothing if not circuitous.... and brimming with what appears to be intentional obfuscation. So yeah, I agree, the making of casserole dishes may in the end appear as you say, a more worthy, worthwhile, and useful endeavour to these young apprentices ;-)...as much as I love pottery, that is quite the sad legacy being created here.
You pose the central question about which all else swirls - about the where and why of obfuscation, kootcoot. As old Wills once wrote:
An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.
Plainly Told is definitely a foreign land to anyone who has been observing this case.