Friday, November 23, 2007


What?? See


Special Prosecutor in Basi-Virk drops bombshell - wants defence, media, public excluded from in-camera hearing on secret witnesses

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino dropped a bombshell in BC Supreme Court Friday, telling Justice Elizabeth Bennett that he wants defence counsel excluded from attending an application on whether secret witnesses could testify in camera in the Basi-Virk trial.

Defence counsel for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi appeared stunned by the submission by Berardino ...

Go to Bill Tieleman's blog for his full report. Unbelievable! - BC Mary.


Please don't think that I made this up, or that I deleted large chunks of this newz story. I didn't. This is Vancouver Sun's entire coverage of this stunning event in B.C. Supreme Court today:

Special prosecutor requests in-camera hearing without defence lawyers

Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, November 23, 2007

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino made a rare request for an in-camera hearing where the defence lawyers are excluded at the pre-trial hearing in B.C. Supreme Court for Bob Virk and Dave Basi.

B.C. Supreme Court judge Elizabeth Bennet will hear submissions from the lawyers and various news organizations Dec. 3 to determine whether or not to hold the in-camera hearing.

Basi and Virk are former legislative assistants who are charged with supplying information about the B.C. Rail sale.


Yep. That's it. A crossroads moment in the B.C. Rail Case, as reported in British Columbia's flagship newspaper. So move along, folks ... nothin' to see here ... nothin' to worry about ... thank you, just keep movin' along ... - BC Mary.

Correction: I think I see what happened. CanWest published the abbreviated 3-paragraph piece first -- which I picked up. Then the longer, more detailed version by Neal Hall, was published in both Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colonist. Both appeared before sundown on the very day of the hearing. And that's a good thing! OK?

Victoria Times Colonist comes through!

Special prosecutor requests in-camera hearing without defence lawyers

Neal Hall,
Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, November 23, 2007

A pre-trial hearing involving two former B.C. government aides accused of corruption heard Friday about a mysterious in-camera hearing scheduled for next month that would not only exclude the media and the public but also defence lawyers.

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino suggested to the trial judge that a two-day in-camera hearing be held Dec. 3.

"The media has to be notified," B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett suggested to the special prosecutor, who passed up to the judge a previous court ruling and asked her to read three paragraphs.

"I'm well aware of this decision," the judge said, looking at the court ruling, which was not cited in court. [See Bill Tieleman's blog for full explanation. - BC Mary]

Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough expressed surprise to hear that defence counsel would be excluded from any in-camera hearing.

"You're going to be hearing from me on that issue," he told the judge.

When the prosecutor tried to explain the need for the in-camera hearing, the judge stopped him, saying: "Don't say anything more."

McCullough said defence lawyers "think we've figured it out" what the reason is behind the need for an in-camera hearing,"

But again the judge said: "Don't say more." {Snip} ...

Three weeks have been set aside at the beginning of December to handle pre-trial motions and to vet some of the recent Crown disclosure, including another 30,000 pages of material and thousands of emails from Erik Bornmann, a former government lobbyist and well-connected Liberal who is expected the Crown's key witness at trial.

"The Bornmann emails are out of this world," McCullough told the judge. "There are thousands of them...How these emails weren't disclosed before June 4, 2007, may have to be dealt with."

The defence lawyer said the email reveal "what high-ranking people are telling him [Bornmann]."

Bolton said of the Bornmann e-mails: "The[y] pertain to the conduits of information between the inner circle of the premier's office and the ministry of transport and the ministry of finance...passing information to key members of the premier's inner circle." {Snip} ...


This is outrageous absolutely outrageous, unbelievable, a slap in the face to every citizen on this province. I read bill's column and was happy to hear defence counsel are going to fight this. Mary this is simply an outrage a play by a desperate special prosecutor to protect his boss campbell and his cronies. We can't and won't allow this to happen!!!!!!!

This seals the deal there is no doubt in my mind who is covering this up, its not basi and virk but the special prosecutor and his boss campbell!!!!
what game is afoot here? who is the special prosecutor protecting?

just as he has opposed previous media applications to get to the bottom of this scandal he is trying to deny the public the right to know about what lead to the most historical raid on the peoples house.

I am sure that the next application will be for a complete publication ban!
Take a good look at Gordon Campbell's face during Question Period in the legislature yesterday when questions that revolved around Pilothouse and Paul Taylor came up....worth more than a thousand words. The old cheerleader (rah! rah!) PR distraction routine wasn't working.... and he knew it. He was sinking like quicksand.

"Assurances" are being sought?...or perhaps is it that quicksand insurance is being bought?
"When the prosecutor tried to explain the need for the in-camera hearing, the judge stopped him, saying: "Don't say anything more."

McCullough said defense lawyers "think we've figured it out" what the reason is behind the need for an in-camera hearing,"

But again the judge said: "Don't say more."

WHY, Judge Bennett, WHY??? Whatever happened to open court proceedings? What are you worried about?

This sounds like one skittish Judge to me!

What is she so worried about the public hearing more detail?

Folks, when it looks like a COVERUP, sounds like a COVERUP, is perceived to be a COVERUP . . . the reality is: it IS a COVERUP.

Yes Lynx, I saw the Prem's face too & his spin was empty of credibility. He has strings all over him . . .

As with other cases of misconduct in public office, the efforts to suppress the truth are relentless by a certain circle desperate to protect the high profile reputations & vested interests; the links must stay connected in order for the manipulations behind closed doors to continue.

As you clearly stated, Mary, this is EVERYONE'S business & we all deserve to hear every scrap of evidence surrounding the Raid on the Leg concerning PUBLIC crown assets & the conduct of those in Government handling those assets.

This is a tangled web that has been woven by a well connected group of associates. It is an ugly picture. WE are not imagining anything. It is a situation that calls for proactive vigilance down every available avenue in order to uproot this well established corrupt network & break the linkages.

Everyone had better get ready to rebel VERY loudly with persistence. None of this is good enough for British Columbians.
earseyeswideopen said...

"It is an ugly picture. WE are not imagining anything"

Unfortunately, our imaginations probably can't even fathom the depth of greed and sense of entitlement possessed by this cabal that is currently methodically disposing of the assets of ALL British Columbians among themselves and their co-horts in this - the highest form of "organized crime."

Now they want to have Star Chambers, but not to harass and persecute their enemies (us), but to protect themselves. Hopefully as this becomes weirder by the day, more and more British Columbians will wake up and smell the larceny.

Hopefully everyone will begin to see how many scams are ongoing concurrently and how they all spring from the same ideology and benefit the same elite. The BC Rail betrayal, the dissolution of BC Hydro, the phoney rigged "green" IPPs, the removal of ALR land disguised as treaty making, the sell off of timberlands, the neutering of BC Gas (oops, Terasen), the theft of BC Ferries from the people they used to serve, the usurpation of any local control and/or oversight, TILMA, SPP and more are a breathtaking assault of the public interest.

It is a global war of the few against everybody else and BC happens to be a particularly active front at the moment. The combination of BC's god given natural riches and one of the more criminally greedy governments (at a time when there is much competition for that cachet) makes our province one of the prime targets of the pigs.

We have to stand up now or be prepared to kneel for longer than my knees are likely to last.
If this is a coverup then wouldn't the Government be trying to avoid having the witnesses testify at all rather then bringing them forward?

If we take the assertion that the Mafia, Big Circle Boys and Hells Angels are all running amock in the Government and the Police then wouldn't it be understandable that witnesses want to protect their identity?

I don't know about anyone else but I want to see all of the evidence brought forward and the defendants put on trial to answer for their crimes. If a witness or two has to be protected then that is fine with me as long as the evidence is given.

I don't understand the sentiment here. Do we not all want to see justice served or is this there some other greater purpose to all of this?
Anonymous 11:19,

Don't be silly, of course we want JUSTICE to be served.

But if the Judge goes into a sideroom, no transcript is kept and Defence lawyers are kept out, so no cross-examination - we're not even sure it's trustworthy evidence and that's the concern. It leaves out big chunks of the justice process.

At least, that's how I see it.

If that evidence is given in court, before the judge, with Crown and Defence lawyers present, with cross-examination permitted and the testimony is recorded -- but the public and media excluded -- that's OK, in a pinch. I assume, in that case, the public gets to see the transcript, at least.

But I think you'll admit that the public has been patient long enough and it's beginning to wear thin. We have a right (perhaps even a duty) to be suspicious and to see obfuscation where possibly there is none.

And by the way: " ... is there some greater purpose to all this?" you ask. Excuse me, but what the heck does that mean?

"We have a right (perhaps even a duty) to be suspicious and to see obfuscation where possibly there is none. "

Mary, wipe them stars out of yer eyes, if there's no obfuscation here, I'm on some other planet. And oh yeah, Gordon Campbell is the new Jesus!

Also I don't know if the public would ever see a transcript of an "in camera" hearing, but I would certainly still feel better if there were at least some defense counsel there - not just Big Bad (nice person) Bill and Elizabeth and who?

With only the judge Bill and Secret Person(s), did anything even happen, and does it even matter?

For what it's worth, I think your suggestion re: Bains is quite logical as from what I can understand the decision referred to is to protect "criminal" rats facing serious retribution as in "death" - not just anybody that would rather be discreet.

Can we put the whole Campbell government into the Witness Protection Program? Please! At least it would get them out of the legislature.
I don't know any more then the rest of you but I would suspect given the circumstances (Judge immediately familiar with case being quoted) and the fact that drugs are involved, the mystery witnesses are either confidential informants or undercover police officers.

For obvious reasons neither group wants their identities published and given the defense tactic of disclosing everything they hear to the media I don't blame the prosecution in this case.

I trust the judge to make the proper decision.
If the defense tactic has been to disclose everything they hear to the media their tactic hasn't worked very well, unless this website and a couple of others are considered "the media."
I said "disclose" to the media. Whether the media publishes it or not is another story!
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