Sunday, December 16, 2007

 

Basi-Virk Defence may question B.C. cabinet official

Lawyers say government is not forthcoming

By Keith Fraser
The Province - Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lawyers for three former government aides facing corruption charges may apply to cross-examine a former and a current provincial cabinet official on issues relating to the disclosure of key documents. {Snip} ...

The documents, seized by police in December 2003 from the legislative offices of two of the accused -- David Basi and Bobby Virk -- relate to legal advice given during the controversial $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail.

Kevin McCullough, a lawyer for Virk, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett that there is an issue as to who is giving instructions on whether to release the documents.

Court heard from government lawyer George Copley that deputy attorney-general Allan Seckel is currently giving instructions to him. Prior to Seckel, it was former deputy cabinet secretary Joy Illington, who reports to the B.C. cabinet.

"The real issue is as to when that shift occurred," said McCullough. "When does the shift occur that puts Mr. Seckel in that position?"

He said he might wish to cross-examine Illington and Elizabeth MacMillan, who took over as deputy cabinet secretary from Illington.

McCullough has claimed that two of the 17 documents now being blocked by the government were earlier released to him on freedom of information requests. Yesterday, he claimed a third document he received on an FOI request is similarly among the documents claimed as privileged.

McCullough said he and his defence colleagues hope to first cross-examine Nancy Reimer, an assistant of Copley, who provided the affidavit.

kfraser@png.canwest.com
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=974d5008-7708-474a-8be8-b2da3247c8ce
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Comments:
Too bad Mr Frazer (and perhaps Mr McCullough too) isn't actually up to date on this file;

I think, if they check, they'll find that Elizabeth McMillan has been on maternity leave this fall...and someone else is handling her files.

The Cabinet secretary, by the way, is Deputy to the Premier, Jessica McDonald...who has been in that position since her OIC appointment in 2005.
 
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