Friday, December 28, 2007

 

4 years unfair to British Columbians

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Justice delayed, justice denied

Times Colonist - Friday, December 28, 2007

Four years ago today, police armed with search warrants raided government offices in the legislature, seizing 33 boxes of documents.

The raid grew out of an investigation into organized crime, the RCMP said. Police were looking for evidence of corruption in the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail.

The case raised troubling questions about possible corruption within government, the role of well-connected lobbyists and the fairness of the sale process. It also resulted in the cancellation of the planned sale of a B.C. Rail spur line, costing taxpayers about $1 million in wasted money.

The public has been waiting four [years] for answers to the questions raised by the raid and its fallout. That's too long.

Commercial crime investigations are often complex and time-consuming.

But the delays in this case have also been caused by the prosecutors' failure to disclose evidence to defence lawyers. The delays and lack of co-operation have drawn sharp criticism from B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett. {Snip} ...

The process has been unfair to the three men charged -- Dave Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi -- who have had the charges hanging over their heads for far too long.

And it has been unfair to British Columbians, who have waited four years for answers to the many questions raised by the legislature raids.


http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=cc6d50dd-e0fb-4648-a889-300c5230a768
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Comments:
Perhaps these two paragraphs - given the Special Prosecutor's self-serving remarks quoted in the Camille Bains article that follows this one - are the most appropriate remarks in the whole Times Colonist Editorial.



But the delays in this case have also been caused by the prosecutors' failure to disclose evidence to defence lawyers. The delays and lack of co-operation have drawn sharp criticism from B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett.

Even now, disclosure is not complete. The provincial government, despite promises of co-operation, is exercising its right to use solicitor-client privilege to keep documents from the court. The legal wrangling continues, including a dispute over the prosecutors' request that a witness be allowed to testify in secret.


One only hopes that some members of the Cabinet (in the Premier's usual Christmas/New Years absence) have the good sense to pay a little attention.
 
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G,

You've probably expressed the New Year's wish of a great many people in this province and across Canada. Thanks, as always, for your clear thinking.


Wayne:

Thanks. You understand. So, what you said is very much appreciated.


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