Monday, January 28, 2008

 

Courtroom 54, January 28

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Robin Mathews

No one can say today was a good day in Courtroom 54. It wasn't. The events of the morning erupted in the apparently unexpected, and culminated in the postponement of proceedings until tomorrow at nine a.m. (Perhaps.) (Lawyer for the government, Mr. Copley has to get materials from Victoria to Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett by nine a.m. tomorrow.)

People involving themselves as onlookers in events such as the BC Rail scandal court matters tend to see themselves sometimes as relevant. I don't. But today's events just might have been staged as a comment on the piece I wrote, published here yesterday, called "Time to Demystify Canada's Judiciary".

In short, with 10 lawyers in court and, at most, about 7 in the gallery, Kevin McCullough, for the Defence, threw (as the English say) "a spanner in the works". How can I report the matter clearly and simply?

(1) Counsel for the Defence asked for all the e-mails that had been generated by the accused or to the accused in B.C. government holding. (2) Correpondence with Mr. Copley (govt. lawyer) went on for about three weeks. (3) About 78 e-mails were identified - some irrelevant, some (17) being claimed as withheld on the basis of Cabinet privilege or solicitor-client privilege. Mr. McCullough remarked for the Defence that government has not claimed "privilege" on the basis of "harm" that will be done if the e-mails are released. It claims to be withholding them on the basis of "principle" - whatever that may mean.

[Readers may interpret that as meaning they cannot say the disclosure of the e-mails would do damage to public policy. But, rather, disclosure might advance the argument of the Defence, and so since precedent has made it possible to hold material from public examination on the basis of cabinet or solicitor/client privilege - and so on that basis, so-called "principle", the materials are being withheld.]

[Note: Both of those claims - in the real world - may be specious. Does either kind of "privilege" cover a government serving the people when it is called upon for documents in criminal matters?]

(4) Apparently there exists an inventory of e-mails in question. (5) But only apparently. Though Mr Copley has had, literally, months to look ahead, see what will be asked for, arrange materials, make inventories of them, and proffer them when requested, he has not done that.

What follows is hard to believe.

(6) Some (but by no means all) of the e-mail material was sent (uninventoried!!!) to Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm for vetting: irrelevant; relevant; okayed for cabinet or solicitor/client privilege. What was Mr. Copley doing sending ANYONE an uninventoried batch of e-mails? No answer.

(7) Upon return of the material from Dohm, it was inventoried. (8) But no information was communicated to Defence that, in fact, perhaps 140 e-mails had already been extracted, were not on the inventory list, were not - it seems - sent to Patrick Dohm, and were not reported withheld and individually summarized for the Defence's use.

(9) Apparently, the RCMP was asked to vet some of the e-mails, a most extraordinary request since the RCMP has no place checking solicitor/client or cabinet privilege. (10) That action (not quite clear to me) seems to mean (a) the RCMP was improperly used in the matter and/or government had complete confidence that the RCMP is an extension of itself.

[Note: A very serious problem asserts itself here. Defence made an application for all e-mails. The affidavit from Copley says they received all e-mails, apparently. They didn't, demonstrably. Mr. Copley's response to that was unruffled, apparently, reporting that the disparity "simply means more work will have to be done". In short, government said that Defence had all materials accounted for when, in fact, they had less than half.]

(11) At about this point, McCullough for the Defence remarked (gently and in an understated fashion) that the "Court must be somewhat frustrated by this protracted application". The court in the person of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett did not show the slightest frustration, from what I could observe.

[Note. If Mr. Copley were an ordinary Canadian acting under requirements of a court order brought about by an Injunction that had been sought by a large Private Corporation and all the above mess was discovered, Madam Justice Bennett might well, by now, have sent him to the lock-up that held Betty Krawczyk for several months. The granting of the application by Defence for disclosure of all the e-mails is much the same as a court order. But - What the hell! Copley's a member of the club. He works for Gordon Campbell. Was Madam Justice Bennett annoyed? Not as far as I could see. Please consult yesterday's article: "Time to Demystify Canada's Judiciary".]

(12) In addition, the Defence had to make itself very clear that the e-mails involved were not separate items, were not stand-alone events, but were very likely meshed into related events about which Defence needs to have clear knowledge.

[We may wish to remember a time line. Dave Basi may have been engaged in the writing and receiving of e-mails in connection with the Agricultural Land Reserve matter which is a part of the sprawling set of actions, BEFORE the corrupt sale of BC Rail. Land was removed from the ALR for Development, money is, I believe, alleged to have passed hands. Environmental ministry people may have been involved, one of whom left that ministry and joined the Pilothouse lobby organization and was connected to "star witness" Erik Bornmann whose testimony is believed to be that he was involved in the passing of a bribe. The time line may - through e-mails - suggest connections between the accused and others in government not heretofore imagined.]

Defence argued that it cannot continue until all the e-mails are accounted for. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett stopped the hearing for a half hour to look at the submission made by Defence and the materials related. She returned to postpone proceedings until Tuesday at nine a.m. when Mr. Copley will have assembled all the necessary materials.

[An ordinary, concerned Canadian cannot find much humour in today's events. What I record is what appears to be a contemptuous attitude displayed towards Canadians who depend upon the courts to guard the sanctity of their society, to proceedings of the gravest seriousness, and to the concept of justice in Canada. Times are not good in Canada's highest courts.]

Some are already calling this "the trial of the century". I realize now they mean "the trial that will take a century ... at least".

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Very special thanks for this, Robin.

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Comments:
This trial just gets crazier every time they sit in court.
How on Gods' green earth can a (apparently) intelligent person,(someone who has passed the bar) get away with sitting in court one day telling a Judge that he has handed over all materials requested then months later come up with a pile that has not been handed over????
Then (apparently) lie to, if not deliberately mislead that judge, in telling her that Dohm had vetted all this info. All she had to do was make a phone call (which she did) to prove or disprove this. Dohm says he can't recall it. Then she doesn't hold him in contempt? Why not? Is there something else we don't know about?
Robin is sooo correct when he says that if this was a large corporation seeking an injuction (such as the one on Betty Krawczyk) Copeleys' butt would be in the tombs in a New York Second.

It is becoming more clear every day that ther is one set of rules for the elite and another for the masses in the BC court system. I really regret that Madam Bennett doesn't read the papers nor blogs such as this. If she did she would be able to see just how frustrated we can get. Then maybe, just maybe we could get some other information that I am sure we are missing. There has to be more there. No one could be as stupid as I perceive some of the prosecution in this case.
 
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gary e,

You might be really surprised if you knew all the people who read this blog. I certainly was. Then pleased. Then a bit scared. Then inspired to think that I might be speaking directly (like right now) to some of the people we worry about.

Me, I wonder how the Special Prosecutor avoids being cited for Contempt of Court when the judge demands that he produce certain documents ... and he doesn't.

You know, when I started this blog, it was because the trial of Basi, Virk, Basi was coming up ... and that was almost 2 years ago!

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Hi Mary

Actually I'm not so surprised at who reads this blog or any other for that matter. But I do remember an article that had Justice Bennett reading about this trial while she was in Montreal. What sruck me was that she had made a statement I beleive to the reporter that she didn't read about any of the trials she was involved in. But personally I'll bet she's the only one. I also know the Police read them as well as a lot of lawyers. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the Liberal communications arm is reading them. And they think they are so smart.
What is really interesting, to me at least, is that they keep screwing up. Are they not embarrassed? Have they no shame in the screw-ups they are doing.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I firmly beleive that this farce is a carefully orchestrated attempt to delay this trial until after the next election. Why else would such stupidity be happening? Because of the interest gathering in this case they haven't got a hope in hell of getting the people to forget what they have done. So they will just delay until after the next election.
 
By the way Mary. I have to tell you that I was never so glad as to see this blog happen. I remember you talking about it a few years ago in The Tyee. And as near as I can see, in this type of blog you have managed to take the lead. That is not to forget that there are others that in their own way are helping immensley. Robin Matthews and Bill Tieleman for starters in their way. Kootcoot at the House of Infamy, Ross at Gazeteer, and a host of others. Keep up the good work.
 
Yet another illustration of the politicized piece of junk that is our judiciary. Bennett - a former Crown attorney - is well aware that the right to answer in defence of a criminal charge is absolute, and the role of a judicial officer in upholding the right is relative to its exercise. Unfortunately, our robed savages do NOT believe in the rule of law. Since a BC Crown attorney - Beverley McLachlin - weaseled her way into the Supreme Court of Canada, rights have been systematically trampled.

Reminder to McLachlin: prior to your perversion of public justice into a totalitarian-dictatorship, your colleagues found - in "Moreau-Berube" - that a single instance of judicial partiality or subjectivity, MUST be fatal to the career of that malfeasant. Why? Because a judge is a paid fact-finder and purveyance of fiction by a member of that servant class, is a threat to every member of society.

As I wrote yesterday, of 2200 rights of complaint exercised against federally appointed savages , since 1990, in only 6 cases were the accused required to explain conduct. CJ Bev. McLachlin - head of the Canadian Judicial Council - orders her Legal Officer to obstruct justice by claiming that a CONDUCT issue is an APPEAL issue. Her perverse mouthpiece, Norman Sabourin, makes no differentiation; he delivers an accused judge the private benefit of creative exhoneraion. McLachlin knows that Appeals Courts have no jurisdiction over the conduct of judges.

Liz Bennett knows that there are NO enforceable means to prevent her from using judicial powers to vomit fiction, under the colour of ersatz fact. In the current state of usurpation of the rule of law, our paid fact-finders are above the law.

If anyone is thinking of complaining about Bennett's part in the McLachlin-Coup, allow me to tell you of the pre-disposition of the complaint: a thorough investigation was conducted, and the complaint cannot be substantiated.
 
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