Monday, January 28, 2008

 

He doesn't recall ... and she'll do it tomorrow

.
Virk/Basi trial adjourned to study e-mails

Neal Hall

Vancouver Sun: Monday, January 28, 2008

VANCOUVER - B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett had a hint of weariness in her voice today after learning the B.C. government has found more than 100 e-mails that were seized during a raid on the legislature more than four years ago

The documents have never been reviewed by the judge to decide whether the e-mails are relevant to a pending trial, slated to begin March 17.

The judge adjourned the matter over to 10 a.m. Tuesday to allow government lawyer George Copley to retrieve about 140 e-mails from Victoria and provide a written summary of each one.

The e-mails were seized in 2003 from the computers of Dave Basi and Bob Virk, two former government aides accused of accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust in relation to the $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail freight operations in 2003 to Canadian National Railway. {Snip} ...

Up to now, the defence lawyers were still seeking to obtain 17 documents that the government's lawyer asserted should not be disclosed because of solicitor-client privilege or cabinet privilege.

But Copley revealed in court today that there are about 140 e-mails that the government is asserting should not be disclosed to defence.

The trial judge, Bennett, took a short break this morning to check with Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm to see if he ever reviewed the 140 documents. Dohm was the judge who initially authorized police to search the legislature.

Bennett returned to court and told the lawyers that Dohm does not recall ever reviewing the 140 e-mails.

The judge said she will review the documents Tuesday morning before deciding how many are relevant to the trial. {Snip} ...

nhall@png.canwest.com

Full story:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=738984f3-4602-445b-8278-463af56d6d8a&k=65429

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Comments:
Wait one little minute here, please . . .

Firstly:

"Justice Elizabeth Bennett had a hint of weariness in her voice today after learning the B.C. government has found more than 100 e-mails that were seized during a raid on the legislature more than four years ago"

Secondly:

"The trial judge, Bennett, took a short break this morning to check with Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm to see if he ever reviewed the 140 documents. Dohm was the judge who initially authorized police to search the legislature.

Bennett returned to court and told the lawyers that Dohm does not recall ever reviewing the 140 e-mails."

Something is very wrong with this picture. Wasn't it Judge Dohm who vetted all of the seized boxes after the Raid BEFORE all of these documents were turned over to the RCMP?

Apparently the Govt. just found them yet they were "seized" in 2003 . . .

Am I missing something here?
 
Every time a stone is turned in this case, another swarm of small vile creatures scurries to avoid being caught in the bright light of day. Is this the same George Copley who assured Madame Justice Bennett last spring that,

‘Yes, Milady, this bundle of documents I'm turning over to you now is the material the court must consider as to whether or not it has relevance in this case as evidence. The files have been combed milady and the government is prepared to have you rule on admissibility. And furthermore, Milady, the Premier wishes to be completely open and above-board about all of this.’

I swear we've heard those words, or ones very like them, from George Copley Esq. Q.C. before.

I know a request was sent to all ministries as early as last February for any documents which might in any way relate to this case...where have they been in the interim?

I think the Campbell Government has cried 'wolf' one too many times on this file.

Nothing they say now can have even the semblance of veracity about it.
 
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