Wednesday, January 09, 2008

 

NDP doubtful Basi-Virk trial will start in March

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Neal Hall

Vancouver Sun - Wednesday, January 09, 2008

VANCOUVER - New Democrat MLA Leonard Krog said today he's doubtful the trial involving three former provincial government aides accused of corruption will start in March as planned, based on the government's latest resistance to disclosing documents.

"The likelihood of it proceeding is not high," he said after the case was adjourned until Monday.

The trial is scheduled to begin March 17 but has been adjourned more than half a dozen times since 2005 because of pre-trial disclosure problems.

The matter was in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver briefly today to deal with the defence seeking to gain access to 17 provincial cabinet documents, which the government does not want to disclose, claiming solicitor-client privilege.

Krog said Premier Gordon Campbell hasn't lived up to his promise of openness and transparency in relation to the criminal case. {Snip} ...

Lawyers for the former aides accused of corruption in connection to the BC Rail privatization deal want the documents disclosed but government lawyer George Copley has argued against disclosure.

A judge still has to determine whether to allow the defence application to cross-examine Copley's assistant, Nancy Reimer, who provided an affidavit that has been filed in court. {Snip} ...

The defence also filed this week its third extensive disclosure application that outlines problems with pre-trial disclosure. That matter is scheduled to be heard next Thursday.

nhall@png.canwest.com

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