Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Robin Mathews: Courtroom 54 on Wednesday January 9, 2008
The Court schedule online described a long, full day. It didn't happen. Materials tendered by Mr. Copley are extensive and require more study before proceeding. And so the hearing, at the hearing, was postponed until Monday 14th.
Most of the press had been grape-vined, so only three people were in the gallery. Anyhow, the major press appears to be cooperating with the Gordon Campbell government and pretending there's nothing of interest in the most important "trial" in B.C. in the last many years. The major press never asks key questions, and it appears to do what it can to cover them up. Which, in itself, raises all kinds of questions.
Before shutting down in December, slight notice was paid to the attempt by the lawyer for the B.C. government to deny the Defence evidence. That's a pretty picture: the Gordon Campbell government trying to prevent justice being done. Solicitor/client privilege was invoked. Think of it. Acting in the name of the people of B.C., cabinet ministers and top civil servants claim that what they did is a secret between them and their lawyers. Pardon?
Mr. Copley bobs and weaves and spreads out his hands like a Hollywood market Arab, but he doesn't fool anyone. He is there on behalf of the Gordon Campbell government, as I read the situation - this is my opinion - to prevent the truth being made available to the people of British Columbia.
And he whispers when he isn't wheezing out his words. At that point people aren't at a "Hearing". They are at an "Eavesdropping" - as the anonymous commentator remarked earlier. Which raises a question. Is Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett happy that people in the gallery can't hear what Mr. Copley (and often others) are saying? Is she (in charge of the courtroom) concerned about that? Is it a matter of lengthy training and expert advice (that she doesn't possess) to know the acoustics in the room are lousy and the mikes should be turned up a little for the sake of the public present?
And is she concerned - as B.C. Mary has pointed out - that a commentator announced well before the the filing (didn't, it seems, just speculate, but stated) that the Special Crown Prosecutor was going to appeal Justice Bennett's decision that the Crown cannot exclude Defence from the in camera (secret) testimony of the secret witness? Did the commentator pre-announce with information from the Crown to Justice Bennett's approval? She hasn't, as far as I can tell, disapproved. Which opens a question.
William Berardino, Special Crown Prosecutor, asked for in camera (secret) testimony, a drastic and unpalatable move. Was that a ploy? If Justice Bennett said "Yes", Defence would almost certainly have had to appeal. She said "No". And so the Crown is appealing.
Mr. Copley, for the government, has asked for material to be denied because of solicitor/client privilege. In terms of elected representatives in a democracy the request is a drastic and unpalatable move. If the answer is "No", will he appeal her decision? If the answer is "Yes", will Defence be forced to appeal her decision?
The processes in courtroom 54 look shabbier and shabbier. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett no longer shakes her brown locks at the lawyers and says "This trial is going ahead". Does she know "THEY" are not going to let it go ahead?
Despite the fact that the major press (and the rest of the "majors") don't report on the BC Rail Scandal with anything like fairness and thoroughness, word is getting out that it looks increasingly like a huge, expensive scam billed to British Columbian taxpayers, a huge game of obstruction and delay, obfuscation and destruction.
That may explain the column in the Globe and Mail on December 31 by Norman Spector, political columnist. Spector is the great denier. He regularly denies he is political or has ever been connected to a political party. He was chief of staff in Brian Mulroney's PMO, but would have us believe he was there because of his unparalleled excellence, not because Brian Mulroney recognized another reactionary when he saw one. And of course Mulroney appointed him ambassador to Israel because Spector has no political connections.
Spector was writing a regular column for the Vancouver Sun and the Victoria Times Colonist for some time - in denial. He wrote a column to say he was not employed by those papers, not employed by CanWest. Was he paid privately out of someone's pocket? Did he meet in hotel rooms and receive cash in white envelopes? A puzzle. Spector's a denier who denies what seems to be the obvious, and states as fact what no one can take as assured fact.
His December 31 denial column is about the court actions arising out of the BC Rail Scandal. Was he set on that subject as a task? Whether or not, his denials in the column may tell us what is being covered up - specifically.
The talk about "organized crime and drug money having infested our political scene" have, he says, "mercifully ... all but disappeared from the scene". Does that mean we should be paying more attention to that talk?
And then...ah yes, that awful talk has been replaced by "dark hints of a plot to protect Gordon Campbell's government". How outrageous. Such talk only comes, Spector assures us from people given to conspiracy talk. Naturally. Does that mean we have to pay a lot more attention to those dark hints? Probably.
So there is nothing wrong on that score, says Spector. What is wrong, writes Spector, is "how badly the justice system is managed". Pardon? The administrative system is so bad that criminals are getting away - and the administrative system doesn't have a reason for its badness - like helping criminals to get away? It gets worse. He writes: "We're also seeing how that system can be played by anyone who can afford a good lawyer, or can find a way to have the taxpayers pay for one...."
But isn't that what the people he attacks are saying: that the Campbell government appointed the Special Crown Prosecutor (who was once in business with the Attorney General who appointed him); that the Special Crown Prosecutor has looked as if he has been delaying (whether true or not); and the taxpayers have been and will go on paying for all the mess-ups in disclosure by the Crown and denials of evidence and applications and appeals it makes on the way to slowing everything about the BC Rail scandal down?
Then we go to what Spector states as obvious truths - when they are not obvious truths to any informed person I talk to about the BC Rail scandal. "The judge presiding," he writes, "is fully independent and has tenure." Pardon? The judge presiding has asked for documents "forthwith" a word which has come to mean in the Basi, Basi, and Virk process "sometime in the next several months if you remember". The judge presiding has not "independently" demanded adequate response and punished the Crown or RCMP when response has not been adequate. Independent?
What is more, Spector assures us "an independent special prosecutor was appointed to investigate and recommend the laying of charges". That is one of the most contentious of issues among many observers following the issue. The RCMP suddenly made clear - quite early - that no elected representative was being investigated. Isn't that the kind of "shut-down" Spector states in that same column is highly suspicious?
I guess the last straw is that Norman Spector writes, with a completely straight face, that coverage of the story by B.C. journalists has been "considerable".
We can stop there and ask the question again. Was Spector set on this subject to try to cover (with farmyard fertilizer) the people looking critically at the many disturbing elements in it? Was the unpolitical political columnist called upon to do one of his snow jobs in an attempt to bury the people in an avalanche of phony analysis? We can say with assurance that it is an avalanche of phony analysis. Why it came into being is the truly exciting question.
One of its possible answers would confirm every jot and tittle of the worst conspiracy fears anyone has. So it can't be that answer, can it?
"Most of the press had been grape-vined, so only three people were in the gallery. Anyhow, the major press appears to be cooperating with the Gordon Campbell government and pretending there's nothing of interest in the most important "trial" in B.C. in the last many years. The major press never asks key questions, and it appears to do what it can to cover them up. Which, in itself, raises all kinds of questions."
Norman - go look at the man in the mirror & stop dishing out this drivel like so many of your pals in the MSM. You are all losing our respect doesn't that count any more? Does it always have to come down to $$$$$$$$ & YOUR vested iterests - when does integrity click in?
Robin further writes:
"Before shutting down in December, slight notice was paid to the attempt by the lawyer for the B.C. government to deny the Defence evidence. That's a pretty picture: the Gordon Campbell government trying to prevent justice being done. Solicitor/client privilege was invoked. Think of it. Acting in the name of the people of B.C., cabinet ministers and top civil servants claim that what they did is a secret between them and their lawyers. Pardon?"
. . . This along with the Judge (hand picked perhaps????)originally "sorting" which HOT DOCS get to move forward to the RCMP's scrutiny, right after the Raid in December 2004 - STINKY POO POO! I read that senior RCMP Officers wanted to pursue the politicians - pray tell how they could with this garbage interfering!
Yes, where IS the people's protector in the courtroom: the Special Prosecutor on this politiclaly volitile scandal? We count on you, sir.
Happy New Year, Prof. Mathews - thank heavens for your ethical backbone along with Mary's. You both clearly care for British Columbians.
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