Saturday, February 02, 2008

 

Judge Bennett says some e-mails could be critical to defence

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Basi-Virk Justice Bennett says some emails government claiming privilege over could be critical to defence

Justice Elizabeth Bennett has told defence lawyers that three of more than 100 previously missing emails in the BC Legislature case she has reviewed so far have "significant relevance" to the defence and one could affect "innocence at stake" - a legal term that would override provincial claims of privilege over the document.

Bill explains the source and significance of the legal term at:
http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/

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Anonymous says (see comments):

NEWSWIRE

In quotes - what they're saying this week

On the ongoing political corruption trial following the raids on the Legislature

Why won't the Campbell government come clean?

"In my view that should end the government's fight to keep these emails off the record. This case has gone on for 4 years, it involves allegations of political corruption, it's connected to the sale of the government railroad and it started with a raid on the Legislature Buildings. If this evidence, this stack of documents, together could affect the question of guilt or innocence in the case - and the judge said it could - then it should be part of the evidence and if the government continues to fight to keep this evidence off the record, as they have been doing, I think you're going to hear allegations of political cover-up."

"The judge's statement yesterday, her assessment that these [emails] are critical to the case is going to make it very, very hard for the government to make the case that they should be kept out."

- Vaughn Palmer, View from Victoria (CKNW), Feb. 1, 2008

February 2, 2008 12:08 PM

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Vaughn Palmer confirms this as part of his CKNW program with Philip Toll last Friday morning, when they discussed the Neal Hall story about the e-mails. In his e.mail to me today, Palmer adds that he also noted "a comment from copely" [George Copely, lawyer for the Campbell government] "suggesting that they may not seek to have all the e-mails excluded." Which, if Copely guarantees that, would be a helpful step indeed. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
NEWSWIRE

In quotes - what they're saying this week


On the ongoing political corruption trial following the raids on the Legislature

Why won't the Campbell government come clean?

"In my view that should end the government's fight to keep these emails off the record. This case has gone on for 4 years, it involves allegations of political corruption, it's connected to the sale of the government railroad and it started with a raid on the Legislature Buildings. If this evidence, this stack of documents, together could affect the question of guilt or innocence in the case - and the judge said it could - then it should be part of the evidence and if the government continues to fight to keep this evidence off the record, as they have been doing, I think you're going to hear allegations of political cover-up."

"The judge's statement yesterday, her assessment that these [emails] are critical to the case is going to make it very very hard for the government to make the case that they should be kept out."

- Vaughn Palmer, View from Victoria (CNKW), Feb. 1, 2008
 
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Anonymous 12:08,


Thanks. But I can't find the source.

Where did you pick it up?

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I may not have been able to attend the Jan 31 court date, but I did get to attend the Paul Martin dinner that evening. They had me seated off in a corner so I couldn't get anywhere near Paul Martin. The tables close to Martin were monopolized by the "usual suspects". But what I learned than night was more intriguing than anything Paul Martin would have told me. I was seated next to some of Paul Martin's Indo Canadian organizers and we got to talking about the Basi Virk trial. Then one of the Indo Canadian organizers reavealed what amounts to a bombshell in regards to this case. He said that when Christy Clark was an opposition MLA, Bob Virk was her driver and used to drive her around everywhere. So Clark and Virk go way back. Quite a meteoric rise for Mr Virk, going from Christy's driver to special assistant to the Minister of Transport to candidate for a high ranking position in the Martin government. It just goes to show it's all in who you know.
 
Interestinger and interestingzinger.....

Question for the Anon-O-Mice:

Mr. T. suggests that the 'innocence at stake' business could maybe trump solicitor/client privilege....but what about the not yet used 'cabinet' privilege thing?

Thanks.

RossK

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Hi mary,

The quote form the news wire was picked up on the bc ndp site.The quotes of the week are very good.I get a chuckle.
 
HI Mary,

This from ndp web site



News Detail
February 01, 2008

Statement from Carole James on the Basi/Virk Trial

Last year in the B.C. Legislature, Premier Campbell gave me a firm commitment that his government would co-operate fully with the courts to ensure full disclosure in the BC Rail corruption case.


Developments in court this week suggest that Premier Campbell is not living up to his commitment. Those developments suggest that the government may in fact jeopardize the case rather than disclose information the judge has deemed fundamental to the case.


This Monday the existence of 140 emails between high government officials and the Premier's office amongst others was disclosed for the first time.


Yesterday, upon review of the emails for relevancy to the court case, the Judge found 92 to be relevant, 3 significantly relevant and 1 fundamentally relevant. According to the judge one email spoke directly to the principle of "innocence at stake". In other words, it speaks to the issue of innocence or guilt.


Despite these findings, the government made it clear that it will continue to reserve its right to argue to prevent disclosure on the basis of client/solicitor privilege.


These emails, as well as other evidence in the trial, may be highly compromising to the government's position regarding the privatization of BC Rail. They may be highly compromising to other related issues worked on by the Ministry of Finance, the Premier's office and other government agencies.


No matter. The judge has said they are highly - even fundamentally - relevant to the case. The government must waive privilege. They must be disclosed. Any other result suggests a cover-up and will be more damaging to government than disclosure.


I call on the Premier, as the leader of the government, to ensure these documents and others relevant to the case are disclosed
 
HI Mary, this from the bc ndp web site.



News Detail
January 29, 2008

Campbell government's failure to cooperate with Basi-Virk investigation violates public trust

VANCOUVER - Gordon Campbell must live up to his promise of openness and ensure the government documents relevant to the Basi-Virk trial, no matter how compromising, are fully disclosed, New Democrat MLA Mike Farnworth said today.


"Yesterday, the court heard the government was sitting on over 120

government documents and emails that had not been reviewed for relevance and disclosure. Today, we learned that a hard drive containing those documents has mysteriously turned up in the court registry," said Farnworth, the MLA

for Port Coquitlam - Burke Mountain.


"This new bundle of evidence adds to the widespread suspicion about the disclosure process. The government can help clear up this suspicion by waiving objections to complete disclosure," said Farnworth.


Farnworth was reacting to new revelations in the Basi-Virk court hearing today that several email exchanges between top government officials and the Premier's office about the B.C. Rail deal and other political files have remained undisclosed for over four years and may be subject to government

applications of privilege, preventing full disclosure.


According to courtroom discussions between Justice Elizabeth Bennett,

government lawyer George Copley, and defense lawyers, the newly found documents were seized in the 2003 legislative raids. They include government documents as well as emails between deputies, ministerial assistants, the Premier's office and other high ranking government officials.


"The ongoing problems around disclosure raise suspicions these documents are compromising to the government. The only way to clear this up is to bring them into the public light as the Premier personally promised," said Farnworth.


"People of B.C. deserve to know exactly why an institution like the B.C. Legislature was forced to become the subject of a police search. And the B.C. Liberals' failure to cooperate with the investigation could potentially

derail a trial that must go ahead in the interest of the public."
 
google Campbell 'A made man' for an interesting take on this whole absurd Liberal corrupt government. It is at the top of the hit list and yet it receives no attention from the MSM and its minions. There is still no law suit re the article.
 
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