Tuesday, June 10, 2008

 

The "Named Person" case, 2007. Re-visiting Bill Tieleman's 2007 column

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BASI-VIRK TAKES A BIZARRE TURN

By BILL TIELEMAN

The strangest twist in the long-awaited B.C. legislature raid case has seen the Crown apply to have three secret witnesses testify in the breach of trust, fraud and money laundering trial.

And special prosecutor Bill Berardino wants the application for one of the witnesses to be heard without even defence lawyers present - a highly unusual situation last seen in the Air India bombing trial when a police informant wanted on criminal charges in a foreign country wanted to avoid identification.

Berardino asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett to hold a secret hearing that would exclude defence lawyers, the media and the public in the trial of three former provincial government aides.

Lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi seemed stunned Friday when Berardino said he wanted even the defence absent from a hearing Dec. 3 to consider hearing testimony from a witness without identifying them.

There was no discussion on why the defence would be excluded and outside court Berardino and defence lawyers declined comment.

In court, Berardino referred Bennett to "paragraph 46" of an unidentified judgment that is likely Named Person v. Vancouver Sun, where a criminal informer in the Air India bombing wanted to testify without being named ... The secret witness issue drew an immediate reaction from the defence.

McCullough told Bennett that the application to exclude defence lawyers from the in-camera hearing would be opposed.

"If he [Berardino] intends to go in-camera without defence counsel, you'll hear arguments from me," he said.

Then a very interesting interjection occurred.

Bolton said to Bennett: "We'll deal with defence counsels' right to be present."

McCullough then said: "I think we've figured it out...."

But Bennett cut him off: "No, just don't say anymore."

Will the public ever learn who wants to testify without being named? Or why?

Stay tuned for "I've Got A Secret" at B.C. Supreme Court starting Dec. 3.


http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2007/11/basi-virk-trial-takes-strange-twist.html


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Special thanks to G West who remembered the original police informant as "a threat to national security" who was, in fact, the precedent-setting police informant in the Air India Case, wanted for a crime in another country so "needed" the secrecy ... hardly the kind of unshakable precedent Berardino is talking about ... or an example of using the Canada Evidence Act in its traditional role. This decision should be available online.

Special thanks to Bill Tieleman who knows that the BCRail case it isn't easy to follow in detail and who helps us follow the cast of characters, the document count, the schedule, and now the courts (BC Supreme, BC Court of Appeal, plus the hint of Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa).

Commentors have been outstanding too. Thanks, all. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Not for Disclosure

Good Morning Mary.

I can barely keep up with all the different articles today. Mulgrew's is interesting. I sent a comment yesterday. If it is too much please let me know if you can. I have said before you can edit or not post. Was it too much ? The warrant info has me a wondering. Keep up the good work.

ECS
 
ECS,

Your comment yesterday was very, very good -- but it was headed the way this one is -- and so I didn't post it. It's important that you protect yourself when you need to.

Whenever you use that DO NOT heading, I'll hold it back ... except this morning's which I don't think is a problem.

You're right, about how hard it is to keep up with all the comments and articles ... and I've lost your big, very good comment from yesterday!!! Sorry!!!

Can you re-send? If it's OK by you to post, add nothing at the top. But if it's a private message not for posting, write DO NOT PUBLISH across the top.

I think you're Agent 007. Me, I'm more like Agent 00, where clear instructions are required.

Thanks, as always.

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Express Collision Shop Said,

Thanks- It was fairly long. I will redo and send later. The warrants are too good to be true.
 
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