Sunday, July 20, 2008

 

A Challenge to StoneWally


Robin Mathews forwarded this news release from the NDP Caucus last night. I would say to Mr. Oppal that the ball is now in his hands. Will he act in the interests of the people of British Columbia, or in the interests of his boss, The Man From Point Grey?


For Immediate Release
July 18, 2008


OVERWHELMING PUBLIC INTEREST IN B.C. RAIL CORRUPTION TRIAL DEMANDS OPPAL USE HIS AUTHORITY TO STOP FURTHER DELAYS


VANCOUVER - Given the public's right to finally get at the truth in the B.C. Rail corruption case, attorney general Wally Oppal must use his authority to stop further delays in this case, says New Democrat MLA Leonard Krog.

"Serious disclosure issues, the Campbell government's privilege applications and its chronic unwillingness to cooperate with the B.C. Rail investigation have plagued this trial right from the beginning.

"And now, special prosecutor Bill Berardino's latest move to appeal a B.C. Court of Appeal decision on a secret witness can further delay the trial by up to a year," said Krog.

"The public interest in getting this trial off the ground far outweighs the other considerations. In light of this, attorney general Wally Oppal must use his legal authority and direct the special prosecutor to drop his appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The general public would be much better served in getting the trial underway instead of spending months protecting the identity of a secret witness," Krog said, citing Section 7 of the Crown Counsel Act.

Following a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling against a prosecution request regarding a secret witness' testimony, Mr. Berardino has informed the court he will seek leave to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court of Canada level. The process can delay the trial by a year.

Under the Crown Counsel Act, attorney general Wally Oppal has the authority to direct the special prosecutor to drop an appeal of this nature in order for the trial to proceed. He has the power to do so as long as his instructions are published in the provincial gazette.

"This is an opportunity for the Campbell government to reduce the suspicion raised by their ongoing desperate attempts to limit public scrutiny in this case. British Columbians are well aware of the government's failure to disclose relevant documents related to the investigation as well as an inappropriate review of sensitive documents by the Premier's top political advisor Ken Dobell," said Krog.

"By directing the special prosecutor to not proceed with this appeal, the Campbell Liberals can help clear the air surrounding the B.C. Rail investigation and do the right thing for the people of B.C.," Krog said.


The relevant section of the Crown Counsel Act is attached below.
Section 7 of the Act provides:


7(4) If, after a special prosecutor receives the mandate under subsection (2), the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General or ADAG gives a direction to a special prosecutor in respect of any matter within the mandate of the special prosecutor, that direction must be given in writing and be published in the Gazette.

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Comments:
Great idea to challenge the Attorney General. But given the fact that he is a member of the governing party, who are in this deep Ka-ka up to their necks, do we really think that he will step in. I mean how did he get the nickname "stonewally".

No I think he will just use the common Liberal staement "I won't comment on what is before the courts". Leaving us with a Catch-22 situation. Any bets?
 
I fear you are right Gary, as Bill Tieleman points out the Extra Special Prosecutor AND the defense have made it clear they don't support Mr. Krog's request.

The defense counsel aren't obligated to be concerned with the public interest as their job is to defend their clients. However, theorectically Mr. Mostly Invisible Berardino is supposed to be representing us, the citizens of British Columbia, even those who live outside the neighborhood of Point Grey.

See Special Prosecutor, defence lawyer reject NDP demand that Attorney-General Wally Oppal intervene in Basi-Virk case to drop Supreme Court appeal" for more on the responses to Krog's demand.
 
Given Mr Opall's loyalty to da Boss, I won't be holding my breath for anything to happen that is in the publics best interest....

BTW Mary, have you read the book The Raid by John Merkley. I heard a caller to CFAX bring this book up, and had good things to say about it. I would love to hear if anyone else has read it and please comment. I recall she said the author resides in Metchosin.
 
Hi kootcoot,


"It would be highly unusual for the Attorney-General to get involved at this stage," Bolton said. "Other than that I have no comment."


This statement by defence lawyer Michael Bolton does not sound all that damming of this request by Mr. Krog.

Yes unusual, but what isn’t in this scandal?


Bill tieleman must be going on more than this statement to conclude that the defence is against Mr. krog’s idea.


What do you think koot?


Thank you robin and koot for keeping us informed.
 
Apparently when a prosecutor is knighted, in kootcoot's apt description as "Extra-Special", his loyalty to "the knighter", his lord, his liege, becomes commensurate with his extra-specialness.

In olden days, a special prosecutor's loyalty was always to the people.

Must be the "extra"-special title that has been the undoing here.


Come to think of it, just about everything and everybody in this case are extra-special, save the rights of the people of BC.
 
.
Anonymous 9:26,

To answer your question: Ken Merkley's book misnamed "The Raid" was reviewed on this web-site at the time of its publication.

Just type the name into the Search Box (top left on the main page) and you'll be shown the review.

A word of warning: there is no mention of the Legislature raids until the final page of the book. No, I'm not kidding. I have no idea why that photo of police carrying file boxes out of the Legislature is used as the cover photo.

I'd be interested to know what you think of it.

.
 
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