Monday, July 21, 2008

 

Keith Baldry, Basi and Virk

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Troubling, too, is the thought of a top BC reporter who surely would have realized -- long, long ago -- that we wonder about the three hapless individuals whose names are usually written as HMTQ v. them. We can't help but wonder how they are. We wonder if they are despondent. How are they coping with the sudden reversal of their careers. There are dozens of human relevancies that British Columbians would like to know -- without getting into the who-dunnits of HMTQ v. the three of them. I'm especially intrigued where you describe their spirits as so high, Keith. You remark on their humour, their passionate interest in BC politics and their virtual decision to have a Public Inquiry. They sound like winners, back in charge. Quite a contrast to the sorry scene Gary Mason painted of them in December 2006. You make it sound as if ... well, I can't help wondering ... if Dave Basi and Bobby Virk are still, somehow, on the job. ... like, maybe Media Monitoring? Or preparing the next election campaign for Gordo?

But why this little back-story in an Abbotsford paper, Keith? You'd have known all along, at least 5 years and maybe more, that you had a story ... a big story ... maybe ten or twenty stories ... which would have brightened the big downtown media ... stories you never revealed until now. And even now, when you do say a little bit about "the Accused", it appears in the Abbotsford-Mission Times. I think if stories about Basi, Virk and Basi as human beings caught in the same vortex which is eating our province from within, then ... call me naive ... but then, I think, the Special Prosecutor, the Judge, the Attorney-General, the RCMP, even Gordo, might have felt a bit of urgency about getting this trial under way.

So tell us, Keith, fair and square: has CanWest blackballed the story of BCRail and the trial we know as HMTQ v Basi, Virk, Basi? - BC Mary.

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JUSTICE TOO SLOW IN COMING
Keith Baldrey
Special to the Times [Abbotsford-Mission Times]
Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It appears that we will have to wait many more months before learning substantially more about why the police raided the legislature way back in December 2003. And that is very troubling on many fronts.

It's troubling because the legislature is the "people's palace" and the spectacle of state police bursting in to cart away documents from an institution that symbolizes democracy, then letting years go by without much of an explanation is unacceptable.

It's troubling because the raid raised serious questions about the sale of a major publicly owned asset - B.C. Rail - that served so communities in the Interior. It's troubling because the lives of several people - former government aides - have effectively been put in limbo without any actual proof offered that they did anything illegal.

{Snip} ...


Lost in all this procedural wrangling is the fact that two relatively young men continue to sit in some kind of limbo. They've been accused of wrongdoing, but have been denied a quick resolution - one way or another - of their charges. I've maintained regular contact with both men - ex-ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bob Virk - since the raid. We meet for lunch or breakfast every month or so.

Frankly, I'm amazed their spirits are still so high almost five years after a police raid effectively halted their chosen career paths.

Despite the mounting evidence of significant bungling by the special prosecutor and the high-handed tactics of the RCMP, they still have a sense of humour about the events that befallen them, still follow B.C. politics with a passion, and are still defiantly confident they will be cleared of any wrongdoing. They will accept no plea bargains because they are adamant about their innocence on all counts.

In fact, they say will be pressing for a public inquiry if this case does indeed eventually fall apart. Both men want an adjudicated outcome, not simply a stay of charges.

They've waited almost five years for answers and now they may have to wait close to a year longer yet. The wheels of justice have turned very, very slowly for them.

Meantime, we will have to join them in the unacceptably long wait for an explanation of just why the state police invaded the "people's palace" on that December day so long ago.

- Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global B.C.


http://www.canada.com/abbotsfordtimes/news/opinion/story.html?id=a88ff39d-f30b-41ba-8516-901e7cd2e0ed

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Same story also in Burnaby Now - July 15, 2008 as
RCMP too quiet on legislature raid
http://www.canada.com/burnabynow/news/community/story.html?id=c8b06ed6-b8f9-4fc2-bcb2-40cff3f09430

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Same story also in North Shore News

Raid on legislature awaits conclusion

Keith Baldrey

Special To North Shore News - July 18, 2008

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