Wednesday, September 03, 2008

 

Foot-dragging in disclosure of Basi-Virk evidence, says Leonard Krog, MLA

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BC RAIL TRIAL TOO SLOW: KROG

Darrell Bellaart
Daily News - September 03, 2008

The public loses because of delays bringing to trial a case alleging corruption in the privatization of B.C. Rail, says Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog.

Foot-dragging in the disclosure of evidence by the Crown, RCMP and the provincial government is why it's taken so long in the preliminary hearing stage leading up to a trial on charges against Dave Basi and Bob Virk. The former government aides are accused of accepting a benefit, fraud and breach of trust in the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail freight to Canadian National Railway in 2003.

While some delays can be expected in such a complex case, Krog said the government is taking far too long releasing information that could be relevant, especially prior to the province's first fixed election date, in May.

Krog says delays are reaching the point where it threatens the rights of the accused to a fair trial, meaning the public might never hear what really happened in a case that includes e-mail messages to Premier Gordon Campbell's office.

"What could happen before this gets to trial where evidence is given, it could be dismissed because it has taken so long to get the matter to trial and the fault does not lie with the defence, it lies with the prosecution. That's what the prosecution will argue," Krog said. "There is also the issue of disclosure. It's clear neither the RCMP, special Crown prosecutor or the province provided the kind of disclosure they should have.

"It's tended to drag this on and the risk is, of course that you will end up with the judge dismissing it on those basis and we'll never hear the evidence." The case caused a sensation when RCMP raided the legislature and seized boxes of files and papers Dec. 28, 2003. At the time Virk was assistant to Judith Reid, then transportation minister and Nanaimo-Parksville MLA. Basi was assistant to Gary Farrell-Collins, who was finance minister at the time.

{Snip} ...

Despite charges being laid in 2004, a trial scheduled to start in 2005 has seen numerous delays.

The latest happened in March, when the court was asked to rule on the disclosure of 140 government e-mails the government claims are privileged and protected from disclosure. One message is considered so important it could affect the outcome of the case.

It's important to the public on several different levels, said Krog, a lawyer and the New Democrat critic for the Attorney General's office.

"This is a case that cries out for full disclosure. These people are arguing they are following the orders of their superiors and there are numerous questions to be asked."

The case returns to a Vancouver courtroom later this month. [17 Sept. 2008, to be exact. - BC Mary]

DBellaart@nanaimodailynews.com
250-729-4235

http://www.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=f8f164e9-7611-4def-aac2-66a26fa2a4b5


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Thanks are owed to Nanaimo Daily News for publishing news of their M.L.A. who has consistently spoken on the subject of the Basi Virk Basi / BC Rail Trial. - BC Mary.

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An electrifying factoid in Victoria Times Colonist this morning:

TORONTO - The official opening of the David Asper Centre at the faculty of law, University of Toronto, will take place on Friday Sept. 5, 2008. David Asper is an alumnus of the school and is also vice-president of CanWest Media Corporation. He has donated $7.5 million to the school. CanWest owns Times Colonist.

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Read more by using the Search Box at top left of this main page. Type in
ASPER NATION, Canada's most dangerous media company. - BC Mary

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Comments:
Barring another delay, the next round of pre-trial hearings come just in time for the next federal election. Supposedly this session will deal with search warrants that were issued. Warrants which deal with three key Stephane Dion supporters, Mark Marissen, Bruce Clark and Jamie Elmhirst. It will be interesting to see if anything comes out about those three during a federal election.
 
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Anonymous 2:40,

Good point.

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Since their guys apparently choose to run for Puffy St. Stephen's Xtian Soldiers, oops, I mean Reform/Alliance, oops, Psuedo-Conservative Party (i.e. Mayencourt) perhaps the Soup Nazi will release some of the long awaited evidence, if only to discredit Liberal leader Stephane Dion. Of course this only is more proof that our own provincial corporate/fascist/criminal BC liaR party (like the PseudoCons) are only using another party's name to disguise their true colors and agenda.

It is tragic that in Ottawa and Victoria we have governments that can't be honest about who they are and what they stand for, for fear of scaring and/or alienating voters. Even scarier is the fact that this dishonest approach to politics is swallowed by enough of the electorate to work.
 
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