Saturday, December 27, 2008
A note on Basi, Basi, Virk by Robin Mathews
Special thanks to "Rosario" whose kind note reminded us of this relevant report from Robin Mathews almost 2 years ago ... funny what a difference these months have made.
- BC Mary.
May 09, 2007
By Robin Mathews
The Crown has taken over at the Basi, Basi, Virk hearing (on whether more disclosure is required). It is arguing - as I have said - that everything is fine, that Defence has had good treatment, that disclosure hasn't been obstructed, that RCMP and Crown have worked to make a good electronic system and that the system to access evidence required has been open to Defence. Crown argues investigating police were in no way turned away from elected (Gordon Campbell Liberal) politicians, but followed evidence and came upon the three accused and no one else.
The Crown mentioned that the drug matter was very much a part of the investigations and alleges that Dave Basi was, allegedly, deep into drug operations and profits. But Crown is unsure if it will proceed with any charges in that matter. Pardon? No reason given, just a statement. A statement that isn't satisfactory and opens very large questions. "Tips from an informant suggested Basi was laundering money for Bains by purchasing real estate," Winteringham said. "The Crown said it has not decided whether it will approve any of the alleged drug charges against Dave Basi". Pardon? Is that a way of saying, 'we will besmirch him with a "tip" we got, but we don't think it has enough basis to lay charges'?
"Police found several confidential documents pertaining to the [BC Rail] deal at the homes and offices of Virk and Basi and the Pilothouse office in Victoria", Winteringham said. If Basi was a highly trusted key aide, and Virk was trusted and in the Transportation Ministry, why wouldn't those documents be in their homes and offices? Are we dragging a red herring across the issue here? Documents were also found, Wintergham reports, in "the Pilothouse office in Victoria". That's important. But isn't it also important that RCMP are said to have found confidential government documents in the home of Christy Clark's brother when they searched his home? What were those documents? Why have we heard no more about them? Where did Clark get them, and why did he have them? No answers.
The oils of the Crown are being poured on troubled waters. But they open yet another uncomfortable question - uncomfortable because a person is very hesitant to open it.
On Monday and Tuesday Janet Winteringham used one of the fourteen affidavits acquired by the Crown in the last little while in order to contest the allegations made by Defence. (As I have said I want to see those affidavits that absolutely should be available to Canadians, but Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is keeping secret from Canadians as much as she can of the Basi, Basi, Virk materials. On whose behalf I ask again?)
The affidavit most referred to by Winteringham in order to establish facts of investigation is the affidavit made by (now Inspector) Sergeant Debruyckere who was chief investigating officer much of the time. But that officer is the brother-in-law of a man who was Executive Director of the B.C. Provincial Liberal Party and on an election team with Gary Collins - and, Defence alleges, frequently in telephone conversation with Dave Basi. Defence also suggests that information from Debruyckere probably passed to Reichert, Executive Director, and, allegedly, made its way to cabinet. Crown reported that Debruyckere informed his superiors in December of 2003 of his relation to Kelly Reichert.
(1) At that point Debruyckere should have been taken off the case, without question. (2) That he was not taken off the case casts deep suspicion on him AND on his superiors. (3 ) Any affidavit he presents has to be seen in the light of his connection to a top Liberal operative at the time of the investigation involving top Liberal operatives in cabinet and outside it.(4) The present state of RCMP reputation across the country (and especially in B.C.) makes doubt a reasonable condition in the mind of any reasonable Canadian on the question of the validity of Debruyckere's affidavit.
What is in that affidavit, and what is in the 13 others? Did RCMP officers fully and objectively report their activities in those affidavits? It is a terribly, terribly sad fact that (in the light of the enormous doubts cast upon RCMP integrity in recent years) we cannot be sure.
Posted by Rosario to The Legislature Raids at December 27, 2008 4:04 PM
Special thanks to you, Rosario.
It's amazing, the way these old reports seem to have brighter data than the few and far between items we're seeing these days ... as the trial gets closer and closer.
That's spooky, my friend. I've just been searching around, looking for the answer to the very same question you are asking:
Who's in charge of the Basi-Virk trial??
I was just reading some of the courtroom conversations from November 27, 2008 where a defence lawyer is saying that David Harris had instructed the RCMP not to mention organized crime in connection with the raid on the BC Legislature.
Defence lawyers seem convinced that the RCMP ought to have obeyed these orders from the Attorney General's department.
As usual in this case, there's not much information to go on ... only more questions. And my question is: wouldn't the RCMP know better than any other, that B.C. has a problem with organized crime?
Therefore, shouldn't the citizens of BC expect the police to proceed to do their duty "without fear or favour"?
More about this later.
Thanks for your thoughts. I'll go have a look at Vaughn Palmer now.