Friday, July 17, 2009

 

"Ticking time bomb of corruption" - National Post

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Destroyed emails adds twist to BC Rail trial

'Ticking time bomb of corruption'

Ian Austin
Canwest News Service, With Files From Shannon Kari, National Post
Friday, July 17, 2009
Related Topics (please note)

Bob Virk
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Aneal Basi
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Criminal Trials
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Elections and Voting

The lengthy BC Rail corruption trial took a turn for the worse for Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government yesterday with revelations that emails from the Premier may have been destroyed during the provincial election campaign in May.

Rosemarie Hayes, the B. C. government's manager in charge of information services, said that at the beginning of May, her department was told to erase backup tapes of emails prior to May 2004. They had been sent to a company called EDS Advanced Solutions.

Such an order would have destroyed crucial executive branch emails, including exchanges between the Premier and his closest staff.

The NDP opposition is now urging a special prosecutor be appointed with a mandate to investigate possible obstruction of justice.

"The Premier's emails are the inner circle of government," Leonard Krog, the NDP's attorney-general critic, said yesterday. "Everyone in government was aware that this was the ticking time bomb of corruption."

The BC Rail sale to CN Rail was the subject of a raid on the legislature in 2003, and has remained a black mark on Mr. Campbell's record through two successful re-election campaigns. The $1-billion sale was finalized in July 2004, despite a pre-election pledge by Mr. Campbell, below, that BC Rail would not be privatized.

{Snip} ...

Mr. Bolton said some emails already disclosed show that someone had leaked information from Cabinet meetings that were not attended by the three former government aides.

The criminal trial against Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk continued yesterday in B. C. Supreme Court. Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough asked the judge to make an order, as soon as possible, to produce the emails that still exist.

Justice Elizabeth Bennett said she will rule on Monday on the defence application.

Previously, a government lawyer filed affidavits that said none of the emails exist.

Government lawyers have filed 15 new affidavits, including the Hayes affidavit, which stated that EDS has found some emails but has also found that others have been destroyed.

The case, one of the lengthiest corruption prosecutions in British Columbia history, began nearly seven years ago as a major RCMP investigation dubbed Project Everywhichway, targeting an alleged marijuana and cocaine trafficking ring.

It eventually veered into a probe of political aides, and 18 months after it began, the RCMP and Victoria police executed search warrants on offices in the B. C. legislature on Dec. 28, 2003.

Mr. Basi, his cousin and Mr. Virk were charged criminally several months later.

Judge Bennett is hearing the case without a jury. The experienced judge is no stranger to political trials. She acquitted former NDP premier Glen Clark in 2002, after he was charged with breach of trust stemming from a good deal he was purported to have received on a deck for his home.

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"Sharing Is Good" makes a strong point in a comment just posted:

My only concern is that by waiting until Monday to rule, Justice Bennet may be allowing time for someone at EDS to delete waht is left. As soon as someone said that their may be stuff still residing at EDS, a sherrif (or somebody should have been sent by the court to find what is left and protect it). Yes, the ordering of deletion is criminal obstruction in my books, but we would still like to have the missing emails, would we not?


Comments:
After listening to Bill Good this morning one has to wonder what planet the man lives on.
 
My only concern is that by waiting until Monday to rule, Justice Bennet may be allowing time for someone at EDS to delete waht is left. As soon as someone said that their may be stuff still residing at EDS, a sherrif (or somebody should have been sent by the court to find what is left and protect it). Yes, the ordering of deletion is criminal obstruction in my books, but we would still like to have the missing emails, would we not?
 
Bill Tieleman's blog tells us that the Assistand deputy minister of the Ag's ministry received MLA Krogs letter and has referred the idea of a Special Prosecutor to the senor RCMP chap
 
Who are the owners of EDS? Any chance they are Liberal campaign contributors? I know that's a silly, too-obvious question....but it would be good to know, and what other businesses they may own....

Also the information department person said they were told to delete those emails; but who were they told by?

A sea of half-information told by reluctant tongues.....seems to me anyway...
 
For you Skookem 1:

About EDS

EDS is part of the HP Development Company which is part of HP Canada which falls under the control of Global HP.

Yep, another subsidiary of another American corporation being charged with securely handling our BC documents. Yep, seems the BC citizens couldn't be trusted to read or hold these BC government documents, give 'em to the Yanks. The Yanks have always had the best interests of all Canadians at heart.

http://www.en.eds.ca/nlapps/docs/default.asp?fid=1
 
recalling how Harper gave one billion to the US for the tariffs on softwood lumber???
 
Boy i want to know who set the timer on this bomb!It's been ticking for years !somebody quick, I think it's time to change the battery?
 
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