Monday, July 20, 2009

 

Judge in Basi-Virk case rules e.mails of premier and staff must be disclosed

NEAL HALL
VANCOUVER SUN - JULY 20, 2009


A defence lawyer in the David Basi - Virk political corruption trial said Tuesday he was shocked to learn that thousands of government e-mails may have been lost or cannot be recovered.

The trial judge in the Basi-Virk political corruption case has ordered the disclosure to the defence of the e-mails of Premier Gordon Campbell and his chief of staff.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett granted the defence application to obtain the e-mails and other commuications of the premier, key staff members and a number of cabinet members at the time of the controversial sale of BC Rail in 2004.

The judge found the documents related to BC Rail are likely relevant.

A court order was issued by the judge, forcing the government to produce the documents. [Emphasis added. - BC Mary.]

Whether the documents exist is still in question.

The government initially said the material didn't exist because backup tapes containing e-mail are only kept for 13 months.

Then last week a new affidavit of a government official revealed the tapes were sent to EDS Advanced Solutions for storage, and an order was made by somebody last May that retention of the tapes was no longer necessary.

It's uncertain whether the e-mails were destroyed.

Defence lawyer Michael Bolton said outside court he was extremely pleased with Bennett's ruling, adding it was one of the most important so far.

He said the documents being sought goes to the heart of the defence's case, which is that former political aides were only following the orders of the political masters - cabinet ministers responsible for the $1-billion privatization sale of BC Rail's freight division to CN Rail.

{Snip} ...

More to come.

nhall@vancouversun.com

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Here's a partial list of fine folks whose Emails have, apparently, been deemed relevant.....

Gordon Campbell
Martyn Brown
Mike Morton
Laura Daphinee
Ken Dobell
Brenda Eaton
Jay Schlosser
Jessica MacDonald
Gary Collins
Chris Trumpy
Yvette Wells
David Morhouse [later corrected to "Morhart"]
Judith Reid
Christy Clark
Shirley Bond
Richard Neufeld
Rich Coleman
Sol Gen ADM Begg
Paul Taylor

(received 'the list' from an Anon-O-Mouse over at Pacific Gazette).

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Judge orders BC Premier to turn over emails

Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail - July 20, 2009

Read the full column HERE.

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Interesting comment posted by Anonymous July 20, 2009:

Paul Taylor is interesting and part of a previous round in the great cover-up. Emails from pilothouse read out in court indicate he had a close relationship with Pilothouse and helped them get a contract with the BC Car Dealers (taylor's former employer). When this came to light, Campbell asked Jessica Macdonald to investigate (after several bad question periods). MacDonald engaged KPMG to report, but KPMG never asked nor answered the central question: Did Taylor leak material to Pilothouse and its client Omnitrax. Campbell and MacDonald refused to release the full KPMG report and its terms of reference.

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Comments:
Game on!

Love the 'chief-of-staff' bit in Mr. Hall's lede too....


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Only bad news is the confirmation by Mdme Justice Bennett that she will be leaving at end of summer....which is why the pro-Media has to get it's butt in gear right now!

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Relevent emails: Partial List

Gordon Campbell
Martyn Brown
Mike Morton
Laura Daphinee
Ken Dobell
Brenda Eaton
Jay Schlosser
Jessica MacDonald
Gary collins
Chris Trumpy
Yvette Wells
David Morhouse
Judith Reid
Christy Clark
Shirley BOnd
Richard Neufeld
Rich Coleman
Sol Gen ADM Begg
Paul Taylor
 
Gazetteer,

I gotta agree on your designation ... "bad news" that Judge Bennett will be leaving soon ... and now it's going to be a nail-biting, knuckle-cracking wait to see who takes her place.

Will the trial begin in early September? There was a huge load o'stuff to get through in Supreme Court today ... so, maybe yes.

Meantime, the RCMP have leapt into action on finding out who ordered the destruction of those critically relevant e.mails during an election campaign ... good luck to the investigators! I mean, really really good luck (and vindication) to the RCMP and Victoria Police. I've always admired the way they sashayed 30+ sergeants into the sacred Palace of the People, of a Sabbath morning during the Holy Season of Christmas, and quietly scooped 32 boxes of ... well, something that proved to be only a tiny beginning to the mess that confronted them in total.

This time, for these e.mails, maybe even the pro-media will tag along. I nearly fell off my chair, last week, when I saw that the National Post had a report on the BC Rail Case.

I wish to gosh somebody would tag along after Pat Broe the real estate developer who may still be thinking he's owed a "Consolation Prize" for helping to ... ahem ...

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Here's a partial list of fine folks whose Emails have, apparently, been deemed relevant.....

Gordon Campbell
Martyn Brown
Mike Morton
Laura Daphinee
Ken Dobell
Brenda Eaton
Jay Schlosser
Jessica MacDonald
Gary Collins
Chris Trumpy
Yvette Wells
David Morhouse
Judith Reid
Christy Clark
Shirley Bond
Richard Neufeld
Rich Coleman
Sol Gen ADM Begg
Paul Taylor

(received 'the list' from an Anon-O-Mouse over at my place).

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Anonymous 10:59,


Wow, wow!

Thank you for this. I'm asking no questions, I just want to say

THANK YOU!

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That's so nice! Must've been the same Anony-Mouse who sent it to me, too.

Thanks, both.

That's one rich gold-mine of inside data and yes, the Chief of Staff plus the Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Lara in particular) should be noted.

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Re Pat Broe and possible/implied charges for purchasing a benefit, or whatever the technical language - "corrupting a public official" is the meaning, there are a number of different terms for how it's done and how it's defined. Charges against corporate people are rarely pursued, unless it's a matter of bringing down the erstwhile might, like Conrad or Peter Pocklington. Broe's role within this scandal is yet to be fully understood; but consider if he did come under charges and brokered terms or even got them dismissed by turning Crown witness...especially if the CPR and BNSF begin to speak up, as they may...

But as I've always said, if OmniTRAX payed ~120k to come in a booby-prize 2nd place, what did the CNR pay to come in 1st?

Other than the usual relative piffle of the campaign donations.

And I can only think that this will turn even more interesting as MLAs are called to the stand (at whichever of the cases that will now be launched, as well as at the current one), long before the Premier himself is pulled up for his account. Huntington, Cardoso, Nettleton and others whose testimony is even more important if the emails do turn out to be unrecoverable. And then the day when Dave Basi takes the stand....

Campbell is a fool, or maybe those in control of him are. Faced with what's coming and the political damage it will cause, he should have resigned, or been made to resign by the backroom...long, long ago.

Destroying material protected by cabinet privilege would seem to be a special order of crime of its own, no?
 
Friends, associates, lovers. Such a nice list of who's whos. It looks like gordo might be cornered. Might have to start telling the truth. LOL - Don't hold your breath. His army of spin doctors (All 225 plus), the MSM, who love missing the "big' story, will try their best to again stall this matter. Feet to the fire all! Give us back our province!
 
Wait another month! What a bunch of Hooey! The documents should be released to the defense daily as relevance can be gleaned. If the emails are not found, we know, of course, that this would be a blatant obstruction of justice. This sort of decision is not made without the highest authority, that's the protocol. Who would ever be willing to take the fall? Do we have an Olly North in BC?

Personally, I'd like to have highly regarded independent lawyers brought in from another juridiction to review the emails. This government and the prosecution has done everything it can to delay the process of having a trial. Open, accessible, accountable - baloney!
 
Just a note to all you right way thinkers... FOCUS on the now, not 10 plus years ago! You will see the light. You all seem very quiet theses days. Maybe what we have been saying for all these years is correct? I think so.
 
It is too.

Should the actual emails come to light they'll likely provide an 'embarrassment' of riches...of one kind or another.

One also wonders, given the considerable critical coverage this has gotten in the otherwise mostly silent main stream media, if that retired lawyer for the Executive Counsel, George Copley, will be appealing Justice Bennett's ruling.


I'd actually like to focus more closely on those names....people like:
Jay Schlosser, Chris Trumpy and Paul Taylor, for example...as well, of course as Jessica MacDonald, Brenda Eaton and Mike Morton...

I think we need to spend some time looking at that appointment dates on their Order in council appointments - the departments where they worked and the ministers to whom they reported.

There's a chance, of course, that the good George Copley will rapidly appeal the judge's ruling and provide a bit more 'delay' for some of the principals named today..

After all, we still haven't heard the decision of the Supremes on the matter of the 'secret' witness’s testimony...

One other point, I haven't seen the whole list.

Can anyone confirm whether or not Geoff Plant is on it?

There must have been at least ONE cabinet minister in this mob who was clean, don't you think?
 
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G.,

have a look at Bill Tieleman's comprehensive list of "emailers of interest" in his column this morning ... Geof Plant is there, all right.

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It seems to me that Justice Bennett has made "disclosure orders" before only to have the Campbelloids invent yet more varieties of "privilege." Of course now it appears they have taken the Nixonian defense of deletions or just another form of "obstruction of justice."
 
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