Monday, August 17, 2009

 

Er ... Bill? Remember this? Prosecutor to review documents on hard drive in courts registry

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Remember this?

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino's office will conduct an audit of a mystery computer hard drive found in the Vancouver law courts registry.

By Keith Fraser
The Vancouver Province - February 1, 2008


Special prosecutor Bill Berardino's office will conduct an audit of a mystery computer hard drive found in the Vancouver law courts registry.

The move will help determine whether there are any more missing e-mails in the case of three former government aides charged with corruption, a pre-trial conference heard yesterday.

Earlier this week the trial judge, trying to determine whether any of an estimated 100 to 140 missing e-mails that suddenly surfaced in the case were located in the registry, was told that there was a hard drive in a vault. It was unclear whether the material on the registry hard drive had been disclosed or reviewed.

Yesterday the mystery was solved when a member of the prosecution team, Janet Winteringham, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett that the hard drive was a copy of one containing documents seized in the December 2003 police raid on the legislature.

The hard drive, forwarded to the registry from Victoria, includes e-mails seized from the computers of Bobby Virk and David Basi, two of the accused, and documents from the government's computer server.

The original is being stored by the RCMP, and a second copy is in the hands of government lawyer George Copley.

Kevin McCullough, who represents Virk, told the judge that the latest developments mean a complete review of all the hard drives is now needed.

"There is serious concern . . . that there are further missing e-mails," he said.

Winteringham said that assuming she gets an undertaking from Copley to review the hard drives, the audit can be done by Feb. 18 [2008?], when the pretrial hearing resumes.

The judge's review of the 100-odd e-mails found that 92 of them are relevant to the defence's argument that their clients were merely doing the bidding of their bosses. Three e-mails are considered to be "significantly relevant."

The government is asserting either solicitor-client or cabinet privilege over the e-mails, and the defence wants a waiver of the privilege.

{Snip} ...

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And remember THIS?

Judge orders Premier to turn over e-mails
Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett ordered Premier Gordon Campbell to turn over documents that could be linked to the 2003 sale of B.C. Rail

Mark Hume
Globe and Mail - July 22, 2009

In a ruling that places limits on the principle of cabinet confidentiality and is expected to prove pivotal in a long-running political corruption trial, Premier Gordon Campbell and his top officials have been ordered to turn over their e-mail records to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett said Monday she wants to review the e-mails of Mr. Campbell, his chief of staff, Martyn Brown, his executive assistant, Lara Dauphinee, his deputy minister, Brenda Eaton, his former chief adviser, Ken Dobell, and several other key elected and appointed officials.

The government is also required to produce the e-mails of former finance minister Gary Collins and former deputy premier Christy Clark, both of whom left politics in 2004.

In a ruling described by defence lawyers as unprecedented in its impact on the principle that the confidence of cabinet discussions is absolute, Judge Bennett has determined that communications that took place at the highest level of the B.C. government between 2001 and 2004 could contain evidence relevant to the case she is hearing concerning the $1-billion sale of BC Rail, a provincial Crown corporation, in 2003. {Snip} ...

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Comments:
I left this comment at the Globe and Mail (Gary Mason article):
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This pre-trial process seems unusual in that the defense wants more information on the court record and the prosecutor seeks less. If the crown's lawyer seeks truth, why would he want to limit the tools available with which to measure it?

Our usual impression is that the defense wants to limit evidence while the prosecutor casts his net widely.

Who judges the Special Prosecutor? Is he working properly for the public? Is this a question for the Benchers?
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So, are citizen complaints to the Law Society warranted for the Special Prosecutor's failure to diligently pursue all evidence?
 
I believe they are Norman. Let's get on it.
 
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