Wednesday, October 14, 2009

 

No Supreme Court listing for File #23299 today? Corrected later to YES, beginning at 10:00 AM.

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The BC Supreme Court (Criminal) listings for October 14, 2009 may change, but at the moment they do not include the Basi, Virk, Basi pre-trial hearings.

Update from Bill Tieleman at 3:00 PM:

Basi-Virk - nothing happening - back October 19th

Bill reports on his blog that today's session was 45 minutes to schedule future dates. Those are:

October 19, 2009 for 5 days -- BC Rail documents

October 23, 2009 to schedule standing applications.

Again, I don't quite understand this. The 5 days beginning Oct. 19 includes Oct 23. Citizens shouldn't have to assume this kind of thing ... but I guess we have to assume that some discussion about those applications may overlap on the 5th day ... or ... possibly if the BCRail documents segment is disposed of in less than 5 days, there will be a separate call to the faithful to appear on the 5th day, Friday Oct. 23.

Thanks to Bill Tieleman, however, or we'd know zilch about the schedule.

So you'd like to attend BC Supreme Court one day? Don't leave home without reading this comment. On Bill's blog, he gives the complete picture, beginning with:

Mary - the system at BC Supreme Court is so bad as to be almost useless to ordinary citizens and the media. Entering the courts from Nelson Street there is a bulletin board where ostensibly the notice of the days court hearing at all levels, including BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, should be listed.

But most of the time there is no BC Supreme Court list. One copy is available at the Court Registry, a full city block away - if you actually know that it exists ... [and if you follow Bill's description, all will become clearer.]

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Meantime ... there's Vaughn Palmer's column. He has been summing up the Basi Virk odds, as in "Better give up now, folks: you'll pay, and pay, and pay," like always; so just sit quietly, ain't nuthin' you can do about it:


Defence in BC Rail Case gathers ammo for expected civil action. Lawyers press for more documents, despite motion to dismiss

At the outset of this decade, a public servant who was idly trolling through the basement in a Victoria office building made a discovery that would have consequences for government down to the present day. {Snip} ...

Poor document management. Neglect. Sheer ineptitude. Or nothing more than the hands that parked the documents in the basement not telling the hands that were supposed to produce them for the court some years later.

In any event, no need to presume a conspiracy to bury those files, when mere institutional incompetence would account for it.

Not that the outcome was any less expensive for taxpayers. When the New Democrats were driven from office a few months later, it fell to the subsequent B.C. Liberal administration to cut a deal. Carrier received $75 million in cash and resources to compensate for the loss of cutting rights and other abuses.

Though the settlement marked the end of those proceedings, Carrier has enjoyed a strange afterlife in the BC Rail court case.

On the face of it, there's little resemblance between the two. Except the earlier case teaches important lessons about disclosure of government documents. Those have not been lost on the defendants in the BC Rail case, two of whom worked for the B.C. Liberals when Carrier was still not settled and its meanings fresh.

The main insight being that when government doesn't deliver a particular document or set of documents, maybe it didn't look hard enough. Or maybe it doesn't really know one way or another what is tucked away in some forgotten corner of the basement or -- to bring matters fully up to date -- some unsearched storage medium in the electronic filing system.

You see that realization reflected in the scattershot applications for disclosure of documents in the BC Rail case. The defence sought and obtained access to the police evidence room. Then it filed myriad applications under access-to-information legislation. Through the court, it successfully petitioned for e-mails generated by cabinet ministers, senior public officials, and political staffers. And knowing that all MLAs (including those who serve in cabinet) have access to a separate e-mail system through the legislature, the defendants obtained access to those e-mails as well.

Those efforts paid off. The defence has obtained tens of thousands of documents with more on the way. As noted here Tuesday, the access-to-information application turned up an important trove of e-mails maintained by a key official on the committee that vetted the BC Rail deal.

All this tends to suggest that the defendants learned well the lesson of the bowling alley. But there may be another point of comparison to the Carrier case, though not one acknowledged too openly at this point.

One of the defence lawyers dropped a clue the other day, when he pleaded with the judge (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to delay a hearing on a defence motion to dismiss the proceedings until the defence has obtained everything it has been seeking through motions for disclosure of e-mails and other documents.

Why would the defence care about disclosure if the proceedings were going to be dismissed altogether? Well, because court rules make it easier to force disclosure in a criminal case (like BC Rail) than in a civil action (like Carrier).

And if the defendants win the criminal case, as they fully expect to do, then they are preparing to launch the mother of all civil suits for wrongful prosecution.

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Click HERE for Vaughn Palmer's full column ... because it kinda gets you thinking. Like, is this a Show-Trial, worthy of the old Soviet Union? How come our Supreme Court, which cares so much about the people's right to know, forgot to post today's BCRail hearings? And how come they can't get this thing together, so the trial can begin to show us the evidence?

We're still wondering why Madam Justice Bennett was removed from this case. We have to admit: we have no free press. Like the old Soviet Union, we can scarcely tell the difference between the pols in government and the pols in opposition. When we asked the Justice Critic for leadership, all we got was double-crossed. (He won't mind me saying this because, he says, "only 19 people care". And I can show you the letter.)

Ordinary citizens with serious troubles in their lives from sickness to homelessness, from unemployment to crime, must battle alone.

But fifteen lawyers at full pay (large pay) in their pretty silk robes can flutter in a courtroom (also at our expense) before a Supreme Court judge (ditto) day after day to do what, I ask you ... what? what have they done for BC Rail and for the people of British Columbia?

Go back to your computer, Pastor Palmer, and write us a Love Song for British Columbia ... a song that says there will be a future worth living for British Columbians, with forests and rivers and a train running through it from bottom to top.

Down with acceptance. Don't try telling us that Basi, Virk, Basi are absolutely blameless (therefore will win FORTUNES) or that they are absolutely guilty (therefore the Campbell Gang is absolutely innocent).

T'hell with sitting quietly, bags over our heads, and agreeing that we're helpless. Stop doing that. Death knell, Pastor Palmer.

If nothing else, British Columbia has learned first-hand how to see, smell, and identify corruption in situ ... and as RCMP Sgt John Ward said on 29 Dec. 2003, it has crept like a cancer into every level of society. Some citizens are prepared to accept it as the face of a new society. They're OK with the Mad Max scene. But most of us aren't.

Enough corruption! Most of us don't accept it because it's killing everything ... trust, integrity, even hope. You still have access to what passes for the media in BC, Vaughn. Why not take the high road, from here? - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Take another look at the court list, modified around 11 Am today. It clearly shows the case.
 
DPL,

Thanks for the tip.

I had already checked twice: at 6:30 AM and again around 10:00 AM. No sign of Basi, Virk, or Basi then.

So what do you make of this late showing?
 
Vaughn Palmer writes crap! Leonard Krog dispenses crap. I'm drowning in shit!
 
" DPL said...
Take another look at the court list, modified around 11 Am today. It clearly shows the case.
"

So what DPL? If the government (and the so-called justice system they administer) actually cared about the peoples' access to information they wouldn't be posting such info so late in the day. It's less than acceptable that this info is SUPPOSED to be up by 6:30am or 7:00am. Even then it barely gives anyone living east of Burnaby time to get to an early morning session.

You were too busy pointing out how stupid everyone else was not to find the listing to bother to include a time or courtroom for this 11:00 o'clock afterthought posting.

BTW, when was the hearing scheduled to occur? - 9 or 10 AM perchance. Now that's really helpful for the people of British Columbia

This government's approach to openess and the public's right to know how its business is being conducted is a joke - unfortunately it is a BAD joke. Combined with the destruction of evidence relevant to a criminal case it is CRIMINAL - but what else is new? The Campbell Crime Family is most likely the most successful and powerful organized criminal organization in this province.

If only the PAB was in charge of actual information sharing rather than liaR Party PR and propaganda, we could be the best informed electorate on the continent - instead, thanks to the PAB, and the Asspeople Media Mongers, we're the sheep wearing blindfolds led to believe Carole James' hairdo is a political issue.
 
The docket game is practiced in all provinces, as a former and reformed crook I can attest to that, just sayin!
 
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