Monday, November 16, 2009


Basi Virk Breaking News: Supreme Court of Canada decision Thursday

From Bill Tieleman:

BASI-VIRK - Supreme Court of Canada decision on secret witness issue comes Thursday 6:45 a.m. - will trial proceed?

The most anticipated decision in the BC Rail corruption case of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi will come at 6:45 a.m. BC time from the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Court has announced today that it will release its ruling on Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino's appeal of two BC lower court decisions on the issue of a secret witness and how his or her testimony should be handled. {Snip} ...

Read Bill Tieleman's full column HERE. Or in The Tyee HERE.


It's a question of disclosure ... or of secrecy. From the document:

32719 Her Majesty the Queen v. Bobby Singh Virk, Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi and Aneal Basi

Criminal law ‑ Trial ‑ Procedure ‑ Whether counsel for the accused may be present at in camera hearing to determine whether informer privilege applies to protect material from disclosure ‑ Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal pursuant to s. 37 of Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C‑5 ‑ Whether it is a breach of the court’s duty to protect informer privilege to permit defence counsel to learn the identity of an informant or information that might identify an informant on undertakings not to disclose this information ‑ Whether the first stage of the procedure in Named Person v. Vancouver Sun, 2007 SCC 43, applies such that accused and their counsel are not entitled to attend a hearing to determine a claim of informer privilege where the evidence may or will identify the informer ‑ Whether s. 37 of the Canada Evidence Act provides the court with discretion to override the substantive rule of law barring disclosure of an informant’s identity ‑ Whether the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear the appeal in this matter.

The Respondents are charged with corruption, fraud and breach of trust resulting from alleged misconduct while civil servants. In pre‑trial proceedings, they sought disclosure of certain documents and portions of documents. The Crown requested an in camera, ex parte hearing to determine whether the documents are protected by informant’s privilege. The Crown seeks to exclude defence counsel from the hearing. On December 6, 2007, Bennett J. granted a hearing but held that defence counsel should be permitted to attend subject to undertakings and a court order prohibiting disclosure. The Crown objected under s. 37 of the Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C‑5. On December 7, 2007, Bennett J. dismissed the s. 37 application. The Crown appealed both decisions. Finch C.J.A. and Donald J.A., for different reasons, dismissed the appeal. Ryan J.A. would have precluded defence counsel from the hearing.


And if things don't go his way, will the Very Special Prosecutor on the Basi Virk trial take another hissy fit and go through with his previous threat that he just can't proceed with this trial without that witness testifying his way, in secret ... then what do we, as citizens do? Suggestions, please, before Thursday morning. - BC Mary.

Some worthwhile reading on Court rulings on Disclosure:

From Bouck's Law Blog
Hon. John C. Bouck

Criminal Law - Disclosure
Regina v. Basi - Virk

Click HERE.

For Neal Hall's explanation of expected court dates:

New trial judge sets date for defence trial-delay application
Click HERE.

And Keith Fraser's column for The Province - Nov. 17, 2009

Top Court decision Thursday could affect Basi Virk trial.
Click HERE.


hissy fit....... for some reason Kinsella's refusal to testify before the Commissioner who looks after the toothless Lobby Registry sounds a lot like our Very Special Prosecutor who refuses to allow an informer to testify.......... I wonder if the two were in the same graduating law class together.
"Suggestions, please,"

Well since Wild Bill threatens to bring the barely turning wheels of (in)justice to a complete halt if he doesn't get to have his own private "Star Chamber," perhaps extraordinary rendition and waterboarding, loud heavy metal and mean dogs should be used on Wild Bill to find out what he is really up to. Preferably Janet Winteringham wouldn't have to do that for Wild Bill also - second chair can be an onerous position!
Top court decision Thursday could affect Basi-Virk trial
By Keith Fraser, The Province November 17, 2009 11:02 AM

last para of column
"The next appearance of the case in B.C. Supreme Court is expected in early December."

Say what?, Isnt it Tuesday the 24th, which I am seriously hoping to be there.

This certainly points up the difficulties citizens have, trying to follow the ins and outs of the BC Rail Case ... and it's a bad scene.

The only certainty is that BC Supreme Court schedules can change without notice.

So when I received a note from the Attorney-General's department (after describing these difficulties, and requesting the AG's attention), I was given the next Basi Virk court date as 24 Nov. Next, I hear it's Nov. 23 ... and the rest was yada yada yada, stuff we already know.

As for the Supreme Court of Canada ruling ... surely that's given in a courtroom setting? Or are we left, once again, to knock on doors, phone around, beg and plead for that information?

If you've read the latest news from Kitimat (Eurocan is being wiped from the face of the earth, it seems), you'll have concluded that this is the Mad Max World unfolding, seriously, and mostly in secret. [See KITIMAT DAILY ONLINE]

EM, if you need to make arrangements ahead of time for being in BCSC on Nov 23 or 24, maybe the best bet is to phone the Court Registry (number in left margin).

I'll post whatever I can find out.

It would be great to hear what you think of the proceedings.
Thanks Mary, I hope to be in Vancouver Sat. until Wed.(barring this ear infection does not get worse) My son is mapping out the bus system for me. This is huge last time I was on a bus in vancouver was 35 years, LOL, I was a kid, but I am determined. I will be sure to call before I make my way down to the Court house.


The decision will be posted on Thursday

It seems fitting that you should be in court next week, as you always seem to be quietly battling on the front line.

Good luck (on all counts) in Vancouver,

It'll be great to hear whatever you can tell us about what you see and hear in BC Supreme Court.

History in the making.
According to these excerpts from an article in The Tyee, the SCC decision shouldn't affect the Basi Virk trial negatively at all:

"Berardino hinted at one point the trial might not go ahead if the identity of a secret informant could not be fully protected, stating he would not violate the privilege of the witness to remain unknown.

"This Crown will not breach this privilege in this case ... we will not resile from this position," Berardino said last year. He has since said the prosecution will do everything it can to proceed regardless of how the Supreme Court of Canada rules."

If he meant what he said, what could possibly stop the man from keeping his word?

What indeed could stop Ol' Bill Berardino from keeping his word? [Now, which word was that?]

The only thing I can think of, which might stop him from keeping his word to proceed with the BC Rail trial is ...

a whiff of hot air which, if anybody dares to trace it, will be found to have emanated from high offices of The Gordo.
"This Crown will not breach this privilege in this case ... we will not resile from this position,"

"resile" - I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the more obscure ends of the English lexicon, but never seen that before. What's it mean?
Ol' Bill strikes back with a good one, eh?

re⋅sile  [ri-zahyl] Show IPA
–verb (used without object), -siled, -sil⋅ing. spring back; rebound; resume the original form or position, as an elastic body. shrink back; recoil.
1520–30; < MF resilir < L resilīre to spring back; see resilient

Related forms:
re⋅sile⋅ment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.
Cite This Source | Link To resile

Related Words for : resile
bounce, bound, rebound, recoil, reverberate

OK, Skookum 1 ... whuzzat Bill is actually saying??
Christy's lawyers get to read the transcripts... but they will say nothing to Christy. Ho, Ho, HaHaHa, ROFLMFAO

I stared at those words for a few long moments myself,

and then realized:

Christy's lawyer doesn't need to say anything specific to her,

he only needs to advise her in general terms

which (how could it be otherwise?)

will be terms based upon what he knows.

Wouldn't you say?
I'd say that the client-lawyer relationship is priviledged. Who monitors the lawyer to make sure he follows through with his vow of silence after he has had his read?

Lawyers represent their clients... At the very least, Mary, the lawyer will be advising her with general terms and metaphors.

What a crock! I say let's release everything to the public, the tax-payer, the electorate who hired the government workers/politicians. If they have done nothing wrong, they have nothing to hide.
the lawyer will be advising her with general terms and metaphors.

Which is really odd, when you stop to think of the penalties exacted upon someone breaching courtroom Bill T advised me publicly earlier today in having to block one of my posts, it's not even permitted to speculate on the identity of the witness, or the meaning of his/her evidence. But someone with clout gets special treatment; same as the special treatment, I believe, shown Mr Kinsella, and also the politely pre-arranged search of an (then-) cabinet minister's household, which also happened to contain a major party strategist and organizer. Claiming rights of independence from responsibility is what the "third-party" argument entails, especially in the context of major matters of the public interest.

It's becoming increasingly clear that there is one law for the politically-connected, and another law for anyone else. Bans on information and access are made easily breached for those connected to the halls of power; for anyone else penalties could be extreme, and any breach used to justify mistrial.....

If Christy's lawyer can speak in metaphors and general terms about what he knows, why can't anyone else?

Oh right, there's that word again: "privilege".

We're hearing an awful lot about privilege in all this, aren't we; why don't we hear much about responsibility?

Which, after all, is what responsible government is supposed to be about....(for those who know the technical meaning of that term....)
Good to hear these thoughts, as there's something weighing heavily upon my mind.

I'll wait until Supreme Court of Canada releases the text of its ruling on the secret witness. But I do feel as if the province is doomed if Berardino does find a way to fulfill Gordo's fondest dreams. And that's no metaphor.

What's in my thoughts is Kitimat. Gordo has a new vision: he wants his hands on BC Utilities Commission to make sure they never again try to thwart his determination to cripple, then sell BC Hydro. And BCUC was set up as the guardian of the public interest.

Kitimat is under a death sentence. The Alcan smelter will be shut down and Kemano will be reduced to the status of an Independent Power Producer selling electricity for export. There's more ... way more ...

and I am wondering if we have been idiots, politely watching a madman racing around the province, around Canada, and the world, plotting one horror after another.

Maybe the Supreme Court of Canada will see through the wild demand that NOBODY can appear before Judge MacKenzie except the Secret Witness and Bill Berardino.
What is sad is,
we won't know if 'they', manufacture their witnesses as they do their victims.
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