Wednesday, November 25, 2009

 

Defence at Basi-Virk trial claims immunity deal breaches constitutional rights. [And updates by Citizen Journalists.]

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By NEAL HALL
OTTAWA CITIZEN - November 24, 2009
VANCOUVER SUN - November 25, 2009

VANCOUVER - Defence lawyers at Basi-Virk trial claimed Wednesday that the immunity deal offered a Crown witness breaches the constitutional rights of three former government aides accused of corruption.

"We say that the trial fairness is impaired," defence lawyer Tim Russell argued about the immunity from prosecution deal reached with Erik Bornmann.

Bornmann was a lobbyist representing a U.S. company, OmniTrax, which was bidding to buy BC rail operations in 2003.

Bornmann allegedly paid bribes to two senior provincial government aides in exchange for confidential information about the BC Rail bidding process.

Bornmann, a prominent Liberal organizer, was never charged but is expected to testify as a key Crown witness.

{Snip ... }

Defence lawyer Michael Bolton argued that Bornmann did not offer to make a police statement until he was offered an immunity deal by the Crown.

The deal constituted an inducement that tainted the evidence of Bornmann, Bolton said.

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino argued before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie that the abuse of process application should be heard at the end of the trial.

The trial judge wants to start the trial next January.

{Snip} ...

The defence's trial delay argument - the defence contends it took too long for the matter to get to trial - will be heard star[t]ing next Jan. 11, the judge decided this week.

{Snip} ...

Neal Hall's complete column is HERE.

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North Van's Grumps was in Court today. He left a new comment ... see if you don't feel a sense of community ... as N.V.G. writes:


What a hoot, today I had the day off work, spent the morning on Bowen Island and then the afternoon was spent trying to figure out who the public gallery players were at the Basi/Virk/Basi pre trial preparations.

Of the 7 in the gallery: Neal Hall and Kieth Fraser were there to represent the "Press", Robin Matthews, EM (and a friend) and myself (NVG) were there representing BC Mary. The seventh participant reminded me of Stuart Chase who was paid by the A G office to look in on the proceedings on behalf of the government, but in this case the official was none other than a fully armed, bullet proof vested RCMP which led me to the front desk on the way out of the BC Supreme Court building to ask the equally bullet proofed recectionist ....WHY. Why have an office on duty inside the public gallery area. The reply was "To give testimony." "Really".

This was the first time in 42 years that I've stepped inside a court room as a visitor to the public gallery; I've been a juror on three occasions/called to be a juror five times all told.

Robin made the introductions, especially after I introduced myself as BC Mary's henchman to which he replied that I should meet EM a henchwoman. So, as it turned out there were more blog reporters in the public gallery today than the Press.
[WooHooo! Pause here for Dance of Joy! - BC Mary.]

Its been mentioned earlier on BC Mary's blog of a similarity between the treatment by by the Crown Prosecutor of Erik Bornman and Ontario's Crown Prosecutor of Karla Homolka and from my perspective today we might as well throw in Gillian Guess as well.

Part of what I heard today in regards to Bornman's much needed testimony for the Crown and in exchange he wouldn't be charged with a crime regarding bribing, even after the Basi/Virk/Basi trial was over, was that if the Crown didn't like what they heard they would charge him with PERJURY! and this came from the the defense lawyer Tim Russell.

You'd think that Bornman would have been first in line for charges with ensuing charges against those who accepted the monies.

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Comments:
What a hoot, today I had the day off work, spent the morning on Bowen Island and then the afternoon was spent trying to figure out who the public gallery players were at the Basi/Virk/Basi pre trial preparations.

Of the 7 in the gallery: Neal Hall and Kieth Fraser were there to represent the "Press", Robin Matthews, EM (and a friend) and myself (NVG) were there representing BC Mary. The seventh participant reminded me of Stuart Chase who was paid by the A G office to look in on the proceedings on behalf of the government, but in this case the official was none other than a fully armed, bullet proof vested RCMP which led me to the front desk on the way out of the BC Supreme Court building to ask the equally bullet proofed recectionist ....WHY. Why have an office on duty inside the public gallery area. The reply was "To give testimony." "Really".

This was the first time in 42 years that I've stepped inside a court room as a visitor to the public gallery; I've been a juror on three occasions/called to be a juror five times all told.

Robin made the introductions, especially after I introduced myself as BC Mary's henchman to which he replied that I should meet EM a henchwoman. So, as it turned out there were more blog reporters in the public gallery today than the Press.

Its been mentioned earlier on BC Mary's blog of a similarity between the treatment by by the Crown Prosecutor of Erik Bornman and Ontario's Crown Prosecutor of Karla Homolka and from my perspective today we might as well throw in Gillian Guess as well.

Part of what I heard today in regards to Bornman's much needed testimony for the Crown and in exchange he wouldn't be charged with a crime regarding bribing, even after the Basi/Virk/Basi trial was over, was that if the Crown didn't like what they heard they would charge him with PERJURY! and this came from the the defense lawyer Tim Russell.

You'd think that Bornman would have been first in line for charges with ensuing charges against those who accepted the monies.
 
I am so doggone pleased to read about

ROBIN ... and EM ... and N.V.G.

meeting up like old friends in the Courtroom!

Can't wait to hear the perspective according to EM and Robin.

I understand that there's another hearing tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 26, too.

I sure hope this means that Justice MacKenzie is going to drive this crowd of lawyers forward!

Many thanks, N.V.G.
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As to why there was an RCMP officer sitting at the back of the Courtroom.... well it had nothing to to with having to testify...if the RCMP officer was a witness because on May 4, 2007:


"McCullough also noted the presence of an RCMP officer who will be called to testify in the trial as one of the investigators.

"There will be a ban from here on in -- any witness cannot be in the courtroom," Bennett ordered immediately."

Source: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2007/05/basi-virk-wiretap-alleges-ex-finance.html
 
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