Tuesday, December 08, 2009

 

British Columbia desperately needs a law such as The Right to Honest Services

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Today, lawyers for imprisoned Conrad Black go before a U.S. Supreme Court in Chicago seeking relief from his convictions ... three of which concerned "the right to honest services".


CTV legal analyst Steven Skurka says the law was first developed to prosecute corrupt public officials, but has been used in recent years to charge corporate executives.

Experts argue the law should not apply to conduct within private enterprise. [Such as Enron: HERE.]

"It takes questionable ethical conduct and it turns it into criminal conduct," Skurka told Canada AM in an interview from Washington. "And that really is the concern here, that innocent people, who may have engaged in some questionable things, are going to be prosecuted and serve years in jail."
[Awww ... ]

Should he win his appeal, Black's fraud convictions would be thrown out. However, his obstruction of justice conviction, which does not relate to the honest services statute, would still stand. More HERE.

The right to honest services is a legal concept developed in the United States to convict corrupt politicians who were seen as defrauding the public of their "honest services" as public servants.

This is also a law which is desperately needed in British Columbia. Why hasn't it been presented as new legislation in the BC Legislature? Why hasn't the BC Opposition made the effort to do something like this? - BC Mary.

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Comments:
A very good question Mary- why isn't this law here? I've always been of the opinion as well, that no one with a criminal record should be able to hold office,nor should one be able to continue to hold any public position if subsequently convicted of a criminal charge after taking that position.

But hey, that's just me. I think criminals belong in jail, not in politics...lol...
 
Laila I disagree. The courts cannot manage to bring this to trial in a reasonable time frame, you thinkt they would have any luck dragging full blown politiciaons into court? Not a chance. We need to over haul our legal system is what we need, impose minimum sentences, make time equal time, no remove discretion from judges, not add more laws on the books.
 
Honest Services,eh, in the Vancouver Sun this morning, Vaughn Palmer, his topic is on the Auditor-General rejecting the BC Liberals claim that the Port Mann Bridge is "self-supporting"..... isn't this the same words that the BC Liberals used to convince themselves that they had the right to sell off BC Rail, because it was not self supporting.

In walks the BC Liberals with PPPs to show that its the private sector and their much higher cost to borrow monies that is someone better for taxpayers (who can borrow money for less cost).

The Port Mann is the single most expensive project to ever be taken on by the BC Liberal government.

On one hand they SOLD a railroad for a questionable One Billion Dollars (depending how you wand to calculate it if the winning bidder CN Rail can't use the $250 million tax write-offs that BC rail couldn't use because it was a government corporation)and now they are BUYING a rail-ROAD-bridge for 3.3 Billion Dollars..........

Call it a Bridge, forget about what type of vehicle can use this new venture..... which we OWN the right-of-way... won't be sold to a company like CN Rail, or maybe the BC Liberals are on the leading edge of making an exception in this one case.
 
For a while now I've been meaning to suggest that lying on the campaign trail should be a criminal offence....simple enough on one level as fraud, but as another as abusing the public's trust.

As far as punishments go, I'm old-fashioned and would like to see stocks and the pillory returned to use, but only for politicians who defraud the public. Imagine the satisfaction of hurling rotten food at Gordon Campbell or David Emerson, or being able to walk up to them and call them all the things they need to hear about themselves.....

Water-dunking, with or without a duck, could be the sentence for those who refuse to admit their wrong-doing, even when caught red-handed.
 
"It takes questionable ethical conduct and it turns it into criminal conduct," Skurka told Canada AM in an interview from Washington. "And that really is the concern here, that innocent people, who may have engaged in some questionable things, are going to be prosecuted and serve years in jail."

So, someone who has engaged in questionable conduct is "innocent" and as if there werew a distinction between unethical conduct and criminal conduct?? Unethical conduct in the operations of government is inherently criminal.....but apparently CTV's "legal analyst" thinks otherwise.

"Only in Canada, you say?"

This country has its head so far up its asshole on issues like this it's embarrassing; sooner or later the international media is going to cotton on to exactly who corrupt Canada, and its media, really are....
 
typo in that last phrase, if it's not obvious:

who = how
 
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