Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Basi Virk Basi trial begins May 3, 2010
By NEAL HALL
VANCOUVER SUN - Feb. 10, 2010
The Basi-Virk case stems from a police investigation over the alleged leak of confidential information from ministerial aides about the BC Rail bidding process, which led to the unprecedented police search of the legislature in December 2003.
VANCOUVER - After more than six years of pre-trial proceedings, a trial date of May 3 has been set for the Basi-Virk trial.
Special prosecutor Bill Berardino told the trial judge Wednesday that the trial should be completed in five weeks.
"I come to you with a reasonable amount of confidence that the time schedule can be met," he told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie.
The Crown and defence have agreed on a number of admissions to save the Crown having to call many witness to establish certain facts, the court was told.
Two of the accused, Dave Basi and Bob Virk, are in court to re-elect a trial by jury, and a third accused, Aneal Basi, is appearing by video from Montreal.
In January 2006, they had elected to a trial by judge alone.
Jury selection now has been set for April 21.
Dave Basi and Bob Virk are accused of fraud, breach of trust and accepting benefits, and Aneal Basi is charged with money laundering.
The Crown alleges Dave Basi and Virk accepted bribes from lobbyists in exchange for leaking confidential information about the bidding process for the freight division of BC Rail, which was sold by the government in 2004 to CN Rail for $1 billion.
The lobbyists represented one of the U.S. bidders, OmniTrax.
On Dec. 28, 2003, police executed a search warrant on the legislature in Victoria and seized documents and other evidence..
At the time, Dave Basi was a senior political aide to the finance minister and Virk was a senior aide to the transportation minister.
The judge was told Wednesday that the defence agreed to drop a number of outstanding pre-trial motions, including abuse of process and change of venue applications, and instead have agreed to proceed to trial on May 3.
The indictment was read out in court Wednesday and the accused each re-elected a trial by judge and jury.
CTV News - Feb 10/10
Bill Tieleman said: "At times I never thought I’d see the day Mary – but the proof is in – and on my blog – a photo of myself and David Basi outside BC Supreme Court!"
It's true. Go HERE for the photo and Bill's report for Wed., Feb 10/10.
"The high degree of public interest" makes it more suitable to a jury trial," says Michael Bolton, lawyer for Dave Basi.
Lake Cowichan Gazette - Feb. 10/10
That being said, I still have my doubts as to whether we will see an actual trial. Think about it, the government would just as soon make the whole thing go away for their self interest. There are almost three months for an out of court settlement to be reached, and you can bet that the Libs will exert as much pressure as possible to make that happen.
I hope I'm wrong, but my faith in our justice system ranks right up there with having Bernie Madoff as my financial guru.
And as an aside, now that this trial, if it happens, will be before a jury, you better hope that I am not chosen for the jury pool. I have been summoned to jury duty twice and both times the case was settled without a trial.
[Comment assigning guilt has been removed by the moderator.]
The trials you are taking about were probably civil cases. This must and will go to trial. It must it must!!!!!!!!