Thursday, February 18, 2010

 

Basi Virk: A trial that could well alter the course of provincial [and federal] political history.


Well, here's a bit of a mystery. Go HERE and you'll find a U.S.* real estate listing. But scroll down, down ... and there's a candid summary of what the BC Rail trial is all about. No kidding. Publication date unknown. Author unknown. From Blog Koshkonong Lake Realty WI, doing business from a Nanaimo, B.C. address. Re-pubished Feb. 18, 2010. Some excerpts:

Untitled
... At the heart of the [Basi Virk Basi] defence case is a serious contention -- that the police and Crown have so screwed up their prosecution of the accused that a fair trial is impossible ...

If the trial goes forward, expect the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization to be placed under more scrutiny than ever before, because it is central to everything about this case ...

And notwithstanding former B.C. Liberal finance minister Gary Collins's claim in March 2004 that the there was no concern by investigators about the B.C. Rail sale to CN Rail, in fact the police were literally all over it.

Just how much concern there was can be seen in the defence application, which details a major police surveillance operation focused on Collins himself when he dined with senior executives of OmniTRAX at Vancouver's posh Villa del Lupo restaurant on Dec. 12, 2003.

CN Rail had just been announced as the successful bidder for B.C. Rail on Nov. 25, and according to the defence document, the RCMP learned through intercepted communications that Collins was meeting with OmniTRAX executives Pat Broe and Dwight Johnson.

'Extensive video surveillance'

"The surveillance included undercover operatives both inside and outside the restaurant, and extensive video surveillance and tracking of the parties," the defence states.

It claims that on Nov. 17, 2003, the RCMP had "learned through a series of intercepted communications that Mr. Basi advised OmniTRAX that Minister Collins had authorized a consolation prize for OmniTRAX in exchange for them staying in the bidding process."

The defence will argue that Basi and Virk were merely following ministerial orders from Collins, not acting in their own benefit by leaking confidential government information to a lobby firm representing OmniTRAX.

The defence applications spells this out clearly: "The defence takes the position that at no time did Mr. Basi or Mr. Virk act in a fraudulent, deceitful or criminal manner, but rather acted at all times under the direction of their superiors in the highly political circumstances of their offices."


'Fraught with political controversy'

The defence also spells out just what kind of importance the B.C. Rail privatization had to the B.C. Liberal government.
CP Rail had already dropped out of the bidding, saying privately to government that it believed CN Rail was the predetermined winner of the bidding. A letter to that effect stated that a "clear breach" of fairness had occurred when other bidders obtained confidential government information about B.C. Rail.

"It was clearly in the provincial government's political interest to have an auction with more than one bidder," the defence application states. It later continues that:

"The decision by the Liberal government to sell B.C. Rail was fraught with political controversy, largely because it was in direct contravention of a previous election promise not to sell B.C. Rail. The Liberal government had recently suffered serious losses of political capital due to their decisions surrounding other major projects, including the Coquihalla Highway project."

"The B.C. Rail bidding process therefore had to be handled with the utmost political care, given this sensitive political climate," it concludes.

Who will testify?

"Sensitive" is a good word to describe much of the evidence slated to be heard in this trial. For example, will former finance minister Gary Collins be called to testify against his own former ministerial assistant David Basi?

Entirely possible and totally impossible for the defence to actually know, because they also allege that: "From the outset of this case, defence counsel has repeatedly sought a list of witness the Crown intends to call at the trial of this matter." That list is among the requests the defence is asking Justice Bennett to order the Crown to provide.

The defence is also frustrated that it has limited information about "an interview with a member of the public who provided the RCMP with his opinion of two witnesses on the condition of anonymity."

"The special prosecutor and RCMP have refused to provide this statement, advising that its disclosure would breach the third party rights of this individual and the two witnesses," the defence states.

What is alleged

Again, a reminder is in order that these are only allegations not proven in court. Among the more stunning allegations made by the defence are these:
In a nutshell, a bombshell

In a nutshell, the defence has alleged that there was an internal political decision by the B.C. Liberal government to "fix" a $1 billion dollar deal and pay off the losing firm with another deal worth up to $100 million. And it seeks internal RCMP and government information on whether the B.C. Rail deal should have been rescinded.

It also alleges that a key RCMP investigator was related by marriage to the top staff person of the B.C. Liberal Party and that confidential information about the immunity granted to the Crown's key witness was leaked to that staff person.
The defence also alleges the special prosecutor gave beneficial treatment to two provincial lobbyists who are to be Crown witnesses, so they could continue their lucrative business. And that one of those witnesses still faces potential criminal charges.

More shockers?

Believe it or not, this lengthy compendium does not even cover all of the allegations made in the defence disclosure application -- not even close. I have deliberately left out many of the allegations that have been previously reported in The Tyee and other media outlets for reason of space and complexity.

Suffice it to say that if the Basi, Virk, Basi trial does go ahead as planned, there will be more bombshells than on a bad day in Iraq.

And if the case is somehow derailed by defence motions, well, British Columbia will have been deprived of the most fascinating trial in decades, a trial that could well alter the course of provincial political history.

[Author unknown.]

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Skookum1 comment:

Leah, I'd think the interest by realty people has to do with the stability and security of real estate investments in British Columbia, and how they would be affected by a major political case related to government assets and the disposition of public lands. Much the same as the security being sought on land title and resource access re the First Nations. 

If anything this seems like sympathetic interest, even if it is only a re-posting of Tieleman. Americans are interested in this, and those who have invested in British Columbia, or are considering doing so, have a vested interested in the credibility and reliability of British Columbia's government. Which apparently has redefined the term "the rule of law". 

If anything like this had gone on in a US state - and it couldn't, because police, D.A.s and the executive and legislative branches are all watching each other, and similar competition applies in the media - the governor and cabinet would have been raked over the coals, and probably ejected from office, or forced out, long, long ago.....

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's when the eyes and intelligence of the American, UK and European press and others around the world start to speak about the stink coming out of the BC government, and the Canadian political system as a whole, that we will ever see decent coverage by the Canadian media, or any kind of real political change. 

The bubble has to be broken; that this article is circulating in the US investment community is a very good thing. Our media, and our politicians and police, may not be taking this too seriously; that doesn't mean everyone else will be so blase. And because of the involvement of American capital and corporations, this article should be circulated at the Securities & Exchange Commission...

It would also be a good thing if this were made into a pamphlet and somebody spent some time nailing anyone with a media badge with a copy of it, especially around the entrance to the Olympic Media Centre. Add in other elements of the dirty sale, like the $1 land deal and the story about the Premier's "assistant" and somebody's gonna bite - whether it's The Economist or Pravda it doesn't matter; it'll force it into headlines here at home.....

This is one of the best summaries I've seen so far; very clear, in plain language, and very "indictful"......
plenty of US realtors belong to the Democratic Party, also...

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*Kootcoot comment:

Anonymous
Mary,

The domain of that blog (with the Bill T story and real estate stuff) is registered to an owner in Russia - one search tells me it is Poldask another that it is in Irkutsk....definitely Russia. weird.........

KootCoot
of the House of Infamy
http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/

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Jim S. comment:

Alexa gives this Minsk, Belarus address as the contact info for Dom-dverey.info

Smirnov Denis Antonovich
Mashinostroitelei, 25-65
Minsk, Minskayav Oblasts(be) 220134
BELARUS

Curiouser and curiouser

Jim S.

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Comments:
It appears to be an article by B. Tieleman in the Tyee:

http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/03/06/BCRail/
 
Hugh,

Well, maybe they "borrowed" from Bill's work at The Tyee,

did you go to the source? It's a bit unusual.
.
 
Will BC Rail Bomb Explode?

Basi-Virk lawyers allege deal was rigged by BC Libs.

By Bill Tieleman, 6 Mar 2007, TheTyee.ca

http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/03/06/BCRail/
 
What do you make of the site with its heavy real estate basis ... ?
 
i dont think the police nor hte crown has screwed up the prosecution. How can they? While we BCers watch in horror and dismay as the Defence makes application after mindless application for disclosures that never come, we wait and we wait and we wonder how that can ever explain money laundering.

enough waiting. the crown must make its case. lets get on with it!!
 
To Anonymous 8:34,

Thank you for dropping in and leaving your comment. I hope you'll drop in often.

I'm trying to eliminate all the "Anonymous" comments, so next time please choose a User Name. Thanks.
.
 
So, why would an American real estate site take such a thorough interest in what is happening with the BVB trial?

Perhaps American realtors have a genuine interest in the real estate about to be freed for sale/development as soon as BC Rail is "brought into government?"

Perhaps we better keep an even closer eye on what's going on now...it will be deliberately made more difficult - but I think it's something we need to do. You can be sure Campbell is up to his neck in no-good.
 
Thanks BC Mary, I will call myself "starstruck"

please tell me why you think that blog is from Nanaimo. I entered the address in BetterWhoIs and I found the registered owner and address is not in Nanaimo.
 
Starstruck,

Could it be, that the blog says it's Nanaimo?

If you have found the registered address and owner, why not share that?
.
 
PS.

Thanks for mentioning Better-WhoIs ... it looks like a good search tool.

I don't have time this a.m. to use it for searching who the registered owner of that WI blog is ...

but the fact is:

the URL I provided is what the owners are displaying and the site gives every appearance of originating from a Nanaimo address.

Perhaps you could look into that?

This a.m., they took my ex- to hospital emergency with some very unpleasant symptoms and I'm not thinking straight until I hear what that's all about ...
.
 
Campbell will face a trio of challenges after the Olympics. First there will be a horrific budget early in March with massive cuts to important areas. Second, and the two are related; the true costs of the Olympics will start to become apparent and people will start to question why we will be saddled so badly when the money is needed in other areas. Finally, Basi/Virk and its real meaning will become apparent with devastating consequences to many Liberal insiders both provincially and federally. It is unfortunate that CanWest reporters and commentators won't explore this trio properly but it will be difficult even for them to fully contain it. You can see it now with the Olympics, while there are obviously both some bad and many good things happening, VANOC attempts to spin everything as "perfect" while CanWest ventures out (Smyth) and then quickly retreats when pressured. Its interesting that international media are breaking the real Olympic stories, maybe that will be what will happen with Basi/Virk.
 
.
Thanks, Skier:

I think you are so, so correct ... I couldn't agree more.
.
 
Mary, thinking of you and hoping all will be well in your world today. Time to take a much needed mini-break? (even just 24 hours to rest up)We'll be here when you get back. :)
 
Leah, dear soul:

Thanks so much ... but just had a call from hospital emerg that he's comfortable ... a few stray symptoms but nothing too alarming ... they'll keep him a while longer.

Blessed be the Health Care System!

And friends.
.
 
Leah, I'd think the interest by realty people has to do with the stability and security of real estate investments in British Columbia, and how they would be affected by a major political case related to government assets and the disposition of public lands. Much the same as the security being sought on land title and resource access re the First Nations. If anything this seems like sympathetic interest, even if it is only a re-posting of Tieleman. Americans are interested in this, and those who have invested in British Columbia, or are considering doing so, have a vested interested in rthe credibility and reliability of Britihs Columbia's government. Which apparently has redefined the term "the rule of law". If anything like this had gone on in a US state - and it couldn't, because policie, D.A.s and the executive and legislative branches are all watching each other, and similar competition applies in the media - the governor and cabinet would have been raked over the coals, and probably ejected from office, or forced out, long, long ago.....

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's when the eyes and intelligence of the American, UK and European press and others around the world start to speak about the stink coming out of the BC government, and the Canadian political system as a whole, that we will ever see decent coverage by the Canadian media, or any kind of real political change. The bubble has to be broken; that this article is circulating in the US investment community is a very good thing. Our media, and our politicians and police, may not be taking this too seriously; that doesn't mean everyone else will be so blase. And because of the involvement of American capital and corporations, this article should be circulated at the Securities & Exchange Commission...

It would also be a good thing if this were made into a pamphlet and somebody spent some time nailing anyone with a media badge with a copy of it, especially around the entrance to the Olympic Media Centre. Add in other elements of the dirty sale, like the $1 land deal and the story about the Premier's "assistant" and somebody's gonna bite - whether it's The Economist or Pravda it doesn't matter; it'll force it into headlines here at home.....

This is one of the best summaries I've seen so far; very clear, in plain language, and very "indictful"......

there's plent y of US realtors who belong to the Democratic Party, also...
 
Thanks Skookum, it's always good to read your take on things.

I wasn't upset to see it on a US website...rather made me smile to think someone else might be starting to pay attention, even better than that..they might actually give a damn. Seems like a lot of BC'ers don't. But then...it's rather difficult to care about something when you know nothing of it - strictly due to the abject failure of Canadian media in general, BC media in particular.

How sad that we, as citizens of British Columbia, have to hope and pray that the media from other countries will pick up on the political and judicial dirt..and search for the truth..when our own media does back flips to keep from seeing it right before their noses. *shakin' head*

Where IS The Guardian anyway?? The Queen needs to know what kind of justice is happening in Her name. Maybe She can help us with our "Annus Horribilis" for the 9th year running... .
 
"This is one of the best summaries I've seen so far; very clear, in plain language, and very "indictful"......"

Skookum, I don't know if "indictful" is a word, but if you made it up, it's a good one and so appropriate for the British Columbia of today.

Leah - forget "annus horribilis" we've had a Horrible Decade thanks to the devil incarnate - Gordon Campbell and his minions. If he isn't stopped and soon, it won't even matter anymore, there won't be anything left of BC to care about.

The A**hole couldn't even let a good news announcement be unsullied as he insisted that logging would still go ahead in Flathead recently during his Kermit announcement in conjunction with the gov of Montana.

It's funny (in a non-humourous way) he would have to insist on logging continuing there, considering that thanks to their policies logging (other than for raw log export) is almost extinct in most of BC. And don't blame the recession, the Campbelloids managed to kill off most of the BC Forest Industry during the biggest building boom in American history - and they call themselves managers - I call them criminals!
 
.
Mary,

The domain of that blog (with the Bill T story and real estate stuff) is registered to an owner in Russia - one search tells me it is Poldask another that it is in Irkutsk....definitely Russia. weird.........

KootCoot
of the House of Infamy
http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/
.
 
In much the same way that penet.fi used to be an email re-server to help people mask their locations/identities, Russian-registered and other offshore-registered domains are ways to conceal who you are, or at least make it more difficult to find out....what I mean is that nobody necessarily Russian need be involved here, only an internet company selling domains/webspace....or someone North American with Russian family connections able to navigate Russian-language registry proceedings....

Still it's interesting to contemplate the Russian spy machine taking an interest in provocateur-promotion of corrupt politicians and corporations in North America....still, I've seen nothing at all in the editions of Pravda I look at from time to time....in fact a current search there for "Vancouver" or "Olympics" yields nothing at all, which is surprising.....maybe most interesting is the silence.....
 
I search Wikipedia for "Poldask" but got no results other than "did you mean Poldark". Wikipedia's pretty thorough for town listings - but some countries such as Russian may not (yet) be fully covered....I was curious as to where it is. I guess I could search in Russian Wikipedia, but wouldn't be able to read the result, if any, anyway....
 
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