Monday, May 17, 2010

 

Aw, for cryin' out loud: BC Rail trial delayed until Tuesday, May 18, 2010.

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Can't these people make a simple appointment, and commit to it?

The BC Rail trial was scheduled to begin today, May 17 at 10:00 AM. It didn't.

It didn't start at 2:00 PM either.

Now it's supposed to happen tomorrow, Tuesday. Think of the people who have travelled to Vancouver to be in the public gallery when this historic trial is called to order. Hundreds of their hard-earned dollars just flew out the window as they're told to come back tomorrow ...

Neal Hall has the outline of the story HERE

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Basi+Virk+political+corruption+trial+delayed+until+Tuesday
/3038457/story.html

Quote: On Tuesday the judge is expected to give the jury some opening instructions on their role in the trial, to be followed by the opening outline of evidence to be called by the Crown during the trial, which is expected to last six to eight weeks.

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Basi-Virk Day One of Trial. More waiting. More legal wrangling. 

Bill Tieleman - May 17, 2010
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Another delay in BC Rail trial

CKNW 980 - May 17, 2010
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Patience tested in BC Rail trial

National Post - May 17, 2010

Interesting photo of Virk & Basi
Excerpt: 
Assistants to the Crown wheeled into Courtroom 54 cartloads of trial material; some 66 boxes were stacked neatly in rows. A handful of Crown prosecutors followed. Six defence lawyers walked into the downtown Vancouver courtroom. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie was seated. In filed the jury; two alternate jurors were thanked and then dismissed.
The three accused looked on patiently as Madame Justice MacKenzie explained to the panel that certain issues had come up again to delay matters. She did not go into details. The jurors filed out.
The process was repeated in the afternoon at jurors were told to go home. They are to return to the courthouse today [Tuesday, May 18].
That's the way it goes, at the so-called B.C. Rail corruption trial. Officially, proceedings began years ago. But pretrial motions and applications have forced myriad delays and postponements ... 
British Columbians deserved far better, and much more ...

Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=3039712#ixzz0oFJe4aWB

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British Columbians still waiting for the curtains to lift

Case promises to shed light on the way Campbell's Liberals do business – once it goes to trial, that is

By Gary Mason

The Globe and Mail - May 17, 2010

Excerpt: On Tuesday, we should hear the outline of the Crown’s case against the accused ... The charges followed a lengthy investigation by the RCMP who investigated take your pick: prominent members of the Liberal party, key staff in the premier’s office, ministers, ministerial aides and even journalists. And there may be a few of the latter who are a little worried about some evidence coming out in court because of the degree to which it will reveal just how they conduct business.
But that will be inconsequential compared to the damage this trial threatens to wreak on the Liberal party and the government of Mr. Campbell. It will do nothing less than throw back the curtains on how government on some levels operates and it may surprise some just how ugly, nasty and unpleasant it can sometimes be.
And there are any number of people who are likely dreading the call they will receive that informs them on which day they are expected in court to talk about their role, tertiary or otherwise, that they played in this entirely ugly affair.
For years now, this case, bogged down by arcane pre-trial motions, could only hint at the potential it had to influence the course of history in the province. On Tuesday, and in the weeks to come, we will see the curtains on the backrooms of government pulled wide open.
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Comments:
On CBC news, with Tony Parsons, Bill T was quoted as saying that the ramifications of this trial could well bring about the Premier's resignation, or the fall of the government.
 
While we wait for something of actual substance to arise, folks may wish to check out the comment thread attached to Crawford Kilian's nice listing of BC Bloggers following RailGate, with a deserving mention and exposition on our very own BC Mary, today in The Tyee.....

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Me, I decided to issue a challenge to a naysayer (scroll on down)....
 
On the local CBC TV news tonight there was a 'very' general feature about the trial, the list of prosecution witnesses was discussed briefly - it was noted that the list stopped short of the Premier.

Is this certain? To my knowledge NO ONE has published the whole list.


Is my recollection correct? Or, has some 'working journalist' disclosed every name on the prosecution 'list'?
 
LOL.....I think we should just realize this is a special British Columbia edition of "the old shell game"....or "mumbledy-peg".....or "now you see it, now you don't".

This makes it all the more important that we have a right to know what went on today when the judge sent the jury out of the room to protect their virgin ears.

Would somebody who was there please make a phone call to the Seattle Times or the Manchester Guardian and get THEM to put it in print so we can all know, come hell or high water of what Justice Mackenzie wants? I hope there were enough people in attendance that the anonymity of whomever is brave enough to do that will have their identity protected. The risk is that next time around the judge may send everybody out of the room and not just the jury....but then that makes the shallowness of the various secrecies surrounding this sham of justice all the more transparent, doesn't it?
 
RossK,

That was so nice, Thanks!

And to think that Kootcoot started House of Infamy,

and I started The Legislature Raids (me watching your Pacific Gazetteer to see how you do it),

from an idea bandied about right here on the comments section of The Tyee.

We feared we'd never find out what had happened to BC Rail because Big Media had gone strangely silent.

We figured we'd have to gather and circulate the news ourselves. And we did.

That was 4 years ago.
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G West,

There's just that Rod Mickleburgh story in The Globe and Mail, so far as I know,

which claims to have the complete list,

but it's behind a locked access.

I keep thinking that Rod will include the list in one of his postings, but so far, he hasn't.

This is, in part, why Robin needed to be able to record the trial proceedings. My understanding is that the Prosecution read the list of witnesses in court ... it wasn't available in transcript.

Difficult to write down 40+ names.

I really wonder why the premier's name isn't on that list, too. Surely nobody imagines that BC Rail got sold without his input. So why isn't he giving testimony?
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GWest--

To the best of my knowledge no one, including Rod Mickelburgh, who was originally most fulsome, has printed the entire list....

Today, almost three weeks after the fact, Keith Fraser dribbled out a few more names which includes, surprise!...Bruce Clark...

Thus, if the CBC did indeed make such a conclusory statement (ie. that the Premier is NOT on the SP's list of potential witnesses) they should actually offer up the entire list....If they do not, they should be forced to answer the following question, which is so often levelled at lowly Bloggers:

"How, exactly, do you know this?

Now....

That question might actually be just a wee bit difficult for the fine folks from CBC British Columbia to answer given that there is, also to the best of my knowledge, no evidence available to indicate that anyone from that very fine news gathering organization was actually present in the courtroom when that list of potential witnesses was read by the junior SP Ms. Winteringham lo those many days ago....



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For those who would like to see an updated 'list' of the confirmed names of potential prosecution witnesses, it can be found here....

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Mary - I agree.

Ross - So we're still alost 20 names shy of the full list...Hmmm.
 
Whoops - should be 'We're still about 20 names shy of the full list -"
 
Looks like the Globe and Mail has just extended the BC Supreme Court ban to include comments from readers about their story(ies) – that's well beyond comments about the court case itself.

Yesterday's story by Gary Mason shows that the reader comments section has been "...closed for legal reasons. We appreciate your understanding."

Uhh... well, don't presume any understanding Globe masters... one can't have understanding without information!

CC
 
Re: Further delays

It's starting to feel as if we're Charlie Brown and they are Lucy with the football.
 
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