Friday, May 07, 2010

From Indo-Canadian VOICE:



I wonder if Premier Gordon Campbell is worried as hell about what all the B.C. Rail corruption trial will reveal.

Among the witnesses that may be summoned by Crown to testify at the jury trial that will get underway on Monday, May 17 ... are Campbell’s chief of staff, Martin Brown, two of his former deputy ministers, Ken Dobell and Brenda Eaton, his former finance minister Gary Collins, and his former transportation minister Judith Reid.

Also on the list are lobbyists Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran, and federal Liberal strategist Mark Marissen, as well as Canadian National (CN) Railway CEO Claude Mongeau, former head of Canadian Pacific Rob Ritchie, B.C. Rail Chairman John McLernon, B.C. Rail President and CEO Kevin Mahoney and former Omnitrax CEO GaryRennick.

Former ministerial aides Dave Basi and Bob Virk, who are accused of accepting bribes and fraud, this week pleaded not guilty in court.

Aneal Basi, Dave Basi’s cousin, who’s accused of laundering money, also pleaded not guilty.

The case is in connection with the sale of Crown-owned B.C. Rail to Canadian National. Canadian Pacific withdrew from the bid because they believed the government had already made up their mind to sell B.C. Rail to CN.

A jury of seven men and five women was selected this week from a pool of 133 people. Two alternates will be chosen on May 10.

B.C. Supreme Justice Anne MacKenzie, who has been presiding over the trial since last year when she replaced Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who was appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal, was promoted this week to Associate Chief Justice by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks – and everyone seems to be excited about what all might come out.

A strict publication ban is in effect to prevent media from reporting anything that is not presented to the jury in court.

Posted by kind permission of Rattan Mall, editor, The Indo-Canadian Voice. With thanks, BC Mary.


Variations on a theme:

Damage spreads with queries about other prosecutors
 By Michael Smyth
The Province - May 7, 2010

{Snip} ... At least seven former and present special prosecutors, or their law firms, have given money to the Libs. That includes William Berardino, the special prosecutor in charge of the bombshell B.C. Rail corruption case, which is about to go to trial.

Victoria political consultant Michael Geoghegan filed a formal complaint with the Law Society Thursday, asking that Berardino be investigated, too. {Snip} ...

Koot: The Prov. presents the link as:
Read more:

Basi-Virk lawyer shocked by prosecutor's donation

{Snip} ... On Thursday afternoon, Victoria lobbyist Mike Geoghegan, who knows Basi and Virk, sent a letter to the B.C. Law Society asking it to look into whether Berardino's donation to Oppal's campaign places him in a conflict of interest.
"It's a shocking lack of judgment by the prosecutor," Geoghegan said in a phone interview. "It's one thing if he donated five years before his appointment. But after he's appointed in a case that's riddled with politics?"

The law society confirmed Thursday it had received Geoghegan's letter and, as with all complaints it receives, will open an investigation into the matter. {Snip} ...

Koot: Vanc. Sun presents the link as:
Read more:


Berardino's donation to the liberals tells me that he's completely unfit for the job. I see it as a basic reassurance to his party of choice, that they need not worry about the outcome of the trial...he has their back. That every word Robin Mathews has had to say, all the evidence of conflict not related to money he's brought to light has been ignored...and now this...and still Berardino sits as SP? There's a lot more wrong than just the CJB in this province! It goes all the way to the BCSC as near as I can figure.

If Berardino is forced to step down as he should have been years ago - what does that do to the trial? You can bet the defense is going to be using this material to their best advantage. Who knows, maybe the premier (small case because he does not deserve my respect, nor does he have it) is laughing like hell at the perfect orchestration of a mistrial?

How much scummier are the politics, law, and justice branches in this province going to get? Why do I feel this is only the tip of a very large and dirty iceberg? How much more political and judicial interference are we going to accept from Harper?


Is this why the NATIONAL press looks the other way, too, and makes little effort to tell the big story that began, in earnest, on Dec. 28, 2003 when 32 uniformed sergeants with Search Warrants walked into the BC Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation and began hauling out documents ...

There's no point writing to the senior editors expecting a response; but I am convinced that -- looking at it from THEIR end -- it's an important signal to senior editors whenever somebody describes the issues and demands action.

My last round began with "What does it take, before The Globe and Mail will investigate and report upon the trial where the CEOs of 3 biggest railways and half the provincial government will appear as witnesses?"

Of course they won't answer. Any more than the Learned Judges etc., replied to Prof. Robin Mathews whose judgment is proven more accurate, more significant with each passing hour.

But they do listen. Some of their minions listen. There's some talk. Not much, but slowly, if we keep pressing the issues, things begin to work better.

Quick! Fill in the blanks:
------- --------- is the price of freedom. Remember?

Thanks, Leah.

"------- --------- is the price of freedom. Remember?"

Eternal Vigilance

Wise words! But I think we need to revise it a little...

Eternal and Constant Vigilance is the price of freedom.

Because we just can't keep up with the systemic, endemic, political and legal corruption of this government - from one day to the next! The sad thing is...they don't even know what disgrace looks like when they're looking in the mirror. How sad is that?
I just looked at the list of legal firms who donated to the Liberals and was struck by how often one of the firms is listed, that of BULL, HAUSSER & TUPPER. That firm's name rang a bell with me. A little searching later, and ...

Guess who just got appointed as the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court in September 2009?

Robert Bauman. Who's he? Before being appointed a judge, he was with the law firm BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER.

It's a cosy little world, isn't it? But, I wonder if they are starting to feel a cold draft coming in from somewhere?

Cheers all,
Are the "superior" court judges starting to worry about a cold wind blowing through the corridors of their fortress? That's a good question.

At the Law Day public forum on April 17 I addressed the panel that included all three of BC's Chief Justices and the A.G./S.G./Liberal House Leader, de Jong. They didn't look too pleased to hear what I had to say in public. But they rarely face the public. Last Monday I sat in on a Court of Appeal hearing of a judicial review appeal. In 2003 the Court of Appeal overturned a similar judicial review case I had won earlier that year in the BC Supreme Court. Then in 2008 I argued an appeal of my tort action against the Ministry of A.G. One of the three judges I faced on that occasion, Harvey Groberman, was on the panel last Monday too, along with Chief Justice Finch and Risa Levine.

This time the appellant was represented by counsel, but it seemed to me that the judges, including Finch who said nothing throughout the hearing, displayed the same contempt for the lawyer as they had for me.

Groberman had worked for the Ministry of A.G. for 15 years before his appointment to the bench. Another of the judges I faced, Daphne Smith, is married to a former A.G., Bud Smith. No sane person is going to expect an impartial hearing in such a circumstance.

The real problem is more fundamental than most people realize, and both the media and the people inside the system act as if they are totally oblivious to the pervasive and institutionalized conflict-of-interest.

Only fundamental reform of the entire array of justice institutions is going to result in a real justice system. However, short of a violent revolution, only our elected representatives can do that. Unfortunately, there isn't a political party or leader in this country that has shown any interest in leading us out of this predicament.
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