Thursday, May 06, 2010

 

Bobby Virk lawyer astounded special prosecutor donated to BC Liberals

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Lawyer Kevin McCullough, who represents Bob Virk, is shown in this 2007 file photo.

Kevin McCullough, lawyer who represents Bob Virk, is shown in this 2007 file photo by Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun.


VANCOUVER — The lawyer for one of the accused in the Basi-Virk political corruption case says he can't believe the trial's special prosecutor donated to a provincial Liberal party candidate in 2005, more than a year after taking on the case.
It has been reported that Bill Berardino — appointed special prosecutor in December 2003, days after the raid on the B.C. Legislature — donated $500 to Liberal candidate and future attorney general Wally Oppal's election campaign in May 2005.

Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Bob Virk's lawyer Kevin McCullough reacted with disbelief when told of Berardino's donation.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Say that again?" said McCullough. "You're telling me he donated to the BC Liberal Party in 2005? . . . There's no f—— way. That can't be. That can't f—— be. Because he was a special prosecutor starting in December (2003)."

After being directed to the story, McCullough said he would have to look into the matter before commenting further.
Michael Bolton, Dave Basi's lawyer, had read the story and refused to say what action he might take.

"We won't be making any public comments on this matter," he said. "If we decide to pursue it, it will be done before the court."

On Wednesday, Berardino confirmed attending a fundraising breakfast for Oppal, an old classmate of his.

He said the donation — made in the name of his firm at the time, Berardino & Harris — has had no impact on his handling of the Basi-Virk case.
"There's no conflict of interest," he said. "I made a donation and I don't see anything wrong with that at all. I've carried on in my role as a special prosecutor."

{Snip} ...

On Thursday afternoon, Victoria lobbyist Mike Geoghegan sent a letter to the B.C. Law Society asking it to determine whether Berardino's donation places him in a conflict of interest.

The Law Society confirmed it had received Geoghegan's letter and, as with all complaints it receives, will open an investigation into the matter.

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North Van's Grumps comment:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Special+prosecutor+system+badly+damaged+solicitor+general+affair/2997842/story.html

Special-prosecutor system badly damaged by solicitor-general affair

By Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun May 7, 2010

-----------------------------------
N.V.G. comments further:

It's the last part of his column that strikes to the very heart of our justice system here in BC.

Without saying it outright, Ian Mulgrew leads the reader to realize that IF Terry Robertson had resigned before exonerating Kash Heed, and indirectly his campaign workers as well, a second Special Prosecutor could come to his own conclusions as to the possible guilt or innocence of Kash Heed, BUT because Robertson has made his ruling it's next to impossible to change it.

Why? you may ask.

It all goes back to..... Robertson again, when Wally Oppal shopped around for a second opinion of a Special Prosecutor that would favour the Attorney General's belief that Winston Blackmore was guilty.

A judge stepped in and ruled that:

"The harm in the appointment of successive special prosecutors is that it undermines the administration of justice by leaving the perception, if not the reality, of political interference and of an oppressive or unfair prosecution."

She said Robertson's appointment in the polygamy case was unlawful and he had no power to recommend charges -- the initial special prosecutor's decision was final."

As it stands it appears that there has been political interference in the Kash Heed decision (even though he may have never wanted it). He's free to walk the streets, but will he be able to walk with head held high.

__________________________________________________
N.V.G. added this: 

If as Michael Smyth says that the Deputy AG may be having trouble trying to find a replacement for Terry Robertson because most lawyers have contributed to the BC Liberal Party, here's a helping hand on which ones to eliminate.   Data from Election BC PCS .    

Note:  These firms have contributed $780,887.76 since Feb 9, 2009  
Note:  In the data, (not listed here) there was only one which contributed to the NDP during the same time frame.


FULTON & COMPANY LLP
BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER LLP
CLARK WILSON LLP
HARPER GREY LLP
MCCARTHY TETRAULT LLP
BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER LLP
ERNST & YOUNG LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
ALEXANDER HOLBURN BEAUDIN & LANG LLP
BECKER DALEY LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
FULTON & COMPANY LLP
MJB LAWYERS LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
LINDSAY KENNEY LLP
NORTH SHORE LAW LLP
PARKWAY PROPERTIES LLP
GRANT THORNTON LLP
HEENAN BLAIKIE  S.E.N.C.R.L., SRL / LLP
MEYERS NORRIS PENNY LLP
CREWYODEN CARE CENTER LLP
MILLER THOMSON LLP
MORELLI CHERTKOW LLP
GOLDSTREAM VENTURES LLP
BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON LLP
BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
KOFFMAN KALEF LLP
BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
HARPER GREY LLP
MACKAY LLP
HARPER GREY LLP
DALEY & COMPANY CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS LLP
BENSON SALLOUM WATTS LLP
BENSON SALLOUM WATTS LLP
BENSON SALLOUM WATTS LLP
GRANT THORNTON LLP
MAIR JENSEN BLAIR LLP
MORELLI CHERTKOW LLP
LAKES STRAITH WHYTE LLP
BULL, HOUSSER & TUPPER LLP
BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
KOFFMAN KALEF LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
MACKENZIE FUJISAWA LLP
MACKAY LLP
BENSON SALLOUM WATTS LLP
FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY LLP
GRANT THORNTON LLP
ERNST & YOUNG LLP
BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
ERNST & YOUNG LLP
MEYERS NORRIS PENNY LLP
MEYERS NORRIS PENNY LLP
GETZ PRINCE WELLS LLP
SAGER LLP
CAMPBELL FROH MAY & RICE LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP
HEENAN BLAIKIE  S.E.N.C.R.L., SRL / LLP
RICHARDS BUELL SUTTON LLP

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BC Mary comment: This story with few changes is bouncing around ... I won't re-post them all, because seeing the same thing repeated and repeated dulls the brain. But I'll try to provide a sense of which news media are picking up the story and which segments of the BC Rail story they seem to think is most important. This one is from Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

BC Rail prosecutor defends Liberal donation
  
CBC News - May 7, 2010

Comments:
This brings into question the role of Allan Seckel - who was involved in creating the list of `potential` special prosecutors.

This has to come back to the man who is now deputy to the Premier...and, as Robin has written here, it has to reflect his earlier role in a certain gilt-edged law firm in Vancouver as well.

These allegations bring into serious question virtually everything about the operation of the justice system in British Columbia for the past 9 years.
 
And then there's:

BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP
19/04/2005
$750
CAMPBELL, GORDON

Robert Shouldice is a member of BLG who acted in the sale of BC Rail for Gordon Muir Campbell's government
 
At this rate Basigate may get turfed due to gross errors and actions on the part of the Crown.

I have said all along that there was a "fix on Basigate" between all three parties (Crown, Defense and Government) and I still think one way or another everyone takes a dive on this case.

The only saving grace is that people are finally getting so pissed off they may not roll over as usual on this John Gotti style rigged trial.

The issue now is what to do with governing EVIL EMPIRE?

Recalls and waiting three years for the next "rigged" election are not effective options.

The BC Liberal Kleptocracy must fall before the year is out.

The GREAT SATAN
 
""There's no conflict of interest," he said. "I made a donation and I don't see anything wrong with that at all. I've carried on in my role as a special prosecutor.""

Wild Bill could have even added that he even goes to hearing SOMETIMES!

Maybe we are all confused and there is nothing wrong with all this crap that passes for normal government in BC. It is us, the rest of the citizens who are in a conflict of interest - our interests conflict with the arrogance and greed of Campbell, Dobell, Kinsella, etc...........
 
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Special+prosecutor+system+badly+damaged+solicitor+general+affair/2997842/story.html

Special-prosecutor system badly damaged by solicitor-general affair

By Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun May 7, 2010

-----------------------------------

Its the last part of his column that strikes to the very hearth of our justice system here in BC.

Without saying it outright, Ian Mulgrew leads the reader to realize that IF Terry Robertson had resigned before exonerating Kash Heed, and indirectly his campaign workers as well, a second Special Prosecutor could come to his own conclusions as to the possible guilt or innocents of Kash Heed, BUT because Robertson has made his ruling its next to impossible to change it.

Why? you may ask.

It all goes back to..... Robertson again, when Wally Oppal shopped around for a second opinion of a Special Prosecutor that would favour the Attorney General's belief that Winston Blackmore was guilty.

A judge stepped in and ruled that:

""The harm in the appointment of successive special prosecutors is that it undermines the administration of justice by leaving the perception, if not the reality, of political interference and of an oppressive or unfair prosecution."

She said Robertson's appointment in the polygamy case was unlawful and he had no power to recommend charges -- the initial special prosecutor's decision was final."


As it stands it appears that there has been political interference in the Kash Heed decision (even though he may have never wanted it). He's free to walk the streets, but will he be able to walk with head held high.
 
For clarification on the list of lawyers contributing, it may seem odd to have names doubled and tripled up, but it was the way I sorted the data in Excel.

First by date;
Secondly by name
 
There is this niggling little feeling that if OUR Special Prosecutor hadn't donated to the Wally Oppal election fund, not only would Basi/Virk/Basi been standing in the docket, but so too their political Masters, eh.

Even if OUR SP were to be ousted now, nothing would change, and all because of Terrence Robertson.
 
NVG,

I'm not quite following your train of thought here ... is there a typo or two, e.g., should "been" have been "be" ... ?? And "docket" s/b "dock"?

As in, " ... not only would Basi/Virk/Basi be standing in the dock, but so too their political masters, eh."

Now that begins to sound logical to me.
.
 
It has been 2 weeks of nonstop negative revelations about powerful provincial and federal government employees/contractors. It seems the lines have been all but erased between the 4th estate/justice/prosecution/business/legislation/organized crime/and government contracting.

Not only have the lines been eroded, but a seething cloud of ambiguity envelops BC and BC Rail.

As an insult to the injury being done to the body politic and the people of BC, we get Kevin Krueger as Minister for Culture, Tourism and the Arts. It is as though Goebbels, himself, rose from the dead to oversee the appointment of the witless Krueger to his post. Please note that I do not consider Krueger a Nazi, merely an unwitting bishop for what has become a branch plant of the fascist capitalist international corporatists. I can't imagine Krueger funding artists who would make commentary upon the true state of BC - running from what is befalling the citizenry to the giveaways of its wealth and legacies. BC Rail and our rivers are ready examples of destruction that our artists should be funded to portray. The destruction of BC needs to be documented in artistic ways so that our progeny knows the pain of our losses.

"'We shall discover and encourage the artists who are able to impress upon the State of the German people the cultural stamp of the Germanic race . . . in their origin and in the picture which they present they are the expressions of the soul and the ideals of the community.' (Hitler, Party Day speech, 1935; in Adam, 1992)"
http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/ARTS/ARTREICH.HTM

Mary, I admire your persistance, your search for truth and your artistry in publishing the truth you find. Thanks.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
S.i.G.,

Thanks for the tremendous compliment.

And I did try to fix that word, as you requested ... but BloggerWorld seemed to think that I was tampering and deleted the whole comment which, by sheer fluke, I was able to recover.

I quickly realized that I'd rather have your compliment WITH a spelling error, than to have no comment from you at all.
.
 
Mr. Mulgrew and NVG have done us a great service in pointing out that when you have serial SP's you have real difficulty mounting a successful prosecution.

Especially given that it was Mr. Robertson himself who was central in demonstrating this.

Which makes it all the more important to again point out that Mr. Robertson was asked about the donations by the Horsemen BEFORE he made his ruling about Mess'rs Sall and Heed.

In other words, Mr. Robertson knew that the RCMP knew but he went ahead anyway, made his decision, and then he resigned.

Now, the fact there will have to be a second SP means that, well, you know......

(and do you think that Mr. Campbell et al., really want Mr. Sall knows and/or did or didn't do to come out in open court?.....don't forget, it looks like those flyers distributed in not one, but rather multiple ridings).

.
 
RossK,

Oftentimes (new word), I think that the RCMP doesn't get credit when the Horsemen do the upright individual right thing, like, well ... like the day they undertook a raid in broad daylight, so daring that it had never been done before in the entire history of the British Commonwealth ... and, with Search Warrants they went into the BC Legislature ... right into the BC Ministry of Finance and the BC Ministry of Transportation, coming out with 32 boxes of files and some hard drives.

The cops got only a small fraction of what they needed, but it was enough. Because that day, that raid, was in my view the beginning of hope for a better way of running this province.

Never mind that the 32 boxes of precious evidence went directly into the hands of Patrick Dohm who seemed to have difficulty deciding where his duty lay. Some of that stuff in those boxes is, I believe, still blacked out, locked down, secret.

Bill Berardino was already there, assigned Special-ly to the task, of course ... and from there, the RCMP began to behave differently. Sorta, I dunno, like dodging bullets or something.

But now you tell us that the Horsemen were on the ball ... on the job ... and asking Mr. Robertson the hard questions about these political donations BEFORE he made his ruling about Messrs Sall and Heed.

Which reminds us that, sometimes, such as, for example, at the trial of Basi and Virk, things go a lot better when judges and poo-bahs know they are being observed.

Yayyyy for the Little Guys because we can watch. We can observe. We can ask the questions. We can nudge things along the straight and narrow, too. And we can cheer when things begin to change for the better.

Yay.
.
 
"With this promotion, Seckel becomes deputy minister to the premier.

Seckel was a partner for many years in the downtown Vancouver office of Russell & Dumoulin, later known as Fasken Martineau, when he was appointed deputy to then-attorney general Geoff Plant. Plant previously worked at the same law firm.

In recent years, Seckel has landed in the news as the person who decided which cabinet documents relating to B.C. Rail should be deemed confidential in the criminal trial of David Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi.

On May 8, 2007, Campbell told the legislature that he would play no role in that decision, saying Seckel would work directly with the special prosecutor (Bill Berardino, the special prosecutor in the Basi-Virk case, also worked at Russell & Dumoulin for many years.)"

Georgia Straight

http://www.straight.com/article-261222/allan-seckel-replaces-jessica-mcdonald-premier-gordon-campbells-deputy-minister
 
Now we know why they are called “SPECIAL” Prosecutors. Give enough money to the Lieberals and the fix will be in.
The sleaziest banana republic would blush at what goes on in BC’s legal system.
As for the Law Society doing anything---- don’t hold your hand over your ass, it might become a permanent patch.
CGHZD
 
"Only in Canada" you say

Here's a fragment of a blueprint for the BC government to follow on the topic of political contributions:

* You can make a political donation to registered political entities only if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

* You can give no more than $1,100* in each calendar year to each registered political party.

* You can give no more than $1,100* in total in any calendar year to the various entities of each registered political party (registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates).

* You can give no more than $1,100* to each independent candidate for a particular election.

* You can give no more than $1,100* in total to the leadership contestants in a particular leadership contest.

* You can no longer make a cash contribution of more than $20 to registered political entities.

* You cannot make a political contribution with money, property or services that were given to you for that purpose.

* Corporations, trade unions, associations and groups can no longer make political contributions. However, your employer can give you a paid leave of absence during an election period to allow you to be a nomination contestant or a candidate without that leave being considered a contribution.

* If you are running as a nomination contestant or a candidate, you can make an additional contribution up to $1,000 in total per election from your own funds to your own campaign. You can divide this amount between your nomination and candidate campaigns as you wish.

* If you are running as a party leadership contestant, you can make an additional contribution of up to $1,000 in total per contest from your own funds to your own campaign.

AND SNIP

New rules for transfers within a party

* Registered parties and registered electoral district associations can no longer transfer trust funds to candidates of the party.

SNIP

Source: http://www.elections.ca/content.asp?section=fin&document=index&dir=lim&lang=e&textonly=false
 
I guess it was in another thread where someone pointed out that Chief Justice Baumann's firm donated money to the BC Liberals....the clincher, in terms of any taint on his appointment, would be if his firm also donated to the federal Tories.

I do have to wonder about the propriety of law firms, in general, making political donations.....given the nature of the patronage system the judiciary is built on.....
 
I notice the law firm CAMPBELL FROH MAY & RICE LLP is on the list.

The same law firm Ed Montague hails from. Montague represented the BC Liberal caucus, including Gordon Campbell, in the call for privilege over disclosure of MLA and cabinet e-mails.

Did we ever determine whether or not Ed Montague is related to former RCMP Sgt. Peter Montague?
 
" it may seem odd to have names doubled and tripled up, but it was the way I sorted the data in Excel.
"

Wouldn't that to be expected? As people often make multiple donations to the same party.
 
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