Monday, May 31, 2010

 

May 31, 2010 in Courtroom 54 with the BC Rail Corruption Trial

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Morning in Courtroom 54.  The BC Rail Scandal


By Robin Mathews
May 31, 2010


Everything this morning was under publication ban, for the reason that the jury was present for only a few seconds while Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie apologized for the fact that counsel and court had things they had to discuss without the jury and it could be excused until Wednesday morning.  All hope that at that time, matters will resume, though I don't think it's a break of the ban to say it could extend a little.

The matters before the court this morning were interesting.  I am one who believes bans must be used when the rights of the accused may be placed in jeopardy. Or when the jury might find themselves led into bias by the information exchanged or by the conduct of argument.

But I believe the exchanges and arguments today might have been heard without damage to the trial by all members of the jury - and perhaps with a greater respect for the complexity of the case about which they are going to have to make judgements.

I'm forced to wonder just what the role and range of publication bans ordinarily are, and if they are too severe.  The public would, I believe, benefit by information about today's procedures - information which is denied to them.

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See also Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail.

House of Infamy
By kootcoot
With the BC Rail Corruption Trial on hiatus (its usual state for almost seven years) until at least tomorrow, when it will either pick up where it left off, with Martyn Brown facing cross-examination, or we will learn of another delay ... http://houseofinfamy.blogspot.com/



The Gazetteer: The Church Of The Sacred Bleeding RailGate....
By RossK
Management believes it is unlikely that the province or the BC Rail Corporation will ultimately be held liable for any amounts under commercial and tax indemnities..." Now. It's important to remember just who that 'Management' was when ...
The Gazetteer - http://pacificgazette.blogspot.com/

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Comments:
Mark Hume

Vancouver — Globe and Mail Update Published on Monday, May. 31, 2010 2:05PM EDT Last updated on Monday, May. 31, 2010 2:29PM EDT

The BC Rail trial has been delayed for two days because of legal issues.

Madam Justice Anne Mackenzie called the jury into the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Monday morning, only to dismiss them until Wednesday.

Justice Mackenzie offered no explanation to the jury which was dismissed last week because of the illness of one of the three accused.

Aneal Basi, Dave Basi and Bobby Virk were all in court Monday.

The latest delay came after an hour of legal discussions in court, with the jury absent. A publication ban restricts reporting on anything said while the jury is not present.
 
http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/Practice_directions_and_notices/criminal_Practice_directions.aspx


I think this LINK just about covers how far we've gone with the Trial for Basi/Virk/Basi/Brown/Campbell!
 
Thank you Robin for your on the spot insight.

When you state:

"The public would, I believe, benefit by information about today's procedures . . . "

. . . might I suggest that this is precisely why the Judge dismissed the jury invoking the publication ban.

I mean to give the pubic information lighting the way to the truth is simply not on the Justice system's platter, is it?
 
Thank you Robin for your insightful information. things continue to move along we hope...
 
Mary, I really like that Robin is blogging his assessment of the banned court proceedings on your Blog, giving us a running shadow commentary about the nature of the material presented while adhering to the ban of reporting the actual information.

I hope he will continue to provide us with this insight.

CC
 
Hi Robin,

Thanks, your work is valued. A quick question:

Was Marty in the court room? I am curious, his appearance would be indicative of how / where things are going...

If he was there, he may have been in the dark like us lay persons / the jury.

Did he know before the commoners that there was nothing to see here, keeping on movin' folks... (i.e. he got to sleep in, and read the paper with Gordo over coffee.)

Thanks!
 
Just a reminder of what has been written on BC Mary's blog AND in relation to who is up next on the Stand:



Fascinating documents were attached to Krog's letter:

* Protocol regarding documents removed from the Legislature
* Undertaking in accordance with the protocol provided to Associate Chief Justice Dohm in this matter
* Letter from Andrea Mackay of Berardino & Harris to George Copley at the Ministry of BC Attorney General which names the three significant documents as:

1. Document 00280086: Memorandum dated August 5, 2003 to the Honourable Judith Reid, Minister responsible for BC Rail, from Joy Illington, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, with carbon copy to Chris Trumpy which discusses the minutes of the Cabinet meeting on July 23, 2003;

2. Document 00290376 to 00290378: title "BC Rail Company Freight Railway Partnership Process Second Round Criteria" and identified as "Confidential Draft - for Cabinet review only" dated July 16, 2003 and signed by the Honourable Judith Reid, Minister of Transportation; and

3. Document 00290224 to 0029238 and 0020071 to 0020085: titled "BC Railway Company Partnership Process Round Two Evaluation Criteria Background for Presentation to Cabinet for Decision" dated July 23, 2003.

The Mackay/Berardino letter goes on to say: The RCMP have advised that they would like to interview Garry [sic] Collins, David Morehart, Judith Reid, Chris Trumpy and Yvette Wells in relation to the above documents. We can advise that the following questions will be asked by the investigators:

1. Identify the document and comment on who authored the document, the purpose of the document, to whom it was distributed and when;

2. Comment on the significance, if any, of the document in the possession of individuals outside the government; and

3. Discuss how the possession of the identified document(s) effects the process of the sale of the BC Rail assets.


Next, a copy of the letter from George Copley to Ken Dobell who, at that time (Oct 7, 2004) was still Deputy Minister to Premier Gordo which constitutes a description of what it feels like to be left twisting in the wind of political events.

Source: http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/2009/06/basi-virk-homework-while-waiting-for.html


AND

March 06, 2009
B.C. Rail Corruption Trial - Key Documents

In late February, the New Democrat Official Opposition were granted access to 15 binders of material relating to the B.C. Rail corruption trial.

Source: http://www.bcndpcaucus.ca/en/bcrailcorruption
 
Sorry, I'm a bit new to your story here, but if I understand correctly, Robin Mathews was denied status as a member of the press by some sort of oversight board, making him in the court's eyes just a member of the public and not a publishing journalist.

Do publication bans really extend to one member of the public conversing with other members of the public on a blog?

Seems to me like the courts shouldn't be able to have it both ways.
 
Clicked on the SC practice directions and notices link and was surprised that the Basi case under transcripts there was a notice from Justice Bennet in 2007.

Listed under Misc.
Access to Transcripts (Memorandum: 2 May 2007)

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/Practice_directions_and_notices/practice_directions_and_notices/Criminal/Memorandum%20regarding%20transcript%20requests.pdf
 
Wade:

It's even worse than you suspect.

Use the Search Box (top left of this page) and ask for BCSC Media Accreditation Committee.

We put up a fight. Seems this BC Supreme Court "committee" consists of 4 "volunteers" 3 of whom are on the Canwest payroll, and 1 is a CTV employee.

It was, in fact, Neal Hall of Vancouver Sun whose "official position" on the committee allowed him to do it ... Neal Hall who decided that Robin Mathews isn't an "accredited journalist" therefore cannot be allowed to use a recording device for accurate copying of proceedings during the BC Rail Corruption Trial.

I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't seen with my own eyes: Canwest embedded within the BCSC in a perfect position to decide when and where to choke off the news.
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Neal Hall and the media are far too close to the Campbell government to properly hold Martyn Brown accountable for the broken election promise and his statements from the witness box.
 
Me thinks, perhaps, Wade, is actually asking a most interesting question, Mary.

And the actual answer to that question could, perhaps, free us all to speak our minds freely....

Would be interesting to hear from folks that have thought hard about these issues with respects to the rights and obligations of citizen journalists who have been 'officially' denied to the right to be 'journalists'.

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So, I'm a John Doe citizen who wants to sit in on the trial of Basi/Virk/Basi on a day that the jury is not present.

What's the procedure here?

Am I going to be handed a form whereby I have to sign on the dotted line that I WOULD be found in Contempt of court if I tell someone who isn't in the courtroom of the proceedings that day?

Can I talk to someone who is a total stranger to me that IS in the courtroom what happened?

How many seats are there in Courtroom 54, and is it a full house, or is that a secret too when the jury isn't present?

Mark Hume stated: "A publication ban restricts reporting on anything said while the jury is not present."

The word "Publication" is defined on the internet as: a copy of a printed work offered for distribution

The word "ban": prohibition: a decree that prohibits something

The word "reporting":coverage: the news as presented by reporters for newspapers or radio or television; "they accused the paper of biased coverage of race relations"

Its last definition that gets me. The four reporters who banned Robin from receiving "Accreditation"..... doesn't that then mean that Robin is not a REPORTER, you know, the guys who are BANNED from PUBLICATION of what takes place in the court room........
 
John Doe Citizen/Anonymous 2:20,


go to the Law Courts Building at 800 Smythe Street in Vancouver on the morning of Wed., June 2, at 9:00 AM.

go inside. Find Courtroom 54 (or somebody who can show you where the Directory is) for Case #23299 Basi Virk Basi.

enter the courtroom with your shoulders squared and your head held high,

marching as to war.

take a seat in the public gallery. Laila tells us that it's better to take a seat up high where you can watch EVERYBODY in court.

be not afraid. You are a Canadian citizen (I assume) going about your lawful business (I assume) and you are entitled to say "Hello" to the persons nearby ... and to make conversation with them.

The way I read things, you are not entitled to tell us what you talked about. Because the jury wasn't present, and lawful citizen that you may be, you're not entitled to tell us what you talked about while waiting for ...

Order in the court! Ha ha ... still you can't report on anything you say or hear ... until

the jury files in ... and the proceedings get under way.

From then on ... from then on ... hey! wake up!! ... OK, from then on, you can tell us stuff. Were the members of the jury interested in the proceedings? Who was in the witness box? Was Madam MacK. cranky?

AND WAS KEVIN McCULLOUGH CROSS-EXAMINING???

Also, we'd love to know if Marty Brown stamps his tiny feet and marches away in a huff again ...
 
I've seen the seating plan for Courtroom 54, its on view at Craiglist (must be a post from a prankster journalist). Better tell Laila and John Doe that the only high chair, oops, high seat available has Madame Justice MacKenzie sitting atop of it, otherwise everyone else is at ground zero..... 50 yards back.
 
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