Monday, June 07, 2010

 

Bill Tieleman on BC Rail Corruption Trial

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Basi-Virk - Trial will proceed - but case will not be completed until end of March 2011 - massively longer than expected

Basi-Virk case goes ahead – and will last till end of March 2011

By Bill Tieleman
24 hours columnist - June 7, 2010

The Basi-Virk political corruption trial will proceed - but the case will take until March of 2011 to be completed - nine months longer than originally scheduled.

The trial of three former B.C. government aides facing charges connected to the $1 billion sale of B.C. Rail in 2003 has been delayed repeatedly since it began May 17 by legal arguments that cannot be disclosed because of a publication ban.

And today in BC Supreme Court the trial was almost forced to start over with a new jury after Justice Anne MacKenzie told existing jurors that instead of the case ending by July 1 as planned, it will instead likely run through March of the next year.

MacKenzie implored the 12 jurors to continue on despite the lengthy delay.

“In my address I said counsel suggested the trial would last until late June,” MacKenzie told them. “But now the surprise.”

“I’m asking you – and you can discuss this – but assuming you have two weeks off at Christmas and most of the summer off after July 7 – can you accommodate us until the end of March?” MacKenzie told the jury.

“That’s the surprise because that’s the scheduling now,” she said, adding that jurors would also be able to get some days off for personal business such as doctor’s appointments ...

Read Bill's complete article HERE.

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