Saturday, June 05, 2010

 

A mistrial does not mean no trial. Sharing our thoughts in these tense hours of waiting for the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial to continue ...

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You've heard the rumours. I've heard the rumours.

While we are waiting for the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial to return to a courtroom in The Law Courts building, Vancouver on Monday morning, June 7, 2010, everyone capable of getting to the Law Courts building on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:45 AM must attend. Must. Being there, will tell you what to do next. 

Share your thoughts.


Mistrial

A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of no effect because of some irregularity.

The sudden end of trial before it would ordinarily end because of some reason which invalidates it.

Once a mistrial is declared, the situation is as if the trial had never occurred.

Some common reasons for a mistrial include a deadlocked jury, the death of a juror or a serious procedural and prejudicial mistake made at the trial which cannot be corrected.

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Don't give up when it's clear that the people just might be winning. Think about that. In my view, the facts we wanted/needed to hear, were being provided ... loud, clear, and with a ringing conviction ...

Winners don't give up. Winners don't wallow in the negative. Winners remember that BC Rail was a good, vital part of the province we love; and that somehow it landed up in the private, personal control of others. Winners know that a rotting contract is no contract at all ... and that Kevin McCullough in cross-examining the premier's chief of staff, had begun to strip the lid off that steaming heap of lies and subterfuge. Why stop now? Good question ... a verrry good question.

Winners don't give up. Or whine. Or search out every dismal possibility.

Winners will either show up in the public gallery of BC Supreme Courtroom 54 on Saturday ... or they will cheer on the efforts of others who will attend the next session of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial.

Consider two things when reading what Neal Hall wrote about the most significant trial in BC history: 1) note that his dateline is 2 days after the last attempt in Courtroom 54 on Thurs., June 3 to get the trial moving, and 2) ask why is he bothering to suggest on Sat., June 5 that the future of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial is "uncertain"?

What changed in those two days?

Well, of course, the cockeyed publication ban takes care of us not being told what might have changed. But let's give Neal Hall a try ... what is he telling us? And why is he telling us now? - BC Mary.
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After two-week delay, Basi-Virk trial expected to resume Monday

Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - Saturday, June 05, 2010

The Basi-Virk political corruption trial, after years of delay, finally started May 18.

Things went smoothly for three days, then ground to a halt and has remained stalled for the last two weeks.

What caused the delay has not been fully explained to the jury other than cryptic references by the trial judge to issues that have arisen in discussions with lawyers.

On Thursday this past week, the jury was once again called into court, only to be told by the trial judge: "Matters are resolving themselves but we are not ready to proceed today."

B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie thanked the jurors for their patience and excused them until Monday morning, June 7.

The judge has imposed a publication ban on everything discussed in the jury's absence, so the media cannot report anything about the reasons for the delay during the past week.

So far, the trial has heard from only one witness, Martyn Brown, who is B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's chief of staff and top political adviser.

Brown is expected to continue on the witness stand under cross-examination by the defence lawyers for Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Anneal Basi.

Dave Basi and Bob Virk are charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting benefits.

The Crown theory is that the two political aides -- Dave Basi was the former ministerial assistant to finance minister Gary Collins and Virk was ministerial assistant to transportation minister Judith Reid -- leaked confidential information about the bidding process for BC Rail in 2003 in exchange for cash and other benefits.

Basi's cousin, Aneal Basi, is accused of laundering regular payments by cheques from lobbyists representing a U.S. bidder, OmniTrax.

There is uncertainty about whether the trial will resume Monday [BC Mary added emphasis here]... {Snip} ...

The trial was originally scheduled to last six to eight weeks, wrapping up by the end of June. That estimate now seems overly optimistic.

nhall@vancouversun.com

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BC Mary comment: Share your thoughts. Be there Monday. It's not over yet.

And now, if you're still with me, and still wondering ... please let me share the two items below which, in my opinion, opens our minds and explains the two immense issues dominating world news today: the Israili boarding of ships destined for Palestine, and British Petroleum oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Each of them news article opens the topic up wider for us. First: here's Robert Fisk -- the Lion of  International Journalists -- using the wit, skill, high intelligence and decency we should expect of any journalist writing about events which are profoundly significant:

F.Y.I.

Robert Fisk: The truth behind the Israeli propaganda
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Original story is HERE.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-truth-behind-the-israeli-propaganda-1991803.html

I have, of course, been outraged at armed men boarding ships in international waters, killing passengers on board who attempt to resist and then forcing their ship to the hijackers' home port. I am, of course, talking about the Somali pirates who are preying on Western ships in the Indian Ocean. How dare those terrorists dare to touch our unarmed vessels on the high seas? And how right we are to have our warships there to prevent such terrorist acts.
But whoops! At least the Israelis have not demanded ransom. They just want to get journalists to win the propaganda war for them. Scarcely had the week begun when Israel's warrior "commandos" stormed a Turkish boat bringing aid to Gazaand shot nine of the passengers dead. Yet by week's end, the protesters had become "armed peace activists", vicious anti-Semites "professing pacifism, seething with hate, pounding away at another human being with a metal pole". I liked the last bit. The fact that the person being beaten was apparently shootinEi g another human being with a rifle didn't quite get into this weird version of reality.
Turkish family protests that their sons wanted to be martyrs – something which most Turkish family members might say if their relatives had been shot by the Israelis – had been transformed into confirmation that they had been jihadis. "On that aid ship," a Sri Lankan texted me this week, "I had my niece, nephew and his wife on board. Unfortunately Ahmed (20-year-old nephew) got shot in the leg and now treated (sic) under military custody. I will keep you posted." He did indeed. Within hours, the press was at his family's home in Australia, demanding to know if Ahmed was a jihadi – or even a potential suicide bomber. Propaganda works, you see. We haven't seen a frame of film from the protesters because the Israelis have stolen the lot. No one has told us – if the Turkish ship was carrying such ruthless men – how their terrible plots to help the "terrorists" of Gaza were not uncovered in the long voyage from Turkey, even when it called at other ports. But Professor Gil Troy of McGill University in Montreal – in the rabid Canadian National Post, of course – was able to spout all that gunk about "armed peace activists" on Thursday.
I wasn't personally at all surprised at the killings on the Turkish ship. In Lebanon, I've seen this indisciplined rabble of an army – as "elite" as the average rabble of the Arab armies – shooting at civilians. I saw them watching the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinians on the morning of 18 September (the last day of the slaughter) by their vicious Lebanese militia allies. I was present at the Qana massacre by Israeli gunners in 1996 – "Arabushim" (the equivalent of the abusive term "Ayrab" in English), one of the gunners called the 106 dead civilians, more than half of them children, in the Israeli press. Then the Israeli government of Nobel laureate Shimon Peres said there were terrorists among the dead civilians – totally untrue, but who cares? – and then came the second Qana massacre in 2006 and then the 2008-09 Gaza slaughter of 1,300 Palestinians, most of them children, and then...
Well, then came the Goldstone report, which found that Israeli troops (as well as Hamas) committed war crimes in Gaza, but this was condemned as anti-Semitic – poor old honourable Goldstone, himself a prominent Jewish jurist from South Africa, slandered as "an evil man" by the raving Al Dershowitz of Harvard – and was called "controversial" by the brave Obama administration. "Controversial", by the way, basically means "fuck you". There's doubts about it, you see. It's dodgy stuff.
But back to our chronology. Then we had the Mossad murder of a Hamas official in Dubai with the Israelis using at least 19 forged passports from Britain and other countries. And the pathetic response of our then foreign secretary, David Miliband? He called it "an incident" – not the murder of the guy in Dubai, mind you, just the forgery of UK passports, a highly "controversial" matter – and then... Well, now we've had the shooting down of nine passengers at sea by more Israeli heroes.
The amazing thing in all this is that so many Western journalists – and I'm including the BBC's pusillanimous coverage of the Gaza aid ships – are writing like Israeli journalists, while many Israeli journalists are writing about the killings with the courage that Western journalists should demonstrate. And about the Israeli army itself. Take Amos Harel's devastating report in Haaretz which analyses the make-up of the Israeli army's officer corps. In the past, many of them came from the leftist kibbutzim tradition, from greater Tel Aviv or from the coastal plain of Sharon. In 1990, only 2 per cent of army cadets were religious Orthodox Jews. Today the figure is 30 per cent. Six of the seven lieutenant-colonels in the Golani Brigade are religious. More than 50 per cent of local commanders are "national" religious in some infantry brigades.
There's nothing wrong with being religious. But – although Harel does not make this point quite so strongly – many of the Orthodox are supporters of the colonisation of the West Bank and thus oppose a Palestinian state.
And the Orthodox colonists are the Israelis who most hate the Palestinians, who want to erase the chances of a Palestinian state as surely as some Hamas officials would like to erase Israel. Ironically, it was senior officers of the "old" Israeli army who first encouraged the "terrorist" Hamas to build mosques in Gaza – as a counterbalance to the "terrorist" Yasser Arafat up in Beirut – and I was a witness to one of their meetings. But it will stay the same old story before the world wakes up. "I have never known an army as democratic as Israel's," the hapless French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy said a few hours before the slaughter.Yes, the Israeli army is second to none, elite, humanitarian, heroic. Just don't tell the Somali pirates.

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Next: this one explains (between laughter and tears) how media works when we stop paying attention. There's a vital history lesson in this media YouTube:


http://www.wimp.com/oilspills/

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These are only two examples of how media can rise above the narrow, shallow self-interest of corporate media. The thing is: it requires a top-rank journalist (and a top-rank publisher) to have the wit and courage to see through a major situation such as the BC Rail affair (or BP Oil), to understand what's going on, and to tell the whole story. Is that asking too much? I don't think so. 

BC Rail isn't bigger than the Israel-Palestine situation. Oil spills are no more difficult to understand than BC Rail. But does it sell ads?

Which brings us to the topic of how journalists are being "accredited". Seems to me that in BC Supreme Court they virtually appoint themselves (i.e., volunteer). But I believe that an applicant hoping to be accredited as a working journalist should have to demonstrate the courage to tell the whole truth. The way Robert Fisk and Robin Mathews tell it, for example.  Comical to think that it was Neal Hall who, on behalf of the 4-member BC Supreme Court Media Accreditation Committee, rejected Professor Mathews when Robin  applied for accreditation because ... are you ready for this? ... because only accredited journalists are allowed to use a recording device in the courtroom. And Robin needs to use a recording device for purposes of accuracy during courtroom proceedings.  I simply can't imagine Robert Fisk saying "No" to this request. Can you?  

Much to think about, this tense weekend leading up to June 7, 2010 in BC Supreme Court. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
The evidence in the trial that we've all seen in Pre-trial points the fingers away from Basi/Virk/Basi and includes those in Government as well.

The Horsemen didn't get all of the bad guys.
 
It seems illogical to think that there could be a mistrial considering that there has hardly been any trial at all.

I suspect that if the trial ends prematurely, it will be due to a plea bargain.

I guess we'll only know when something official is actually allowed to be made public.

The only way we'll ever see a public enquiry is if there is a change of government. Also, the track record for such enquiries yielding demonstrable results are dubious at best. The lawyers do well at the taxpayers expense, but does the public get what they are paying for? Not from what I've seen.

When all is said and done, I think that those that benefited from the sale of BC Rail will be laughing all the way to the bank and the citizens of BC will have been raped and pillaged one more time.

The sad part about this is that we can no longer have confidence in pretty much all the institutions that we were led to believe in when we were knee high to a grasshopper. It seems that all that matters to them is how well they can line the pockets of themselves and their cohorts. Whether it be the politicians, the police or the judiciary, one can't help but feel that the oaths they take are just meaningless verbiage to be disregarded immediately after uttering them.

Just call me one jaded hombre.
 
Anon 10:55

We have known all along that they didn't get all the bad guys. The biggest example is that no one who "offered a bribe" was charged.
And if you use the search button here you can go back and find examples ie: Gary Collins (finance minister at the time) Police made a point of saying no government members were being charged.
 
BCMary do you, or does anyone visiting here know, if there is a mistrial, whether or not reasons will be forthcoming? Reasons such as the judge didn't like the way the trial was pointing to Campbell?
Or she finally woke up to Robins letters about the SP's conflict?
 
All this talk of a mistrial would be set aside (in your minds) .....if you had been at the courtroom on Monday (last week) There would be no need to fear, but fear itself

The trial will be full steam ahead tomorrow morning.

Plea bargain is a thing of the USA, not Canada.
 
Keep in mind that the purpose of the defense is not to expose corruption in the Campbell government, but to get their clients off. While the trial has been going well for opponents of the BC government,it hasn't gone as well for Basi and Virk. There was a ruling by the judge, the specifics of which are under publication ban, which jeopardizes their ability to get a fair trial.
 
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Gary E,

First of all, I don't accept the notion that there will be a mistrial on Monday.

That's partly why I beg of everyone that they stop accepting the worst possible interpretation of things and

BE THE WINNERS.

2) If indeed there's a mistrial, however, I simply can't imagine it being proclaimed without reasons being given. How could there BE a mistrial without a reason?

But how long this Gong Show can DELAY that disclosure, I hate to think.

Now I ask again: is this another example of us rushing to adopt the worst possible outcome? Why do we keep doing that????

There are things we can do, to be ready for whatever Monday June 7 brings on. Like, #1: BE THERE, if you possibly can.

But also, think positive: think how WE the citizens can make this work properly, on the public's behalf.
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An ace in the hole:

".......And for the first time, Basi lawyer Michael Bolton suggested Crown and RCMP handling of the prosecution could result in an application for a mistrial, raising the possibility that the case might never be heard in court."

Source: http://thetyee.ca/News/2006/11/09/LegRaid/

And from this same article, written by Bill Tieleman is this:

Snip
"Justice Bennett, who acquitted former B.C. premier Glen Clark in 2002 in another high profile breach of trust case, herself said at one point in the proceedings on Oct. 30 that she would: "Probably be a very good juror because I don't remember any of the media reports on this case."

Having attended a good portion of the four-day hearing, it's easy to have some sympathy for not only the judge -- who will rule on the disclosure application on Nov. 14 -- but all involved." SnIP


So why has Madame Justice MacKenzie put a publication ban on the public, for they can publish the contents of a courtrooms proceedings as easily as the pROFESSIONAL (note small p) journalist when the jury is not present when the Judge who sat through most of the Pre-trial said she would virtually be immune to the writings of the media and still be a perfect juror, eh.
 
Mary,

I think a mistrial would be appropriate, just as I think I could legitimately be charged with contempt for THIS court.

Indeed in a sane just universe this trial would be declared a mistrial, an attempted miscarriage of justice, and a new trial would be undertaken with the real culprits charged with the real crimes.

Meanwhile the CJC and the BC Bar could occupy themselves investigating J-Mac, Wild Bill for violations of their sworn oaths as members of the bar - and those who have withheld and/or destroyed evidence could also be brought to heel..........

When I think of the price Nixon paid for a missing few minutes of tape - he is writhing in his grave from jealousy of these guys.
 
Anonymous 7:43:

Thank you, thank you.
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Wow.

Rumours abound.

At this point, I figured it might be worth listing all the things we do NOT know for certain about what might or might not happen tomorrow....

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Crankypants said:

Whether it be the politicians, the police or the judiciary, one can't help but feel that the oaths they take are just meaningless verbiage to be disregarded immediately after uttering them.

Just call me one jaded hombre.


Sadly, me too.

CC
 
Guys, guys, guys ...

I repeat: there's POWER in positive thinking!

Why give up when there's still hope? and options?
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THERE IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT DURING THE TESTIMONY AND CROSS EXAMINATION OF PREMIER CAMPBELL'S RIGHT HAND MAN WE HAVE HAD RUMOURS FLYING OF A MISTRIAL.

THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO WOULD BE ASSISTED BY THE MISTRIAL - AND THAT IS PREMIER CAMPBELL. HE HAS TOO MANY FIGHTS ON HIS HANDS WITH HST AND PERHAPS HIS LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE BC LIBERAL PARTY.

I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS MORE TO THE MISTRIAL RUMOURS THAN WE CAN SPECULATE.

WE SHALL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. I WONDER IF THE MEDIA SHOULD SEEK TO OVERTURN THE PUBLICATION BAN SO AS TO INFORM THE PUBLIC.
 
I didn't mean to give the impression that I was "giving up" or suggesting anyone else give up. If you thought that, here's my clear response:

NOT A CHANCE

I just wanted to echo Crankypants' assessment of these "pillars" of BC society, and that the oaths they take are meaningless verbiage.

My great desire is that more people will begin to learn about what's going on, so that we can collectively and publicly SHAME these so-called leaders. Yes, I know these "entitled ones" don't shame easily, but everyone has their breaking point.

The foundation on which our society rests is rotten, and the crumbling is underway.

I will wield my pick-axe or hammer in whatever way I can to help bring down the econo-terrorists who have ravaged British Columbia and its people, and I will urge and help anyone else to do the same.

CC

ps There are two keys to success in this "great" adventure we are in:

- Speaking Up (the opposite of silence), and

- Tenacity

You, Mary, are an excellent example of the value of these two qualities in achieving a challenging goal.
 
Canadian Canary,

This time, you leave a positive, upbeat image with us.

I guess we're all fed up to the eyeballs with how bad things are; what we need is help imagining what we can do to make things better.

It cheers us on. Thanks for your encouragement, it does help.
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I suspect that if the trial ends prematurely, it will be due to a plea bargain.

Any plea bargain - informally Canadian or if in the US, legally- trafficking in knowledge of illegal deeds and seeking to cover them up is a miscarriage of justice; and should itself be subject to criminal investigation.....

I'm speaking only on moral principle, of course; realpolitik is something else again.

It's pretty clear, sitting here on the shores of the Atlantic, that the procedural issues needing discussion between lawyers and Hyas Klootchman Chutch is most likely about whether or not the Premier can be called to the stand; if he cannot be it would be unfair to Basi & Virk. No doubt the Oh-So-Special Prosecutor is arguing that "privilege" protects the principal lawbreaker here (as those of us informed of the facts believe to be the case) because he was in office....as if such a thing existed in our constitution; i.e. immunity from investigation/charges just because you're an elected official, or boss of the lot. It's every bit as specious as a position ever put forward before by Berardino, so I'm not doubting that it, or something like it, is what is being argued. That Justice Mackenzie hasn't thrown him out for even suggesting it points to how compliant she is with the people who put her in her current position.

The publication ban should be overturned immediately; if Neal Hall were a REAL JOURNALIST and not just a political hack, he should stand up for the rights of the profession, and the public, and remove the sham mask from this trial. Maybe it would be fitting if Justice Mackenzie would complement the state of justice in British Columbia by donning a burqa.....

Oh, but accredited journalists don't make waves, do they? Tugging the forelock is what they're trained to do, and to get the public to forelock-tug too. Actually standing up for democracy is not the trait of any editor of any newspaper editor in the country (not even one, or one of them would have spoken up by now to put the others to shame....)
 
You do have this as a source of photographs of "BCRail locomotives Liveries", eh

http://members.fortunecity.com/rrpics/bcrliveries/bcrliv.htm
 
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