Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Court's Out for the Summer

I was stunned to hear a reporter being interviewed on All Points West (CBC Radio One) this afternoon who had actually been in Courtroom 54 on Monday and Tuesday of this week. I didn't catch his name, other than it was Terry something or other, and I assume he is elderly, because at one point he wondered if he would still be alive or working when this trial actually concluded - and he didn't feel it would be done by the end of next March. He also mentioned that he found it critical to mark his notes clearly to indicate  those things that transpired  with the jury absent so he wouldn't accidentally report them. According to his  watch the jury was present on  Tuesday for 19 minutes and on  Monday  for only  one minute.

Here is our own Citizen from Room 54 with his scintillating report from the bowels of the beautiful building by Arthur Ericson at the corner of Robson and Smithe. It would seem to this observer that what goes on there is far less esthetically pleasing than the architecture.

Afternoon Report - July 6, 2010

After being disappointed that the trial did not proceed on Monday, I
decided to once again try to make travel plans to attend the BC Rail
trial. The public cannot depend on the court lists nor is the
Vancouver Sun accurate in their reporting of start times for this
trial. For me, it is difficult to attend court however, I attended to
see first hand and determine for myself, what is happening in
courtroom 54 or more accurately what is not happening.

During the afternoon sitting July 6, 2010 the jury heard from Janet
Winteringham about an issue regarding admissions. These are facts
that are quite simple and deal with for example, correct email address
of the defendents, accurate transcriptions of wiretap calls, the dates
when the 3 men were hired by the Gordon Campbell government and other
issues of basic information. These were clearly items that the
defence agreed to in order to speed up the trial and therefore not
require more witnesses to prove these facts.

Mr. Berardino did not attend court and according to my fellow gallery
observers, Mr. Berardino has not been seen in quite some time. His
last day of work was June 29, 2010 and he did not attend the last day
of testimony of Martyn Brown. The familar lines of Martyn Brown that
he "did not recall" nor "I don't remember" must have caused concern or
upset Mr. Berardino greatly for the Special Prosecutor for him not to
attend the last day of evidence from Mr. Brown.

The Vancouver Sun reported that the next witness would be Allan
Wallace of CIBC World Markets. How did this information get into the
hands of the Vancouver Sun? Who leaked it? Has the special
prosecutor shared information with the media about their witness
schedule?? I have observed a certain member of the Vancouver Sun
meeting with the Special Prosecutor and members of his prosecution
team from time to time during the past few weeks during the testimony
of Martyn Brown. Could the media have learned about the witness
schedule from Bill Berardino?

The other issue of importance to the case that was discussed before
the jury was the filing of more exhibits by the special prosecutor.
These include volumes of documents from the BC Government, documents
seized from the RCMP searches from the legislature (offices of the
Finance Minister and Transportation Minister), documents from Bruce
Clark and most importantly documents from Pilothouse Public Affairs,
the government affairs and lobbying company at the heart of the
bribery allegations. The Pilothouse documents were seized by the RCMP
from both the Victoria office of Brian Kieran and Jamie Elmhirst and
the Vancouver office of Erik Bornmann. You will recall that the crown
theory is that Basi, Virk and Basi accepted benenfits from lobbyist
Bornmann, Kieran, and Elmhirst to the tune of $50,000 in meals and
money. These government lobbyist are expected to testify for the
Special Prosecutor.

The jury did not review the documents and presumably, these documents
will be presented to the witnesses when they are expected to testify.
Given the email that was introduced last week regarding the graphic
description of the former deputy minister to the Minister of Finance,
Paul Taylor, as "blabby" we should be able to see other emails and
various documents that will shine a spotlight on government lobbying
practices. I will have a more detailed written piece about Paul
Taylor and his role with the BC Government and his relationship with
Brian Kieran soon.

The afternoon ended with the announcement by Justice Mackenzie that
the trial will resume in September. Once again, the people of BC are
left in the dark as the lights were shut down in Courtroom 54 on July
6, 2010.

Citizen Journalist from 54

I'm sure I speak for Mary as well as myself and many of our readers when I say "THANK YOU" so much for your attendance here/there and your efforts at sharing what you have been able to share with us all. Hopefully we will hear from you next fall - or even before then. There's no reason (or perhaps, NO EXCUSE) to quit digging into the important question of what happened to OUR RAILROAD. If we can find the answer to that, perhaps we can also find the answer to all the other things that have been and are being stolen and/or destroyed in our province and just maybe those responsible really can eventually be held accountable. It feels to this cowboy like we just might have the forces of venality on the run...there's no reason to give any quarter or rest for the wicked!


Great details! Why doesn't the MSM provide the entire story for the readers to enjoy?

Keep up the great work CJ54!
.A couple points:

1.the CBC reporter's name is Terry Donnelly.

2. Someone asked Janet Winteringham as she was leaving the courtroom, if the next witness would be Allan Wallace of CIBC World Markets. She confirmed that it would be.
Neal Hall was standing nearby when this question was asked so he obviously overheard it.
There should be a Jack Webster Award for Citizen Journalists ... so that our CJ54 could win the tribute he/she really deserves.

Knowing he has added so much to the public understanding of events at the BC Rail Trial, is probably enough ... but I'd just like to add a THANK YOU.

It seems to me that the "staging" (for lack of a better word) of the trial is an important element in our understanding. This is where the Citizen Journalist is eloquent.

The absences of our Special Prosecutor-in-Chief is, for example, an important factor in assessing the due diligence of the players. Without a CJ in the courtroom, who knew about Berardino's repeated absences? At such a time during the actual trial, these absences are surprising, and worrying.

How Madam MacK conducts (as in an orchestra) the proceedings is conveyed in more ways than mere words. I like to know about that.

Anon 7:28 adds another vital piece to the puzzle of how news is gathered ... leaving more questions. Why is such vital information as the identity of the next witness merely tossed around as people rush to the exits? Is there no such thing as a Press Conference to update the public on the progress of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial?

Thanks in large part to Citizen Journalists, we actually have the opportunity to see the British Columbia tragedy being laid out before our eyes ... with BC Rail voices off-stage shouting for help ... to not forget, and never give up.

I do not exaggerate.
If jack Webster new his name would be associated with the likes of Bill Good and such, he would be 'spinning in his grave"!

We have no media, so to speak, we have the official government newspapers, who dutifully print all the news that fits.

In 'Lotus Land' the truth are lies and facts are invention. Democracy is totalitarianism and justice is tyranny.

Welcome to 1984 Oops I meant 2010 Gordo Land.
I watched Global news the other night for the first time in months at 6:16 i turned it off not a word not a peep about the latest farce going on.
Its more than shamful its criminal
thanks again Mary for all the post and stories that go here

The Jack Webster Award has gone from one, to thirteen. Missing is the Blogger for online journalism.

Maybe what we need here is our own Award, voted on by the writers/readers of blogs.
Anon 9:12 - I couldn't agree more!

We can be reasonably sure that when such awards are given, especially over stories as significant as the BC Rail Corruption Trial, other bloggers will pick up the trail giving said story a much wider audience.

Eventually, PoliticoMedia (MSM) will have to admit they've fallen to their knees in failure...but will it be enough to undo the harm they caused? Will they apologize to the public they're supposed to serve? Or will they just keep their hand out for another goody from the government - and sell another segment of their soul to those not fit to even untie Jack Webster's shoes?

If Jack were to come back today - he wouldn't go after Campbell first. He'd flay Good, Palmer, Baldrey, Clarke, Hall, and the rest of the government blanket alive! Deservedly so.
I love this part of Leah's comment:

If Jack were to come back today - he wouldn't go after Campbell first. He'd flay Good, Palmer, Baldrey, Clarke, Hall, and the rest of the government blanket alive! Deservedly so.

Now I'll ask the hard question: where would Jack Webster broadcast from, if he were with us today?

I'm pretty sure we still have good journalists with us these days; even fearless ones (no kidding) ... I might mention Robin Mathews, but also look up Patrick Brown ... and there are more ...)

They should be the stars of our media firmament, like Robert Fisk is a star, world-wide, for The Independent published in Britain.

It's on my mind a lot, these days.
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