Friday, July 30, 2010
DID THE VANCOUVER SUN BREACH THE PUBLICATION BAN WITH ITS JULY 8TH EDITORIAL?
By Citizen Journalist CJ54
On July 8th the Vancouver Sun published an ... editorial attacking the justice system. The editorial ... contained a number of errors and omissions which would have allowed a much more balanced viewpoint. In my opinion the Sun not only breached the publication ban imposed in this trial, they are also attempting to justify the stonewalling from the BC Government, the RCMP and the Special Prosecutor.
As I read the editorial, it soon became apparent to me that the Sun breached the publication ban with its reference to a number of pre-trial motions that were argued previously and not in front of the jury. On March 3, 2010, Madam Justice MacKenzie issued a publication ban which stated "The publication ban prohibits the publication in any document or broadcast or transmission of evidence, submissions, rulings and Reasons for Judgment given in this proceeding in the absence of the jury." Clearly, the Vancouver Sun editorial refers to previous decisions that were heard in the absence of the jury.
The publication ban went as far as to remove past Supreme Court decisions from the BC Supreme Court website. Presumably, it was an attempt to avoid people researching court decisions that may impact the impartiality of the jury and allow people to research the many questionable actions that have occured in the entire Legislature Raid affair. The publication ban stated, "As a result of this publication ban order, all of the rulings and Reasons for Judgment which were previously published on the Court's website have been removed." Similarly, the Supreme Court of Canada posted this response to the publication ban, "As a result of this publication ban order, the reasons for judgment [R. c. Basi, 2009 CSC 52,  3 R.C.S. 389] which were previously published on the LexUm website have been removed."
In an email from Ms. Leacock, Law Officer of the BC Supreme Court, to Robin Mathews, Ms. Leacock highlights the following sentence. "A person who breaches the ban by broadcasting information about what has happened in the court room when the jury is not present, is in breach of the ban, and guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."
The jury was not present for the pretrial motions discussed in the July 8th Vancouver Sun editorial. Will Ms. Leacock now contact the Vancouver Sun in the same manner?
Citizen Journalist from 54
The publication ban in its entirety from the BC Supreme Court website.
March 3, 2010
ANNOUNCEMENT - R. v. BASI, VIRK & BASI - PUBLICATION BAN
The accused in this proceeding have elected to be tried by judge and jury. Accordingly, Madam Justice MacKenzie has issued a publication ban order pursuant to s. 648 of the Criminal Code and the Court's inherent jurisdiction. Section 648 is an automatic publication ban which expires when the jury retires to consider its verdict. The Court's inherent jurisdiction was invoked to cover the period from when the jury retires to consider its verdict to when the jury renders its verdict.
The publication ban prohibits the publication in any document or broadcast or transmission of evidence, submissions, rulings and Reasons for Judgment given in this proceeding in the absence of the jury. This publication ban will expire when the jury renders its verdict.
As a result of this publication ban order, all of the rulings and Reasons for Judgment which were previously published on the Court's website have been removed. These rulings and Reasons for Judgment will be re-published when the publication ban expires.
That aside...I strongly doubt that Ms. Leacock or anyone else in government or justice, will have anything to say to the Vancouver Sun - other than "atta boy!, job well done!"
It seems as though we have 2 rules of conduct for our trustworthy citizen journalist, Robin Mathews et al and the provincial media.
Where can we contact Jill Leacock?
Best place on earth... for what? for whom?
Vancouver Sun - July 8, 2010
Basi-Virk case reflects badly on our justice system
If ever there was a case that would test our patience with our justice system, the Basi-Virk case is it.
Former B.C. ministerial assistants Dave Basi and Bob Virk have long faced allegations of leaking confidential information about the bidding process for BC Rail, and are on trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting benefits. Basi's cousin Aneal Basi is also on trial, facing charges of money laundering.
British Columbians are abundantly familiar with these names and charges since they've been in the news for 6½ years. It was on Dec. 23, 2003, that we first witnessed the "shocking raid" on the B.C. legislature, as cameras caught RCMP and Victoria police officers removing boxes from the building.
But the case dates back even further -- to the summer of 2002 when the RCMP and Victoria police launched an investigation involving drugs and organized crime. That investigation led to the arrests of nine people, and to a spinoff investigation that led to the legislature raid.
The public was provided with little information about the raid until March 2004 when the B.C. Supreme Court released a summary of the search warrants. And the investigation led to Basi and Virk being charged, but not until Dec. 21, 2004, almost a full year after the raid.
It took another year-and-a-half before things appeared ready for trial. The trial was scheduled to begin in June 2006, but was delayed for almost a year because of disclosure problems.
A pre-trial conference was then held in April 2007, but this led to more delays. In fact, one pre-trial matter made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled on whether defence lawyers should be allowed to attend an in-camera hearing involving a police informant. That issue wasn't resolved until late 2009.
That brings us to this year when the trial appeared finally to get on track. The trial began on May 18 -- one day late -- and ran smoothly for three days. It then took more than two weeks before it resumed, and almost immediately upon resuming, was beset by further delays. This means that for most of the seven-plus weeks of the trial, the jury has heard no testimony.
Needless to say, these delays, which centred on "legal arguments," have resulted in a reassessment of the expected length of the trial. Originally forecast to run six to eight weeks -- which means it would likely be over by now -- it's now expected to last 10½ months.
That estimate includes Christmas vacation time and also a break for the summer, which began Wednesday and lasts until the end of August. This means that 3½ months after the start of the trial, the jury will have heard from one witness.
Long trials are problematic for many reasons and become even more problematic when they are preceded by investigations and the resolution of pre-trial matters that last for years. One or more jurors could easily become unable to continue over the course of a long trial, thereby leading to the possibility of a mistrial. Witnesses too could become incapacitated or simply forget relevant details of the case.
There are reasons -- some plausible and some not -- for the delays in this case. Is it the charter provisions that put an onerous evidentiary burden on the Crown? Are the defence lawyers using every trick in the playbook to drag things out? Are the judges not using their authority to control the proceedings in court?
After more than six years of this, one has no choice but to ask these questions. And while there may be reasonable answers to each of these queries, getting, and keeping, the trial on track would be a good start.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Well of course it is on BC Mary's site.
Kootcoot says"The Vancouver Sun Reflects Badly on Journalism
It is kinda amusing that when the Vancouver Sun Editorial Board issues its "official" judgment on affairs nobody is willing to actually sign the piece.......
This morning's pathetic piece of editorial crap is so stunningly disingenuous that it is only fair (use) to reproduce the entire example of mis-direction and lies disguised as something illuminating. If Canned Waste of Trees thinks I've infringed on their copyright (and are willing to actually take credit for this crap) perhaps the author(s) would at least have to identify themselves to complain. Of course I will need to insert comments (italicized) to point out the myriad lies, distortions and omissions contained in this so-called editorial supposedly composed by educated masters of journalism.
Vancouver Sun July 8, 2010
no Author Story
Basi-Virk case reflects badly on our justice system
I still believe in the "What goes round etc"
Copyright law only confers the right to sue; and you did not post it, Anonymous did; yes, you approved it, but it's not like the Sun is going to risk the publicity resulting from their trying to sue you over an editorial which they published in contravention of a publication ban which they tacitly support.....all very confusing, but so are they, and so are we.
I continue to maintain the publication ban is illegal; so illegal Justice Mackenzie should be disbarred for imposing it. Unless perhaps she'd come clean and tell us who told her to.
Becoming ACJ so quickly has had to have some kind of price; marching orders in pursuit of a hatchet job - or payback for acting as ordered; that's the price. Oh, the price? Dignity, honour, legality....
Either ACJ Mackenzie and henchwoman Leacock must demonstrate the lack of a double standard we already know exists from the accreditation fiasco.
Charge the editors and publisher of the Sun with contempt. Either that of lift the publication ban.
I'd say the photographer broke the rule of NO GUNS, NO RECORDING DEVICES, NO CAMERAS.
bearing in mind the following question:
if THIS level of admitted guilt can be withheld from a jury -- are trials actually decided within the parameters of these suppressed decisions?
Oops. I'm on a Library computer again and it seems I can't copy-and-paste the Vancouver Sun link.
But the video can be found on the front page of today's Vancouver Sun: the Robert Pickton video.
I must say even without the sound on, I was horrified that Pickton ate, ate, ate without emotion as to what he was saying to the undercover cop. Eating, eating, eating as he described the killings.
And don't miss "the 15 other people" who are Pickton's friends, he said, and who should "go down" for about 100 murders ... [i.e., 2 x the 49 he admits to in this voir dire.
I believe that the release of this previously banned information will have an unsettling effect upon the jury (now in summker recess) awaiting to continue the BC Rail Trial of Basi, Virk, and Basi.
Why? Because the actual PROCESS of banning information (evidence) seems to reveal its flaws. It's hard to avoid the brutal fact that there's enough to convict in this video alone, it seems to me. So why didn't it?
Maybe all that legal wrangling should be done in open court; seems to me it would be more fair to the jury.
What do others think?
Just a reminder: I will not allow the gruesome Pickton details on this site; it's the BANNING PROCESS that we, at the BC Rail Corruption Trial, need to consider.