Tuesday, May 10, 2011
BC Rail: When the stench from the Special Prosecutor process cannot get thicker ... it does
The “Special Prosecutor” Process in B.C. A criminal conspiracy?
Where is the NDP Opposition? What is “fascism”?
By Robin Mathews
May 10, 2011
When the BC Rail Scandal criminal trial ended in a “deal” made in Hell, the Special Prosecutor’s claim that he arranged it all fell to fragments within hours as the responsibility for the $6 million paid to the Defence lawyers of Basi, Virk, and Basi by the Campbell government climbed up the ladder into the premier’s office.
That, now, is over-shadowed by the outrageous actions of Special Prosecutor Richard Peck in the Robert Dziekanski case. British Columbians believe the stench from the Special Prosecutor process cannot get thicker … and then it does – over and over and over.
Much less has been asked about the more than $12 million paid to the Special Prosecutor team in the BC Rail Scandal than has been asked about the measely $6 million paid to the Defence by … you, the taxpayer. The Special Prosecutor was appointed in violation of the legislation covering the appointment process and so should not have been permitted in the Courtroom, let alone paid luxuriously for his work.
That scandal topped the government payment of $6 million to the Defence who, at least, fought every step of the way on behalf of the accused … legitimately.
The wrongful appointment of the Special Prosecutor, William Berardino – in violation of the legislation – made his every move in the case questionable. And it made the final “deal” stink to high heaven. The question has to be asked: was William Berardino made Special Prosecutor in 2003 by his long-time former partners and colleagues Allan Seckel and Geoff Plant (Deputy AG and Attorney General, respectively) IN ORDER TO make sure justice wouldn’t be done in the case? The questions hangs in front of us all … and the answer is nowhere to be seen.
The NDP Opposition folded its hands and said absolutely … nothing, when it could have pulled down the Campbell government and shredded it all over the province. Was that because leading spokespeople for the NDP are lawyers? Members of the Law Society of B.C.? A very private club devoted to internal fidelity?
Or is there a far worse explanation for all the outrageous actions undertaken by men wrapped in the costume of “Special Prosecutor” and the silent approval they receive for their actions by the parliamentary opposition party in the province?
Now we have another member of that odious club, Special Prosecutor Richard Peck who has spent – yes – eleven months reading the Report by former justice Thomas Braidwood to come up with the lamest of recommended charges that could have come out of his almost year-long meditations over the Report. Were his meditations protracted to almost a year so that the public might forget the heinousness of the actions by the four RCMP officers in the death of Robert Dziekanski? Was the time protracted for the simple reason that the more time Richard Peck spent considering the matter, the more money he could charge … the taxpayer?
Did he come to his finding for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the facts of the case? Was he counselled to find no basis for charges of assault (and worse) against the men who tasered Robert Dziekanski five times, beginning 25 seconds after they came into his presence? Did he forget to look at the video that has – to quote Thomas Braidwood – “shocked and repulsed people around the world”?
Will his report be kept secret by the present B.C. Attorney General Barry Penner?
Those questions take us into consideration of a word and a phrase that have been getting growing currency in Canada since the Harperite Contempt of Parliament ruling and since perhaps the dirtiest and most undemocratic pre-federal election and election campaign in Canadian history.
The word is “fascism”. The phrase is “fascist behaviour”.
But first – a brief review of recent Special Prosecutor disasters.
There is the disaster of the appointment of William Berardino to the BC Rail Scandal criminal action in December of 2003 – against all principles of the B.C. Special Prosecutor legislation. That disaster led to the outrageous shut-down of the Basi, Virk, and Basi case before the major actors in the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR could appear as witnesses and face public cross-examination. The “accidents” of the trial all fell in favour of the Gordon Campbell/Christie Clark government and in favour of people who many in the province believe should have faced charges.
Then happened the almost incredible action of the then Attorney General, Wally Oppal, to search until he could find a willing Special Prosecutor to do his bidding in the Bountiful Bigamy matter.
Wally Oppal had been a Supreme Court judge and a judge of the Appellate Court. He could not claim ignorance of the actions he undertook as Attorney General to find a “willing” Special Prosecutor. He approached two men who refused to take a case against the Bountiful Bigamists because they knew, and they asserted that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had to be tested on the matter of religious bigamy. In each case, the highly informed, highly experienced, former top judge, Wally Oppal moved on to find someone who would violate the fundamental character of a Special Prosecutor.
He found such a man in Terrence Robertson who agreed to take the case against the Bountiful men. The Defence lawyer pointed out to the presiding judge the violations that had taken place, and she stopped the trial short, speaking of Wally Oppal’s Special Prosecutor shopping. Oppal was formally proved to have acted improperly.
His punishment? He has been named as the special investigator to do a review of the police processes (and more) that led to the failure to prevent the serial murder of women (especially aboriginal women) in the Downtown Eastside murders. Wally Oppal will probably take a few years, will probably “earn” a few million dollars in his very high appointment demanding full independence and public trust!
Terrence Robertson, in his turn, shortly after the fiasco of a terminated trial because of improper Special Prosecutor appointing – was appointed (January 2010) Special Prosecutor in the Kash Heed election spending catastrophe. He was forced to remove from that appointment when his firm was revealed to have contributed to the Kash Heed campaign (and after he had miraculously cleared Kash Heed of all involvement in wrongdoing).
We are dealing with Special Prosecutors here, but allegations of serious wrongdoing in the Kash Heed election refuse to go away – suggesting that not only are Special Prosecutors protected, but the people they are supposedly investigating are also alleged to be protected from legal actions that should be conducted against them.
Then Michael de Jong, in the revolving Attorney General portfolio, asked Stephen Owen (in conflict of interest) as UBC vice president in charge of government relations (!) to review the BC government’s process of appointing Special Prosecutors (2010). Mr. Owen did a fast whitewash, aided by two NDP figures – Leonard Krog and Mike Farnworth, neither of whom, it seems, found anything but praise to heap on the rotten process. Their names are listed among the people interviewed about the Special Prosecutor appointment process.
The net spreads wide. Top lawyers and Attorneys General. A UBC vice-president. An apparently uninterested Law Society of British Columbia. A former judge of the B.C. Supreme Court (Wally Oppal) and – in the William Berardino matter - the Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court who both refused more than once to act when formally approached on the matter of the wrongful appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor. Then top NDP figures have to be included who consent in virtual silence to matters about which the Opposition should be shouting to the people of the province. (An Opposition Party in the hands of the manipulators of law, justice, and Public Trust.)
And, now, we have Richard Peck, and the RCMP’s alleged involvement in misinformation and what may well be collusion in the alleged false testimony about heinous action involving the death of an innocent man. The fact that the reigning top RCMP officer British Columbia (Gary Bass) and the RCMP Commissioner in Ottawa, William Elliott, were involved early in support and apparent commendation of the four officers involved with the death of Robert Dziekanski will not be touched upon by a Special Prosecutor. [William Elliott is the first non-RCMP officer to be named top man at the RCMP – by Stephen Harper; and his role has been so questionable and contested that he is fired, to leave in a few months.] British Columbians had better take note.
They should take note, too, that with 11,000 lawyers in British Columbia the same members of the ‘luxury club’ are appointed over and over as Special Prosecutors. So jammy is the process that Richard Peck – appointed to recommend action from the Braidwood Report – was AT THE TIME – employed by the Criminal Justice Branch to REPRESENT that office in the inquiry into the 1998 death of Frank Paul – who, remember, was dumped into the alley by Vancouver police where Mr. Paul froze to death.
What we appear to be seeing here is the manifestation of what I earlier called the emerging word and phrase in Canada: “fascism” and “fascist behaviour”. The terms should not be treated lightly by anyone in Canada, now.
Fascism is a political system in which the rule of law is erased – in which the normal functions of democratic society that protect fundamental freedoms are by-passed, negated, nullified. The “police”, the “law”, and “the courts” become instruments of fascist behaviour.
Political parties become ciphers, accepting injustice and supporting it. The courts become instruments of corruption (as in the Basi, Virk, and Basi case). The police become instruments of the fascist system. (RCMP refused to investigate the actions of the wrongdoers in the BC Rail Scandal, and – according to Defence counsel – tailored their investigation to entrap Basi, Virk, and Basi, and to avoid any other wrongdoers, especially those connected to political power in the province).
It is a system (by definition) in which government and private corporations integrate to increase the power of both and to serve mutual interests against the interests of the population and of justice. Fascism unites private corporations and government as a single force. [In Nazi Germany corporations (which are still major names) accepted political victims of Nazi political policy and worked them to death in their factories, thereby gaining greater profits.]
Fascism early enrols police forces as partners in repression of the general population. In the process, police forces are given greater latitude in the exercise of random violence (as is being witnessed in B.C. and across the country).
The Mainstream Press and Media join the fascist direction as actors in the process of corporate/government integration and/or to curry favour and to gain advantages for their systematically organized false reporting.
The money and time spent on the Robert Dziekanski matter is a perfect example of burgeoning fascism in British Columbia. An apparent “search for justice”, it is in effect an interminable process of blocking, confusing, delaying, obscuring, covering-up so that justice is denied and fascist lawlessness becomes – more and more – unconsciously accepted by the larger population.
Robert Dziekanski was killed in Vancouver International Airport in October of 2007. Very soon a witness video proved the officers involved and the RCMP generally to have been misreporting the event. Swiftly charges should have been laid. All further time should have been spent investigating to win a criminal case. The matter should have been over in months. The punishment should have been clear and direct. The matter should have been closed – as the simple, visually proven, unacceptable violation of Canadian law that it was. That would have proved that the law and justice are alive and meaningful in British Columbia.
Instead, nearly four years later, the four men directly involved – and their senior officers who were in collusion – have not been touched and, many of them, never will be. Fascist behaviour is taking over law and justice in British Columbia. It must be seen as that. The dragging out of the Robert Dziekanski case is not a sign that the democratic search for justice is alive and well in Canada. The opposite. It is a sign that fascist behaviour is on the rise and prevails more and more in our society. It must be publicly described as that. It must be reported to Canadians for what it is. Only by becoming super-conscious of the consortium devoted to fascism in Canada do Canadians have a chance of defeating that consortium.
Get your facts right.
"Fascism early enrols police forces as partners in repression of the general population. In the process, police forces are given greater latitude in the exercise of random violence (as is being witnessed in B.C. and across the country)."
To see an example that proves this, note that in Governor Scott Walker's assault on the public sector unions in Wisconsion (as well as most of the public) the also unionized police were granted special bargaining rights, as obviously the fascist Walker needs to keep them onside.
"Robert Dziekanski was killed in Vancouver International Airport in October of 2007. Very soon a witness video proved the officers involved and the RCMP generally to have been misreporting the event. Swiftly charges should have been laid. All further time should have been spent investigating to win a criminal case. The matter should have been over in months. The punishment should have been clear and direct. The matter should have been closed – as the simple, visually proven, unacceptable violation of Canadian law that it was. That would have proved that the law and justice are alive and meaningful in British Columbia."
As we all know, instead the leader of the RCMP gang or kill squad, Monty Robinson, went on paid vacation (and still is as far as I know, how many years later?), during which, less than a year later he got drunk and ran over and killed a motorcycle rider and eventually was charged with something onerous like "undue care and attention" rather than the more appropriate DUI causing death or vehicular homicide in glaring contrast to the poor woman who killed the young girl feeding the horses who became the subject of a lengthy investigation involving undercover officers gaining her confidence and taking trips to Vancouver Island to gain the admission that she had actually drank two or three glasses of wine. I'm pretty confident that Monty Robinson was twice or three times as drunk as that unfortunate woman who will undoubtably see the inside of a gaol, perhaps escorted there by Monty Robinson, if he isn't still on PAID holidays.
I'm certainly not encouraging anyone to drink and drive, unless of course you are either a cop or an MLA (Jane Thornwhaithe) or Premier and in a jurisdiction where it is a misdemeanor (Gordo the Goon) and then apparently it is acceptable!
From the top of, Campbell's corrupt food chain, right down to the bottom, and everything between, was rotten to the core. And, nothing has changed.
We have seen the corrupt court and judges, regarding Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR trial. What a farce!!
We have seen the judicial system, let the RCMP's crimes, (just as bad as the criminals they arrest), get off with a years paid vacation, and a transfer to another detachment.
The corrupt Elections BC. Campbell's non stop lying and thieving. The Liberals propaganda media machines. Fascism and dictatorship. There has been a stench hanging over this province for over 10 years.
Harper is no better. He is another fascist and dictator, arrogant, vindictive, and Campbell's best buddy. Their personalities, are identical.
Must read the whole Debate on this. but here is a part of it, note the mention of approval on Oct.8th.
"Hon. B. Penner: I'll quote again from the statement of October 20, 2010.
"A major consideration was the relatively small amounts that might be recovered from Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk, compared to the millions of additional dollars it would cost the government to continue to fund defence, prosecution and court-related costs through to the completion of the trial and to fund any appeals, with no guarantee of convictions.
"Based on the above, in our respective capacities, the Deputy Minister of Finance and I" — in this case it's referring to the Deputy Attorney General — "decided to release Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk from their liability to repay. I communicated that decision to the Attorney General on October 8, 2010."
That's referring to my predecessor.
One has to assume that professional public servants would only intend to conduct themselves lawfully, and you can draw whatever other inference you'd like. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]
L. Krog: Well, given that the Deputy Attorney General is sitting right beside the Attorney General at the present time and provides legal advice to the Crown, I'm wondering if you can turn to him and inquire: what's the lawful authority for this deal to be made? "
Krog as Opposition Justice critic has been a major disappointment for a long time. But not so much, yesterday.
Thanks to E.M. for the Hansard link. It's well worth a read:
It wouldn't have been all that onerous for the province to recover at least some of Basi and Virk's legal expenses, considering the fact that the government was holding signed pledges to at least some of their vast real estate holdings ALREADY. Nope the government paid their expenses, not to save the further expense of continuing the trial, but to BUY their silence.
Poor folks on Welfare or disability on the other hand, who sometimes through intentional or unintentional fraud, or even due to errors by the ministry, not having any secrets to hold over Campbell and gang, arent' so lucky and the government is willing to spend whatever it takes to recover overpayments, no matter what the reason, even if the cost of recovery is more the the amount recovered and it can only be recovered by deducting it from future welfare of disability cheques.
I read the BC Legislature detate f Krog and Penner with interest, but I did not see anything remarkable about Krog's questions or Penners deflections. Penner didnt bite. He didnt say anything, stupid, brilliant, or terribly insightful, or damaging yet truthful. He just deflected away.
If I missed it, please point out where Krog bated Penner and Penner fell hook line and sinker, having Penner admit the Liberals for the liars we all suspect they are.
Its unbeleiveable to me that the Basi trial cost us more than did defending Inderjit Singh Malik re the Air India bombing.
Did I get that right?
How was that ever allowed to happen? My and your tax dollars fed to a bottomless pit to defend liars, guilty as sinners?
Apparently you haven't been following Leonard Krog's gentle stroll through his years as Opposition Justice Critic,
or you'd readily understand the change which has suddenly come over the man.
It's all here, if you care to enter L. Krog in the search box above. Especially the July 15, 2009 doube-cross where he could've done something and didn't.
Re LEADER POST article about policy that allowed Basi/Virk to plead guilty and not have to pay their own losing legal defence.
I am glad Krog is hammering on this. It is a crime to think that in a day of restraint, closing of elementary schools, program cut-backs, that the Province would fund lawyers in such a cavalier fashion.
One thing re client-solicitor privilege. Privilege remains with the client, not the lawyer.
Penner is saying that he cannot release the waiver becuase of privilege. Therefore its a simple matter of having he client waive privilege.
VBut who is the client? The province of BC, or Basi Virk?
Privilege can be claimed by a govt (or any organization) re advise provided by their inhouse counsel.
If the client is the province of BC, then this would be of public interest and the Minister should waive privilege.
If Basi/Virk, the ask Basi Virk to waive privilege.
Hasnt Basi gone n record that he wants to preserve all documents re the trial for the purposes of publc disclosure?
Wasnt Basi crying about having to give documents back to the govt, braying like a stung jack-ass that the govt will destroy documents and ruin the effectiveness of any future inquiry?
Well here is Basi's opportunity to waive privilege for the good of the province.
Krogg should ask Basi/Virk to waive privilege. Then Penner would have no choice but to hand over the Waiver and other documents.
Its that simple.
It is perfectly true. We have fascist behavior, a dictatorship regime, made complete with the Brown Shirts.
We have a province made filthy by, the BC Liberal crime family. They have done Hitler proud. Hitler's thousand year Reich, is alive and thriving.
Too bad our young Canadian boys during WW11, got blown to bits for absolutely nothing. The politicians and the RCMP, even have the gall to attend, the Armistice day services. Goddamned bunch of stinking hypocrites.
The BC judges are demanding, salary hikes through the roof. We need a damned good purge of the corrupt judges, and they need to be fired. There isn't a BC citizen, that doesn't know how corrupt, the judicial system is. This is a disgrace. Corruption should have no place in the courts.
However, the police, don't exactly uphold the law either. The obliging judges, always lets them off, murders and all.
There seems to be a set of laws for the upholders of the law, and the everyday citizens, get the book thrown at them. Judges certainly never get tried for corruption.
Krog knows or ought to know that the privilege remains with the client, and only the client can waive privilege.
If Krog wants the document, Penner has just told him where the key is hidden and it should be no problem for a savy politician to get the key and open the box.
If Krogg doesnt know this, heaven help the man. I suspect Basi/Virk will not cooperate and will not waive privilege. But you never know ...
All this is known.
Tell him anyway. Think of it as keeping the spotlight shining on key elements.
S.o.a. [sitting on a**] rarely accomplishes anything. [See Krog.]
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