Thursday, April 19, 2007


The Grand Opening of a Trial That Isn't

By Robin Mathews

... April 18, Courtroom 54. In the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Finally - the trial of Basi, Basi, and Virk - a splash-off from the rotten sale of BC Rail and the odious cancellation of the intended government sale of the Roberts Bank spur line is here. Finally (after years of delay) that trial - announced with fanfare - started on April 18.

Except it didn't.

Basi, Basi, and Virk were nowhere to be seen. The absurdity of the pretence that the trial had begun seemingly escaped almost all the circle of journalists present and working for the Gordon Campbell government. There may be a sicker set of journalists in Canada but if there is, it will be hard to find.

The Grand Opening of the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial was held without Basi, Basi, and Virk, and without the Special Crown Prosecutor, William Berardino. The reason? Because it wasn't the beginning of the trial at all. It was another pre-trial hearing. Perhaps the Supreme Court of British Columbia has mismanaged the whole Basi, Basi, and Virk matter so massively, it decided the trial must pretend to begin. That is entirely possible. It pretended to begin on April 18.

Ably, clearly, with careful preparation, Defence counsel Kevin McCullough (for Bobby Singh Virk) took up the matter of the February 26 Application for Disclosure of evidence withheld from the Defence. And he began work that would (as he remarked) take up the next few days to bring some matters in that Application to finished argument.

Before the trial of Basi, Basi, and Virk can begin the Defence will - as pre-trial business - argue that RCMP violations of legal processes invalidate evidence necessary to the Crown's case. The Defence will argue as well that the Charter rights of men charged have been so badly violated that the charges must be nullifed.

Until those matters are decided there can be no trial of Basi, Basi, and Virk. If the matters are decided in favour of the charged men, there will be no trial at all. And so, obviously, the trial did not begin on April 18. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett declared that it did. All the sedate journalists nodded in agreement. CanWest's Vancouver Sun (April 18) carried a tiny, tortured, mangle of a story that completely obscured the fact that the charges against the men are still in significant argument. And it announced that the "criminal corruption trial of two former senior government aides begins today." That is strange. It didn't, and since 2004 the number charged has been three ...

Read the full story at Vive le Canada:

Thank you Robin. Thats what I have been saying since the absurd announcement that the "trial was starting" and everybody rushed to the court house because canwest decided they wanted to jump on board and write about a trial (the phantom trial). Maybe now that you have stated the obvious people will calm down and realize this is yet another false start!!
ing WARNING warning WARNING warning WARNING warn

Comments are very welcome here on this Legislature Raids blog. Much encouragement and important new information comes in via these comments.

But within the past 10 minutes there have been two comments which seek to put down or insult others. They offer nothing constructive; they waste everyone's time and goodwill.

Be forewarned.

Comments which contain nothing better than a haughty effort to hurt others, will be deleted on arrival. That kind of commenter can either shape up and be civil -- or they can go find themselves a new hobby elsewhere.

This B.C. Rail Trial is important. We need to pay attention. And most definitely we need to pull together.

I'm willing to do the work of keeping this informational web-site going. I don't expect everybody to love everything I post all the time. But I do expect you to be civil -- toward me, and toward one another. Nothing less.

That way, we might end up with something better than we started with.

And warm thanks to those who give parts of their day to sending me news, views or encouragement. It sure makes the difference.

Well, anonymous 4:42, I dunno where you've been the last while, but there's been plenty written about the preliminaries (the voir dire, the application for disclosure, the charter challenge) which presumably will give way to the trial. And it all got rolling on 18 April 2007.

All we crazies have done is take Madam Justice Bennett's word for it, you silly man. When SHE said that the trial would begin on 18 April 2007 we of course got all hysterial (ya think?) and when she booked the courtroom for 120 days (you didn't believe it, did you) and asked the lawyers if they had a problem with the fact that she had taught a law course with some of the witnesses in it, clearing the decks for The Trial, you, you silly man, think we made that all up out of our pretty little heads?

How important is it for you to demonstrate that you're Mr Knowitall, for cryin' out loud.

Pls see WARNING above.
Sorry to disagree with you Mary. I never heard Justice Bennett say the trial started on April 18, did you?? Lets ask Robin Matthews this question. I only heard canwest report the trial was starting on April 18. If you have a direct quote from Justice Bennett than I stand to be corrected. We have had 6, countem 6 dates that have been set, holidays for lawyers confrimed, court time booked etc. etc. This is all fluff, it doesn't mean a thing. Thank God for an intelligent man like Robin who reports completely accurate stories about exactly what happens in court. I am merely standing by and reaffirming my position that, thanks to Robin has proven to be correct. The trial did not start on April 18, this is a continuation of motions that began in October 2006. As I said, if you can find me an exact quote from the judge that states "this trial will start on April 18" then I stand to be corrected.
High five, BC Mary - As usual, it takes a woman to have the courage to put the truth on the table & say it like it is. Carry on . . . doing what you are doing.

If the trial gets thrown out because of the allegations coming forward by the Defense, not the least of which is the elephant in the room :Insp. DeBruyckere's glaring conflict of interest being the brother-in-law of BC Liberal Executive Director Kelly Reichert . . . . then isn't that exactly in the best interests of the high profile, BC Liberal, political suspects in this case? Make the trial go away.

How many high profile trials involving misconduct/corruption by high profile politicians, bureaucrats & their minions get Dismissed our thrown out of court?

I will repeat: It is rumoured that there are other politically sensitive files that Insp. DeBruyckere was handed in recent months Is there a pattern here, folks?

Different details - same operating 'Circle' of vested interests involved with VERY LONG ARMS.
secondlook: many thanks for kind words. Much appreciated.

I hope others will read what you've said and add to it.

Anon 6:00 PM, I've just had another 15-hour day at this computer and I'm not about to chase up the comments you'd like to have re-verified. How about YOU do it.
Fair enough, I will try and chase that down. You do work very hard on this, I thank you for that.
Secondlook - that is exactly what I was thinking. The Crown seeming to look incompetent, not disclosing information,etc. seems to be designed to allow the lawyers for the accused to argue for dismissal of charges. Of course, if there is no trial, no information will come out - just when the media is reporting that Campbell's liberals are at an all time high in the polls.
This stinks in more ways than one.
Kevin Falcon has been reported as saying he's frustrated with the amount of time it's taking Transport Canada to complete it's investigation of the sinking of the Queen of the North.
He hasn't expressed any such concern over the three year plus delay in the BC Rail Trial. I expect we're going to find out just why he hasn't been so anxious to see the facts of this matter disclosed
To amplify my comment above & how this 'Circle' play their game, please read my comment under the story posted: Meeting to discuss B.C. Rail Trial . . . Prince George, Mary 16 7:00 pm. regarding another huge case covered up. It's all about keeping the 'circle' tight - containing the evidence.

Can you give us some specifics?

It had to happen, didn't it? But so soon? When a defence lawyer explains that a criminal act can't be a criminal act if it's a political act, in this quote:

"But Mr. McCullough said police dropped Mr. Collins as a suspect after that meeting when they realized he was in a position to disclose information or award consolation prizes, "and none of that would be illegal," because it could fall into the realm of political decision making."

And oh, what a magical realm that must be. Now don't we all feel better just knowing this?
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