Saturday, June 30, 2007


The Lord says: "Revenge is Mine." What do B.C. Supreme Court Judges say?


Someone who knows about these things said, "Robin's comments today sound so very Canadian." Therefore, it seems fitting that we honour Canada's 140th anniversary by presenting the thoughts of the man who fought so successfully to get Canadian Studies into Canadian schools: Professor Robin Mathews ...


Robin Mathews

The mills of the gods - and of the B.C. Supreme Court judges - grind exceedingly slow. In the case of B.C. Supreme Court judges, however, they can speed up wonderfully. If demonstrators are trying to save B.C. forests, the B.C. Supreme Court can act with lightning speed to lower its fist on anyone who offends a big Yankee corporation or Gordon Campbell. Or if a huge private corporation (Alcan) wants - with (premier) Gordon Campbell's and (attorney general) Wally Oppal's assistance - to grab the Nechako River from British Columbians, the Supreme Court of B.C. can polish off the opposition in no time. It can do it, moreover, with a decision that has more holes in it than the B.C. Ferries' Queen of the North presently lying on the ocean floor of (or near) Wright Sound.

When Gordon Campbell and/or big corporations want something, the B.C. Supreme Court can give new meaning to the phrase "greased lightning".

But what if an investigation involves (and possibly implicates) Gordon Campbell, cabinet ministers, "friends" of cabinet ministers, highly placed B.C. politicos, and - say - the dirty sale of an asset owned by the people of B.C. Then it's a different story with the Supreme Court of B.C.

Then the Supreme Court of B.C. becomes positively sluggish - and more than sluggish. Then it becomes secretive, obstructive, and - as I've experienced it - even rude and dismissive. What possibly could be the reason, you ask? Could it be that some Supreme Court of B.C. judges consider themselves personal employees, "vassals in servitude" to Gordon Campbell? Surely not!

A mark of the BC Rail scandal - out of which have come the Basi, Virk, and Basi charges of criminal fraud and breach of trust - has been intolerable secrecy on the part of B.C. Supreme Court judges.

To go ahead of myself briefly, I have tried to break the intolerable (and I believe grossly unconstitutional) secrecy which involves Supreme Court judge decision-making about information on public record and their servitude to a nearly universal gag-order placed on all documents and records in criminal proceedings - on all materials which are, in fact, on public record but denied to the public. On three occasions Chief Justice Donald Brenner has apparently refused to acknowledge a request that he review the odious gag order and write a letter to me about it that I can make public.

Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm is author of the odious gag order called "The Criminal Justice Practice Direction (Consolidated)". Since Chief Justice Brenner refuses even to acknowledge a direct request for review of the gag order, I have formally (with copies to Patrick Dohm) asked for a copy of it to examine. Twice. So far. I will go on asking for a copy, and asking, and asking.

Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm signed the warrants to search, issued on December 24, 2003, covering a number of people's offices and residences and covering the - now famous - "raids" upon legislature offices. When a search (authorized by a "warrant") has been completed, the search warrant becomes a public property. It is placed on "public record", available to all. Patrick Dohm, however, "sealed" the search warrants in question for nine months, and then - we are told - he released them.

He did not release them.

He released a document with 58 pages completely blanked out, 24 partially blanked out, and 40 pages left untouched (by my count). The search warrants were signed on December 24, 2003. The charges against Basi, Virk, and Basi were laid in December of 2004. Going on towards three years after the charges were laid, the search warrants have not been released. Of the 40 pages untouched 37 (by my count) deal with Basi, Virk, and Basi who were not charged when the document was released in September 2004, and who - by the way - are still "innocent" men.

Questions must arise. (1) If more than half the document can never be placed on public record, were the activities permitted the RCMP illicit, in fact? Or (2) Is Patrick Dohm protecting people from embarrassment, people who were fairly searched, who were involved - in some way, legal or illegal - with the dirty BC Rail scandal and now want to be protected from reasonable public knowledge carried in the search warrants? OR (3) The very worst possibility - which cannot under the circumstances of secrecy be discounted: would readers of the search warrant document reasonably suspect some people named in blanked out passages of criminal activity?

Whatever the case, a pall of doubt and suspicion hangs over the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter as a result of the, in fact, failure to release the search warrants authorized by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm on December 24, 2003.

The doubts expressed are not strange nor are they extreme. That is because law, experience, and judicial practice have insisted that on the completion of search the warrants become public property. To violate that practice is to invite reasonable suspicion. The pall hangs over the courtroom where Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett presides. She was seized with the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter and has, obviously, agreed to the refusal, in fact, to place the search warrants on public record.

Madam Justice Bennett has excited a number of questions. All of them, however uncomfortable, are questions that may fairly be asked - and should be asked. They are NOT asked by the large, private, for-profit media corporations like CanWest or the Globe and Mail or B.C.'s TV stations. Have those organizations agreed to keep quiet? Have they agreed the wholesale denial of documents and day to day transcripts is fine with them?

Over the months I have asked if Madam Justice Bennett has been seriously lax in ordering the release of evidence needed by the Defence. I have asked if there is collusion among the Crown, the RCMP, and the Gordon Campbell government - with a too pacific court looking on. I believe that in a scandal of the dimensions of the BC Rail scandal the judge may have to intervene in order to serve justice and the people of B.C. She might, in that regard, have sped up the disclosure process and suggested and then responded positively to requests to cross-examine "delinquent" RCMP officers, present or former cabinet ministers, political operatives who apparently used "influence" in the scandal. She has not done those things, and, indeed, has nixed a Defence counsel request to cross-examine the Special Crown Prosecutor, William Berardino, and the lawyer for so-called Star Witness Erik Bornmann on the absence of any documents relating to "deals" made with Mr. Bornmann concerning his witness status.

I have repeatedly asked Madam Justice Bennett to release documents on public record and day to day transcripts of open court hearings. I have been refused. I believe I have been misled, obstructed, and manipulated. Finally, I have to ask the reader: have I been misinformed, deliberately misled - apparently purposefully - by Madam Justice Bennett through the court officer, H. L. McBride, who responds for the judge?

Before describing the precise situation, I must explain. I have refused to accept the unstated and, in some cases, unconscious pact made among the court, the courtiers, the Court Party, (and the courtesans) - the judge, the lawyers, the media/press, etc. to "go along", to stop short of embarrassing questions, to be uncritical. I have refused to be silent about possible faults in Madam Justice Bennett. I have refused to be silent about the outrageous gag order controlling all information on public record which she supports and upholds from day to day. And I have refused to be silent about the existence of the possibly "really guilty" people in the BC Rail Scandal.

My requests for release of materials under the gag order, and the responses to the requests have now reached the ridiculous stage. I wrote to ask for documents and was told by H. L. McBride that I must write to the Chief Justice or to Madam Justice Bennett and request documents. I wrote to both. The Chief Justice informed me (through H. L. McBride) that Justice Bennett was seized with the matter and she is in control and he can say or do nothing. H.L. McBride, it seems, didn't know what she was talking about.

Justice Bennett, through McBride, informed me, after I had written Justice Bennett as I was advised to do, that I had to fill in Form One, distribute it to all parties, and appear in order to argue for release of materials. That was NOT what McBride first wrote, and I believe she added more hoops to jump through in order to get rid of me. I wrote as much to Madam Justice Bennett.

The wonderful H. L. McBride replied that she had not changed her story (!). She refused even to refer to the Chief Justice. Then (June 20, 2007) after I replied, H.L. McBride wrote and insisted upon the Form One procedure. She was adamant. There was a process to go through and I wasn't going to be specially exempted. Let us see what she wrote:

"To reiterate, if you wish to obtain access to the court file materials in this proceeding, you must make formal application to Madam Justice Bennett pursuant to the Supreme Court Criminal Rules. The Supreme Court Criminal Rules require, among other things, that formal notice be served on all the parties to this proceeding and that the application be spoke to [H.L. McBride means "spoken to".] The Supreme Court Criminal Rules are available on the Court's website."

Was Ms. McBride, in fact, saying: "if the court disapproves of you and if the court wishes to take revenge, you will be shown what a merry dance you can be set to dance?" Except I won't dance. I will simply go on telling Canadians what, as a relatively ordinary Canadian observing the court proceedings, I have learned and what I have become increasingly convinced I see as active bias, dubious process, intolerable suppression of materials on public record, contempt for ordinary Canadians, and, alas, reason for an awakening suspicion of corruption deeply seated in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. I won't dance, but I will report my observations freely, as I may do in a free society.

What makes me wonder if I have been deliberately misinformed and misled?

I wrote to Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett on June 7 rejecting the bureaucratic dance H.L. McBride had newly set up - as unnecessary and obstructive, because my earlier request was perfectly clear. I suggested I was being purposefully obstructed. The reply to that is, in part, quoted above - an insistence that there are formal procedures to follow.

Not until a few days later did I learn that - almost at the same time as the little charade about formal process was going on - "court file materials in this proceeding" were released without "formal application", without being "pursuant to the Supreme Court Criminal Rules". Material was released, almost casually, without "formal notice being served on all parties to this proceeding". In fact, materials were released without any of the ridiculous mumbo-jumbo being forced upon me.

What happened?

Quite simple. Apparently, - as far as I am able to tell - one of the representatives of the Globe and Mail - a large, private, for-profit corporation - had a chat with a Defence Counsel member, asking for (in Court File No. 23299) the Notice of Application For Production of Records In The Possession Of The Province of British Columbia, stamped as received by Criminal Registry, June 4, 2007.

It was a breeze.

A few words passed in the courtroom. Nods and smiles. And on the informal request by the Globe and Mail Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett released to it, almost then and there, the Notice of Application. Of course, it had to be generally released so that no show of favouritism would appear. Of course.

Does the reader think I was misinformed, misled about how to get materials? Does the reader think that I alone am forced for some special reason through the complicated, "formal" procedure to get "court file materials in this proceeding"? Could there be something distinctly fishy here?

Of course not. All such suspicions should be dismissed. The court can't show favouritism, under any condition, we know that. If it does, all of its activities come under suspicion. The court wasn't favouring the Globe and Mail, a large, for-profit, private corporation. Of course not. We all know that if I had casually asked to have the Notice of Application by the Defence (June 4) released, Madam Justice Bennett would have smiled broadly, shrugged, and said: "What the hell. I don't see anyone protesting. Does anyone protest? Okay, why not. Sure." And in the twinkling of an eye I would have had that material from the "court file materials in this proceeding" in the same way that the Globe and Mail got it. Of course. (Though that doesn't explain why I can't get the materials I ask for.)

I want to emphasize the point that there is no favouritism in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and no judge acts (or judges there ever act) out of a desire for revenge. We all know that.


Thursday, June 28, 2007


Ontario Law Society to discuss scheduling of Erik Bornmann's "good character" hearing at a meeting on Tuesday July 3 in Toronto


Bill Tieleman 29 June 2007

The key Crown witness in the breach of trust and fraud trial of former BC Liberal ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk - lobbyist Erik Bornmann - continues his efforts to become an Ontario lawyer on Tuesday July 3 in Toronto.

The Law Society of Upper Canada confirmed Thursday that a scheduling meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss when Bornmann's "good character" hearing will take place.

Read more at:



CBC documentary on Sikh Separatist Movement and its impact on Canadian politics - tonight on The National

Last night, I saw "Political Culture", the CBC documentary by Terry Milewski about the Sikh Separatist Movement in Canada, on The National. It's a brilliant documentary which first of all makes you wonder where the mainstream media has been hiding out. How could they have failed to notice this glorification of political violence?

The documentary is available to watch anytime (I hope many people will watch it -- but see below) at:

Why watch "Political Culture"? Well, I needed to see it to believe it ... the vivid illustrations of the lengths politicians will go to, for those bundles of votes. Because, as one of the Sikh militants explained, it's easy to go to a Canadian politician and say: "We can defeat you, or we can deliver 10,000 votes." Think of that, as you watch these familiar politicians performing like trained monkeys at Sikh functions.

See Gordon Campbell bowing and scraping in his floor-length gown. Check out Jack Layton in his makeshift turban bawling in Punjabi to the congregation. See the proud displays of portraits of convicted assassins. Stephane Dion was there, also Penny Priddy, and more -- from all political parties. Ujjal Dosanjh was assisting in the narration/interpretation and came across almost as a statesman.

The most desperately chilling comment came, I thought, from Terry Milewski himself as he explained that for organized Sikh militants "Legal mainstream political action is now preferred to political assassination ..." The documentary had just been explaining the assassination of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. And the murder of Tara Singh Hayer, the Surrey BC editor. And the Air India disaster.

Well ... I just had some difficulty trying to use that link ... I hope that geekier others have better luck. Meantime, I hope that the Mother Corp will forgive me for printing the following:

Young men [in photo] wear International Sikh Youth Federation T-shirts at a Vaisakhi Parade, April 7, 2007, in Surrey, B.C. The ISYF is banned as a terrorist organization by the governments of Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and India. (CBC)

Sikh extremism enters mainstream Canadian politics

Symbols and suits
Last Updated June 28, 2007
By Terry Milewski, CBC News

Every year, Canada's Sikh community enjoys colourful spring parades to mark Vaisakhi Day — the anniversary of the Sikh religion. But a disturbing brand of extremist politics has surfaced at some of these parades. The insignia of illegal organizations were on display this year at the parade in Surrey, B.C., and floats featured "martyr" pictures of Sikhs who the Canadian government considers guilty of terrorist crimes.
Martyrs portrayed on a parade float include Talwinder Parmar, left, the leader of the Air India bomb plot, which took 331 lives on June 23, 1985. (CBC) The Khalistan flag is escorted on the Vaisakhi parade route in Surrey, B.C., on April 7, 2007. (CBC)

These shaheeds, or martyrs, are said by their supporters to be heroes of the armed struggle by Sikh extremists to carve out an independent nation called Khalistan in the Indian state of Punjab.

It was Khalistan separatists who blew up Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985. The bombing killed 329 passengers and crew, most of them Canadians. A second bomb killed two baggage handlers who were moving luggage to another Air India flight at Narita Airport in Tokyo.

Bomb-maker Inderjit Singh Reyat of Duncan, B.C., was convicted in both bombings. But the bomb plot leader, Talwinder Singh Parmar, fled the country in 1988 and was killed by the Indian police in 1992.
Martyr picture of Talwinder Singh Parmar, framed with gold tinsel, is displayed on a float at the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade, on April 7, 2007. (CBC)

Talwinder Parmar was the founder of the Babbar Khalsa, which is officially listed as a terrorist organization in the European Union, Canada, India, and the United States. Canadian courts have established that that Parmar was the mastermind of the Air India bombing. That makes him the worst mass murderer in Canadian history. Even so, Parmar was portrayed as a shaheed on two of the parade floats in Surrey this year.

Two leading Sikh politicians refused to attend the Surrey parade, saying it amounted to a glorification of terrorism. But many other politicians did attend — Conservative, Liberal and NDP. None of them condemned the Parmar pictures.

This silence shocked the Indian government and moderate Sikhs across Canada. They raised questions such as:
How does a separatist movement from halfway around the world still flourish in Canada, after taking hundreds of Canadian lives?
How can a mass murderer be honoured as a hero, without political leaders making any complaint?

Ajaib Singh Bagri, left, with a friend at the Surrey Vaisakhi parade on April 7, 2007. Bagri was co-founder of the Babbar Khalsa. "Until we kill 50,000 Hindus, we will not rest," he told the founding convention of the World Sikh Organization in 1984. (CBC)

Vaisakhi Day in Surrey, B.C.

On April 7, 2007, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and various federal and provincial politicians attended the Vaisakhi Day parade in Surrey, run by the Dashmesh Darbar temple.

The temple committee, with Khalistan logos on their jackets, took the stage alongside the politicians. Among them was Satinderpal Singh Gill, a former senior leader of the International Sikh Youth Federation. Since 2003, the ISYF, like the Babbar Khalsa, has been officially listed in Canada as an illegal terrorist organization.

Also attending the parade were two early supporters of the Babbar Khalsa: its co-founder, Ajaib Singh Bagri, and Ripudaman Singh Malik. Both were close associates of Talwinder Parmar and both were acquitted at the Air India bombing trial.

Parmar and the Air India bombing

The Dashmesh Darbar temple committee approved both of the floats bearing pictures of Talwinder Parmar. Parmar played a central role in the 1985 Air India bombing, although Sikh militants often claim otherwise.

At the trial of Malik and Bagri, Mr. Justice Ian Bruce Josephson of the B.C. Supreme Court concluded:

"These hundreds of men, women and children were entirely innocent victims of a diabolical act of terrorism unparalleled until recently in aviation history and finding its roots in fanaticism at its basest and most inhumane level.… Now deceased, Talwinder Singh Parmar is generally acknowledged by both Crown and defence to have been the leader in the conspiracy to commit these crimes."

Three weeks before the bombing of Flight 182, Parmar was tailed by two CSIS officers to Vancouver Island, where he met Reyat for a test bombing.
Reyat was convicted twice — first for the Narita bomb and then for the Air India bomb. The two trials established that he assembled the bomb components and that he did so at the request of Talwinder Parmar.
Prior to the bombing, Parmar publicly urged attacks on Indian targets and said he would take the responsibility for such attacks on his shoulders. He was seen preaching that "Indian planes will fall from the sky" and urging his followers to "kill 50,000 Hindus."
CSIS wiretaps showed Parmar plotting to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi, who had succeeded his mother, Indira Gandhi, as India's prime minister. The wiretaps also suggest that Parmar kept in close touch with other suspects in the Air India conspiracy, including Reyat, and that he ordered the booking of the plane tickets.
Talwinder Singh Parmar, founder of the Babbar Khalsa, as portrayed on a Vaisakhi parade float in Surrey, B.C., on April 7, 2007. (CBC)

Even so, Parmar is revered as a martyr by Sikh extremists in Canada. Dashmesh Darbar temple president Sudager Singh Sandhu told CBC News "it's not proved he's terrorist. I can say you're a terrorist. You can say me a terrorist. It's easy to terrorist everybody.

"I love him. He's a great man. Because he never guilty," Sandhu added.

A spokesman for the temple, Manmohan Singh, insisted that Parmar is a martyr. "Talwinder Parmar is a martyr of the Sikh nation," he said.

When it was suggested that Parmar led the organization that carried out the bombing, Singh replied: "He claimed to be the leader, he said it, but that doesn't mean he's proven it. I can say anything, I can do that, that doesn't mean I am doing that."

What did the politicians say?

After the April 7, 2007, Vaisakhi parade in Surrey, B.C., Conservative MP Jim Abbott, who represented Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the parade, told CBC News he was "flabbergasted" to hear of these displays at the parade. Asked if he would have gone if he had known of them beforehand, Abbott replied, "no." The CBC reported that — but, four days later, Abbott reversed his position in an e-mail , saying "I will vigorously defend this event along with thousands of Canadians of Sikh faith who won't tolerate such a linkage."

However, Abbott's revised position was not adopted by the government. Asked if the Prime Minister endorsed Abbott's statement, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney later said that the Conservatives probably would not have attended if they had known in advance of the extremism on display, and would be more careful in future.
Sukh Dhaliwal speaks at the Surrey Vaisakhi parade on April 7, 2007. At centre on Dhaliwal's left is Satinderpal Gill, a former senior leader of the banned International Sikh Youth Federation. (CBC)

Conservative MP Nina Grewal, who also attended the parade, declined to be interviewed.

Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal was asked if he found the displays at the parade problematic. He did not. "I don't know why we're making a fuss about Surrey," he told the CBC.

NDP MP Penny Priddy said she was "disappointed" to hear what had happened but that "I don't regret going" to an event celebrating Sikh culture.

On similar grounds, Premier Campbell declined to criticize the parade and said he would continue to attend such events. However, a spokesman said a few days later that Cambpell was "upset" by the parade.

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, however, stayed away from the parade and decried the silence of his fellow politicians.

"Politicians sometimes believe that if they speak out against violence and hatred, somehow they are going to anger the entire community," he said.

"They are being afraid to speak out, and they choose consciously to not speak out," he added. "I have not heard any denunciation from any of the politicians from any of the political parties that went to that parade that found out that you had the glorification of Parmar and others who were killers. And nothing was said. And they were given the opportunity to say something."

Dave Hayer, a Liberal member of the B.C. legislative assembly, also skipped the parade. Although he's a Sikh politician from Surrey, he saw what was coming and stayed away.

Tara Singh Hayer in 1995. His 1998 murder is unsolved. (CBC)

Family history may have something to do with that. In 1988, Hayer's father Tara Singh Hayer, who had written editorials criticizing Parmar and Bagri, denounced the Air India bombing in his newspaper — and was shot. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair and became a police witness in the Air India case against Ajaib Singh Bagri. But he never testified. In 1998, he was shot again — this time, fatally.

"It is different to celebrate your culture versus celebrating the terrorist," said Dave Hayer.

"If you celebrate them, it is wrong. And they told me, my constituents, they said, look, is it tomorrow they're gonna be celebrating the people who are killing our soldiers in Afghanistan? Because of freedom and the Charter of Rights? Are they gonna be carrying pictures of the people who are killing our soldiers in Afghanistan?"

Families of the Air India victims began complaining about politicians' association with Sikh extremists long before the 2007 Surrey Vaisakhi parade. In October 2006, Perviz Madon, whose husband, Sam, died in the Air India bombing, testified at John Major's judicial inquiry into the tragedy.

"We need to stop our politicians from attending those kind of events," she said. "I'm sorry, I know it's about your votes, but that's dirty business. You don't want to be associated with a group that is linked to terrorism. You don't want those kind of votes.… Canada is becoming a haven for criminals. It's a beautiful country. It's a great country, you know. We're just losing it, we're losing the grip on it. Something has to change."

So Hayer stayed away from the parade.

"A terrorist is a terrorist, and we should have no place for terrorism or people who support terrorism in Canada, period," he said. "If there are people who are terrorists and they are promoted as heroes, maybe it's the politicians' responsibility to say, listen, maybe we should think twice, should we participate, ethically and morally, in the parade."

Tarek Fatah, an immigrant from Punjab who is an outspoken critic of extremism in Canadian politics, said politicians are not fussy about where they get their votes.

"These guys have figured out Canadian politics," he said. "It takes one guy with an exotic-looking dress, a big beard or a huge headdress to say, 'Mr. member of Parliament, we will work to defeat you, or we will deliver you 10,000 votes.'

Canadian politicians do not realize that the struggle for Khalistan was extremely violent and that it has no support in India, Fatah said.

"Why would somebody come to this country and want unity of Canada but the breakup of India? Does any politician have the guts to ask these Khalistanis, 'What is it that you are looking for that you didn't find in the bloodbath of 1947, when India was first divided?'"

Part II: World Sikh Organization

From the CBC News web-site.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


C.N. faces $1.6m lawsuit in derailment

Names come back to us, when we look at the old photo albums. News about C.N. rail reminds us of B.C. Rail. Reminds us of what that 20-year trainman, Don Faulkner of Savonna, said.

CN had a tough year in 2005 and was sharply criticized for its marked increase in derailments after the corporation took over B.C. Rail in 2004.

Mainline derailments at CN in Canada were up 35 per cent in 2005 from the year before, according to a report from the transportation board. Today's Province tells of another costly CN (that was BCRail) derailment that year:


Before anyone writes to ask "Is this relevant?" let me say that this C.N. story is relevant because CN, not so long ago, was B.C. Rail -- our railway -- 3rd largest in Canada. And if B.C. Rail was still our railway, there'd be something we could have done about that 35% increase in accidents. And something we could still do to preserve safety for trainmen, trains, the environment, and for B.C.'s reputation. That's what the 20-year trainman, Don Faulkner, kept telling us. That's why this news item is relevant. That's why we should be concerned with what happens to "our" old railway. - BC Mary
Besides: has anybody heard one iota of news about the actual B.C. Rail trial which is ... sorta underway but kinda ... er ... adjourned or something?


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The day Bobby Virk's lawyer could barely control his anger

Old news becomes new again in the light of information acquired or remembered. Didn't the name of RCMP Sgt Bud Bishop sound familiar? Well, so it should. Sgt Bishop was the first Mountie at the door of Glen Clark's modest home in East Vancouver, scaring Mrs Clark whose first thought when she opened the door to the police was that her husband had been in an accident ... but no, Sgt Bishop was there to search for ... [drum roll please!] ... lumber receipts for the Clarks' back porch ... [cymbals clash] !

For the raid on the Clark home, the Search Warrant was signed by our familiar Patrick Dohm who then "seized the case" ...

John Daly was the first media guy on the scene, right behind the RCMP ...

and our own Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett eventually presided over the Supreme Court trial that found Premier Glen Clark completely innocent.

It's like looking through an old photo album, the names half forgotten.

I hope that readers can find the time to follow the URL back to The Tyee and read the whole story. It's long, but it's a shocker.

Published only a month ago, Bill's report still blows our socks off; if anything, the revelations are more startling than ever. For example, the first Crown witness -- remember the guy named John Preissell who simply turned up in Courtroom 54 determined to tell what he knew?

And Preissell's surprise appearance was followed the next day by more surprises when the Crown discovered extensive notes about that tip received by veteran RCMP Sergeant Bud Bishop. And Bishop himself showed up in court. Then by the time Bobby Virk's lawyer had read Bishop's notes, McCullough was barely able to control his anger. Here are some excerpts:

Bill Tieleman
The Tyee - May 4, 2007

... Dave Basi was once the most powerful ministerial assistant in Victoria, serving as then-finance minister Gary Collins' eyes and ears. Bob Virk was ministerial assistant to then-transportation minister Judith Reid, while Aneal Basi was a young communications aide in government.

Then Basi and Virk were charged with leaking confidential government documents on BC Rail to lobbyists representing OmniTRAX, one of the bidders for the then publicly-owned railroad, in exchange for money and benefits.

But on Wednesday it was clear that Dave Basi was much more than just a ministerial aide. He was perhaps the government's key political operative, as well as the top organizer in B.C. for the Paul Martin forces in the battle against Jean Chretien for control of the Liberal Party of Canada -- and the country.

Late in the day, Michael Bolton, the veteran lawyer who is defending David Basi, quietly set off multiple sticks of political dynamite by reading into the record a wiretapped cell phone conversation between Basi and Collins on October 31, 2003.

The call takes place less than a month before the BC Rail sale to CN Rail is announced and as opponents to the planned deal are mobilizing against the B.C. Liberal government.

The call allegedly captures the type of media manipulation and political dirty tricks that have already been headlined previously in this case but this time Gary Collins is directly involved.

The following is a transcript taken from notes from Bolton's statement in court and is slightly abbreviated:

Collins: Hello.

Basi: Hi boss. Judith Reid was on Ben Meisner [at the time, a Prince George radio talk show host] -- she handled herself real well. There was only one call and it was ours.

Collins: Good.

Basi: Bill Vander Zalm will be on [radio] with Barb Sharp -- mayor of North Vancouver. [former B.C. premier Vander Zalm and Sharp both opposed BC Rail privatization]

Collins: Uh-huh.

Basi: I wanted to have the mayor of Squamish, who's a good friend of ours, rip Barb Sharp a new asshole. Is that okay?

Collins: Absolutely.

Basi: I called Jerry Lampert of the [BC] Business Council and said: 'Jerry, we need your help.' The Prince George Citizen might take an op-ed [opinion editorial article] but they don't want only positive pieces.

Collins: Well, you could do that....I want you to keep this completely to yourself because there's only two of us who know about this."

Basi: Okay.

Collins: I talked to the Premier. We want to put Colin Kinsley [mayor of Prince George] and the mayor of Squamish on the committee.

Basi: I'm going to call Ian Sutherland [mayor of Squamish] at home.

Collins: Uh-huh.

Basi: Then we're going to arrange calls and rip these guys up good.

Collins: Okay but don't tell Sutherland because it's the Premier who's going to call.

It should be noted again that the wiretapped conversation cited by Bolton is part of the defence allegations, which are unproven in court and to which the Crown has yet to respond.

Former North Vancouver City Mayor Barb Sharp was stunned when I called her Wednesday evening to get her reaction to the alleged comments.

"It's quite a shocker. I don't know what they were so upset about with me except that I was trying to keep BC Rail in North Vancouver," Sharp said. "It's quite inappropriate to talk about anyone that way -- what a terrible way to talk about people."

Collins’ lawyer and spokesman retained by taxpayers??

Victoria lawyer Clark Roberts has been in B.C. Supreme Court every day since the defence disclosure application began, representing Gary Collins and speaking on his behalf on several occasions to rebut defence allegations.

But Roberts left the court without speaking to the three remaining media -- myself for 24 hours newspaper and The Tyee, Rob Brown for B.C. CTV and Mark Hume for the Globe and Mail newspaper -- after Bolton's statement.

But Roberts himself disclosed some other interesting details earlier in the day, including that his fees for attending court daily from Victoria may be paid by B.C. taxpayers.

"I'm here to protect Mr. Collins' reputation," Roberts told journalists at a break in the proceedings.

When I asked if Collins is personally retaining him at his own expense, Roberts allowed that he may in fact be paid by taxpayers.

"Mr. Collins asked me to act for him but who is paying the bill is not clear at this time. I understand Mr. Collins has an indemnification as a former cabinet minister."

Roberts' role was actually raised the previous day in court by Virk's lawyer Kevin McCullough, who presented most of the aggressive defence case till Wednesday afternoon.

"In the case of Mr. Collins, he has a lawyer here every day. As best I can read in the newspapers, he's speaking for Mr. Collins," McCullough told Justice Bennett in asking that any witnesses for the subsequent trial be banned from attending the disclosure hearing. McCullough also noted the presence of an RCMP officer who will be called to testify in the trial as one of the investigators.

"There will be a ban from here on in -- any witness cannot be in the courtroom," Bennett ordered immediately.

RCMP: failure to communicate?

The RCMP's role in the Basi-Virk investigation also took a beating from the defence in the past few days.

McCullough made sustained arguments he completed Wednesday that the RCMP has "tailored" its investigation in order to steer it away from elected politicians and towards Basi and Virk.

But nothing he did could have helped his case more than an unexpected phone call he received on Sunday, April 29, from a man named John Preissell.

Preissell, it turns out, had contacted RCMP in January 2005 to offer information he had about the role of provincial lobbyist Brian Kieran in the case. And after speaking to McCullough, Preissell made a surprise appearance in the courtroom Monday to give evidence.

Preissell told the court in sworn testimony as the case's unscheduled and first witness that the RCMP "didn't seem too interested" when he contacted them about Kieran, who is one of the Crown's key witnesses against the defendants.

McCullough found that amazing because first of all, special prosecutor Bill Berardino had never disclosed the Preissell tip to the defence.

And second, because Preissell testified under oath that Kieran had threatened him over a planned public campaign against Gary Collins about Insurance Corporation of B.C. issues. Collins was minister responsible then and Preissell at that time was owner of an auto body and glass repair shop having "red tape" trouble with ICBC.

"The bottom line was he [Kieran] threatened me repeatedly and said if we didn't back off of Mr. Collins we wouldn't get what we wanted," Preissell alleged. "I was actually afraid, I was very afraid."

Preissell said that at the time of the threat in the spring of 2003 he was a member of a group of the Auto Glass Survival Coalition and that another industry group he had been involved with had hired Kieran as a lobbyist.

"Kieran offered to work for the Coalition for free to embarrass ICBC but not to embarrass the minister of finance," Preissell testified.

When I contacted Kieran and read him Preissell's statement he declined comment. "As per the past three years, I've been advised by my attorney that I should wait until I'm in court to say my piece," said Kieran, a longtime Victoria political columnist for The Province newspaper before becoming a lobbyist.

Railroading and the RCMP

Preissell's surprise appearance was followed by another surprise appearance the next day. The Crown discovered extensive notes of the tip received by veteran RCMP Sergeant Bud Bishop. And Bishop himself showed up in court.

However by the time McCullough had read Bishop's notes, he was barely able to control his anger.

"You've been hearing me repeatedly talk about the failure of the Crown and the RCMP to disclose," he told Justice Bennett. "These are comprehensive notes about BC Rail. They're not just about Mr. Preissell. Sergeant Bishop's notes were never disclosed in any way, period."

"But for Mr. Preissell phoning us, we would never have pursued this at all," McCullough said heatedly. "The special prosecutor has not met his disclosure obligations whatsoever."

It then turned out that Bishop's notes were indeed a treasure trove of information that included references to other public tips and mention of current B.C. Liberal Forests Minister Rich Coleman and former B.C. Liberal Deputy Premier Christy Clark.

"These notes contain details of conversations Sergeant Bishop had with a Terry Fergusson," about BC Rail issues, McCullough continued. Fergusson, he said, "complained about a flawed process, that he complained to Christy Clark about, that he was talking to Mr. Virk about the very flawed processes that were going on."

"Four MLAs wrote Christy Clark [or] saw Coleman," McCullough read from Bishop's notes. "He left out that Mr. Fergusson was having dealings with Christy Clark and seeing Minister Coleman. That begins to tell you, milady, how the B.C. Liberal government is operating."

Christy Clark did not respond to a request to comment on statements attributed to Fergusson. It later turned out that Fergusson is executive director of the National Historical Railway Society, a group that sued BC Rail in 1998 over money it claimed was owed to it.

The missing notes didn't anger just McCullough. Justice Bennett had sharp words for the special prosecutor as well.

"You see the problem with this?" Bennett asked Janet Winteringham, assistant to special prosecutor Bill Berardino, who is absent from the hearing.

"Yes," Winteringham answered.

"As you probably know, I practiced criminal law for 15 years before moving to the bench 10 years ago. What you're telling me is troubling, that these disclosures are coming at this stage," Bennett concluded.

But that was far from the last thing troubling the defence ... McCullough launched into a multi-day attack on the conduct of the special prosecutor and RCMP in connection with their dealing with former provincial lobbyist Erik Bornmann, who is to be the star witness against Basi, Virk and Basi. {Snip} ...

During the current disclosure application stage, no evidence has been presented for the media or spectators in the public gallery to review.

But that hasn't stopped the defence from using the B.C. legislature raid case to give British Columbians its angle of view on the machinations of political power and the intersection of money, influence and government, even if only through allegations unproven in court.


Saturday, June 23, 2007


Basi-Virk-Basi full text defence disclosure application, as filed June 4, 2007

The mainstream media's bleak no-news period in the B.C. Rail Case, provides an opportunity to review the disclosure application generously provided by Bill Tieleman. Dates to note: Update in Supreme Court is expected on July 16. The next stage begins August 13. But please see also the footnote here, in which a Citizen Journalist reports hearing other court dates mentioned. If nothing else, this illustrates the difficulties the public is having in accessing information on this important case. - BC Mary


The following is the complete document filed by defence lawyers for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi as obtained today through the BC Supreme Court registry office.

It is being posted here as a public service to those interested in this important case. I take responsibility for any inadvertent typographical or spacing errors.

- Bill Tieleman

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

JUN 04, 2007 Court File No. 23299
Vancouver Registry







TO: George Copley, Q.C. Counsel for the Record Holder, the Province of British Columbia
6th Floor - 1001 Douglas St
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9J7


William Berardino, Q.C. Special Prosecutor
Hunter Litigation Chambers
2001 — 1040 W. Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4H1

TAKE NOTICE that an application for records in the possession of the Province of British Columbia will be brought before Madam Justice Bennett on behalf of the accused persons, Udhe Singh (Dave) Basi (hereinafter, “Mr. Basi”), Bobby Singh Virk (hereinafter, “Mr. Virk”) and Aneal Basi (hereinafter, “Mr. A. Basi”). This application is returnable for June 7, 2007 at 10:00 a.m at the Courthouse located at 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver at which time a date will be fixed for the hearing of the application.

The Applicants are seeking the following Orders:

1. That all records, documents and information, including information in electronic form (collectively, the “Records”) held in any office, storage facility or repository by:

a. Premier Gordon Campbell and the Premier’s Office including the Correspondence Branch and Cabinet Operations, and all other deputies and staff of the Premier’s Office, including but not limited to Martyn Brown, Brenda Eaton, Ken Dobell, Tom Syer, Jay Schlosar, Dave Cunningham, Hazel Mitchell, Sam Marja, Cynthia Haroldsen, Lara Dauphinee and Mike Morton;

b. former Minister of Finance Gary Collins (hereinafter, “Minister Collins), his Office, his deputies, assistants and staff including but not limited to Paul Taylor, David Morhart, Chris Trumpy, Adam Buchanan, Robert Paulizyn and Melanie Hughes;

c. former Minister of Finance Colin Hansen, his Office, his deputies, assistants and staff;

d. current Minister of Finance Carole Taylor, her Office, her deputies and staff;

e. former Minister of Transportation Judith Reid (hereinafter, “Minister Reid”), her Office, her deputies, assistants and staff including but not limited to Dan Doyle and Kathie Miller;

f. current Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon, his Office, his deputies, assistants and staff;

g. former Solicitor General Rich Coleman (hereinafter, the “Solicitor General”), his Office, his deputies, assistants and staff including but not limited to Tobie Myers;

h. Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Police Services Kevin Begg (hereinafter, the “Assistant Deputy Minister”), his Office and staff;

i. current Solicitor General John Les, his Office, his deputies and staff

j. former Speaker of the House, Claude Richmond (hereinafter, the “Speaker”), his Office, his deputies and staff;

k. current Speaker of the House, Bill Barisoff, his Office, his deputies and staff;

l. Clerk of the House, E. George MacMinn, Q.C., his Office and his staff including but not limited to Ian Izard, Q.C.;

m. former Attorney General Geoff Plant, Q.C., his Office, his deputies and staff;

n. current Attorney General Wally Oppal, Q.C., his Office, his deputies and staff;

o. Crown Counsel Robert Gillen, Q.C. and Geoff Gaul and their respective Offices;

p. the Executive Council and its Offices and staff, including but not limited to Joy Illington;

q. the Offices of all Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Province of British Columbia from June 5, 2001 to the present day;

r. all Cabinet and Caucus committees from June 5, 2001 to the present day;

s. all government research, policy and communications offices, including but not limited to the Public Affairs Bureau from June 5, 2001 to the present day;

t. the Crown Corporations Secretariat including but not limited to the Offices of B.C. Rail; and

u. the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner (collectively, the “Government Offices”),

which relate to:

(i) the divestiture of B.C. Rail Freight Division (hereinafter “B.C. Rail”) and the proposed divestiture of the Robert’s Bank Port Subdivision (hereinafter, “Robert’s Bank”) and the bidding processes related to same, including but not limited to the B.C. Rail Steering Committee and the B.C. Rail Evaluation;

(ii) the selection of, and duties assigned to, Ministerial Assistants and in particular all Records relating to efforts of Ministerial Assistants to influence public opinion through the media with regard to the provincial government or its ministers, policies or initiatives;

(iii) the strategy, policy, and any related decision-making pertaining to the influencing, gauging or monitoring of public opinion through media and other public forums;

(iv) public opinion polling and reports, including by the B.C. Liberal Party, which pertain to public opinion on transportation, finance and budget surplus and deficit issues, and further including but not limited to the divestiture of B.C. Rail and the balancing of the Provincial Government budget;

(v) the provision by the B.C. Liberal Party or the Provincial Government to Provincial Liberal Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly and their staff of blackberries, computers, cellular phones or other PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants);

(vi) any communications between Provincial Liberal Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly and their staff and lobbyists Brian Kieran, Erik Bornman, and Jamie Elmhirst, their companies including but not limited to Pilothouse, Kieran Consulting, Pacific Public Affairs, K&E Consulting and their respective staff

(vii) the acceptance or receipt of any gift or benefit including but not limited to:

(1) Vancouver Canucks tickets or seating in private boxes;

(2) B.C. Lions tickets or seating in private boxes;

(3) the use of any facilities at General Motors Place;

(4) Tickets or admittance to the Cirque de Soleil; and

(5) Famous Players “Big Card”

(viii) the investigation of alleged criminal activities of Minister Collins, Mr. Basi, Mr. Virk, and Mr. A. Basi, including but not limited to:

(1) the proposed and actual interception of private communications within the precincts of Parliament, including communications over the telephone lines (250) 387-3751 and (250) 213-5098;

(2) the search of the Legislature on December 28, 2003;

(3) the issue of whether and to what extent members of the Provincial Government, including Minister Collins were under investigation;

(4) all communications pertaining to the timing of R.C.M.P. interviews of Members of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet Ministers, including Ministers Collins and Reid; and

(5) all communications pertaining to the issue of Parliamentary and Cabinet privilege in respect of R.C.M.P. interviews of Members of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet Ministers, including Ministers Collins and Reid be produced to this Honourable Court;

2. That such portions of any of the Records held by the Government Offices in relation to any of the above-noted matters be produced to the Applicants.


1. The Applicants are charged on a multi-count Direct Indictment principally alleging fraud and breach of trust offences in respect of the provincial government’s divestiture of B.C. Rail and Robert’s Bank, including the cancellation of the latter.

2. The divestiture of B.C. Rail and the Robert’s Bank was a complex and highly political process, which involved and affected many Ministers, Agencies, and Departments of the Provincial Government.

3. On December 28, 2003 the R.C.M.P. with the assistance of the Victoria Police Department, executed Search Warrants at the Legislature, and specifically, upon the offices of Ministerial Assistants Messrs. Basi and Virk.

4. Documents and materials were removed from the offices of Messrs. Basi and Virk and from no other offices or locations in the Provincial Legislature.

5. There was considerable strategic discussion and planning by the R.C.M.P. in the preparation, application and execution of the Search Warrants. The R.C.M.P. consulted and liaised with the Solicitor General and his Assistant Deputy Minister before and during the execution of same.

6. The involvement of the Solicitor General and Assistant Deputy Minister in the criminal investigation continued after the search of the Legislature and until at least February 13, 2004, and this involvement consisted of collaboration with, and direction to, the R.C.M.P. with regard to the timing and content of the R.C.M.P. interviews of Ministers Collins and Reid.

7. The Applicants believe that the Search Warrant application procedure lacked transparency and that the R.C.M.P. deceived the Authorizing Judge with respect to, inter alia, the procedures and protocols that needed to be followed in order to enter the precincts of Parliament, including obtaining the informed consent of the Speaker.

8. The Applicants believe that the Government Offices contain records of likely relevance to material issues in this matter, which would be relevant to the cross-examination of key witnesses with regard both to the credibility of these witnesses and the potential identification of evidence to be tested by the Applicants at trial.

9. The Applicants require access to information contained in the Records held by the Government Offices in order to make full answer and defence to the charges against them pursuant to s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (hereinafter, the “Charter”).

10. The Applicants similarly require access to these Records in order to apply to set aside the Search Warrants and Authorizations to Intercept Private Communications on the basis of a breach of s. 8 of the Charter, and in order to apply for a stay of proceedings pursuant to ss. 7 and 24(1) of the Charter on the basis that, inter a/ia, the involvement by the Solicitor General and Assistant Deputy Minister in the search of the Legislature and criminal investigation of the Applicants, and the media relations campaign of the R.C.M.P. constituted an abuse of process.

11. Such further and other grounds as counsel may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.


1. This Notice of Application; and

2. Such further and other materials as Counsel may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.


1. An Order that all Records held by the Government Offices be produced to this Honourable Court for review pursuant to the procedure set out in R. v. O’Connor (1995) 4 S.C.R. 411 (S.C.C.) (hereinafter, “O’Connor”).

2. An Order that such portions of the Records held by the Government Offices as this Honourable Court may find likely relevant to an issue at trial.

Names and Addresses of Counsel:

P. Michael Bolton, Q.C
Claire Hatcher
Bolton & Muldoon
Banisters & Solicitors
360- 1122 Mainland Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5L1
Tel. 604 687-7078; Fax 604 687-3022

Kevin McCullough
Kristy Sim
McCullough Blazina Dieno
Banisters & Solicitors
2~ Floor, 1011 Fort St.
Victoria, B.C. V8V 3K5
Tel. 250-480-1529; Fax 250-480-4910

Joseph Doyle
Johnson Doricic Doyle
Banisters & Solicitors
2nd Floor, 195 Alexander St.
Vancouver, B.C. V6A 1B8
Tel 604 688-8338; Fax 604 688-8356

Posted by Bill Tieleman at


Outside court on June 4, Basi's lawyer Michael Bolton said: "We're very pleased with today's result because we're going to get the disclosure we were seeking." But the price of disclosure is delay.

Madam Justice Bennett directed both sides to appear
July 16 for an update on progress and suggested the next stage in the case will not begin until August 13, when the disclosure application will be heard.

Please note the following report from a Citizen Journalist, Gary E:

Back in April I had been in Court for a day. I reported here that Court discussions had been around Disclosure dates, other court matters that may cause adjournments, Trial date, and summer break. Justice Bennett was musing over a trial date of July 9th. With this application we can assume that the trial date she wanted is blowing in the wind. She then suggested (or set) August 3rd for the summer break adjournment. My thoughts now are: If the next stage is to begin Aug. 16th does that mean there will be no summer break? Or, will they be using the time between July 16th and August 13th for the summer break? Or,and this I think is the most likely considering how the delays have been mastered so far: Will they sit only on August 13th then break for the summer?


Saturday, June 16, 2007


Just asking: can we prosecute the Prosecutors?


CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, June 16, 2007

WINDSOR, Ont. - Crown attorneys can be sued for negligence, and not just for the more difficult-to-prove allegation of acting in bad faith, according to a Winnipeg judge's decision that could have significant implications for the Canadian justice system.

The case involved {Snip} ...

A provincial inquiry found that police and prosecutors withheld evidence, misled a jury and allowed a witness to commit perjury.


Friday, June 15, 2007


Contempt from the Court, says Robin

Robin Mathews, writing on the Betty Krawczyk, Harriet Nahanee case, included the following. Full article, is at vive le canada.

Vive le Canada
Robin Mathews

... But look - look at another case, the case surrounding the huge Gordon Campbell dirty sell-out of publicly owned B.C. Rail, called the criminal case against Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi for kinds of fraud and breach of trust. Look at the farrago, going on now. It is a case in which the rich and powerful can be spied just off stage at every turn of events. (Are the rich and powerful being especially protected, kept off the stage, do you suppose?)

It is a case in which many reasonable and prudent people have almost no doubt that the RCMP has been obstructing, that the Special Crown Prosecutor may have been - to use a generous expression - lax in pursuing his duties. It is a case in which it is possible there has been collusion between RCMP and Gordon Campbell cabinet members. Has there been collusion with the Crown? Very serious matters. Very, very serious matters! What has been the result?

The case in which charges were laid in 2004 is still, in 2007, stumbling and falling and inching and dodging and hesitating towards (what may not eventuate in) a trial. More and more people are becoming convinced the wrong men are named as "the accused". In fact, a continuing theme of the Defence argument is that others are the instigators of wrong-doing; and, of course, the others appear nowhere in the charges.

Goaded and prodded and begged by the Defence, the judge presiding showed she knows hijinks are the order of the day in the case. After three years she made an order the other day (June 4 07) that all RCMP officers and others involved with investigations "forthwith" search all their records and deliver up anything to do with the Basi, Virk, and Basi case. Three years after charges were laid! Four years after the search warrant "raids" on legislature offices in Victoria!

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett shows she knows that what reasonable Canadians, using ordinary language, would call 'contempt of court' has almost certainly been shown by RCMP officers, by the Crown, probably by members of Gordon Campbell's cabinet who played and play various roles in the matter stretching, now, THROUGH FOUR YEARS since the search warrant "raids" on legislature offices. Even so, when she "ordered" all RCMP officers and others involved in the Basi, Virk, and Basi investigations to deliver up all relevant papers, she didn't set a time limit, and she didn't say "if they do not do so, or are found later not to have done so, I will cite them with Criminal Contempt of Court and I will fall on them far more heavily than Madam Justice Brenda Brown fell on the environmental protesters, Harriett Nahanee and Betty Krawczyk."

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is willing to write: "There has been a substantial failure to respect the disclosure rights of the accused." But four years after the search warrant "raids" on B.C. legislature offices, she finds herself able to write: "The issues of good faith and bad faith have not been addressed and I will not comment on the process in this regard." (page 11)

In this case the threat and then, if necessary, the imposition of Criminal Contempt charges against clearly obstructive and manipulating entities is much, much more reasonable than in the case of the Eagle Ridge bluffs environmental protesters. (And would have been reasonable many months ago.) Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett did not say "I am sending this order to the top RCMP officer in B.C. to deliver to every RCMP officer in the Province and he will prove to me he has done so within X days." Nothing like that.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, you see, is living in the world in which there is "for the rich and powerful, 'Law' (?) . For the others, contempt from the court". The law for the rich and powerful requires that they are never strongly challenged, never embarrassed, never called upon to respect the rules of society, never (if possible) confronted with their wrong doing. That, in itself, shows contempt from the court for all the others in society. But let those others actually approach the Bench; let them ask that justice be done; that they be treated with respect as human beings. Then observe the contempt from the court as we have observed it with Harriett Nahanee, and now with Betty Krawczyk. And - I am afraid - we have to ask if we are also forced to witness contempt from the court in both the sluggish, almost comatose pace with which Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett is guiding the B.C. Rail proceeding and in her insistence that she still will not ask if bad faith is present - but will carry on as if she is in a situation in which nice people just keep making mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake in a case of enormous importance to all British Columbians, especially to the ordinary people of British Columbia.

What was it Monika Sheardown wrote? Ah yes: "Our judicial system is [becoming] an increasing embarrassment to British Columbia and to Canada".

Mark that down.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Erik Bornmann passed New York State bar exam in July 2006 but faces two more tests there


Basi-Virk trial

24 HOURS - June 14, 2007

Erik Bornmann, the subject of police allegations filed in B.C. Supreme Court that he bribed two provincial government officials involved in the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization, has passed the New York State bar examination required to become a lawyer, 24 hours has exclusively learned.

Bornmann is the key Crown witness in the trial of ex-ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk. They face breach of trust and fraud charges for allegedly taking benefits to provide inside B.C. Rail information to Bornmann, then a lobbyist for OmniTRAX, one of the bidders.

But Bornmann could become a New York lawyer there if he successfully completes two more tests, says John McAlary, Executive Director of the New York State Board of Law Examiners.

"Mr. Bornmann passed the exam but he is not certified for admission," McAlary told 24 hours from Albany, New York. "He's not been admitted to the New York bar because he's missing his Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam."

"That ethics exam is required to be admitted," McAlary said. "He may have taken the test but not filed it with us."

McAlary said Bornmann must also be approved by the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division.

"The Appellate Division would do a background check and determine if he passed the 'good character' test," McAlary said.

When told by 24 hours of allegations that Bornmann bribed public officials, McAlary responded: "That would be unusual, even in New York."

Bornmann's lawyer George Macintosh declined to comment when contacted by 24 hours.

McAlary confirmed that Bornmann passed the New York exam in July 2006.

Bornmann left an articling law student position at the Toronto firm McCarthy Tetrault after 24 hours reported about it last year.

Bornmann also withdrew an application for admission to the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario prior to a 'good character' hearing scheduled for November 2006.

Bornmann's lawyer at the time had asked that the media and public be banned from that hearing or a publication ban be imposed.

Posted with the generous permission of Bill Tieleman



Defence stirs muddy political waters

Vaughn Palmer's column today should get many British Columbians addressing their thoughts to him at ... I hope so. - BC Mary.


Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun - Thursday, June 14, 2007

VICTORIA - The latest application for disclosure in the legislature raid court case casts a wide net, covering the entire government back to when the B.C. Liberals took office.

Defence lawyers are seeking anything that might be relevant to the case of three government aides facing corruption charges.

"All documents, records and information in electronic form, held in any office, storage facility or repository" says the application filed in B.C. Supreme Court, "from June 5, 2001, to the present day."

The defence specifically targeted records in the hands of the premier, nine current and former cabinet ministers, and two dozen public servants and political staffers.

But it also expanded the search to cover "the offices of all cabinet ministers and members of the legislative assembly ... all cabinet and caucus committees ... all government research, policy and communications offices."

Plus the current and former Speaker of the legislature, the office of the clerk of the house and the independent commissioner on conflict of interest. {Snip} ...

So, anything relating to: The sale of BC Rail. Duties and codes of conduct for government aides. Lobbying. Communications. Government-party relations. The course of the investigation, including wiretaps, search warrants and the decision to raid the legislature. And damage control related to all of the foregoing.

Defence lawyers have reason to suspect the Crown has been holding back.

An earlier disclosure application -- granted last fall -- brought a rich harvest of documents, including police notes not previously disclosed.

They recently won a second ruling from Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who condemned police and prosecution for a "substantial failure to respect the disclosure rights of the accused in this case."

The latest application faces an uphill battle, intruding as it does on the independence of government and the legislature from the courts.

At the very least, it means additional delays in a trial that has already been postponed half a dozen times, mainly because of holdups in disclosure of evidence.

Those multiple postponements raise the possibility that the entire case could be tossed on grounds that the accused have been denied the right to a reasonably speedy trial.

"Justice delayed is justice denied in the eyes of the Supreme Court of Canada," as my colleague Ian Mulgrew noted in his column in The Vancouver Sun on Monday.

Justice Bennett all but invited an application for abuse of process in her latest ruling.

"At this juncture I have little explanation as to why the disclosure process unfolded as it did," she observed.

But: "This is not an abuse of process application. The issues of good faith or bad faith have not been addressed and I will not comment on the process in this regard."

Later, she remarked on the "surprisingly late production of many police notes up to and including the course of this application."

But again: "I make no comment on whether this was due to oversight or intentional, as I have no evidence on these points and these are issues for another day."

Reading those comments, one can readily understand speculation that the case is headed for collapse.

The Liberals are said to be secretly hoping for such an outcome. But I'm not sure that would provide a way for them to escape the political fallout.

The defence might well decide to revive the case -- and all of its attendant political controversies -- via a suit for wrongful prosecution.

The end of criminal proceedings would also strip the Liberals of the excuse that they can't comment "because the matter is before the courts."

They resorted to that dubious line of defence some 150 times during the recent session of the legislature, by the Opposition's reckoning.

They'd no longer be able to duck the many issues raised in pretrial proceedings, from the questionable aspects of the sale of BC Rail to the involvement of government aides in political dirty tricks.

Then there's the call for a public inquiry. Rejectable as long as the matter is before the courts. Harder to dismiss if the case were gone from the court docket without the public knowing the whole story.

"The public interest in having this case heard outweighs just about everything else," as Justice Bennett declared earlier this year.

That's still the public interest, for all the obstacles in the way of a fair and open airing of the evidence.
I'm going to write. Are you? I'm going to ask Vaughn if he knows the answer to this question: if the delays are caused by the Defence requests, can they still claim that the delays are cause for a Charter challenge? Or, stated differently, if the Defence believes that evidence is being withheld, isn't this ... well, obstruction of justice? Or at very least, cause for a mistrial? - BC Mary.


Monday, June 11, 2007


Robin Mathews on the right of access by Canadians to court documents on public record, especially those relating to Basi, Virk, Basi

Professor Mathews has provided a copy to The Legislature Raids of the letter he wrote to Canada's highest court ... and others.
- BC Mary.

5xx Sxxxxxxxx Drive,
Vancouver, B.C., V5L xxx,
[June] 7, 2007

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett,
The Law Courts, 800 Smythe Street,
Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 2E1

cc. Chief Justice B. McLachlin, Supreme Court of Canada; Chief Justice Donald Brenner, Supreme Court of British Columbia; The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice, Canada; Joe Comartin, MP, NDP Justice Critic, House of Commons: Marlene Jennings, MP, Liberal Justice Critic, House of Commons; Libby Davies, MP, House of Commons; Leonard Krog, MLA, NDP Justice Critic, B.C.; B.C. Civil Liberties Association; Court Officer H.L. McBride; William Berardino, Michael Bolton, Joseph Doyle, Andrea Mackay, Kevin McCullough; Press/Media; others.

Dear Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett:

I received two letters from the Supreme Court of British Columbia on June 5, 2007 (dated May 29 and May 31) related to the right of access by Canadians to court documents on public record especially as they relate to the Basi, Virk, and Basi (criminal) matter with which you are presently seized (a matter fraught with implication for the government in power in B.C.). I believe the letters may entangle the writer (and probably others) in falsehood, communication of misinformation, calculated discourtesy, and an attempt to "bureaucratize away" any fair request by Canadians for information that should, without impediment, be supplied. Reasons for that disturbing situation must, I am afraid, be examined.

Canadians look to their higher courts as bastions of fair-mindedness, openness, impartiality, and transparency. We expect from our high court officers a quality of behaviour that gives them the right to the title "Honourable". We do not expect from them political pandering and partisan decision making.

The particular matter in question is of wider interest than the Supreme Court of B.C. or of the particular matters relating to the accused: Basi, Virk, and Basi. It involves, I allege, (and I write this with the greatest pain and reluctance) an attempt by judges of the Supreme Court of British Columbia (yourself among them) to remove the fundamental and long recognized freedom of Canadians to examine and to possess documents on public record in criminal proceedings as a matter of fundamental importance to the just and the honourable and the open conduct of British Columbia society. To encapsule the absurdity of that totalitarian move, no Canadian is able to review (and to possess if he or she should wish) transcripts of the day to day open court transactions in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matters as they have been conducted from, say, February 26, 2007.

As your amanuensis H. L. McBride wrote (on your behalf) to me as a solution to that problem (April 25, 2007): "The courtroom is open; you are free to attend the proceeding, as is any other member of the public".

What she is saying (on your behalf) is that to know what occurs in that important public tribunal - the Supreme Court proceedings involving the highest public interest and possibly destructive State malfeasance - a Canadian must attend every moment of it and must somehow (an impossibility) be able to record everything that occurs - because the officers of the court are going to provide no access to transcripts of record. Her latest letter to me (on your behalf) informing me of a new, added, highly bureaucratic complex of absurd steps to be taken in order to have a request for access to documents even considered is so obviously a measure of calculated obstruction that it is insulting.

That very dangerous step and the general gag order constitute, I sincerely believe, a totalitarian move to insure public ignorance which serves - intentionally or not - to protect wrong-doers in the society (in this case perhaps wrong doers who might be found at the highest levels of political power and activity in the Province).

The two letters were in reply to letters I addressed to you and to Chief Justice Donald Brenner containing questions about (a) the so-called Practice Direction of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm imposing an almost universal and odious gag order on materials on public record in Criminal Registry of the Supreme Court of B.C.; about (b) your particular and "special" protocol for access to some documents in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter presently before the Supreme Court; and (c) about the particular and formal request I have made to you to examine and hold some of the documentation on public record.

The letters I received in reply contradict earlier information I was sent, suggesting - at the very kindliest - confusion in the administration of the Supreme Court. The letters, moreover, withhold courteous assistance. In addition, they take for granted that my formal request to you (which I was advised to make by the court officer in your name) is wholly inadequate (which it isn't). She states that according to "Supreme Court Criminal Rules", I "(or your counsel) must complete Form 1, serve the application on all of the parties and appear to speak to the application." She does not include Form 1 for my use. To do so would have accorded me the barest measure of courtesy which should be granted to any Canadian calling upon a Supreme Court for responsible communication. Her discourtesy is a sign of "attitude", of intention.

I conclude (a) the "Supreme Court Criminal Rules" referred to in the letter are part and/or extension of the intolerable and odious gag order Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm has imposed on almost all matters of public record in Criminal Registry.

I conclude (b) the labyrinthine procedure put in place has been maliciously constructed to dissuade Canadians from seeking information they have an undoubted right to possess.

I conclude (c) the mere fact of the labyrinthine procedure having been constructed is an admission of the part of the senior Supreme Court officers that they do not have the right to deny access to matters on public record.

Finally, I conclude (d) that the increasingly complex fabric constructed to prevent Canadians from gaining access to material on public record (held in Criminal Registry) - which it is their fundamental freedom to request and to have supplied to them without delay - has been constructed to deny a fundamental freedom of Canadians and to do so - I am reluctantly forced to deeply suspect - on behalf of criminal interests in the Province.

Indeed, I specifically asked Chief Justice Donald Brenner to "conduct a full review of the repressive protocol [of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm] and write a letter to me (that may be made public) to state your findings." That request is general and does not bear specifically on Basi, Virk, and Basi matters. The Chief Justice is not only free to answer that request, he is honour bound to do so. The letter of H.L. McBride on behalf of the Chief Justice (May 31) postures in such a way as to pretend that question was not asked of the Chief Justice. It was asked, carefully, on two separate occasions. The refusal to admit that the question was asked is an obnoxious and insulting form of obstruction.

I wrote above that I may have been lied to on instruction from you and the Chief Justice. That is a serious suggestion. On March 30, 2007, H. L. McBride, Supreme Court Law Officer, wrote the following to me on your behalf: "If you wish to obtain access to other documents which may be contained in the court file, you must make a request in writing to Madam Justice Bennett or to the Chief Justice."

On May 20,2007, I wrote to you a "formal request" asking permission to have such access. (My first letter to Chief Justice Brenner for access was April 1, 2007; my second to him was May 21, 2007).

In reply dated May 29, 2007, H.L. McBride wrote: "If you wish to obtain access to the material - you must invoke the Court's formal process which is established by the Supreme Court Criminal Rules. Pursuant to the Criminal Rules, you (or your counsel) must complete Form 1, serve the application on all parties and appear to speak to the application".

That is a completely different set of requirements than was conveyed to me on March 30. Why? Am I being lied to? I am afraid the answer (on the face of it) is obvious. A first "put off" letter was tried and failed. When I undertook to write the kind of letter H.L.McBride described, then a tougher, more complicated kind of "put off" was employed to insure THAT NO PERSON MAY LOOK AT DOCUMENTS AND TRANSCRIPTS TO WHICH CANADIANS HAVE AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO GAIN ACCESS. If I were to complete the requirements most recently set out by your amanuensis, doubtless I would be denied access on a technicality; or a further, illegitimate hurdle would be placed in the way.

In addition, H.L. McBride writes: "Madam Justice Bennett cannot and will not make any decisions with respect to access to material filed in this proceeding unless and until a formal application is presented to her". I suggest to you that Madam Justice Bennett WILL not make any decisions, but that H.L. McBride is failing to tell the truth when she writes Madam Justice Bennett "cannot." The power of a Supreme Court judge is sufficient, I suggest, to provide you room to deal with this matter simply and expeditiously if you want to do so. "Madam Justice Bennett, in fact, can make decisions with respect to access to materials." H.L. McBride, I suggest is, in fact, conveying a falsehood.

You are choosing, I suggest, to place every difficulty in the way of Canadians (for whom I have requested permission to gain access to materials) because you have chosen to support the intolerable, odious, and totalitarian gag order imposed by Associate Chief Justice Dohm on almost all documents placed on public record in Criminal Registry of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

So strange and contradictory have been the replies of your amanuensis H.L. McBride that she may be thought - by many reasonably fair minded people, I suggest - to be incompetent or dishonest. Whatever the case, her juggling of matters to suit whatever convenience seems useful at a particular moment does little to inspire confidence in her or in any with whom she is associated.

I am certain that your concern for the good name of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and for the integrity and transparency of all matters in which it engages is as great as mine is. I am equally certain you are deeply concerned that the public interest must be served by the Supreme Court of British Columbia fairly, transparently, impartially, sensitively, and with a fundamental concern for what ordinary people call "decency". For that reason I ask you to refer again to my request to you of May 20, 2007, to gain access to daily court transcripts in the Basi, Virk, and Basi matter and to gain access to the 14 affidavits made in recent weeks by (mostly) police officers. I make that formal request again here; and I shall look eagerly for your reply (through an appropriate court officer, of course).


Robin Mathews



Media manipulation: are they softening up the public for a mistrial?

[From a Parksville ListServ this morning ...]

Hi all,
Anyone who's paranoid in 2007 has good reason. After ignoring the Basi/Virk case for almost three years (where was the media clamor for timely action during that time?), we can believe that newspapers and media in general (and to some extent their journalists) are willing participants in a larger scheme to soften up the public for a mistrial in Basi/Virk. The two very recent items below might lead you to think so -- the Ian Mulgrew story in today's Vancouver Sun especially. I found it interesting that the Vancouver Sun website, which is mostly subscription-only online -- today chose the Mulgrew story to put in its 'public viewing' category.

Voter manipulation at its best.


The hearing was supposed to start in April. The current August date is off because the defence can't get ready

Ian Mulgrew
Vancouver Sun - Monday, June 11, 2007

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett must be getting ready to admit defeat in the proceedings arising from the raid on the legislature 31/2 years ago.

She's still hoping to begin the criminal trial this fall, but the long-awaited breach-of-trust prosecution over the billion-dollar BC Rail privatization may never happen.

Bennett should be furious.

As I predicted months ago, she concluded last week the prosecution has not disclosed all the material it should have to the accused, two former provincial Liberal insiders, David Basi and Bob Virk. {Snip} ...

The trial was supposed to start in April -- a date now a courthouse joke.

The current August date is off because the defence can't get ready until it has all of the needed material.

The lawyers return to court July 16 to "see where they are at," but there are several outstanding pre-trial motions. {Snip} ...

Mark my words -- these concerns, along with scheduling conflicts, will prevent the trial from starting this fall, but they also may derail it completely.

It is simply taking too long, and justice delayed is justice denied in the eyes of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The unprecedented Dec. 28, 2003 raid on the provincial parliament sent shock waves through the B.C. and federal political establishments because those involved were powerful, longtime Liberals.

And the most recent disclosures have only proven what everyone suspected -- politics permeated the investigation.

We have learned that the B.C. finance minister was in police sights for a period of time and, more than that, we have learned there existed an unethical culture of cosiness between political appointees and lobbyists in Victoria.

But there has been little public discussion about these issues because Premier Gordon Campbell and the Liberals maintain they cannot answer questions as long as the case is before the courts.

This is a major scandal in which the main accusation is that the controversial railway privatization process was either rigged or run by yokels.

Basi and Virk -- two of the most senior aides in the Campbell administration who are accused of taking bribes -- could not possibly have been acting independently with so much at stake.

Moreover, no one has been charged with bribing them.

Special prosecutor Bill Berardino has failed to disclose tons of material and his tactics in these proceedings have brought them to the brink of collapse.

Berardino, in my opinion, has whitewashed outrageous exaggerations made by police at the time of the raid and pooh-poohed the political insinuations-- including the fact that former Finance Minister Gary Collins was under surveillance.

Justice Bennett was particularly troubled that Collins didn't appear in police notes provided to the defence until weeks after the surveillance -- and then he disappeared from the provided documentation again.

"It is clear that Minister Collins is under police suspicion in December 2003," Justice Bennett said, confirming what many have said all along but that the Mounties strenuously denied.

"Requests were made for briefings to the highest level of the RCMP, yet there is nothing that I have seen in writing that indicates who made the decision to stop pursuing Minister Collins as a suspect and when that decision was made."

There is much more the investigators have not revealed.

Justice Bennett last week called a spade a spade and her scathing ruling raised the spectre of proceedings being stopped because the constitutional rights of Basi and Virk to fair and speedy justice have been violated.

As I've been saying since these charges were laid, too many people have too much to lose in this case.

Many have an interest in seeing the criminal trial go off the rails.

I bet the Liberals will then hide behind the lengthy civil suit in the offing.

Regardless, by the time legal proceedings end in this affair, I think anyone even remotely splattered by the mud will have long retired from the civil service or public life.

If the government really cared about the insidious problems here, it would call a public inquiry into the BC Rail bidding process and the disquieting relationship between lobbyists and senior civil servants.

But don't hold your breath.

[Wouldn't a responsible media be issuing a call for immediate action? For the establishment of a Public Inquiry the moment the B.C. Rail trial ends (no matter how it ends)? Surely British Columbians aren't expected to watch, gawp-mouthed, as this whole charade passes into political oblivion? Like, just the simplest of questions could be answered for us: the Special Prosecutor appears to have disappeared off the Basi Virk Basi
BC Rail case; where is he? is he coming back? should the AG appoint somebody else? Like, even CanWest should serve the public interest -- and not by just sitting there with folded hands telling us it's all over before it begins. - BC Mary.]
Berni's second nomination:

Victoria News - June 8, 2007

The trial of former BC government aides Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi took a controversial twist this week when the judge in the case slammed the ... [Final paragraph] However, some observers have suggested that investigators and prosecutors have mishandled the vetting of evidence badly enough to cause a mistrial.


Saturday, June 09, 2007


"F--- with us, you die!" said the 30-year-old Vancouver lab technician

When I came across this May 8 news item with its political connections, I wondered if it should be part of our consideration of the upcoming trial which started off as a drug investigation: "Project Everywhichway". But I hesitated: it's so disquieting. Then I remembered RCMP Sergeant John Ward's warning that "organized crime had crept into all levels of society since 2001" and how some media are trying to downplay that warning ... so I went back to the original arrest reports and saw that Basi and Virk are mentioned in Ravinder Kaur Puar's story. So I copy the links below, for anyone wishing to look more closely at the case of an ambitious Vancouver politician and "Mother-of-one" caught in cross-border drug dealing. - BC Mary


The Province -- May 08, 2007

A woman shot in her home over the weekend once boasted to undercover cops in the U.S. that "in Vancouver ... you pay for it and you know how bad you pay for it."

Ravinderjit Kaur Shergill, also known as Ravinderjit Kaur Puar, was shot in the leg early Sunday morning after answering the door to her apartment in the 8400-block of Cambie Street.

The 32-year-old was rushed to hospital suffering massive blood loss and was not cooperating with police.

Ravinderjit Puar was jailed in the U.S. for conspiracy to import ecstasy. She was shot in her Vancouver home on May 6.

Puar was captured by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers in July, 2005, after a four-week undercover drug sting.

In May last year, the mother-of-one was handed a 15-month jail term after pleading guilty to conspiracy to import ecstasy. She had faced a maximum jail term of 20 years. {Snip} ...

'F-- with us, you die'


Macleans - Aug 12, 2005

It was a disappointing winter for Ravinderjit Kaur Puar, a brash and ambitious would-be politician in British Columbia. In January, the 30-year-old lab technician at the B.C. Cancer Agency and mother of a young daughter lost her bid for the provincial NDP nomination for Vancouver-Kensington, an immigrant-rich riding in the south of the city. While her family has solid connections in the Indo-Canadian community there, some said Puar -- who often uses her married surname, Shergill -- was hampered by a weak grasp of the issues and her past ties to the federal Liberals. She was part of a delegate slate backing Prime Minister Paul Martin's leadership bid, and her family campaigned for Ujjal Dosanjh, the ex-B.C. premier who is now federal health minister.

With a seat in the provincial legislature out of reach, Puar moved on to a new challenge: a run for Vancouver city council in the forthcoming November civic elections. She met twice with influential city councillor Jim Green, who has since announced his campaign for mayor as part of a new left-leaning team. Green was impressed. An articulate, well-connected Indo-Canadian woman would be a valuable addition to city hall, he says. "If she had been what I thought she was, she would have been ideal." {Snip} ...

Those who've met Puar struggle to reconcile the DEA's version of events with the woman they know. Green says Puar once acted as translator and go-between for him in a meeting with Indo-Canadian merchants. "She was very polite. She called the elder men 'uncle,' and it seemed everyone knew her," he says. Umendra Singh, editor of the Asian Star and one of Puar's opponents for the NDP nomination, recalls "a very nice lady." He can't remember if she spoke out about gangs and drugs, but it's a hard issue to avoid. "Any Indo-Canadian who has sought some kind of leadership role has spoken about this," he says. "It seems that somehow or other this thing has gone to all parts of our community." {Snip} ...


Friday, June 08, 2007


Press clippings - June 8, 2007

There are numerous articles published today about the sweeping Application for Disclosure presented to Judge Bennett by the Basi Virk Basi defence team. Links will be provided here but lengthy excerpts may only stun the readers with repetition of the same facts. The most dramatic record is the Application for Disclosure itself, copied below, and posted in full on Bill Tieleman's web-site [] - BC Mary.

The Globe and Mail - June 8, 2007

VANCOUVER -- Defence counsel in a political corruption case have requested such sweeping access to confidential records that the internal operations of the provincial government - including its relationship with lobbyists, the RCMP and the British Columbia Liberal Party - could be laid bare in court ...

Lawyers for government aides want to know who takes free tickets

Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - Friday, June 08, 2007

Defence lawyers for two government aides accused of political corruption want to know who in government accepts free tickets to Vancouver Canucks and B.C. Lions games, concerts at GM Place, Cirque du Soleil performances and movie passes, says a new defence application for more disclosure made public Thursday ...

Defence motion demands all B.C. officials, even cabinet ministers, release records

Suzanne Fournier
The Province - Friday, June 08, 2007

{Snip} ...The judge ordered all sides to reconvene on July 16 and Aug. 13.

Yesterday's broad disclosure request and discussions made it clear the trial will not start in late August, and with the judge and at least one defence lawyer tied up with other cases in the fall, it may not start until early 2008. {Snip}...

What has turned into a massive pre-trial bid for transparency in government dealings began with a drug investigation by RCMP in November, 2003, when wiretaps picked up Basi allegedly talking with a suspected drug dealer, but also allegedly chatting about the Liberal government's planned privatization of B.C. Rail's freight division. {Snip} ...

Yesterday's motion also demands government disclosure of anything related to public opinion polling or attempts to influence the media, an area in which Basi is said to have excelled, and "the acceptance of any gift or benefit" by lobbyists Brian Kieran and Erik Bornmann, who sought information on B.C. Rail.

Defence lawyers Bolton and Kevin McCullough, acting for Virk, have served notice they will seek a stay of proceedings in the case.