Saturday, September 26, 2009
Robin Mathews: BC Rail Scandal Court Processes
Hiding From The Truth? The BC Rail Scandal Court Processes
By Robin Mathews
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, pursuing her own pleasure before her duty to justice and the people of British Columbia I believe, has withdrawn from the BC Rail Scandal case against Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, (top cabinet aides) and Aneal Basi, accused of (variously) 14 counts of fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering.
Madam Justice Bennett HAS NOT “recused” herself. Patrick Brown, in a fairly long article (Island Tides, Sept. 10, 09, 2,3,5) misuses the word. He says she has chosen to “’recuse’ herself from the case (an unusual use of the word)”.
It is not an unusual use of the word, but a misuse of it. She has not “decided…to…’recuse’ herself”. She has decided, rather, to seek her own pleasure in the matter. If she, herself, has used the word “recuse”, she should not have done so, for to do so is seriously misleading.
The word “recuse” is a strange one, originating in the French. In English it properly means to object to something as prejudiced. When a judge “recuses” himself or herself, it is because he or she would be seen to be prejudiced (if the accused were a cousin, if the judge had done business with the accused, etc. etc.).
In English the word arises from the time of the religious wars in England when some people refused to attend the Church of England. They were called “recusants”, and the word came to bear the load, it seems, of prejudiced and calculated bias.
In French the word means to object to testimony, to impugn a witness, to challenge. Very clearly, in French, “to recuse” means to challenge a person or testimony as being illegitimate. When, in English, a judge “recuses” himself or herself, he or she does so, recognizing that to continue is to face challenge for prejudicial action or position.
And so, in effect, the judge challenges himself or herself, and steps down. That is – in no way – the case with Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett; she possessed no issue of bias or prejudice to lead her “to recuse”.
She herself has chosen – whatever the existence or non-existence of political pressure – to serve her own pleasure in the matter, and to leave a heavy obligation she has to the pursuit of justice and to the people of British Columbia. (She might well, humourously, be called a “recusant” in the matter – someone, that is, who refuses duty to God and to the kingdom).
Sloppiness with the word “recuse” is part of the general sloppiness of response to the truly grave developments in the BC Rail Scandal “trial”. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett has, quite obviously, refused to initiate action and investigation that growing evidence (revealed in court – and in evidence withheld from the public) cries out to be followed up. She does not (as I say) face what is before her but (metaphorically) turns her face to the wall (in horror?).
And so it is with most of those who report the case – such as Patrick Brown, ordinarily a sharp and knowing observer.
Every observer should be insisting on the enormity of the evidence Defence has wrested from the Gordon Campbell forces. Every observer should be demanding criminal investigation be conducted of many of the key, top people involved in the BC Rail Scandal. The court procedures in place now can be nothing but an embarrassing sham as long as those alleged to have manipulated, organized, and coordinated the corrupt sale of BC Rail are left uninvestigated by the RCMP.
The RCMP has, has had, or can have access to much of the damning evidence pointing to possible malfeasance on the part of the Gordon Campbell forces.
More and more, insistent evidence reveals – it seems – that the Gordon Campbell forces may be alleged to have worked together to break the election promise that BC Rail would not be sold, to misrepresent the state of the railway purposefully, to prepare it for “sale” by misrepresentation to the public, to manipulate its assets so as to misreport its earning capability, to intend it for CN Rail long before what appears to have been a fraudulent “open, public auction process”, and to have the terms of agreement uncertain and misreported to the public.
For all we know now, the formal allegations against the three accused may have arisen because they were following – in a small corner of the overall program - the instructions, or the policy, or the intentions, or a general plan of action set out by their elected/unelected superiors.
The apparent enormity of those alleged actions cannot be – it seems – faced by observers. Patrick Brown’s article, for instance, seems to see the matter as almost normal. He says, for instance, the request by Defence for cabinet-level emails concerning the sale of BC Rail was met “with the astonishing suggestion that they had all been destroyed”. It was not a “suggestion”; it was a statement of fact.
The discovery of some emails since does not change the fact that counsel for the Gordon Campbell cabinet informed the court that all emails covering three or four years were destroyed. And unless ALL emails are made available to test for relevance to the defence of the accused, evidence of primary importance may be alleged to have been destroyed by the Gordon Campbell administration.
The present shadow-boxing to get slices of emails cannot obscure a central fact: key evidence in a case that saw charges laid in 2004 may have been destroyed by the Gordon Campbell forces.
If true, that is an enormity, whether it happened by accident or design. We have the right – the need - to know if the destruction was “accident” or “design”. Only a full RCMP investigation, I suggest, can supply the answer.
Enough. Enough of the “culture of complacency”. The conduct of the pre-trial hearings in the BC Rail Scandal case has revealed, I declare, a peremptory and insistent need: all of the people, elected or otherwise, involved in the “sale” of BC Rail must be fully investigated by the RCMP in order to clear them of suspicion or to bring accusations of wrong-doing against them.
That is the point we have now reached in the pre-trial hearings presided over by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. The implications of the pre-trial hearings, I believe, demand full investigation of Gordon Campbell and his elected and other associates involved in the BC Rail Scandal to assess their actions for allegations of criminal wrong-doing.
Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett – I suggest with the deepest respect – is fleeing from those implications with all the speed she can muster. Serious, responsible British Columbians must not do so. They must not let those implications go unreported, unimpugned, uninvestigated, despite (what I call) the indefensible action of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett. They must demand the opening of a whole set of RCMP investigations of those most directly involved in the BC Rail Scandal and “sale”.
"all of the people, elected or otherwise, involved in the “sale” of BC Rail must be fully investigated by the RCMP in order to clear them of suspicion or to bring accusations of wrong-doing against them.
But from where I sit this seems highly unlikely as the RCMP appears to be as big a part of the conspiracy to defraud the people of BC as the Campbell cabinet and their ethically challenged and greedy cronies. Some of the decisions about who to investigate and/or interview would suggest that this was never an impartial investigation and the Basi et. al. farce little more than an attempt to blame a much bigger cancer on some convenient scapegoats and carry on with the ongoing theft of the public's assets and abuse of their trust.
"just look at whats happening federally,finally something for the people,and that's given to us by a minority,do you think they would do that with a majority?"
Although I agree with some of the comment from which the quote above was taken, the quote above baffles me. What exactly is it that WE have gained from the minority situation as Harper plays it? For all I can see he operates as if he had a majority and thanks to the spineless and colluding (and mostly Assperson) media has the public somehow convinced that he has been "winning" some kind of presidential elections when all HE has won is his safe seat in Calgary and the leadership of the Reform/Alliance/CRAP party disguised as Conservatives (as I feel Bob Stanfield and even Dief the Chief spinning in their graves like a small earthquake).
The absurdity of him legislating a "fixed" American style election date as a minority leader was only topped by the subsequent act of breaking his own new law when he felt it was to his political advantage. Of course even this violation of his law which itself violates in principle centuries of parliamentary tradition has been given approval by the totally corrupt and un-accountable Canadian federal (in)Justice System - pending, most likely useless, appeal!
They are the equivalent of the worst wing of the ReThugs to our south where it is all dirty politics, all the time, 24/7 and 365. I for one am sick and tired of having to empty my mailbox of HATE MAIL from Harper MPs whose home riding is god knows where, but not where I live. That alone is an abuse of the "franking" privilege accorded to MPs to inform their constituents about the increasingly silly goings on in Ottawa's loony bin across the river from Hull, Quebec.
One of Harper's greatest victories to date, other than avoiding criminal prosecution for a number of actions (bribing dying MPs, election financing and crimes against nature), has been convincing the Canadian electorate that the true majority of Pariliament, namely the dreaded coalition, shouldn't be allowed to pick the PRIME minister in our so-called Parliamentary system. Somehow he has enough of the sheeple (well just over twenty percent of the eligible voters when you consider his party's portion of the less than half who even vote anymore) convinced that any attempt for the Bloc, NDP and Liberals to form government is equivalent to an illegal coup.
Steven Harper (much to his chagrin) has NEVER been elected President of Canada and Canada is not a Federal Republic. He is a narrow minded MP from a jurisdiction that may as well be the 51st American State who just happens to be the biggest frog in a pond of losers/dead enders and reality deniers - otherwise known as the Conservative caucus.
IT'S their job to investigate, when they're not the ones doing the crime. It's mostly their superiors who are up to no good.Thats why there is a fedral justice dept., that overs sees police/authority crimes...?