Thursday, June 03, 2010
BC Rail Corruption Trial: Thurs. a.m., June 3, 2010 in BCSCourtroom 54
Thursday Morning in Courtroom 54. June 3, 2010. Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie and the Canadian Judicial Council.
By Robin Mathews
[First, an apology. My computer took a dive, and it's taken me many hours to get it back into working order. That means part of yesterday and until now, today, I was in computer blackout. - R.M.]
Deep concern is being shown by observers of the latest adjournment and delay in the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial. With reason. The cause of the present serial adjournments cannot be discussed because of the Publication Ban thrown over all procedures at which the jury is not present (by Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie).
I have already questioned the news blackout to the public. The jury is advised to stay away from all public media reports of the case and the trial. Fine. That may be prudent. But that the British Columbia public is denied absolutely key information about the conduct of the most important public criminal trial in B.C. history, I believe, is harder and harder to explain or to support.
Today, the jury was called in to be told counsel and court still have things to discuss, and so jury is excused until Monday morning at 9:45. That is all I can report because the jury had to be there to be sent away ... and so the jury was present for that little piece of non-information.
The theorizing that is surfacing (outside the courtroom) shows people are increasingly upset with the conduct of the trial. Quite naturally, there is suggestion an overall scam is afoot to kill the trial. That should concern the presiding judge, for the good name of the administration of justice is being lambasted. She should take every step she can to assure the public that the administration of justice in this case is maintaining the highest integrity.
The "Open Court" system of our tradition is there to prevent manipulation and to assure the public is witness to procedure, so that 'complications' in the trial procedure are not blanked out to the larger public and (inevitably) suspected of being acts of bias, manipulation, and wrongful action. There ARE witnesses to the proceedings in the gallery of the courtroom each session now. The trial proceedings with jury present are not 'secret' (in camera). But the rest of the important transaction among Prosecution, Defence, and Judge is, in fact, denied to the general public. That is not healthy.
I do not believe Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie has done enough to assure the public of the integrity of the administration of justice in this case. The reason for the present recess is something I think the public could know without harm to the trial, and I believe the jury members could know it, too, without risk to the jury's impartiality and independence. As I wrote before, the information might help the jury to see the complexities of the case without leading them into bias and pre-judgement. "The Court" (Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie) obviously disagrees with me on the matter.
We cannot but remember the hours (with jury present) during which Martyn Brown, Chief of Staff and top political advisor to Gordon Campbell, was cross-examined. It was a taste of what will come if the trial proceeds as intended. Mr. Brown was not comfortable. I believe there can be no doubt that all the forces interested in the security and power of Gordon Campbell and his associates would be happiest if such occasions were not permitted to continue.
That is another reason why Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie should show herself determined to keep the trial as "open" as possible and to do all in her power to see it proceed properly.
The rulings and decisions she has made since she came to preside at the pre-trial procedures in September of 2009 (and in the trial since May 17, 2010 when the jury is not present,) are under Publication Ban. But they will not always be so - and she will have to answer for them, to the public, at some time.
Readers of my reports know that I have strong differences with Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie.
When I asked for her professional resume - as judge on the most important public criminal trial in B.C. history - I was refused it. More recently, writing to her to ask for reporter accreditation in the present trial (as suggested by the committee which refused it to me) I expected at least a reply from her. I have received none.
Writing to the Chief Justice, and to her ladyship as Associate Chief Justice and presiding judge on the Basi, Virk, and Basi case, I repeated my concern that the present Special Crown Prosecutor on the case was wrongly appointed by an Attorney General's ministry possessing an Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General both of whom were long-time partners and colleagues of the appointed Special Crown Prosecutor in breach of the legislation covering that position. I asked for a remedy. Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie will not reply to my letter nor have it replied to by someone in the service of the B.C. Supreme Court.
On May 17, I wrote a Complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council about Madam Justice MacKenzie's "conduct" in the matter, alleging that she conducts herself improperly in (a) knowing of the improper appointment of the Special Crown Prosecutor and (b) doing nothing about it.
The essence of the answer I have received from the Canadian Judicial Council follows. "The Executive Director and Senior General Counsel, Mr. Norman Sabourin, has asked me to inform you that your complaint will be brought to the attention of the Vice-Chairperson of the Council's Judicial Conduct Committee and that we will be writing to you once your complaint is reviewed." [Signed, Sophie Goneau, Registrar.]
The matter that the CJC will have to adjudicate is, of course, at what point the cardinal rule of "judicial independence" becomes judicial misconduct and must be addressed by the Council.
It's a bit "old" (recorded on the first day of the BC Rail political corruption trial)
but it's interesting.
No PAB comments lately? I wonder if they are occupied with a major spin campaign to make this go away. CN and Gordo do not want more negative publicity.
I appreciate the courage Virk and the Basi boys have shown. It is amazing they have fought so long.
If you were pegged guilty, wouldn't you fight for your freedom?
The real question here is, who is,
Basi working for?
And, I don't mean Campbell.
BUT, why is Campbell going to great lenghts to keep it a sercet!???
As the saying goes, "follow the bouncing ball". First we get a judge that was considered by most of us to be more lenient to the defense replaced by one that has to date shown no same tendencies.
Then after a whopping two days of questioning of one witness, we are dealt with delays.
The procedural issues that came forth this week must have been present last week as well. Seeing as last week was postponed by a supposed illness by one of the defendants, one could surmise that these procedural issues could have been dealt with last week. One can only assume that last week was spent on formulating a scenario to subvert justice as we, the unwashed, envision it to be.
Basi, Virk and Basi are charged with offences that are really minor compared to the magnitude of the sale of BC Rail, which by all accounts was nothing more than the taxpayers of BC paying someone to separate us from our asset.
In the end, this whole sham will be nothing more than what one would expect from a grade "B" movie.
You'd think that the last line by the former AG could have prevented the Raid on the Legislature, but that was then, not now and his legal opinion is on the timely topic of HST.
NOTE: If you're looking for election BC PCS they've revamped their name for contributions to political parties. Its now FRPC. In other words, type into Google "Election BC FRPC" without the quotes of course.
For example: Heenan Blaikie LLP NO
For example: Geoff Plant No Donation
For example: Geoffrey Plant YES
If you were pegged guilty, wouldn't you fight for your freedom?
No one has been pegged guilty.
On Cutting Edge Of The Leg today on CKNW, Keith Baldry intimated that the Basi-Virk-Basi trial could be a done deal come this Monday. Niether Bill Good or Vaughn Palmer commented on Baldry's assertion and the subject was quickly changed to another topic.
Could it be that Keith Baldry has made use of a Banned topic? and if he has, will he be a done deal?
The typed version is barely legible!
Has the BC Liberals had a hand in changing how Election BC presents its files?
Kash Heed is the example and it should be noted that since charges have been laid against three individuals involved in the campaign to elect Kash Heed as an MLA, Election BC hasn't had an Amendment to an Amendment on the financial report.
To answer my own question on quality, or lack of quality of the "100114908.pdf (application/pdf Object):pdf" file I had a look at the Page Info via my Mozilla Firefox browser for this particular file and its status came up as:
Rendering Mode:>= Quirk Mode
A search on the internet had this to say:
"Standards" mode versus "Quirks" mode
"Generally, there are two choices for rendering mode, "standards" mode and "quirks" mode. In "standards" mode, a modern browser will do its best to render the document according to the W3C recommendations, even if it leads to unexpected results. In "quirks" mode, a modern browser will try to handle an (x)HTML document like older browsers from the mid-to late '90s did. It will do its best to imitate the parsing, rendering, and bugs of earlier browsers when encountering sloppy or invalid code authoring. And, it will display those quirky pages in the same way as those earlier browsers do.
So how does a browser decide whether it should use "standards" mode or "quirks" mode? Why, by examining the doctype, or lack thereof on the web page.
Depending on the doctype present in the (x)HTML document, the browser will choose either "quirks" mode or "standards" mode. If there is no doctype declaration present, or if the doctype is incomplete or outdated, the browser will switch to "quirks" mode. Using a current, modern doctype, or perhaps an unknown (new?) one, will trigger "standards" mode."
It looks like Election BC has had some pressure exerted on it by the BC Liberals to take their Open and Transparent government back to the late 1990's.
Internet Explorer 8 is no different in quality......
if you understand what "pegged guilty" means (with, or without, an "as") how about explaining.
Do you mean that the Accused are being presumed guilty? By whom? When?
I know what freedom means, too, but
"fight for your freedom" in this context means virtually nothing ... when the big worry is that the trial is being postponed, delayed, not happening ... while The Accused are free as birds waiting, like the rest of us, for something to happen.