Tuesday, June 08, 2010
BC Rail Scandal, Basi, Virk, and Basi trial. Courtroom 54, June 8.
The morning in Courtroom 54
By Robin Mathews
Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie makes writing reports easy.
I'll be saying I think the ban is unacceptable - over and over. Because the whole concept of publication bans needs to be revisited. Like the process for the appointment of B.C. Crown Prosecutors - Which Stinks To High Heaven - the use of a publication ban in the present case is becoming seriously questionable. It's important to say that, because the Mainstream Press and Media accept ... almost anything ... quietly.
What is more - as one knowing journalist remarked - when information is withheld from public perception, the public suspects, believes connivance, manipulation - and fabricates its own information. Even throwing suspicion on the judge - is she doing it for some 'special interest'???
Such questions linger ... and begin to take on a reality of their own ...which may even be real reality ....
Today there was no jury present, and much unreportable...again. As a result, whispers ran through the corridors, rumours.... That William Berardino was just paid five million dollars as part payment for the work he is doing on the BC Rail Scandal. (More, more, to come of course over the next twelve months!!) And queries pressing to know who is responsible for the declared 'six to eight weeks' trial leaping (including breaks) to May of next year - to TWELVE MONTHS!!
I said to Mr. Berardino (outside the chamber) that I heard him tell the judge the estimate was six to eight weeks. He said (as I understood him) that it wasn't him (?) but Defence. Kevin McCullough for Defence, disagreed. A knowing journalist pointed out - again - that it is the responsibility of the Crown to estimate the length of trial. Defence doesn't have to say anything.
Having said all that, when William Berardino said 'six to eight weeks' (I heard him say it), why didn't Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie say something sweet like: "I think you are out of your mind Mr. Berardino". And why didn't Defence leap up and say: "We KNOW he's out of his mind"? The gallery observers watch and listen ... and surface unanswerable questions ....
* * *
Yesterday, I said jury would return today at two. That was a mistake for which I apologize. Jury will return tomorrow for ten a.m. at which time the august and important Chief of Staff for Gordon Campbell and top political advisor, Martyn Brown, will return to assure the jury (and all others interested) of the integrity, the compassion, the public responsibility, the accessibility, the tenderness, the scrupulosity, the magnanimity, and the transparency of the Gordon Campbell government.
(Unfortunately, applause is not permitted in the courtroom or successive rounds of applause at Mr. Brown's statements would delay the trial much much longer than already noted.)
BC Rail Case shows why our legal system is a mess
Vancouver Sun - June 9, 2010
The BC Rail corruption trial looks like the most recent example of a growing quagmire in the criminal legal system: interminable proceedings, skyrocketing costs and heavy use of public resources.
The length of time required to steer the case to this point and the incredibly long road still ahead are an indictment of the current situation.
Blame a trio of Supreme Court of Canada decisions -- Rowbotham, Askov and Stinchcombe -- for the widening and deepening swamp.
Each seems a reasonable, laudable expression of constitutional protection extended to those facing criminal charges -- the right to a state-funded lawyer, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to full disclosure of the accusations and Crown evidence.
Unfortunately, when you step back and look at the big picture, the combined interplay of these rulings often produces pernicious, unintended legal quicksand.
I wonder how they manage to keep the witness(es) informed of the whims of the court.
I still have that answer and I WILL publish it when the trial ends.
Why in the Hell would the lamestream "accredited" stenographers not accept the publication ban with appropriate meekness? After all, they've been under their own self imposed publication ban for years........
a) William Berardino's word cannot be relied upon for anything;
b) The 'working journalists' who ought to be challenging this absurd gag order (and the organizations they work for) are cowardly milquetoasts who seem to have surrendered the vital role the press plays in a democracy without even a fight; and
c) The judge on the bench is both naive and inexperienced and may be totally incapable of handling this case - no wonder you couldn't get access to her CV Robin.
Keep up the good work - God knows we depend upon it.
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries.-- David Rockefeller in an address to a Trilateral Commission meeting in June of 1991"
It wouldn't surprise me to see members of Supreme Courts among the Bilderberg group - in fact - I expect it.
Clearly, Justice Bennett found that the Special Prosecutor and the RCMP were inept.
Guess that is why he get's paid millions.