Monday, June 28, 2010
Maybe there's no session of the BC Rail Corruption Trial today, or then again, maybe there is. We of the "CULT" learned long ago that accuracy and/or promptness were not exactly part of the mission statement of the Attorney General's Court Services Online.
I guess it goes along with a justice system where justice is merely given lip service, if that.
Anyway, as of almost 9:00am PDT, there is NO MENTION of case 23299 (Basi, Basi or Virk) - though last week the word was that court would convene this morning at 11:15 or some such later time to accommodate a course being taken by a juror. They may as well start at 9:00am or 10:00am as at least half of the time the jury isn't included anyway.
I checked the BC Supreme Court listings this a.m., and again at 3:00 PM, and was (honest to gosh) astounded that Case No. 23299 isn't listed today.
It's no accident. Nobody can convince me that somebody just "forgot" such a significant trial.
I mean ... how often did they "forget" to post trial dates for the Air India trial? Or the pig farm trial? Betcha they didn't forget those.
". . . our independence does not absolve us from the responsibility of listening and being open to the possibility that the public's suggestions and criticisms are relevant."
This would help explain the blinders.
Just a simple error of omission, is it?
Bill Tieleman seems to think that Basi, Virk and Basi will be in court today, though.
[I've been experimenting. I've been talking to people who know very little about British Columbia except that it's beautiful ...
I've started telling them about BC Rail. About drugs trafficking in B.C. About things the media "forgets" to tell us.
The G20 weekend chaos has opened Canadian minds to the possibilities of ham-fisted political control imposed from above. Of legislation enacted in secret, which affects our citizenship. Whatever the reason, I've recently found that people want to know about BC Rail ...
and I'm thinking that if people across the country knew of our experience with BC Rail, they'd be standing right alongside us demanding to know the full story, and prepared to do something about cleaning things up.
So here's a thought. If each of us try to tell the story to someone new -- even just one a day -- wouldn't it help to create "the informed society" upon which our peaceful democracy depends?
For example: I had some good results by mentioning (during a discussion of the G20 weekend) the puzzling fact that Organized Crime was never mentioned when, I said, the trafficking of BC marijuana alone is said to be $6Billion (cash) per year, or roughly the same size as 20% of the BC budget. Then mention that it was an investigation into drugs trafficking which led police into their historic raid upon the Legislature ...
The possibilities of person-to-person transmission of BC Rail news was made clear to me by a 12-year-old boy (my grandson) who, when he saw a small article in The Globe and Mail (inside page) announcing the start of the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial, clipped the story and took it to school for "Current Events"; he even added a few words about his Grandma's work on this case.
It was when he told me that the Grade Seven kids were shocked to know that something so important could be taken from the people without their full knowledge or approval, that I began to see person-to-person news in a new light.
Another lead-in is to ask: "Do you remember hearing about the police raiding the BC Legislature?"
And: "Do you think Ontario will be so foolish as to sell off Ontario Hydro?"
We were led astray when the media reported that the "search and seizure" legislation had been enacted in secret ...
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has just held a press conference. One of the things he spoke about was this notion of police legislation enacted in secrecy. He listed the huge quantities of brochures they had prepared and delivered to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); the special brochures delivered to people living or working in the concentrated central area of Toronto; and ... get this! ... the announcements in The Globe and Mail advising Toronto citizens (3 or 4 times) of what to expect and for which Toronto Police had paid The Globe and Mail $75,000. "If that's what you call a secret, then I want our $75,000. back," he said.
Maybe I've been damaged by too much of the evasive lying and dissembling which passes for political accountability in British Columbia. Maybe Bill Blair is just too good to be true.
But I'm totally impressed by the man's ability to give a full answer to every question (no matter how complex or how awkward). No hesitation. No hand-over-heart rhetoric about "the sacred rights of our forefathers" kind of stuff ... the media asks, Blair responds in full.
Blair explains the program. He explains his expectations in the face of challenges we didn't even know about. He explains the law, the duty of the police, and their obligation to protect the citizens. Unequivocably, he defends the thousands of cops who were given the task of defending the city. And darned if I didn't believe him. Blair looks to me like the real thing -- a very good cop -- and we're in deep trouble if we can't recognize a good cop when we see one put to the test.
So when Blair tells us about theadvance preparations of the "Black Block" group and their ability to cause a city serious grief, I think we should pay attention.
Much as I admire the Toronto police chief's performance of duty,
there's an enormous omission from the general discussion surrounding this summit conference of 20 world leaders.
Somebody, somewhere, at some point in that massively expensive gathering should have had raised the issue of Organized Crime.
Chief Blair did mention it -- in passing -- only once ... and i.m.o. incorrectly. He said that the group of thugs, termed the "Black Block", are Organized Crime.
Well, I don't think so. There's way, way more to it. If you ask me, Organized Crime isn't likely to be confined to a group of ambitious thugs out smashing windows on the streets of Toronto.
When I go to the daily docket, it lists 23299 for Today now.
Marcella Bernardo | Email news tips to Marcella
The corruption trial of three former BC government workers resumes tomorrow, with the jury hearing evidence again after nearly a two-week break.
Since the cross-examination of the first witness was halted June 17th, the judge has heard a series of legal arguments from the crown and defence, in the absence of the jury.
Ddetails are protected by a publication ban, but BC Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie made her ruling this morning.
That means the testimony of Premier Gordon Campbell's chief of staff, Martyn Brown, can resume tomorrow.
"The jury was dismissed right after he was asked if he knew the RCMP's lead investigator in this case was the brother-in-law of a senior BC Liberal Party executive."
Crown will, mark my words, continue to interrupt the trial with objections to this or that piece of evidence.
And how the Kinsella judgement or decision fits into the actual trial itself remains to be seen; he prevented himself from being looked at too closely in the pre-trial hearings; he may have no choice in the matter once defence raises more matters of his role in all this.
To hell with Savary; we know all these guys are going to retire to some condo in Maui or Palm Springs once the empire has fallen....
After reading the Vancouver Sun report on A9 written by Neal Hall, I decided to find transportation to the court house today to take in the proceedings. Of course, the Vancouver Sun was wrong yet again. The jury was not in attendence today and the cross examination of Martyn Brown did not occur.
You will recall that the jury was requested to leave on June 17th by Justice Mackenzie based on an objection from Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino. Michael Bolton, on behalf of the defence, posed a simple question to Martyn Brown. Is Martyn Brown aware of the relationship between RMCP team commander Kevin Debruyckere, who led the investigation into the sale of BC Rail and the leader of the BC Liberal party Kelly Reichert?
Mr. Berardino jumped to his feet from his position in the front row and raised another objection. Defence lawyers were perplexed by the nature of the objection given that Mr. Brown did not have a chance to answer the simple question. An answer that may have resulted in the objection being moot.
Is this a case of premature objections from Bill Berardino?
Given that Associate Chief Justice Anne Mackenzie has imposed a publication ban on matters that are discussed in the absence of the jury, the public are left in the dark.
Unfortunately, the media have chosen not to challenge the publication ban. Why have the media taken such a position? Often we read reports that the media have challenged sealing orders and media restrictions. The media cry that there is a huge public interest in removing these bans and the veil of secrecy must be lifted.
Given that the last two weeks have caused ongoing delays to the BC Rail Corruption Trial, the public continue to be left in the dark and the mainstream media can only write editorials to defend their own inaction.
Citizen Journalist from 54
The Basi Virk Basi case WAS LISTED FOR TODAY, right at the top of the sheets with all the other trials scheduled for today.
I'm in luck! So, I head up to Courtroom 54 – they don't make it easy trying to figure out how to get to the courtrooms on floors 5, 6 and 7, do they?
Anyway, I get to courtroom 54 –– AND IT'S DARK AND LOCKED.
So, what's with that? More games being played, just 'cause they can?
I bet it doesn't happen with the jury, that they'll take their Canada Day break instead of returning for one day of testimony. Whew! What a pace.
Maybe next week unless the court takes that off to celebrate American independence day.
This is going so slowly, one might suppose all the fancy lawyers get paid by the day. More days, more lolly. Perhaps, that's what the systems is really all about. Who are the suckers anyway?
That would bring to full light the fact that neither Crown nor Defense asked for a publication ban, that the ban is being used as a club AGAINST finding out the whole truth aided by the very judge who enacted the ban in my opinion. And it will also clearly show the rest of Canada just how corrupted the systems of protection and government in BC have become. Fight it hard enough in that court - and the whole world will know.
It might also start media in other jurisdictions/countries/provinces/cities asking questions about past Justice (interference) issues, the current Justice's ability to handle a trial this complex (not near well enough for my liking)...and just who does control the strings to the courts of BC.
We need a spotlight on this trial, and every player in it - and someone ready to break the law to preserve justice!
I mentioned this over at my place, but given that the judge, I would assume, likely made that decision while the jury wasn't in the room....
Doesn't that suggest that Ms. Bernardo kinda/sorta pushed the envelope on the publication ban?
(others like CJ54 could weigh in by telling us what WAS said in front of the jury....that way they wouldn't be divulging anything they shouldn't and yet we would still actually know something)
Furthur to yesterday's post, I will make an attempt to attend the hearing today - if it happens.
I expect that we will see more premature objections from Bill Berardino and more I can't recall's from Martyn Brown.
Citizen Journalist from 54
Mr. Brown's faulty memory, if he ever had such knowledge, is truly worth a scientific investigation. No doubt a contagious disease, too, with Patient Zero likely either the Premier or his personal assistant.
But it's not that. It's the issue of those pesky, mysterious warrants again. Doesn't the involvement of the Solicitor-General in obtaining them around the Office of the Speaker render them invalid? Never mind that the first two attempts at issuing them were rejected because of their address, and that the third set of warrants, with the correctly-concealed address, had to be signed in the United States.....
I'm itchy about all that; it implies that all the evidence seized as a result of those warrants may be invalid, if any judgement concerning the illegality of the warrants is forthcoming. But now we know what we know, and we want to know more.
It's rather a pity search warrants weren't issued for ALL cabinet offices, don't you think?
I also don't like that a cabinet member was warned of a raid on cabinet offices, and with enough time to warn other cabinet members. And that that same cabinet member would later comment "I can't comment, the matter is before the courts".
Yet to the national media, especially those pesky pundits at the CBC who will always find other things to talk about, all this is non-news. Not newsworthy. Not worth bothering with. British Columbians are clearly wacky, and that's all that needs to be said, let's get back to talking about tax cuts and Afghanistan....
We are witnessing a court of misrule, overseeing a case created by improperly obtained warrants, and selectively prosecuted against men who were effectively only junior hatchetmen in a billion-dollar scam perpetrated by rankly corrupt politicians, and wilfully cooperated with by spoonfed justices and incestuous relationships with the police. Oh, and that curiously immoral confabulation known as the mainstream media with their own "self-accreditation" that invalidates anything said by anyone else other than themselves.
In British Columbia, the only thing that is illegal and "out of order" and, perhaps, actionable, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Somehow ironic that maybe the greatest dramatic actor ever born in this province was known for playing the great and righteous lawyer Perry Mason, huh?
In fact, this case is being conducted with more adherence to the rules of law and to the rules of the court than other cases.
Why? The reason is simple: most cases are conducted without ANYONE in attendance other than the judge, lawyers and only sometimes, the parties in question. Certainly that is the situation with a great many civil cases.
We need a light shone on these dark places - these court rooms of the BC Supreme Court. I agree with Laila, I believe it was, who suggested someone should deliberately defy the publication ban, and the ban on recording the proceedings. Better yet, many people should do so, in concert. That may draw the attention of media outside BC/Canada more readily.
Many civil court cases often affect people profoundly, even in a life and death manner, so it's not like these are just bloodless, procedural matters. And many civil cases are heard in front of judges alone (not juries) so the possibility of judicial bias or malfeasance is greater.
Thank you for your clear-eyed, strong-hearted, and exemplary attention to this subject Skook.
Please continue to provide us with your insight and wisdom.
What's the point of having a court room, such as #54, with 78 seats for the public, to be without the ability to provide the means so that every spoken word, is heard clearly by all, whether they sit in the front row or the back row?
Accreditation is about having the legal right to carry a device to record the voices of the Judge, Lawyers, Clerk, and Witnesses and then using that device to make sure the written word, notes, has been correctly heard before being published in the local rags.
I thought about coopting that term "cult" too, by making it an acronym. The best I could come up with so far is "Citizens United for Liberty and Truth". Anyone have anything better?