Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The BC Rail Tragedy: in a two-week period leading up to the October 18 trial resumption they lowered their plea bargain offer from four years in federal prison to two years of house arrest with lots of allowances, while the government kicked in $6million and a non-disclosure agreement to sweeten the deal.
By Ian Reid
The Real StoryOct 20, 2010It all started with a question from Michael Bolton – representing David Basi – to Martyn Brown late last June.
Bolton began asking Brown about the relationship between lead RCMP investigator Kevin DeBruyckere and BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kelly Reichart. They are brothers-in-law.
Immediately Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino jumped up to object to Bolton’s questioning. The jury was excused and the longest legal wrangling delay in the trial began. With the jury excused the wrangling was under publication ban.
What happened that last week of June in Courtroom 54 has never been reported.
I believe it set the stage for the deal consummated Monday morning, the deal that paid off the defendants and stopped the trial.
Berardino’s argument behind closed doors? He claimed that the pre-trial agreement signed by the defence meant questions about investigative bias were inadmissible. Berardino went further. He claimed the pre-trial agreement severely limited the defence’s ability to raise any bias issue, any issue about defective process, any issue that undercut the prosecution’s statement of facts.
Regarding the deBruyckere/Reichart relationship Berardino declared that “the issue of effective bias of the investigation is not before the jury” as a result of the pre-trial agreement.
That meant the defence couldn’t make a point of the close familial relationship between deBruyckere and Reichart. They couldn’t argue that the relationship was a conflict of interest that skewed the investigation. Couldn’t enter supporting evidence such as wiretaps or evidence of deBruyckere meeting Reichart and Reichart subsequently meeting with Premier Campbell to debrief him on the state of the investigation.
The same was true, argued Special Prosecutor Berardino, for much of the defence’s case, such as the questionable nature of the Bornman immunity agreement – the one that allowed him to escape a criminal charge of offering a bribe, in return for testimony against the defendants.
Bolton’s response behind the closed doors of Courtroom 54 was that the Special Prosecutor was misreading the pre-trial agreement in an attempt to restrict the defence and ensure large chunks of the defence’s case – and supporting evidence – was ruled inadmissible.
As the defence put it, the pre-trial agreement was “not meant to fetter the cross examination for example regarding Mr. Bornman’s immunity agreement, you want to be able to ask Mr. Bornman about his immunity agreement.” Berardino argued that kind of questioning was inadmissible.
A week later, with the jury back, Michael Bolton got up and asked Martyn Brown about Kelly Reichart and Kevin de Bruyckere. The defence won the closed door argument about admissibility. The Special Prosecutor lost.
That meant the way was clear for the defence to question Gary Collins, even Gordon Campbell amongst others, about these issues. The way was clear to ask about Reichart and deBruyckere and about the RCMP steering the investigation away from Gary Collins. More importantly, the way was clear to introduce evidence supporting the claim.
We know that there are wiretaps of Collins. We know he was a subject of the investigation in 2003. Then he wasn’t. We know that he was to be questioned over Christmas of 2003 then he wasn’t. We don’t know why.
Are there wiretaps of Reichart and Collins? Is there an RCMP report regarding the deBruyckere and Reichart relationship? What about the evidence the RCMP gathered at the Villa Del Lupo meeting with Omnitrax? What was it that the defence wanted to ask Gary Collins? What evidence did they have to support their questions?
There’s no doubt they had some. Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruled that much of what the defence had received from the government was relevant to the case. Some went directly to the question of innocence.
With the end of Brian Kennings pitiful testimony, Gary Collins was next on the stand. The prosecution knew when they lost the admissability argument in June that this was going to be a difficult moment.
And in a two-week period leading up to the October 18 trial resumption they lowered their plea bargain offer from four years in federal prison to two years of house arrest with lots of allowances, while the government kicked in $6million and a non-disclosure agreement to sweeten the deal. [Emphasis added.]
Here’s why you should care.
This smells, more than Gomery, more than Mulroney/Schrieber. This stinks. The government used $6 million of your money to make a deal that shut down a trial and kept them out of trouble.
Shutting down the trial means you will never be able to know what really went down with the BC Rail privatization.
You’ll never know whether the deal was above board or whether the BC Liberals worked the deal to hand your railway to CN, a company chaired by Gordon Campbell’s chief fundraiser.
And the hysteria from Gordon Campbell and government defenders like Ian Mulgrew? That shows the smell has even reached them.
Premier Gordon Muir Campbell
Text of Gordon Campbell's Whistler speech
Published Friday, Oct. 01, 2010
$6 million to those who plead guilty to save the BC Liberals skins when it comes to the BC Rail Sale.
Once my new internet server installs my new connection I will do my best to shed light on why we will rarely receive justice in their courts.
How long will it take for the anticlimactic shock to wash away?
between the time I submitted a post and now BC Mary posted her question.
The very first thing for us to do is to discover how we became property of the state and then how to become free of the state
7:19, I hope you'll shed some light on how you got the impression that we were all born yesterday ...
but fire away,
tell us how we're doomed, hopelessly doomed, and must sit with bags over our heads until some Very Clever Person tells us what to do next.
I know what I'd like to do, but maybe I'm just tired. It's been a challenging 3 days and the harder I work, there are still between 60 and 80 e.mails waiting to be posted or answered or both.
On a very positive note, I actually heard people talking about Railgate in the coffee shops and in the lunch room. First time ever.
It stinks to high heaven and people get it: paying off the defendants so the real story doesn't get out.
The Liberals are done (and they still think they can weasel out of it. Talk about hubris).
Far better for BC to be out of the grip of the game in this catch 22 pretense of a fair and legal process (forget about it) now into the political arena.
I agree, BC Mary. The last thing British Columbians should do is give up in the face of corruption.
Factual Detail, persistence and courageous action with intent based on integrity, will bring justice.
Thank you Ian!!
By ROB SHAW, Timescolonist.com October 20, 2010 8:51 PM
Whitmarsh, the architect of the Carbon Tax, The HST and the $6million plea deal, and he did it for the Premier......
Saw one comment that that happened to.
The Sun deletes the truth!
Bill Boring censors the truth!
The mainstream media have become lick-spittles for the BC Liberal party - their souls have been sold to the devil incarnate.
What the MSN hope to achieve, is to numb the publics mind with Beiber, Ryphen, and a host of other banal topics. Political corruption, or should I say, Liberal political corruption is ignored by reporters who seem well pat their "best buy" date.
In an age of evil, there are only the good men and women in the blogosphere that are asking the right questions.
What a sad comment on Vancouver's so-called mainstream media. Her Goebbels, the father of modern electronic media propaganda, is broadly smiling at his new crop of well taught student who have learned their lessons well!
Take it on home, scan the material, not as a photograph, because that's the way the government did it when they were forced by the defense to turn over all of the documents in disclosure.
The defense had to read every "photograph" as an image. They had no way of searching for words in a specific document.
VERY time consuming.
We want to turn the tables on these guys and use what they write, what they wrote, against them and government, by publishing it on the internet....and of course, give them full credit for what they've done on behalf of the public.
Let's leave up on the internet for an eternity! Let us control what is seen in print, after all, we paid for it through subscriptions, so too did the libraries.
To sell their newspapers, they did it with bombshell blaring headlines like this one this morning in the Vancouver Sun:
Basi, Virk negotiated costs before guilty plea, Deputy A-G says"......Loukidelis said in a statement that he and deputy finance minister Graham Whitmarsh decided to relieve the two men of responsibility for their legal fees because of their inability to pay."
And this is exactly why its difficult for the little guy to take on government. Taxpayers bankroll the politicians to go after those that attack them. This is why Freedom of Information searches are so damn expensive. The two guys above, the highly paid government officials, acting on behalf of the Premier have set the bar so high, fiscally, that no one can take a sustained effort, via FOI, applications to bring this government into account for what they have done against the public.
Take a look, no further than the BC Ferries. Eight newspapers had to join forces to file their FOI.
How can the man in the street deal with the shenanigans that come from on high from a corrupt government that will do anything to stay in power?
I sent off a comment to you, and for some reason, just before I hit the send button I didn't copy my work to you.
I had checked it via Preview and it was okay, but the moment that I sent it as PUBLISH, I got an error message that it was to large. DANG
And it was a goooooood comment on the corruption in this bc liberal government.
Thanks for listening BC mary
Boycotts are not the easiest thing to coordinate, but if enough pressure is put on the bottom line of any business venture with the appropriate message as to why their readership/audience is being affected, then it can be a useful tool. No matter what the allegiance of any entity is to a view, their bottom line is to their profitability. And if their beancounters come to the realization that their future profits are jeopardized by their sellout to the truths they were designed to uphold and aspire to, they will do whatever is necessary to rectify things.
We have been too accepting for far too long, and that must change immediately. Anything less is nothing more than accepting the status quo, which is no longer acceptable.