Sunday, March 25, 2012
Alex Tsakumis, (premier) Christy Clark,
......... the RCMP, and the BC Rail Scandal.
One of the tough, dedicated bloggers on the BC Rail Scandal (and other Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government “activities”) is Alex G. Tsakumis. He has uncovered much that British Columbians wouldn’t have, and known, without his work.
His recent (March 22, 2012) interview with “a confidential source within the RCMP’s troubled Special ‘O’ Unit” is tantalizing. It opens more questions than it answers. And it seems to have some mistakes that make the interview ... uneasy ….
Out of the interview certain matters are placed in highlight that British Columbians may have forgotten – and that is good because the whole matter is torturous and labyrinthine. But error appears to be introduced into the presentation which – if so – is really regrettable for the same reason. The whole story is too complicated to support errors that confuse the picture.
In addition, Mr. Tsakumis (to this observer) accepts too readily RCMP statements, and he doesn’t report what appears to have been a much too close relation between the Special Prosecutor, the RCMP, and “the court”.
Of key importance to remember are some points made by Mr. Tsakumis. (1) The Crown Prosecutorial Counsel, following the RCMP announcement early after the raid on legislature offices on December 28, 2003, alleged that no elected officials were under investigation (or, implied, had been).
Defence counsel revealed early in pre-trial that Gary Collins had been under investigation and surveillance before the raids. He was dropped from investigation near the time of the (wrongful) appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor.
(2) Mr Tsakumis underscores the allegation that the release to the press of police documents (in the hands of the Prosecution) concerning the three accused was partial and limited. Very near the end of the trial and its cleaning-up (?), the Globe and Mail and others sought and received access to some documents.
Defence argued strongly before Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie that the release to “public record” should mean just that and anyone should be able to scrutinize the limited release. Janet Winteringham (prosecution) and Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie agreed that only selected journalists [“accredited’] could see the released documents. That decision supports claims like the one of Mr. Tsakumis that the documents served to smear the accused and exonerate Christy Clark.
Those are very important matters.
In a slip that is misleading, Mr. Tsakumis reports that both “Basi and Virk were accused of accepting bribes from Bruce Clark (Christy Clark’s brother) ….” They were accused of accepting bribes from Erik Bornmann. Bruce Clark has never been accused of any breach of law.
Erik Bornmann was made a “star” witness for the Prosecution and provided with assurance he would not be charged. He never testified because of the dramatic and rushed closure of the case through the now infamous “deal” that was made, many believe, because the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark forces couldn’t survive a full and fair and complete trial of the accused.
The “confidential source inside the RCMP” apparently reports that Gary Collins (then house leader and minister of finance) was not giving the accused information about cabinet “direction” during the lead-up to the corrupt transfer of BC Rail to the CNR. The ‘confidential source’ asserts that “Collins confirmed that fact several times under oath”.
That statement is puzzling. I have checked and checked and cannot find an occasion when Gary Collins was answering questions “under oath”. He did not testify in the aborted trial and, even, gossip said, because he was next on the list the trial thundered to an unexpected close. General knowledge is that Gary Collins never faced questioning “under oath”. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
In fact, during pre-trial hearings Defence counsel suggested that there may have been a close relation among Collins, Basi, and Virk, especially since Gary Collins met top officials of interested OmniTRAX at the Villa de Lupo restaurant in Vancouver at a sensitive time. The alleged bribes to Basi and Virk came, allegedly, from one of the lobbyist group which was working for OmniTRAX, though that corporation denied any connection whatever with the ‘transaction’.
Involvement in the matter of information leaking involving (present premier) Christy Clark was hinted at by Defence in the pre-trial hearings. She was not only minister of education at the time but also deputy premier. She was, as well, one of the people to be served with a search warrant at the time of the raid on legislature offices. Defence suggested more than once that leaks may have come from higher sources than Basi and Virk, and may, indeed, have come from Christy Clark.
Her brother, Bruce Clark, was also named in a Search Warrant and his residence searched. Confidential cabinet papers were said to be found at his residence, but no action in law was ever taken against him.
The residence of Christy Clark and her (then) husband Mark Marissen was also “search warranted”. The process provides for surprise appearance of RCMP officers (as at the time of the “raid” on the legislature) to investigate without pre-announcement. But (then) Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm is alleged to have stopped the police from surprising the Christy Clark/Mark Marissen household. He made police telephone the Christy Clark/Mark Marissen residence and announce their coming visit. To no one’s surprise, nothing was found when the police arrived and chatted with Mark Marissen.
Two other matters in the March 22 Alex Tsakumis presentation are troubling. He appears too ready, perhaps, to accept what his “confidential source inside the RCMP’s troubled Special ‘O’ Unit” tells him. That source is either surprised at silence or suggests RCMP officers are under orders to be silent about evidence revealed. “They know” he says. “But they have to cover it up.” He says in relation to the allegation that Christy Clark was feeding information to the Pilothouse (lobbying) Kieran, Elmhirst group: “That was so obvious, but our guys just looked the other way, I guess.”
And, again, referring to the alleged guilt of Christy Clark, the RCMP connection says her behaviour “has some of us wondering why we didn’t press her hard at the time of the sale.”
The answer is pretty clear. Mr. Tsakumis writes himself: “the RCMP investigators AND the Special Prosecutor’s Office … denied that any politicians were under serious suspicion or actual investigation…” As the Defence argued repeatedly in the pre-trial/trial period: “the fix was in”. That means there was, Defence alleged, a “tailoring and targetting” in the case, and the RCMP had to be a party to that process. It did not “press hard” on any investigation but the one being tailored and targetted.
The apparent innocence of the RCMP “confidential source” about the RCMP role seems almost “put on”. We remember that Gary Bass former head of the B.C. RCMP refused to investigate the Gordon Campbell group in the matter of the BC Rail Scandal. Was the refusal a part of the tailoring and targetting?
Also a little strange is the neglect by Mr. Tsakumis of the improper appointment of William Berardino as Special Prosecutor. One would think Mr. Tsakumis would jump on that fact – because it might well suggest that Christy Clark was being protected from the start. Mr. Tsakumis describes Mr. Berardino as “BC Liberal supporter and donor”. He doesn’t point out that Mr. Berardino was appointed in flagrant violation of the legislation governing appointment of Special Prosecutors.
Appointed by an Attorney General’s ministry in which Geoff Plant, Attorney General, had been his partner and colleague for seven years and Allan Seckel, Deputy Attorney General, had been his partner and colleague for eleven years, Mr. Berardino’s freedom from partisanship as representative of the “Crown” could not be defended for ten seconds. In fact, his appointment throws the whole process of more than seven years into invalidity.
If Mr. Berardino was anything but completely independent, then it may well be alleged that he worked with RCMP from the beginning to tailor and target BC Rail Scandal investigations and accusations. If that is the case, any confidential RCMP informant must be looked at with very critical eyes. Especially if he seems to suggest there were bad eggs but a lot who wanted justice really done. If there were RCMP officers who wanted justice really done, they successfully kept that fact from the British Columbia public.
Mr. Tsakumis, I suggest, would have to wonder about the charges laid by William Berardino a full year after the raid on legislature offices. He would have to wonder about the strange sealing of the Search Warrant documents issued at the time of the raid. He would have to ask hard questions about RCMP “tailoring and targetting”. He would have to wonder if ANY information given confidentially by ANY RCMP insider could be offered for valid reasons.
"The confidential RCMP source" also appears to speak very loudly as to the political arena, IE...
RCMP secret source- "We decided to tail Basi, since he was good friends with a lot of the consultants and Cabinet Ministers involved. He was politically active with the provincial and federal Liberal parties and was working very closely with Erik Bornmann, Christy Clark, Mark Marissen and Jamie Elmhirst on a lot of campaigns and files"
There is something very wrong with that interview..
For example this next statement, wiretap evidence was released in court, and the wiretaping of Gary Collins in the restaurant was revealed on BC Mary`s site years and years ago..
RCMP secret source--"We knew this from wiretap evidence. You released that evidence on your blog last year–which pissed off many of my colleagues, by the way.” AGT: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but I can’t help that. I want the truth to come out. I mean no disrespect to the RCMP, they know me, they know that. I told them that. I just want the truth to come out"
And this next statement makes no sense
RCMP Source: “Yeah, I think a few of them are cheering you on, but there are others that want to wring your neck.”
For nobody has ever accused investigating cops of being dirty, infact Robin Mathews, it was you first and you alone who challenged the legitimacy of the court, the prosecutor and the top cop of being related and intrinsically involved with the BC Liberals, that connection was NOT first revealed on the internet by AGT!
And this next part bothers me to no end, what bearing does revealing license plate numbers of cars tailing Basi or Virk?...That information was revealed in court documents, too me, call me a skeptic, revealing plate numbers reveals a ...
Everything I say must be true because here are plate numbers!!!!!,...Plate numbers add nothing to the story at all, either it is believable or not..
AGT- "And the licence plates of the cars we used to tail Basi; looking for any proof of contact by Clark or anyone else that was involved in their political affairs. That was all included unless someone destroyed it or it was somehow removed.”
And this next but puts the whole convoluted "Secret RCMP Source" interview in doubt.
RCMP Source: “Absolutely, and any honest cop involved in the investigation knows this. But they have to cover it all up. If the NDP or Conservatives win the next election, you’ll see some early retirements by members who were involved in the case. They don’t want a public inquiry and will fight to stay away from the witness bay.”
The NDP are going to win the next election, anyone fearful of that would be retiring today, not the day after the election, cops can read polls too.
And this next part is in my opinion is another fabrication, for everyone and their dog knew, as revealed on BC Mary`s blog, well before AGT wrote anything on BC Rail that the dinner at that Italian eatery Del Lupo, was indeed wiretapped, it wasn`t AGT who revealed that but here he is taking credit for something he didn`t break!!!!
AGT- "When I revealed that Gary Collins was under criminal investigation, including documented evidence on RCMP letterhead…why would the prosecutor’s office say otherwise?”
Source... "it was clear as day. And the documents you released on Collins could have landed you in jail, I have to tell you. I’d be careful with any future documents. Some members have really had it with you, but they don’t want to turn you into a martyr"
What you have is more revisionist history, for what shocking information did AGT reveal on Gary Collins?..Again it was Robin Mathews, as reported on BC Mary`s site!!!
And then the revealing of plate numbers in some odd attempt to create an illusion of reality
And here are the surveillance vehicles used (I’ve removed one letter or numeral to protect the innocent, in case those plates have been reassigned to civilians):
• Honda minivan (gold colour) Licence Plate: 029 DJ_
• Mazda 6 (silver) Licence Plate: 98_ JAD
• Volvo station wagon (pewter) 905 _CM
• Honda Pilot (black) 662 H_G
And here is the part that really puzzles me about this convoluted interview...It wasn`t just Christy Clark shaking off the need for a full public inquiry, it was all BC Liberals, it was De Jong..Kevin Falcon, George Abbot, Moira Stilwell, every single BC Liberal was and is against a BC Rail Public inquiry, and again...
It wasn`t Christy Clark who gave BC Rail away, it was Gordon Campbell who gifted BC Rail to his money bagman David MaClean, he ran on selling BC rail in 1996, David Maclean was his campaign chair and chief money raiser, David Maclean was still running Campbell`s campaign in 2001 when Gordon Muir Campbell ran on a campaign NOT to sell BC Rail, he lied and David Maclean ended up with BC`s railway...
Let me be perfectly clear, Christy Clark`s hands are not clean on BC Rail but these are side issues from the big picture, when Gordon Campbell won in 2001 BC Rail was already gone, the deal had been made, after his 2001 election....it was a propaganda campaign involving fake protests, radio tricks with Ben Meisner in Prince George and the entire BC Liberal caucus lying about BC Rail`s financial status, they spent over a year day after day in the Legislature telling the world BC Rail was insolvent, so not only did all BC Liberals cheat and lie they actually drove down the price!
So let me be clear, RCMP officers aren`t idiots, they knew full well that the buck stopped with Gordon Campbell, it was Gordon Campbell, NOT Christy Clark who gave our railway away...Not once does this secret source mention Gordon Campbell, the police may have been prevented from investigating Campbell and Maclean but no one prevented RCMP members from thinking the truth.
This one reeks of Cortes island low tide!
Good post Robin
I also found the license plate numbers mind bogglin' who gives a shit what cars were tailing who a decade or so ago?
And what of the accusation of Bruce Clark bribing anyone?
It is not what he writes but what he omits.
The entire story reeks of attack the liberal brand while being a continuous apologist for the Conservative leaning people. Campbell, still involved with Harper through the appointment, is sheltered, while Christy, originally from the liberal federal group, is attacked over and over.
Pretty transparent when overviewed in this manner.
"Basi was thrown under the proverbial bus as the chief culprit in what was then believed a drug investigation with all the salacious elements of trafficking, prostitution and the like.
None of which ever materialized."
My understanding is that one of the reasons the Everywhichway team started wiretapping the calls going into Collins MinFinance office was due to the heavy traffic of calls going there from Basi's cousin (JasoSingh Bains or some such name) who was a cocaine kingpin on Vancouver Island who WAS EVENTUALLY convicted and sentence to eight years, long before the BC Rail trial was derailed, a fact that the Lamestream Media managed to keep secret for a year or two until this blog's founder dug out the court record. This even managed to get a very inadequate acknowledgement from the Lamestream, who barely admitted their complete fuck-up/cover-up.
If I recall correctly court documents referred to during pre-trial hearings indicated Bains had called his cuz at his office as Chief Aide to the Minister of Finance some forty or fifty or more times. Then there was the grow show in an Island home owned by Basi, but "of course" Basi was clueless about that (wink, wink)!
It is still unclear whether Basi's cuz is still incarcerated, or if he served much of his eight year sentence - imposed for controlling the coke trade on the southern Island and shipping virtual tonnage of marching powder to Ontario.
You mean this Cortes island fantasy novel made up out of whole cloth, one`s archives DO reveal certain thing, as the August 2010 archives do.
Monday, May 09, 2011
BC Rail: When Gary met Pat and Dwight at the Wolf's place, who paid?
Eyes trained on OmniTrax lobbyists in bribery case
By Greg Griffin
Denver Post Staff Writer
Denver [Colorado, USA] real estate and railroad investor Pat Broe and a colleague dined at a pricey Italian restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, in December 2003 with the province's minister of finance.
Apparently unknown to them, the downtown restaurant was staked out by undercover federal agents of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who videotaped the meeting, according to Canadian court records.
Police were interested in whether Broe's Denver-based company, OmniTrax Inc., would receive a gift from the finance minister's office for acting as a straw bidder in an auction for British Columbia's provincial railroad, court records reveal.
But if investigators were focused on Broe and former minister Gary Collins, they later lost interest. Neither was ever named a target of the government's investigation, and the details of their conversation at Villa del Lupo restaurant on Dec. 12, 2003, were never released. OmniTrax officials said in a 2004 statement the company acted properly during the bidding.
Broe and his company, however, remain deeply entangled in the mess.
you will notice 2 dates, this article was published in originally on 06/10/2007.
Then Mary posted this post in May 2011
I think that says it all about who revealed info on Gary Collins.
"If there was a leaker, who?
There are tantalizing clues from both the pre-trial hearings and the newly-released evidence though that raise more questions than provide answers.
For example, on June 4, 2009 in pre-trial hearings, Basi's veteran lawyer Michael Bolton alleged that it seemed possible Bornmann and Kieran's Pilothouse Public Affairs had a cabinet source feeding them information.
And Bolton alleged in court that source may have been Christy Clark.
"Pilothouse internal briefing notes appear to reveal sources in cabinet," Bolton told Justice Elizabeth Bennett, then presiding over the case, referring to Bornmann's lobbying firm. "Bornmann clearly had certain cabinet sources."
"For example, Christy Clark may have been the source within cabinet -- certainly Mr. Bornmann was in contact with Ms. Clark," Bolton said.
Clark also declined to comment on the allegations when contacted at that time, and of course the allegations remain completely unproven. Certainly they were never raised in the actual trial -- because Basi and Virk's surprise guilty pleas ended it after only two witnesses testified, Martyn Brown, Gordon Campbell's former chief of staff and Brian Kenning, a director of BC Rail's board at the time of the sale.
But the newly-released evidence also includes two lengthy police interviews with Gary Collins, in one of which he also appears to suggest someone present at a cabinet meeting about BC Rail may have provided information to Pilothouse.
In the Nov. 3, 2004 interview with several RCMP investigators, including then inspector Kevin deBruyckere -- brother-in-law to then BC Liberal party executive director Kelly Reichert, Collins discusses a document police presented to him -- a seized Pilothouse briefing note to OmniTRAX.
What is stunning is that Collins clearly indicates the briefing note contains a highly detailed report on exact cabinet discussions -- who said what. Collins told the RCMP he couldn't see how either Basi or Virk would have known it.
And there are no records made public to date that show either Basi or Virk attending that or any other cabinet meeting."
Well before last summer of 2011
Revisionist history clarified
Everyone is entitled to their own OPINION, but they are not entitled to their own FACTS, so don't be such a "concern troll!"
I have no reason to doubt what AGT writes about his RCMP officer interview. I have no reason to doubt what you write. A little respect might be in order.
Everyone has their own view point on the issues. However, the goal for all seems to be the same; finding out what really happened with BC Rail & a few other things.
I find it astounding that you come here again to chide us for being disrespectful of others. If you notice there is no self promotion here, no disrespecting sick people or recently deceased people. No name calling, or very little, except to public figures.
Do you really read AGT, if I had time I would collate a 5 megabyte collection of gratuitous insults from that cesspool without breaking a sweat.
If one doesn't agree with Mr. Know it All, one is automatically a gossip, on drugs, drunk, or horror of horrors, staunchly NDP, go figger.
By the way, Mary was the farthest thing in the world from either a card carrying NDP (though she did believe in social justice) or a GOSSIP. She was almost religiously NON-PARTISAN and frankly discouraged partisan sniping at her blog. Perhaps you should read her comments on such things sometime!
If she seemed anti-BC Liberal, it was because she didn't like liars, or thieves, do you? When was the last time the NDP gave away a billion dollar asset, belonging to the people of BC to their cronies. And don't cry to me about the almost, thanks to an almost all out and ongoing attack from Reagan to the Koch brothers, extinct big bad unions. Of course if you hate unions you could always go get a job at FoxComm building iPhones!
So much more..MY Michael Smyth scoop on his removal from cknw was instantly slammed by AGT in a post, again calling me delusional...
I not only called that 2 months before his removal I even named his replacement Simi Sara..That`s when you know who went ..Exclusive and breaking news when Smyth was officially booted, while not once admitting it was my story and scoop months previous..In fact when I wrote the Smyth removal story AGT emailed me asking for my source..Pfff..
Like I would give him my source after so many insults..
And he has already threatened to sue mo on many stories..Including my NPA Olympic village boondoggle stories, he was apparently going to sue on behalf of the NPA(of which he had no standing)..
He`s threatened to sue both Kootcoot, Me, Mr. Mathews, and another dozen plus bloggers over stories..
And my response was always the same to him.."Bring it on"
He can post what he like, who cares, but he can`t change facts..
Almost everything he revealed was already revealed at Mary`s site..
I don`t self promote about pageviews and readers, and those who disagree with me are not drunks, pill poppers and delusional..
And I suspect that someone wouldn`t spend $1000 dollars per hour for lawyers(multiple) to review posts, not without an expense account.
The facts in the links and stories I posted above bear that out, there are questions..
Anyone can say.."unnamed this, unnamed that, unnamed sources"
He wants to bash other for nom de plume names but no one uses more anoniminity and "unnamed" sources than he..Who can question that?
Draft dodger insults on a illegal war bullshit tossed at Koot, drunken pill popper crap hurled my direction when truth beknown I drink maybe one day a month, insults made up out of whole cloth..
Cortes island E.A.F..Cortes island..
"unnamed dead and or unnamed missing sources"
That isn`t journalism, it`s gossip.
Lastly, we all want resolution of BC Rail..
And remember..It wasn`t you know who wrote anything on BC Rail until 2010...
Where was he?
Still in Gordon Campbell`s camp.
If anything Christy would want to stay silent to protect her reputation, being married to Mark.
But, this is Canada where anything goes, when in goverment.
But most of all, his stance is odd. He rarely attacks Campbell, yet he flies at Christy Clark like a rabid squirrel. I'm no defender of Clark or the Liberals by any stretch of the imagination, but AGT's venom towards Clark is comic-book-like. It's as if Christy Clark spurned AGT as a lover somewhere in the past.
It's all very, very odd. His blog is highly unprofessional, full of gratuitous name-dropping, self-congratulatory prattle, and clogged with syncophants most of whom who sound like BC's version of the Tea Party, the far-right fringe elements. I could go on and on.
Lately, I've been thinking that his job is to deliberately spew misinformation. I don't know why that might be, or for whom he would be doing that, but his entire raison d'etre just doesn't hang together. And neither do many of his posts. I crawl through his site to see what the masses are chewing on, not for intelligence or insight.
Something smells about AGT's blog. Thanks to Robin Mathews and others for giving voice to this.