December 27, 2006

Dec. 27, 2006: Justice delayed ...

May be justice denied ...

Re: Basi / Basis , Virk , BC Rail / B.C. Rail , sale to CN , Justice Elizabeth Bennett , the Justice System and Politics

Related to posts last week: Dec. 23, 2006: BC Rail Memory Lane -- and Dec. 22, 2006: Basi / Basis - Virk - Third Parties

Memory Lane: News Junkie Canada, Dec. 31, 2003
Drug probe behind raid on B.C.'s legislature: No arrests made, but one aide fired, second suspended -- Cabinet members aren't implicated, Mounties stress

It mentions:
David Basi, assistant to Finance Minister Gary Collins
Transportation Minister Judith Reid
20-month drug investigation
Basi, who is active in both the federal and B.C. wings of the Liberal party, and Robert Virk, an assistant to Reid.

Fraud trial hits another snag , Mark Hume, Globe and Mail BC edition, 19 December 2006

The original Dec. 4 trial date was set back when Judge Bennett [Justice Elizabeth Bennett - see below] granted the defence access to a highly secure "project room," where RCMP have stored more than 11,000 documents related to the investigation against Dave Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi.

Defence lawyers had sought access so that they could oversee a document inventory being undertaken by the Crown. That application stemmed from defence concerns that some of the thousands of documents had been mislabelled or misplaced.

Is there any reason for the defence concerns or is this a delaying tactic? Is there an election in the future, somewhere? Does it matter?

Search: William Berardino, special Crown prosecutor , Michael Bolton, the lawyer for Dave Basi

Sob story

'There is nothing to these charges" -- or so it would seem the author would like Canadians to believe , Gary Mason, Dec. 23, 2006

[....] A cancer that was now apparently eating away at the highest levels of government.

Mr. Basi, the police believed, was a key participant in a drug-trafficking organization. It was in the course of their investigation into Mr. Basi's possible ties to drugs that the police came across information that eventually led to the breach of trust and other charges related to the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail.

The allegations being that Dave and Aneal Basi and Mr. Virk accepted money in exchange for confidential insider information about the sale. [....]

The sob story goes on for pages ... pages which most people would not read at Christmas. Usually, busy people get the gist on the first page or so, then move on. However, keep going; often, any meat is near the end in these things.

Isn't this whole article like crying out "I'm innocent" by a condemned man? Little is offered on the other side. Yet, this takes pages of what calls itself a national newspaper -- at Christmas ... Something fishy here, IMHO. Somebody is pulling out all the stops to help these lads ... or to keep a lid on something. ...... My guess? Business deals and those who have ... prospered ... or plan to. Keep digging.

I noted a difference in length in these articles -- the same story basically. Perhaps it is not considered a national story ... or it is covered at a different length for different areas of the country ... or I could be wrong, so check.

"The two men at the centre of one of the most riveting events in British Columbia's political history say they will be acquitted of all charges stemming from a raid on the provincial legislature that took place three years ago next week." , Dec. 23, 06. The permalink is for this article.

[....] At its core, the case comes down to the word of former lobbyist Erik Bornmann, the Crown's star witness, against the word of the two Basis and Mr. Virk. Mr. Bornmann has told police he paid Mr. Basi money for confidential information related to the sale of B.C. Rail. One of Mr. Bornmann's clients, OmniTRAX, was a bidder for the rail line.

It's alleged the money was laundered through Aneal Basi.

It's also alleged that in exchange for information from Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk, Mr. Bornmann agreed to recommend the pair for jobs with the federal government. A colleague of Mr. Bornmann's at Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, Brian Kieran, has told police he supplied Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk with benefits in connection with the B.C. Rail deal.

Dec. 22, 2006: Basi / Basis - Virk - Third Parties -- or The Tide of Corruption, and the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial by Robin Mathews -- or Vive le Canada

Third Part. The RCMP Raids on B.C. Legislature Offices (Dec. 28, 2003)
The Tide of Corruption, and the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial.

In Courtroom 75 of the B.C. Supreme Court on November 14, 2006, lawyers [....] It would be wrong to call it “the Canadian justice system”, for Canada has a “legal system” out of which justice very, very rarely comes in matters of corporate and political corruption. The lawyers were there to hear the decision made by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett on an application for disclosure – specifically, a request by the Defense to be present at the RCMP Project Room when materials were identified and described, one by one, to make sure all evidence in the hands of the Crown will be known to the Defense.

Were the lawyers in the Chamber really at odds? Or were the nine people (all men) in the Gallery, in fact, witnessing what was a charade, an exercise in smoke and mirrors? [....]

... preparation and selection of documents placed on discs concerned two project rooms [....]

Defense stated more than once that the people who could most competently and thoroughly describe the preparation of documents and their whereabouts were the two corporals, Ma and Mar. [....]

Without giving a reason, and in a single sentence, Justice Bennett refused to permit examination of Corporal Mar. Equally a mystery, she did not ask to be assured that all relevant RCMP materials are and will be available in the room she is ordering to be opened to Defense. She did not question the existence of the Surrey Project Room and especially whether the court will be able to be sure all documents from there have found a place in Victoria.

If I seem to be questioning the quality of the decision by Justice Bennett, that is because I am doing so. She presented a written ruling which she read to those gathered in the Chamber. Her wording, I suggest, needs very close examination. And her intentions in making the ruling the way she did invite close scrutiny. As with other important public documents, however, this one is denied the scrutiny of Canadians who have a perfect right to appear at Criminal Registry in the B.C. Supreme Court and ask to examine it or to have a copy.

By edict, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, has denied ALL SUCH DOCUMENTS to Canadians. The clerk at Criminal registry informed me, upon inquiry, that I could not have a copy and could not see one. Finally, she informed me that I might request a copy from William Berardino, Special Prosecutor for the Crown. Who delegated to William Berardino the right to grant or to withhold permission for me or any other Canadian to see a decision made and publicly delivered by Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett? Are we living in a madhouse?

Madam Justice Bennett and all the lawyers participating in the hearing are officers of the court. They have an obligation to the court to uphold its values and its reason for being. They are all complicit in the Directive made by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm to keep information from Canadians – information that Canadians have a right to have access to simply and easily from Criminal Records of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

[....] I was being insulted by an officer of the court for attempting to ask, courteously, a question. [....] .

All the officers of the court who accept Mr. Justice Dohm’s denial of rights to Canadians participate in [....]

Attorney General Oppal has taken an opposite position in the extremely complex case arising out of the raids on Legislature offices on December 28, 2003. Unlike the Picton case, the one arising out of the raids on Legislature offices has the potential – depending of course upon evidence that may be presented – to bring down the Gordon Campbell government (of which Wally Oppal is a part).

If an Attorney General truly wishes to see justice done in the courts in which, as Wally Oppal says, he is “Chief Prosecutor of the province”, then the Crown in the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial has needed a heavy presence of the Attorney General to assure processes run smoothly, simply to demand and to make sure that justice may be reached in the case. Instead, Wally Oppal recently gossiped with journalists in a way that has been interpreted as tending to undermine the Crown and its prosecution. It would seem that in the Picton trial Wally Oppal is “on the side” of the Crown prosecuting. Can it be true that in the Basi, Basi, and Virk trial, on the other hand, he is on the side of the Gordon Campbell cabinet of which he is a part and which he wants to protect from criminal charges that should perhaps be laid against certain cabinet members past or present and certain outside associates?

In addition, have some RCMP officers been deliberately obstructive and inactive in laying charges? Has influence from some sources in the Gordon Campbell cabinet been deliberately obstructive? Has the monopoly press and media in B.C. been deliberately uninformative and uninvestigative? Have some agents of the Crown at all levels of the process been less than diligent, less than effective in their tasks?

A serious question must be asked again. Is there strong intention to derail and to wreck scrutiny of the whole structure of scandalous behaviour which is being focussed upon Basi, Basi, and Virk? And do the actions of Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, the Criminal Registry machinery in operation under Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, and the actions of Attorney General Wally Oppal – just for instance – lend credibility to the claim that there exists an intention to destroy the whole issue before it can be fairly and judiciously examined?

The RCMP Raids on B.C. Legislature Offices (Dec. 28, 2003).

A Tide of Corruption. Second Part.
By Robin Mathews
, Liberation Voice

Nothing can excuse B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal. His comments about evidence in the Legislature Raids process (presently before the courts) are, quite simply, outrageous. Chatting "casually" (?) to reporters at the beginning of November, Oppal called into question wire-tapping procedures used before the raids. They were, as he spoke, being argued before a judge in Chambers.

The tide of corruption upon which the David Basi, Bob Virk, and Aneal Basi legal procedure floats is highlighted by Oppal's unacceptable intervention. In a legal hotchpotch such as this one, in which cabinet employees are under charge - one from the office of a former Attorney General - prudence should dictate silence on the part of Wally Oppal. The position he holds is always a highly sensitive one whatever the situation, for "the highest law officer of the Crown" is also an elected politician sitting in cabinet meetings in which many participants - in this government especially - may be working to defeat the ideals of justice.

... the Attorney General of the day, in 2003, Gary Collins [....]

It may be fair to say that no one in the present government is happy to see the trial going ahead. [....]

... Wally Oppal's comments .... Is Oppal preparing the ground innocently? [....]

Oppal, himself, "chief law officer of the Crown", breached the demands of dignity and prudence when he stepped from the Supreme Court into a Liberal Party candidacy. By doing so, he made a mockery of the absolute need for a clear separation to exist - and be seen to exist - between the politicians and the courts. He is a politician who was very recently a colleague of present Supreme Court judges, allowing no time to lapse between his resignation from the court and his assumption of a political role as a Liberal candidate, and now as Attorney General. Does he telephone his recent Supreme Court colleague, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who is conducting the court processes involving the men charged? Who knows?

Is there, moreover, a Gordon Campbell government agenda to undermine the courts and to cripple - for political reasons - the legal system in the Province? And, if so, is Wally Oppal assisting with that agenda?

[....] He is also named as one of the parties wanting the water power rights of British Columbians in the Nechako River stripped from them and granted to the foreign Private Corporation, Alcan. [....]

[....] The Crown in British Columbia does not have a distinguished presence, to say the least. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett, sitting on the Legislature Raids trial and hearings, was the judge in the long, long Glen Clark case.

[....] The judge who has kept much of the Legislature Raids material locked away from British Columbians is Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm.

[....] blanket denial of public access to all such documents

[....] a system which is irrational, capricious, discriminatory, elitist, and unjust. It is almost as if he is working against the pursuit of justice in British Columbia and against the goals of a democratic society. [....]

More on Justice Elizabeth Bennett and her decisions

Ottawa told to foot store's legal bills
Vancouver gay bookstore challenged customs' power to seize, censor material
-- and On appeal, Gay bookstore denied funds in battle over censorship , Kirk Makin, February 23, 2005, Globe and Mail

[....] In a ruling that plucked more than a million dollars from Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium, the B.C. Court of Appeal said a trial judge was wrong to order Customs to fund a challenge against itself.

In a 3-0 judgment, the appeal court expressed grave doubts about funnelling public money into a case that may be of far less significance to the public than the bookstore says it is. [....]

August 28, 1997 -- The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment:
Elizabeth A. Bennett, Q.C., of North Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver.

OTTAWA , August 28, 1997 -- The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment:

Elizabeth A. Bennett, Q.C., of North Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. She replaces Mr. Justice C.R. Lander, who has chosen to become a supernumerary judge.

Madam Justice Bennett graduated in law from the University of British Columbia in 1981, and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1982.

Madam Justice Bennett practised law as trial counsel for the Attorney General of B.C. until 1987 and then as Appellate Counsel until 1984. She then joined the firm of Peck, Tammen and Bennett, where she mainly practised criminal law and constitutional law. Since 1996, Madam Justice Bennett has been acting as Appellate Counsel for the Attorney General of B.C. Madam Justice Bennett is the author of numerous publications on criminal law matters. [....]

What prompted the appointment of Justice Bennett? What is her expertise? What are her political connections, if any, and are they relevant?

CBSA and obscene material seized, pornographic material ... Who has a right to taxpayers' money for court cases? Is justice for the people being served?


The non-sentence handed out to former NDP MP, homosexual Svend Robinson, is a continuation .... not a recent development. The courts deal with feminist and homosexual issues in the same manner. For example, the factums (written arguments) filed in the courts by the legal arm of the feminist movement, LEAF (Women's Legal Education Action Fund) on the issues of abortion, and equality, etc. contain very little law, and can be fairly characterized as mainly ideological discourses. Homosexual factums submitted before the courts are the same. Yet the courts regard these factums as legitimate legal arguments.

Canadian courts have degenerated in this manner, not only because of the power that the judges themselves have inappropriately assumed under the Charter of Rights, but also because of the close intermingling of politics with judicial appointments. Under the current system, (which is still in place, despite the recent posturing of Justice Minister Cotler to the contrary), the Prime Minister appoints not only his Liberal party supporters, but also his close friends and colleagues to the Bench. Such judges are always liberal in outlook, and this ensures the continuation of the courts' so-called "progressive" direction. (See article "Supreme Court of Canada is a Political Toy," p. 1.) [....]

Court Orders Federal Government to Pay for the Costs of Suing It

In one of the most bizarre decisions .... on the grounds they were obscene. The bookstore is also challenging the obscenity provision in the Criminal Code as unconstitutional.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett of the BC Supreme Court decided the Little Sister's bookstore quarrel with Canada Customs was a "rare and exceptional circumstance", requiring the federal government to pay the lesbians' court costs in their challenge against the federal customs agency. The judge based her decision on the grounds that Customs was "targeting" lesbian and homosexual materials, even though the Supreme Court of Canada, in a decision in 2000, had ordered the Canada Customs not to "target" such bookstores. (The Supreme Court in that latter case did uphold as constitutional the definition of obscenity in the Criminal Code.)

Judge Bennett further decided that the Little Sister's bookstore challenge merited the federal government to foot the bill - likely to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars - to be paid in advance. According to Madam Justice Bennett, the test is not the dire financial straits of the litigant. The test is whether the litigant "genuinely cannot afford to pay for the litigation". This is certainly wholly new law, apparently developed to accommodate the lesbian litigants in their challenge against the government. Whether it applies to other individuals in the future who want to bring legal challenges against the government but "cannot afford to pay for the litigation," is a very interesting question.

It is significant that the order for the government to foot the bill applies only to that part of the Little Sister's bookstore argument that deals with the supposed targeting of them by Customs Canada, and the funds cannot be applied for the preparation of the arguments dealing with the constitutionality of the obscenity provision in the Criminal Code.

... a not very subtle way of encouraging the federal government to throw up its hands and abandon that part of the case dealing with the detention of obscene books at the border. Such a situation would allow pornographic material, including child pornography, to flood into Canada and remain here, until ....

Even if the federal government should subsequently decide to proceed with defending the efforts of Customs Canada to stop obscene material crossing our borders, the Little Sister's bookstore won't be too anxious about the outcome of its case. After all, Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett will be the presiding judge. [....]

RCMP, Canadian and U.S. Justice Depts. suffer total defeat in Barbarash case -- or The warrant was quashed by Madame Justice Elizabeth Bennett ...

That search warrant was issued by request of the U.S. Dept. of Justice to
the Canadian Justice Dept. several times in 2000 and 2001, and finally
signed by Justice Dohm in 2002, amidst the post-Sept. 11th hysteria. Total
damages from the Maine incidents amounted to no more than $8700.

The warrant was quashed by Madame Justice Elizabeth Bennett [....]

Search: The RCMP's new anti-terrorist unit INSET (Integrated National Security Enforcement Team) , The mandate of INSET , B.C. Civil Liberties Association spokesperson

Scroll down or search for more links: Anarchist Activist's


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