Judge orders Campbell government to hand over emails, including those of the Premier, Gary Collins, Judith Reid and Former deputy premier Christy Clark.

From the courtroom of today’s Basi-Virk hearings: Justice Bennett has ruled that the missing and possibly destroyed emails must be given to the defence, and issued a court order forcing the government to hand over the documents: http://www.vancouversun.com/Judge+Basi+Virk+case+rules+mails+premier+staff+must+disclosed/1809005/story.html

Whoever ordered those emails to be destroyed must be feeling pretty uncomfortable right now. The contents of those email communications among the premiers inner circle have been the subject of much speculation in recent months. Complete details will be posted as the reports come in, over at http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/

Now, scroll down to read the post right below, with a link to the announcement that the RCMP have launched a preliminary probe into whether or not a criminal investigation should be ordered into those missing emails – which  may have suddenly become an even bigger thorn in many politicians – old and new alike – sides… http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/the-people-who-ordered-the-records-destroyed-have-no-place-in-government/

( this should provide plenty of discussion for CKNW, no? Christy Clark was deputy premier at the time of the deal, and her emails are among those ordered to be given to the judge)

I think it’s time  for a refresher on who’s who in this case, so when you have a moment, go and read this fantastic bit titled ” Railgate, A to Z“, by Bill Tieleman.

RCMP announce preliminary probe into missing emails, same day as Times Colonist editorial declares:” The people who ordered the records destroyed have no place in government…”

Quote of the week, from the Times Colonist editorial of July 18th, 2009 (  thanks to Gazetteer for this heads up )

” ….No one employed by the government could be unaware of the charges against Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi. It is beyond belief to think that any senior government employee would not know better than to destroy evidence that could be needed in a major court case.

That is apparently what has happened, according to evidence presented to the court this week. To make matters worse, some e-mails were destroyed after the defence lawyers asked to see them.

The loss of these documents is a serious problem for the B.C. Liberal government, one that will plague Premier Gordon Campbell and his cabinet until the next election.

Campbell’s only real choice, if he wants to restore his government’s credibility, is to give British Columbians a full accounting of what went wrong and who was to blame. The people who ordered the records destroyed have no place in government….. ”

Today, Justice Bennett rules on the relevance of those missing emails -a crucial moment for the Premier et al. Court is open to the public and the Basi-Virk hearing begins at 9 am. Details for today’s hearing can be viewed here, under case #23299 : http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/court-lists/criminal/lists/Vancouver_Law_Courts-Supreme_Court_List.pdf

In another move missed by most, the RCMP announced Saturday that they have launched a preliminary probe into the missing emails to determine if a full criminal investigation is warranted.

As per the Province article link from last weekend’s Sunday edition, RCMP spokesperson Cst. Tim Shields had this to say: ” We wouldn’t go ahead and launch a full-fledged criminal investigation until there was evidence there are violations of the federal Criminal Code or provincial statutes. At first blush . . . the destruction of internal e-mails does not appear to constitute a criminal offence.” http://www.theprovince.com/news/Cops+launch+preliminary+probe+into+missing+Rail+mails/1805674/story.html

Well, if destruction of emails that were requested by lawyers two years ago in a court of law as possible evidence ISN’ T obstruction of justice, what is?

Clearly, Madame Bennett has a very important decision to make. It all rests in her hands.