The decision is in: Supreme Court of Canada rules “secret witness” in Basi-Virk trial, will remain a secret.

A victory that may see the trial beginning as soon as January 201o!

Bill Tieleman has the ruling on his site now, and will be following with his analysis as the day continues, so be sure to check back shortly. Here is an excerpt of his breaking news story from moments after the decision was handed down:

Basi-Virk Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino has won a landmark appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada this morning when the court overturned two BC lower court rulings on the issue of secret witness testimony in the BC Rail corruption case.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision means testimony about why a police informer must have his or her identity protected will take place with defence counsel, media and the public all excluded – leaving only trial judge Anne MacKenzie and the Special Prosecutor team present in BC Supreme Court.

The decision also means the trial of David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi will proceed as early as January 2010 – unless defence lawyers are successful in having it dismissed with an abuse of process motion they plan to introduce soon.

Former BC Liberal government ministerial assistants David Basi and Virk face breach of trust and fraud charges over allegations they provided confidential information about the $1 billion privatization of BC Rail in 2003 to lobbyists acting for a bidder in exchange for money and other benefits. Aneal Basi faces money laundering charges related to the case.

The case exploded into public view when police raided the BC Legislature in an unprecedented search for evidence on December 28, 2003 but the case has been repeatedly delayed from going to trial over disclosure of evidence issues. Defence lawyers say there are now “millions” of pages of evidence.

 

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