BC Mary’s resurrection of an older- but still right on target- editorial of mine that she posted on her blog was timely to say the least. In an effort to assist in making sure the people of BC know what their government is facing – and what they are allegedly capable of – I’ve posted it here for you again, followed by a column from political columnist and strategist, Bill Tieleman.
If you don’t know, or haven’t heard about the Basi/Virk trial, you are not alone. Very little coverage has been done by our largest news organisations in what is likely to be one of the most important issues worrying our dear Premier Gordon Campbell. Not unlike a big budget thriller plot, those who have written about it have been harassed, broken into,and had their computers hacked into and targeted with viruses.
Why is that? Because someone doesn’t want the truth to be known. Somone with deep pockets and far reaching connections. Kudo’s to BC Mary and Bill Tieleman for taking the heat and continuing coverage.
Excerpt from post,March 12th, 2008“…there are no headlines detailing the ever-growing shadow over Gordon Campbell and his office, regarding his involvement and activities surrounding the Basi/Virk trial.
The reputation and integrity (what is left of it) of the BC premiers office is at stake yet again, and one would think that this is news that all British Columbians should be hearing about, yet little- if anything- that develops in this riveting case is ever reported in The Sun or The Province. I talked to people both locally and in the interior, and no one seems to really know anything. Although the average working Joe might have heard of the names Basi/Virk, do they know exactly who they are, how the premier is involved, and what it could mean for the Liberal party of BC?
Not a chance.
This is one of the biggest,ongoing stories in politics anywhere, and yet we are provided with no ongoing coverage by any major media outlet. No weekly feature, or updates. Why is that?
It could lead one to surmise that the local media is able to be influenced by those who are compromised most in this story. What other explanation is there? How about a two page special chronicling the entire saga to date, to get those who have not been privy to the events that have transpired, up to speed? Its anything but a boring read.
Dave Basi and Bob Virk, are two ex-government ministerial aides that have been charged with corruption ,stemming from the legislature raids several years ago. Disclosure has been going on forever and has been plagued by delays, obstructions and missing evidence.
Now, defence attorneys are asking for Premier Gordon Campbell to testify and answer some pertinent and loaded questions regarding allegations of political interference surrounding the release of documents required as evidence. It is alleged that the Premier arbitrarily changed a court protocol on disclosure, and now defence -and the opposition – want answers as to why he would do such a thing without involving a government lawyer.
Read the entire story here, on political commentator Bill Tielmans blog : http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2008/03/defence-demands-premier-gordon-campbell.html
Bill Tielman has been diligently providing almost daily coverage since the beginning, and not without consequence. His office was broken into and ransacked at one point, with a cryptic message left – an obvious message from someone pissed off by his dogged determination at relaying this story to the public.
It brings to mind the role media outlets play in our political landscape. Sadly, I think the majority of the public relies on mainstream media for their political information and news . The standard should be held that our mainstream media remains unbiased and reports the news in its entirety- good or bad. So when a story of this political importance is conspicuously ignored over and over, the motive for doing so must be questioned.
After all, the more informed the public is about political process in British Columbia, the better.
Information is power. “
And a fantastic post from the blog of Bill Tieleman,to get you up to speed:
Tuesday December 2, 2008
Why the Basi-Virk case still matters
By BILL TIELEMAN
All sides in a trial want to hide at least some of the truth.
– Alan M. Dershowitz, law professor
There are two anniversaries in December relating to the longest-running political scandal in provincial history – the B.C. Legislature Raid case.
The first is a scandal itself.
Dec. 28, 2003 marks five years since the unprecedented police raid of the Legislature, and yet the trial of former B.C. Liberal government aides David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi – facing corruption charges related to the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization – has not started.
The second anniversary shows why this case is very important: Overnight on Dec. 2 last year, my office was broken into and trashed, with a clear message that it was because of my Basi-Virk coverage.
Here’s why the fate of B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is very much in the balance depending on when – and if – this case is ever heard.
The Legislature raid to seize files and computers belonging to David Basi and Virk began as a drug investigation, expanding to a breach of trust and fraud case due to wiretap evidence.
The allegations against Basi and Virk are simple – that they were bribed to provide confidential government documents to lobbyists hired by a B.C. Rail bidder, OmniTRAX. Aneal Basi allegedly laundered bribe money.
The two lobbyists – Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran – became key Crown witnesses against the accused and do not face criminal charges.
A simple case – did Basi, Virk and Basi do what they are charged with?
But the route to trial is anything but simple.
The evidence gathered in the Legislature and through wiretaps is subject to a variety of types of “privilege,” including Parliamentary privilege, solicitor-client privilege, litigation privilege and police techniques privilege.
That has led to years of pre-trial hearings over what evidence can or should be disclosed and a wide-ranging disclosure order from B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who is trying the case, which resulted in production of more than 300,000 pages of evidence.
The defence alleges in court that some evidence backs up their central argument – that the RCMP “tailored and targeted” Basi and Virk and avoided investigating B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers, including Basi’s boss, former Finance Minister Gary Collins.
The court also heard lengthy allegations that political dirty tricks by the B.C. Liberals were coordinated directly out of Campbell’s office.
If proven true in a trial where documents are produced and testimony heard, that alone could change the course of the provincial election.
And that’s scandalous.
Check them out and send the links around.