Sunday, March 08, 2009

Who is paying lawyers for Basi and Virk?

The New Democrats have posted most of the 8,000-odd pages of material released to the defence in the B.C. Rail sale corruption case here .
I suggested it was a good chance to test citizen journalism; take a look and see if there's something you find noteworthy, and post it here - or anywhere else.
Having slogged through Binder 3, I note that Vaughn Palmer certainly makes people in government nervous.
And that taxpayers are, apparently, picking up the spectacular legal expenses for Dave Basi and Bob Virk. Documents in the binder say the deputy minister of finance and the deputy attorney general approved the indemnity in July 2005.
Taxpayers would pick up the tab for legal costs "in criminal procedures against them arising from conduct that was in the course of their employment as ministerial assistants." The reasons, offered in a briefing note, have been kept secret.
Another memo says, "Both of these individuals were told, as part of the correspondence related to the termination of their employment, that the province would consider giving them indemnity."
Which seems reasonable. If you're doing your job and end up in facing criminal charges related to your work, your employer should support unless clearly improper behaviour has taken place. That certainly hasn't been established.
And it's especially critical in this case. The prosecution appears to have a limitless budget, with a number of lawyers under special prosecutor Bill Beradino working on the case.
And, of course, remember that Glen Clark's legal costs were paid by the public, as they should have been.


DPL said...

I seem to recall that the province pays the bills unless the person is found guilty. The costs so far must be massive. If the three win, we are on the hook, if they lose it's hard to imagine how three unemployed guys can cover the costs. How are they feeding their familes, paying rent, and so on? Maybe a book coming up to partially cover the expenses.
I still remember Collins on TV saying he hardly knew Basi along with a clip showing them walking dow the hallway together. Collins isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer but certainly must have know the guy sitting at a desk in the office, and hauling the binders actually worked for the Minister

BC Mary said...

Glen Clark was dragged through court over a cooked-up incident and found INNOCENT ... a big difference, Paul.

That small, home-made deck is hardly comparable to a large working railway, to organized crime, and to the A.L.R. stuff.

The Campbell government must have known that the legal costs would be enormous. It sounds like they panicked.

Negotiating to pay the future legal costs as part of the severance packages for Basi and Virk should invite some serious questions.

Absolutely yes, "if you're doing your job and end up in facing criminal charges related to your work, your employer should support [you] unless clearly improper behaviour has taken place ..."

So was the Campbell government saying that they involved themselves in criminal charges related to government work?

The briefing notes are "still secret", of course. What a surprise.

Interesting how the "trusted journalists" continue to say that these 8,000 pages are trivia, and an evil ruse to waste more time. I don't think so.

Today I found a verbatum comment by Campbell at the time of the raids on the Legislature [Binder #8 page 3]. He said: "I heard that it had to do potentially with money laundering and drugs. That's the extent of it ..."

And yet, there's been another scramble by "trusted journalists" to scoff at the notion of organized crime being involved, too.


Dave said...

Do we really need an expensive provincial election this coming May 12? So much could be avoided by not going to the voting booths.

The BC Liberals have given us our first deficit budget in the twenty-first century with more to come over the next two years and yet Premier Gordon Campbell, and his ministers, are so upbeat that they are predicting great things to be happening to our economy after the Olympics are over. Cancelling the proceedings.... election every four years and reverting back to at the Call of the Chair would allow them a grace periof of one year. Therefore they would be still in power for them to do the honours in 2010.

There would be no need to review 8000 pages of documents looking for ammunition and Justice Bennett would have another year to stall the proceedings.

Basi/Virk/Basi would still be on our payroll which goes a long way to explain why Dave Basi is still donating big bucks to his Alma Mater in Victoria......

Gazetteer said...

Interesting stuff Paul.

My first pass at the front half of Binder #8 is here.