Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things get worse in the B.C. Rail scandal

The Times Colonist reports that defence lawyers for Dave Basi and Bob Virk negotiated the forgiveness of $6 million in legal fees with deputy attorney general David Loukidelis and deputy finance minister Graham Whitmarsh.
That raises the perception the plea bargain had less to do with justice and more to do with closed door talks about money.
Most alarming though, is this sentence.

"But when special prosecutor Bill Berardino made the B.C. government aware on Oct. 5 that he had proposed to let the two men plead guilty, it fell to the deputy minister of finance, Graham Whitmarsh, and Loukidelis to figure out whether they would actually have to come up with the money, Loukidelis's statement read."

Why would the special prosecutor "make the government aware" of his plea offer? Special prosecutors are appointed in sensitive cases to ensure independence and avoid even the appearance that political influence was affecting the courts.
But if the special prosecutor is briefing the government of his plans, he is no longer independent. Telling the government of plans to seek a plea bargain, for example, invites interference. Either by proposing a different strategy or, as in this case, offering financial inducements to encourage a guilty plea.
This seems an extraordinary interference in what is supposed to be an independent justice system.


Norm Farrell said...

Good catch but it is only one of numerous defects.

Anonymous said...

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino was 'special' alright - he is a 'specially well connected BC Liberal.

Why was Berardino chosen when he had zero experience in this type of lawyering? Was it because of his BC Liberal connections?


Speaking of connections... What about the connection between lead RCMP investigator Kevin DeBruyckere and BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kelly Reichart? They are brothers-in-law.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Bill Berardino come clean on the plea deal????????

wstander said...

Right on. This is the issue. It completely negates the purpose of appointing an independent prosecutor, which means, in the end, he was not indpendent after all.

Best Place??? said...

Truly, we are experiencing the end of government in BC.

This is anarchy, And, the anarchists are those who wield power and their enforcers (in law, justice and bureaucracy).

Anonymous said...

The Victoria Times Colonist's Rob Shaw was working late tonight.

A Vancouver Island development company that built a residential community in Sooke, B.C., is expected to plead guilty Friday to charges of bribing a government official in an attempt to remove land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, the Victoria Times Colonist has learned.

Documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday show Shambrook Hills Development Corporation — also known as Sunriver Estates — has been indicted on one count of paying a $50,000 bribe to former government official Dave Basi, in connection with an application to the ALR.

There's a line in Shaw's report that is probably worth at least an article of its own:

The land was originally purchased from forest company Timberwest.

I wonder if this land was part of the huge give-away-to-friends-of-the-BC Liberals that Rich Coleman made?

DPL said...

No stone unturned trying to keep the witnesses off the stand. Gordo and crew have no concerns about the taxpayers money, just a concern to keep his government alive

kootcoot said...

"Gordo and crew have no concerns about the taxpayers money, just a concern to keep his government alive"

Until they've alienated every last asset that once belonged to the people of British Columbia.

BC Rail - check
BC Hydro - Partial check
BC Ferries - Check
BC Gas - check
Timberwest Forestlands - check
Arrow Lakes TFL (Pope & Talbot) - check
BC Ambulance - working on it
Privatizing Medicine - working on it

Partial list.......