For those who might stumble across this blog, and wonder what it's all about I will give a short summary in this post.
On December 28, 2003, while most British Columbians were still digesting their Christmas dinners and getting ready for New Year's, a giant posse of RCMP descended upon the Legislative Assembly in Victoria armed with search warrants. They were there to search the offices of provincial ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk. More Mr. Basi was the aide to then Finance Minister Gary "ferret" Collins and Mr. Virk was the aide to then Transportation Minister Judith Reid. Both ministers chose not to run in the last election and are no longer members of the Legislature. The horsemen used dollies to roll out boxes of files which were then loaded into vans, and then they drove away. A number of other locations were served the same day including the home of yet another minister.
Here is some background from cbc.ca
Although the Liberal government claimed no knowledge or involvement, for some reason one aide was suspended with pay while the other was fired. Some people wondered why the different treatment, but little or no information was forthcoming. The mounties denied they were investigating any elected officials however.
After refusing a media request to unseal the warrant in January 2004, in March 2004, B.C. Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court released a summary of the sealed warrants, which said the police were investigating a possible breach of trust in the sale of B.C. Rail. In September of 2004 Justice Dohm released the documents, but with eighty percent of the text redacted. There was enough not blacked out to indicate that the investigation involved the two aides and the government's plan to privatize BC Rail.
Documents detail allegations
CBC September 10, 2004
Then on December 22, 2004 formal charges of fraud, breach of trust and demanding benefits in connection with government business. David Basi's cousin Aneal Basi was also charged with one count of one count of fraud and one count of breach of trust by a public officer, for allegedly laundering money accepted by David Basi.
former government aides charged - CBC December 22, 2004
Though some people were wondering if anything more would ever come out, finally at the end of March 2006 Justice Elizabeth Bennett ruled that the information, excepting some regarding witnesses at the upcoming trial should be released. After a few days to edit "in the interests of a fair trial" the documents were finally released to the public on Monday, April 3. The same day more charges were laid against David Basi in relation to possibly influencing decisions about the release of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for development near Sooke, on Vancouver Island.
With the release of the warrant information and the trial, by judge alone, expected to start in June, this whole affair is beginning to come to life after overtwo years of dormancy. Mr.Basi and Mr. Virk both intend to plead not guilty and maintain their innocence of the charges, as is their right. One other individual, Mr. Basi's cousin Aneal Basi also faces two charges of money laundering related to these affairs.
New criminal charges against David Basi and new information released Monday raise troubling new questions about British Columbia's largest and longest-running political scandal - the "raid on the legislature" case.Thus reads the beginning of an article in the Tyee by Bill Tieleman published April 4, the day after the information in the documents was released to the public. It was the on the comments board to this article that the idea of this blog was born.
For those with a masochistic streak and an eye for detail here are links to the warrants themselves. These are in Adobe Portable Document Format and require either Acrobat Reader or some equivalent program.
Warrant for the original raid on the Legislature
Warrant for the later allegations including Denver Monday Night Football Trip
Basi, Virk warrant information released -from the CBC for April 3:
That's all for tonight, Jovo is back playing and the Canucks are beating the Flames.
Update on the hockey game:
The Canucks almost let this one get away, allowing the Flames to come back in the third from 2-0 and tie it up. In overtime Morrison won a battle for the puck near the Flame blue line,
Carney carried it in and passed to Naslund who gave it to Jovanovski who got the winner - a good game for Jovo, especially for his first game back in months.