One of the crime scenes

Thursday, August 30, 2007


 



There's the old joke about living like a mushroom, in other words, in the dark being fed what comes from the opposite end of a horse from where you put in the oats. It was that sense of being treated like fungi that led to the creation of the House of Infamy and Mary's Blog over at the The Legislature Raids. It had been over two years since the unprecedented Raid on the Legislature in Victoria had interrupted every ones Christmas Holidays yet the people of British Columbia still knew almost nothing about why this had happened and what it might mean. Thanks to Justice Patrick Dohm's obsession with secrecy even the information provided to obtain the warrants was still mostly redacted, and indeed parts of those documents are still being kept secret from the people of British Columbia that the Supreme Court of BC, the Ministry of Justice and law enforcement agencies are in FACT supposed to serve.

 



Over a week ago some kind of pre-trial hearing?, conference?, conference call?, charter challenge? discovery motion? or simple back room deal happened either in the Courthouse at Smithe and Robson or on the telephone. But as usual the fine people of BC are left totally in the dark concerning what, if anything, happened . BC Mary wrote to an editor at the Vancouver Stunned and was told (my bolding):
The truth is, nothing much has happened in the process, so we haven't been consuming resources during this heavy holiday season on non-news.

 


But we are at work on a piece that will move in the next two or three days, so bear with us.
Kirk LaPointe,
Managing Editor,
The Vancouver Sun.

 


I've been bearing with Mr. LaPointe and Co. for over a week now and I guess the piece must have moved to the circular file cabinet on the floor next to his desk. I keep feeling that we are being told that a case involving government corruption at "at least" the senior ministerial aide level, if not higher, involving the questionable sale of OUR assets in direct contradiction of election promises is none of our concern. But rest assured, all of the Canned West/GlowBall papers have a daily report on the Robert Pickton trial in New Wesminister, even when it is in recess. So if "Willy" should scratch his nose while listening to testimony, never fear, we will be informed about it.

 


Robin Matthews, Professor Emeritus SFU, recently sent a letter to Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who is the judge assigned to what may or may not become a trial someday. As a concerned citizen, Mr. Matthews has attended hearings in this matter when possible and has been perhaps the most articulate spokesman for the people of BC and their right to know what the Justice System is doing in their name and on their dime.

The complete letter is published in full, complete with a list of recipients over at BC Mary's. Some highlights follow here, but the whole missive is very worth the few minutes it takes to read. I am also going to post a copy of the whole letter below the fold -


Excerpts from Robin's letter:

 



Compelling engagements made it impossible for me to be in the courtroom to witness the transactions. That is a perfectly normal situation. And so I formally request that you make available to me to examine and, if I wish, to have copies made for me of all or parts of the court record of that proceeding/those proceedings....snip


And so it is perfectly reasonable that you should make those public records available to me; and I look forward earnestly to your early positive decision in the matter.


Please take note: in this request I am not asking to see documents submitted by the Crown (though I have full freedom to do so), but the records of the publicly open transactions occurring in a courtroom of the Supreme Court Building beginning on August 21, 2007. Both you and your strangely secretive colleague, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, (also involved in the police and court processes arising from the corrupt sale of BC Rail) have publicly placed on record statements of the fundamental, constitutionally transparent principle that "the governing legal principle is that there is a presumption in favour of public access" to court documents on public record. Then, I allege, you both trample that principle underfoot for reasons that I allege are highly suspicious and cannot be defended in a democratic society...snip



Let me remind you that I have applied repeatedly to examine material (secreted by you) which is on the public record. The more I insisted, the more labyrinthine and Kafka'esque were the obstacles placed in my way by you and your minions. I allege I was misinformed and I allege the requirements which I had to fulfill were changed irrationally. Above all, I was assured that no material could, under any circumstances, be released unless I followed the prescribed, complicated ritual (and, then, there was no assurance it would be released).


But when a large, private, profit-making corporation (in this case the Globe and Mail) almost casually - giving almost no notice - requested the release of important materials in early June of 2007, you almost casually and with lightning speed gave the Globe and Mail what it wanted. No protocol. No prescribed ritual. No forms to complete. No labyrinthine process.



   More


XXXX Salsbury Drive,
Vancouver, B.C., XXX XXX,
August 28, 2007

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett,
The Supreme Court of British Columbia,
The Law Courts,
800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 2E1

cc. William Berardino
Michael Bolton
Joseph Doyle
Kevin McCullough
The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice Canada
Joe Comartin, MP
Libby Davies, MP
Leonard Krog, MLA
Chief Justice Donald Brenner, B.C. Supreme Court
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm
B.C. Civil Liberties Association
Press/Media/others

RE: the Basi, Virk, and Basi/ B.C. Rail Court Proceedings

Dear Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett:

The hearing on the "Application for RecordsŠ" addressed to George Copley, Q.C. and William Berardino, Q.C., filed by Michael Bolton, Q.C. and Claire Hatcher, Kevin McCullough and Kristy Sim, and Joeseph Doyle on June 4, 2007 was taken up by you in the Law Courts on August 21, 2007, and given some continuing attention.

Compelling engagements made it impossible for me to be in the courtroom to witness the transactions. That is a perfectly normal situation. And so I formally request that you make available to me to examine and, if I wish, to have copies made for me of all or parts of the court record of that proceeding/those proceedings.

The reasonableness of my request will register with all Canadians who are not mentally incompetent or serving interests that seek to hide all information possible from the public on the Basi, Virk, and Basi actions as well as anything else really or apparently connected to the corrupt sale of B.C. Rail by the Gordon Campbell cabinet. And so it is perfectly reasonable that you should make those public records available to me; and I look forward earnestly to your early positive decision in the matter.

Please take note: in this request I am not asking to see documents submitted by the Crown (though I have full freedom to do so), but the records of the publicly open transactions occurring in a courtroom of the Supreme Court Building beginning on August 21, 2007. Both you and your strangely secretive colleague, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, (also involved in the police and court processes arising from the corrupt sale of BC Rail) have publicly placed on record statements of the fundamental, constitutionally transparent principle that "the governing legal principle is that there is a presumption in favour of public access" to court documents on public record. Then, I allege, you both trample that principle underfoot for reasons that I allege are highly suspicious and cannot be defended in a democratic society.

Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm has kept secret from the Canadian public search warrant material issued in 2003. In his grand gesture to "release" the corrupt BC Rail sale search warrants in September, 2004, he blacked out (in number of pages) wholly or in part considerably more than half of the material. Bill Tielemann records it as at "about 80 percent of the search warrant information". (Georgia Straight Sept 16 04 23)

One of the people targetted in the searches was Bruce Clark, brother of then deputy premier Christy Clark and brother-in-law of Mark Marissen, then prime minister Paul Martin's top Liberal organizer in B.C. Allegations were that Clark received confidential BC Rail-involved documents from Dave Basi concerning what may have been the criminal handling of the Roberts Bank spur line intended sale. At the instancing of the RCMP (but not before) B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon was forced to cancel that sale, apparently to U.S. rail corporation, omniTRAX. What was Kevin Falcon's role in the whole matter? He did not undergo search as a result of the Patrick Dohm granted warrants or any other. In addition, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm appears to have blackened out much of the material relating to Bruce Clark. I shall return to the subject near the close of this letter.

In August 2007, as I write, both you and Mr Justice Dohm are defying "the governing legal principle Š that there is a presumption in favour of public access". You, yourself, are now seized with the matters involved in the corrupt sale of BC Rail. And you are keeping 80% of the December 2003 search warrant material from the people of Canada, to whom it belongs.

I have, with respect, to record with you, moreover, that I have repeatedly asked you for court transcripts and for - to give an example - the 14 sworn affidavits from RCMP officers tendered by the Special Crown Prosecutor. I have to record, further, that I have been denied by you everything (of matters placed on public record as the property of the people of Canada) which I have requested.

One reason given is the fatuous, odious, repugnant so-called Practice Direction existing as (an apparent) product of Associate Chief Justice Dohm. I have reviewed the gathering of "rules" called the Practice Direction. Inasmuch as it deals with the freedom of Canadians to examine documents on public record in the Supreme Court of British Columbia - and denies them that freedom - I consider the Practice Direction a totalitarian denial of the democratic freedoms of Canadians. Inasmuch as the Practice Direction claims to be based on legislation expressed in the Criminal Code, I believe it distorts the intention of legislation and/or misinterprets the intention of legislators. If, in any case whatsoever, the repressive Practice Direction should appear to square with legislation, I insist, the role of all Supreme Court judges, given their titles expressive of trust, probity, and principle, is to call publicly for a change to the legislation.

Let me remind you that I have applied repeatedly to examine material (secreted by you) which is on the public record. The more I insisted, the more labyrinthine and Kafka'esque were the obstacles placed in my way by you and your minions. I allege I was misinformed and I allege the requirements which I had to fulfill were changed irrationally. Above all, I was assured that no material could, under any circumstances, be released unless I followed the prescribed, complicated ritual (and, then, there was no assurance it would be released).

But when a large, private, profit-making corporation (in this case the Globe and Mail) almost casually - giving almost no notice - requested the release of important materials in early June of 2007, you almost casually and with lightning speed gave the Globe and Mail what it wanted. No protocol. No prescribed ritual. No forms to complete. No labyrinthine process.

Some judges of the Supreme Court of B.C. are popularly accused of practising flagrant favouritism towards large, rich, private corporations. Your actions, I say with respect, convince me you may be one of those judges.

I must allude to another, huge shadow that judges of the Supreme Court of British Columbia labour under, you among them. That is the position of Wally Oppal as Attorney General of the Province. He was - as you well know - a colleague of yours for years as a Supreme Court judge, and in the appellate division as well. He is now Attorney General. His office is closely connected to Supreme Court operations as an on-going fact. He should never have been permitted to move to the political post he holds, for, by doing so, he casts all judges who were his colleagues into suspicion of conflict of interest whenever they are seized with actions in which the Gordon Campbell government has interests. Oppal is, it would seem, an open, visible, motor-mouth supporter of any and every Gordon Campbell policy and action, however dubious, distasteful, or improper.

Because of Wally Oppal's political position, your actions - as a former colleague of his - in the matter of the corrupt sale of BC Rail and the criminal charges that have arisen from it (and especially in regard to those charges that should have arisen from it, but haven't) cannot escape from being viewed with deep suspicion. The conditions in which you work, I allege - whatever may be your probity - cast suspicion upon your behaviour.

The same applies to Chief Justice Donald Brenner. He undertook to preside in the Alcan/B.C. Government/Kitimat dispute about Nechako River power. Wally Oppal, former long-time colleague of Justice Brenner, was a title-page respondent in the matter Brenner undertook to adjudicate objectively. I am a party to the Complaint before the Canadian Judicial Council to the effect that Chief Justice Brenner could not act in the matter without bearing such reasonable suspicion of conflict of interest that his decision must be disallowed.

I believe, in addition, that the substance of Chief Justice Brenner's decision on the Alcan/B.C. government/Kitimat dispute is a tissue of bad reasoning and expediencies - pointing to prejudice in the matter. But quite apart from that, his de facto role as a long-time colleague of Wally Oppal made necessary that he refuse the position he chose to assume. His choice to be judge in the matter is, I believe, intolerable, and we wait anxiously for the finding of the Canadian Judicial Council in the matter of our Complaint.

The Supreme Courts of Canada are fast losing the respect of Canadians - so much so that Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, is frequently quoted in the press uttering petillant and nearly-empty statements about her recognition of the failure of justice in Canada. One of her recent comments which made me think of you immediately was a statement of regret that the middle class cannot afford to use the courts. "Middle-class Canadians are increasingly frozen out by the cost and complexity of Canada's judicial processes" Beverley McLachlin said. (Rafe Mair, Tyee, Mar 19 07)

Like you (as I observe your behaviour) she seems to believe ordinary Canadians aren't worth discussing and their exclusion from the courts doesn't warrant comment. In fact, she does make a distinction, saying - almost certainly incorrectly - that "the very poor" get legal aid. But the middle class being unable to use the courts should be a matter for disquiet. Her assumption seems to be that between the very poor and "average middle class Canadians", there are no people. How wrong she is! Her assumption reveals, perhaps, a dangerous ivory-tower distance from Canadian reality.

A wonderful irony of the Chief Justice's concern is that when I sought access to material on public record in the Basi, Virk, and Basi proceedings from you, you arbitrarily, I believe, invoked the "complexity of Canada's judicial processes" with the effect of blocking, frustrating and denying me access.

I do not for a moment pretend you have an easy task, working in an arena with a highly politicized former colleague Attorney General, working with a Criminal Practice Direction which I consider a repressive and totalitarian insult to Canadian democracy, working with a Chief Justice whom I believe has acted (in the Alcan case) with singular - to say the least - imprudence, working with a set of colleagues more and more disprized by the general public. Just for instance, there is a Complaint before the Canadian Judicial Council against Madam Justice Brenda Brown for inappropriate conduct (in support of private corporate interests, it is alleged) which led to the dangerous and inappropriate incarceration of aged and sick Harriett Nahanee (environmental protester) who days later had to be taken to hospital from that "hell hole" to die unnecessarily. The Canadian Judicial Council, as I see it, is handing the Madam Justice Brenda Brown Complaint around from hand to hand like a burning coal. None wishes to grasp it. And, of course, the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council in the two matters I have cited will make clear its role in the revitalization or the continuing degeneration of justice in Canada.

I do not for a moment pretend that you have an easy task. But I will not settle in the matter for the kind of favouritism and judicial delay I believe I have witnessed in your court. It is my opinion - and I say this with the deepest respect - that the narrow scope and the unending delays in the court matters arising out of the corrupt - perhaps criminal - sale of BC Rail must be laid in significant part at your doorstep and at the doorstep of Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm.

Nor will I accept the insult you have directed at me by denying me access to information - not as a person with a name, nor as a "hurt individual", but as an ordinary, nameless representative Canadian seeking to see justice done and working to inform other Canadians about a matter of the highest importance to the conduct of law, justice, and fairness in Canada - the dirty and perhaps criminal sale of BC Rail in secret, corrupt, and clandestine deals by the Gordon Campbell cabinet.

In that respect, questions push forward that are unasked by the forelock- tugging private corporate press and media - questions that should be on the front and editorial pages of the Globe and Mail and the CanWest Propaganda Chain every week, and on related television outlets. Who is paying the three law firms conducting Defence? What have they cost Š so far? British Columbians are paying you, and they are paying all costs of "the Crown", to say nothing of the army of RCMP "investigators". How much has this most important (and almost certainly most expensive) set of criminal accusations (not to be confused with a "trial") cost so far? How many millions of dollars? I ask those questions to you as presiding judge in the case, and I ask with the expectation of an answer. The private corporate press and media, moreover, should be publicly examining in detail all the elected officials and all the other political actors connected to the corrupt sale of BC Rail, and those organizations should be demanding the fullest accounting of the innocence of each of those actors, one by one.

Writing to BC Mary the other day, Kirk Lapointe, Managing Editor of the Vancouver Sun, called "non news" the August 21 process ( which I am asking you to provide me the court record to examine). He also wrote that "nothing much happened". Was the Vancouver Sun there or had they been told (as seems often the case on certain court days) not to bother covering? If no Sun reporter was there, how could Lapointe say with confidence there was no news? Who is controlling the press and media coverage of the proceedings over which you preside? Should that not be a matter of interest, and of concern to you?

The suggestion of something like a staged management of the Basi, Virk, and Basi proceedings brings up the central question. Is the whole thing a fraud? Are the wrong people charged? Are searches for evidence calculated to provide intolerable delays? Are the strange handlings of search warrants and certain apparently connected people intended to drive attention away from guilty people? In my mind and in the minds of many others the private, corporate, monopoly press and media are monstrously failing in their duty. The question is: "Are they failing in their duty because they are, in some way, connected to a criminal element involved with BC Rail?" Near the beginning of the letter I referred to politicians and high-ranking non-elected Liberals. Many involved in this matter are - and have been shown to be - close to Gordon Campbell and/or to other cabinet members (if they are not cabinet members themselves). That includes some members of the RCMP - and, of course, since the accession of Wally Oppal to the position of Attorney General it has to include all Supreme Court judges who were his colleagues on the bench. In short, is the gigantic operation, costing British Columbians millions and millions of dollars, simply a massive piece of theatre being acted out to protect criminals at the highest levels of British Columbia life?

Finally, it is my understanding that the Special Crown Prosecutor works (necessarily) in close relation to the investigative police forces in conducting searches and in laying charges. It is my understanding, as well, that the Supreme Court judge seized with a criminal matter may instruct the Crown to gather further, related information that may lead to charges being laid against others believed to be criminally involved in the matter, a condition of great importance since it may have bearing upon the fate, the freedoms, and the fair trial of the already accused. In this highly charged matter in which much of the general public is confident powerful, key politicians and others are guilty of crimes - why have you not given instructions to widen the investigation?

Yours respectfully,


Robin Mathews

3 Comments:

Anonymous earseyeswideopen said...

Good work, Agent Kootcoot!
You, BCMary & Robin are the dynamic trio on this unfolding coverup.

"The voice of one becomes the voice of many "-all of your well grounded beliefs, reflect the beliefs of so many people who 'get it': the fact that the courts & the politicians are like the Bobbsey twins - a little nudge, nudge, wink wink & like magic, corruption within government disappears before our very eyes, underground in the simmering cesspool of deceit. At some point, the fumes will erupt.

It takes a strong ethical backbone for a Supreme Court Judge to simply act on the evidence on behalf of citizens when duty calls. We will see what shape Judge Bennett is in or whether she needs some vertabrae re-alligned LOL to make the connections to her higher conscience.

What you three detectives continue to do on behalf of the publics' best interests, most certainly puts this Judge on notice.

Doe she really care about her integrity & mark in this lifetime, or will the web of political influence taint her journey?

Friday, August 31, 2007 at 10:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger BC Mary said...

.
Hi Koot,

Only 17 days more until they shoo the moths and cobwebs out of Supreme Courtroom 54 and begin another gentle minuet between the Prosecution and Defence (two steps forward, two steps back, a la main left ... oops!)

Just wondering if you've seen hide or hair of that Basi Virk story promised by Vancouver Sun's managing editor?

.

Friday, August 31, 2007 at 7:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger BC Mary said...

.
Koot ... come on over to The Legislature Raids and see what Pointy LaPoint has on his mind now. You'll love it. I think he's decided to punish us by NEVER publishing the promised article on Basi, Virk, and B.C. Rail!

Like, what'd we do?

But I get the distinct feeling that Pointy and I won't be dining at the Vila del Lupa anytime before the next millenium, if then.

.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 8:43:00 PM PDT  

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