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Back Politics Politics Provincial Public Shut Out From Basi Virk Trial Details

Public Shut Out From Basi Virk Trial Details

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BC Rail Was Sold Under Suspicious Circumstances

By Debbie McBride - After reading a couple of weeks ago that the Crown was reducing the number of witnesses it would present, I predicted that the Basi Virk trial would be coming to an abrupt close. I was correct on that point but I got the reason wrong.

You see, the writing was on the wall once the Campbell Liberal's knew there could likely be some very embarrassing, if not damaging information revealed while those witnesses were under oath.

I thought the end would come with a staying of the charges because the length of the trial had gone on too long. I mean 7 years is just unimaginable but as long as the matter was before the courts the Liberals could hide behind the mantra that "the matter was before the courts" and so they couldn't comment on anything to do with BC Rail. Then when it actually got before the courts there were no end of delays and the testimony of the first two witnesses was both informative and embarrassing for the government. Next up on the witness roster was former Minister Gary Collins and it became pretty obvious that there was a lot of nervousness surrounding what would be disclosed in court. It was time to pull the plug.

So, it seems that some deal has been worked out instead with Mr.'s Basi and Virk and as usual it is the beleaguered BC taxpayer who gets stuck with the bill when it comes to yet another BC Liberal government scheme. Another promise broken to the electorate is just another hand in the pocket of the Campbell serfs - BC taxpayers.

The subject of broken promises and twisted excuses by the Campbell Liberals is another subject altogether. A subject that requires another column because just to list them all would take more space then available right now.

The manner in the way this trial ended is not surprising, disappointing yes, but you just knew there was going to be something cooked up to make it end before the real truth could come out.

I don't know if Basi and Virk are guilty. They say they are but they looked so defeated and beat down one felt that they had fought as long and as hard as they could. Likely they did and likely an offer was made to them that promised them some relief from 7 years of hell trying to prove that they had done nothing more than what could even be presumed to be the usual practices of the government they were working for.

If they are guilty - as they have said - then punish them as anyone else would be punished and make them pay the legal costs incurred in the process. Now this sets a precedence for who pays for trials and the only positive I can see in this is that maybe this will also then require the Crown to pay the legal fees and costs of anyone and everyone who this Liberal government decides to take to court. Mostly those of course who get in their way or in the way of one of their many projects.

Certainly, many an individual and environmental groups who have dared take on the Crown have ultimately been defeated by their lack of funds. Basi and Virk have shown us that the best way to fight against the system is to hire the best lawyers you can, extend the trial length through wrangling and motions and in the end, when a plea deal is reached, the Crown will pay because nobody had enough money anyway to pay the costs. Seems fair to apply the same logic and benefit for everyone doesn't it.

I hope the truth about BC Rail comes out and all the questions that the Liberals refused to answer because the matter was before the courts are answered. I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen, that's for sure.

Nor do I expect to see any in depth interviews or a book deal being inked as far as Basi and Virk are concerned. What I would like to know for sure is this. Were, Virk and their families required to sign a nondisclosure agreement? If they did at least we deserve to know the answer to that question.

So how about it Mr. Berardino - were Virk required to sign anything that would prevent them from talking to anyone about what they know regarding the BC Rail affair or trial? A simple yes or no will suffice.



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