Dave Basi had his fingers slapped today by Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie. She yanked his chain lightly, adding to his previously inconsequential sentence conditions, making them now slightly inconvenient. The purported reason: Basi made himself available for a TV news interview at the home of colleague Bob Virk.
For taking a bribe to facilitate land developments worth hundreds of millions, for separately corrupting the sale of government railway assets and for causing the public to spend more than $20 million dollars to investigate, prosecute and defend criminal acts, Basi was given little more than a verbal reprimand from the court.
However, soon after taking the generous plea bargain offered by government and approved by Justice MacKenzie, Basi spoke publicly without showing even slight contrition. That raised the court’s ire. It didn’t take seven years to resolve this issue. It took days. The lesson is clear:
Hundreds of millions in commercial fraud may be no big deal but don’t get the judge pissed off. Play the game, leave the stage quietly and let this matter die.
Bill Tieleman and Mark Hume are both reporting on statements by Victoria lobbyist and Basi ally Michael Geohegan. He claims that authorities are trying to pressure Basi to cooperate in destruction of evidence from his trial so that a public inquiry, as promised by the NDP, could not access the sensitive documents.
Clearly, this allegation, if true, suggests systemic corruption at the highest ranks involving government, police and court officials.
Update, 7:30 pm:
Alex Tsakumis is reporting that crown prosecutors are demanding defense lawyers return documents provided to them before trial. This important material would be vital to an independent examination of affairs related to the Liberal Government’s sale of BC Rail. It may also include evidence of political tampering with the Agricultural Land Commission. Tsakumis states that demand for return of documents by prosecutors is unusual.
Premier Campbell’s former Chief of Staff Premier Martyn Brown demonstrated why the information must be kept outside of government for future review. Brown, despite close involvement over many years with intimate political business, claims he has no files or written records and cannot remember details of projects that consumed his time in government. As the head political operative of Gordon Campbell’s reign, if Brown knows nothing and cannot maintain files, his underlings are not likely to know or do more. Therefore, the documentary evidence held by defense lawyers must be kept safe in non-political hands.