Vancouver Sun writers and many mainstream colleagues refuse to pose difficult questions to their BC Liberal friends, instead preferring the approach of Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, “I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!”
Gabriel Yui, writing at the Georgia Strait, is not so polite:
Just before [jockey of railroad sales Gary] Collins, the former finance minister and Basi’s former boss, was to appear in court, the special prosecutor made an extraordinarily attractive but unreasonable offer to the accused.
If Basi and the other ministerial aide, Virk, were to plead guilty, there would be no jail sentence, just two years of house arrest (and they could still go to work, go shopping, go to the gym, take their kids to sporting events, live with their families, and sleep with their wives), and 150 hours of community work.
The provincial government would waive the accused’s $6-million legal fee and acquit Basi’s cousin Aneal Basi. In return, they would be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement not to reveal anything related to the case and their past work for the B.C. Liberal government.
People have to wonder why the B.C. Liberal government would table such an attractive deal in exchange for a guilty plea and nondisclosure.
Abusing public trust and taking bribes in two corruption cases—and the result? No jail, no financial penalty, and legal fees waived. With such a precedent set, would it not encourage other civil servants to cross the line?