As for the "accredited" others, I'll only cite Bruce Hutchison writing in National Post specifically because his column dated Oct. 18, 2010 titled "Too quick, too easy end for BC Rail trial" contains this honest remark:
... For their defence strategy, reliant on rumours, innuendo, and one or two malleable members of the press whom they used to promote an agenda of obfuscation outside the courts ...
Note II: The required bump up, effective October 2 2014 to half a million dollars, is it due to a before-the-court case regarding eg. Health Ministry firings?
eg. Information and Privacy Commissioner Decision
The following witnesses appeared before the Committee and answered questions relating to the Office of the Auditor General’s Report An Audit of Special Indemnities (December 2013).
Witnesses:Office of the Auditor General• Russ Jones, Acting Auditor General• Sheila Dodds, Assistant Auditor General• Amanda Welch, Manager, Legal Services
Ministry of Justice• Richard J.M. Fyfe, Q.C., Deputy Attorney General
BC Public Service Agency• Lynda Tarras, Deputy Minister
Ministry of Finance• Linda Irvine, Executive Director, Risk Management Branch
K. Corrigan: I wanted to ask a couple of questions specifically about appendix B: "Administration of the special indemnities for Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk." It says: "Based on our interviews and file reviews, we found no evidence of political involvement in the decision to amend the indemnities to release Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk from the obligation to repay the indemnity costs if they were found guilty."  It also says the following sentence. This is on page 46: "Our review also found evidence of public servants diligently keeping the decision to amend the indemnities separate and distinct from the plea negotiations with the special prosecutor that concluded the trial." I have a couple of questions on that. The first one is…. It's very clear earlier on page 44 — and I just want to publicly get it on the record — that if the agreement had not been reached that they would not have to pay back, that they didn't get a special indemnity, then the guilty plea would not have happened. Is that correct?
R. Fyfe: I am actually not in a position to answer that question. I understand that the requirement to repay was viewed as an obstacle to discussions with the special prosecutor, but they were conducted separately.
K. Corrigan: Perhaps I can ask the Auditor General, because this report makes it clear that there was an obstacle and that there wouldn't even be discussion of a plea negotiation if this matter, the issue of having to repay legal costs, was not dealt with. I'm just wondering how the Auditor General's office came to that conclusion then, because it's included in the report.
A. Welch: We did meet with Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk and counsel for the purpose of clearing the report, which is a solicitor-client privilege. We did confirm, both in the evidence that we had during the audit and with counsel, that this was the case.
K. Corrigan: So that was in a direct conversation with Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk, that if they had not received that information, if they had not received that assurance, they would not have pled guilty.
A. Welch: Well, as we make clear in the report, the counsel negotiated the amendment to the special indemnities before the plea deal was even presented to their clients.
K. Corrigan: Before it was presented.
A. Welch: That's right.
|Choo Choo Thing|