Friday, March 30, 2012

The Six Million Dollar BC Rail Deal....My Question For Geoff Plant



Update, Friday Mar 30th, Noonish: Mr. Plant has responded to my question....Details are here.

Former BC Liberal government Attorney General Geoff Plant, who is now a civilian, has a blog.

And yesterday he had a question for John van Dongen about the Six Million Dollar Deal, which was the following:

"...What would you have done?..."

Now, one of the interesting things about Mr. Plant's post was the fact there was a whole lot of preamble that came between the 'Dear John' at the beginning of the thing and the question above that he finally got to near the very end.

And part of that preamble went like this:

"The defendants pleaded guilty. What is clear is that there was no legally binding deal. There couldn’t be. The waiver of recovery of fees was not and could not be an inducement to plead guilty. As a matter of law they were not connected. But that was of course the outcome. It was done very, very carefully, to make sure the rules were followed."


Have you got that?

Mr. Plant makes it very clear that, the way he understands the way things went down, there was no inducement to plead guilty on the basis of a prior deal/agreement regarding the fee waiver.

However, Mr. Plant, in the very next sentence of his preamble, then wrote the following:

" But it was understood that with guilty pleas, the claim to fee recovery would be waived."

Which, to be absolutely honest here, made my lay person/non-lawyer-type jaw drop almost to the floor.

Thus, I felt compelled to ask Mr. Plant the following over at his place:

...(Mr. Plant) perhaps you could help me 'understand' the following....

If it was 'understood' that guilty pleas would subsequently lead to the waiver being granted, does it not logically follow that there was, for all intents and purposes, a prior 'inducement' regardless how 'carefully' things were done to make sure 'the rules were followed'?


It will be interesting to see if I receive an answer from the good Mr. Plant.

And to be fair to him, I have noticed that he has been pretty good at giving answers to most comers.

So fair play to him on that score, because many others who have dipped their toes into the bloggodome have not been so straight up with readers.

Please note: Paul Willcocks had a similar problem with Mr. Plant's logic. The point he makes is at the top of the comment thread to the post in question...
Meanwhile, Mark Hume and Justine Hunter in the The Globe let us know that the auditor general is taking the government to court because it won't release deal docs to him....



Grant G said...

Ross K..

"The very object of the entire exercise. This was not an open-ended public inquiry where all the issues about the BC Rail deal were being investigated. It was a criminal case, in which the only issue at the end of the day was the guilt or innocence of the three defendants. No one and nothing else was on trial."

From the Plant Rant...

Was Geoof giving subtle hints...Look what he says, there was no trial on BC Rail..The only issues were Basi/Virk and bribes...

Which begs the question..Stonewally Oppal, Gordon Campbell, all BC Liberal used the..

"No comments on BC Rail whille it`s before the courts"

Questions on Patrick kinseela, David Mclean, etc etc etc..

A trial limited in scope prevented questions that covered a huge swath..

In other words, the Basi/Virk trial was but a stage play(perhaps by design and perhaps even Basi and Virk were players in a ruse so well thought out)

A stage play that allowed Gordon Campbell to say "no comment on BC Rail, it`s before the courts" for 7 years...

Methinks Basi and Virk played acting roles in collusion with those at the top of the food chain..


Anonymous said...

"the consent must be given voluntarily, in the sense of not being the result of cærcion, and must be the conscious act of the consenter"

a six million bribe ....being offered by the Crown/Government.... to someone, anyone, to plead guilty, just to stop the trial....

RossK said...


Did the trial provide longtime cover?

Looking back, and looking at the current MLA in the Premier's chair, it is hard to conclude that it did not.



Thanks very much. Can we assume you are a lawyer-type?

If so, can you expound a little bit?

It really does seem to me that Mr. Plant's argument is legally flawed, even if it did go down 'sequentially' as he (and Mr. Loukedelis) says it did.

Am I wrong in coming to that conclusion?



Anonymous said...

Not to mention Justice Bennet's rebukes to the government over that seven years for delays in providing "even basic disclosure" to the defense.

Mr. Plant, if an end to the trial were the goals, why did the prosecution obfuscate and delay?

RossK said...

Friday @ 7am--

No answer from Mr. Plant yet....

Gotta go to work...

Hope I don't forget my bus ticket.


paul said...

Added another comment, in response to Geoff Plant's response to your comment, saying:

Sorry, but the hairs are being split too finely. If there were genuine guilty pleas arranged in negotiations with the special prosecutor in place, then there was no need to break the policy on indemnities. The guilty pleas would have been secured, the trial ended and the taxpayers could have recovered at least some of the $6 million.
If they weren't in place, then the $6 million was indeed a prior inducement because it came before the guilty pleas were actually secured.

bewlay said...

Plain and simple the word is conspiracy, no tin foil hat required to figure that out.

North Van's Grumps said...

or we could ask the Defense Lawyers, with the permission of their clients in the BC Rail case

RossK said...

Thanks Paul--

Heading over to read it now.


Ian Reid said...

If there was no inducement, release all the docs, including all the wire taps.

That will never happen. The fact of the matter remains why hide? What docs are he government hiding? What was the government so afraid of when they were confronted with a plea bargain charge anyways?

If there were no plea bargain, I'm sure the former AG would be happy to join those calling for a doc dump to the auditor rather than an expensive plea bargain....
CDN$ 26.50
Fix this recommendation plea bargain with the former finance minister