Monday, May 07, 2012

The Six Million Dollar Deal...Documentary Evidence Of A Prior Inducement



First off, a mea culpa/apology to a concerned reader who put me onto this awhile back, way before Mr. Van Dongen asked his questions about the Six Million Dollar Deal in the legislature last week.

After that, I fussed and fiddled and then, finally, had a post all ready to go last night.

In the end, however, just before bed in fact, I pulled back because I hadn't actually seen the document that I'm going to tell you about below.

But said reader, who is really a concerned citizen extraordinaire, sent me a copy of the document earlier today by Mojo-Wire.

So, here goes.....


The document I want to tell you about is actually a letter that our concerned reader received from a British Columbia provincial government official.

The letter starts like this:

"Your email of April 12, 2011, received by the Ministry of Finance, has been forwarded to this ministry (of the Attorney General) for a response. I am responding on behalf of the Attorney General."



Before I go any further I'd like to return to a passage from the 'Statement' by Deputy Attorney General David Loukidelis that was released on Oct 20, 2010, just days after the Six Million Dollar Deal went down that suddenly stopped the Railgate trial, dead, in its tracks as former Finance Minister Gary Collins was getting set to take the witness stand.

Here is what Mr. Loukidelis, in part, wrote at that time:

"...On October 5, 2010, it came to the attention of the Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General, that the special prosecutor (Mr. William Berardino) had proposed resolution of the prosecutions (of Mess'rs Basi and Virk) through guilty pleas.
Discussions then took place between the Legal Services Branch and defence counsel, including with respect to their clients' ability to repay their legal costs. (The indemnities provided that they would have do so unless acquitted on all counts).
Legal Services Branch referred the matter to me and to the Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr. Graham Whitmarsh). The Deputy Minister of Finance has authority under the Financial Administration Act respecting this matter. He and I considered the issue. A major consideration was the relativey small amounts that might be recovered from Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk compared to the millions of additional dollars it would cost the government to continue to fund defence, prosecution and court-related costs through to the completion of the trial, and to fund any appeals, with no guarantee of convictions.
Based on the above, in our respective capacities the Deputy Minister of Finance (Graham Whitmarsh) and I decided to release Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk from their liability to repay (legal costs).  I  communicated that decision to the Attorney General on October 8, 2010...."


Here's the thing.

What Mr. Loukidelis, infers (in my reading of his statement at least), but does not state explicitly, is that Mess'rs Basi and Virk were released of their liability to repay their legal costs if they were found guilty.

And this release occurred before they pled guilty during a time when there were 'discussions' between the Legal Services Branch and defence council about their clients' ability to pay said legal costs.

Which, to my mind, regardless the legalities, amounts to a prior inducement.

And this, in part, is what I, Paul Willcocks, and others fussed about with former Attorney General Geoff Plant about a month ago.



Fast forward to this past weekend.....

After Gary Mason and Vaughn Palmer wrote columns that returned to this matter in the wake of Mr. Van Dongen's questions, the Ministry of Justice apparently released a statement via Email.

Mr. Palmer described it, and commented on it, thusly:

"Section 18 of the Financial Administration Act did not apply here," it (the Email) said. "That section provides legal authority for forgiveness of existing debts or obligations to government."
Aides David Basi and Bob Virk, in persuading the government to indemnify their legal costs, agreed in writing to repay the full amount "unless they were acquitted on all counts." You might think that was immediately translated into a $6-million debt or obligation when they pleaded guilty.
But here's the rub: "The agreement to remove the repayment conditions was made before Basi and Virk pleaded guilty or were convicted," said Saturday's statement from the Ministry of Justice A matter of days, perhaps only hours, before they made their plea in open court. Nevertheless, technically, it was "before."...
{snippety doo-dah}
..."For your background," was the way the ministry characterized the email sent to me Saturday. "If you need to attribute it, you can do so to the Ministry of Justice..."

Got all that?

Essentially, what the nebulous/anonymous/faceless 'Ministry of Justice' told Mr. Palmer on the weekend of May 5/6, 2012 just past is that Mess'rs Basi and Virk had been released of the requirement to pay court costs if they pled guilty before they pled guilty.


And with all that set-up, I would now like to return to the letter our concerned reader received from the Ministry of the Attorney General that was dated April 19, 2011 (i.e. over one year ago).

Again, recapping, our concerned reader received that letter after he had first asked the Ministry of Finance a number of detailed questions.

The following is the set-up from that letter:

"...Indemnity coverage of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk's legal expenses was granted under and in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Administration Act and Guarantees and Indemnities Regulation. Under that authority, the then-Deputy Minister of Finance, Tamara Vrooman, set terms and conditions for coverage, which Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk each agreed to.

Among the conditions was that if an indemnified person were convicted, he would become liable to repay the amounts paid on his behalf under the indemnity. His predecessor having imposed that condition, Deputy Minister of Finance Graham Whitmarsh had the authority to amend the indemnities by removing it..."

So far, so good, right?

Essentially, the set-up starts with the same explanation given by Mr. Loukidelis in his statement from six months earlier.

However, the letter writer then changes tack and gets very, very explicit.

Much more explicit than Mr. Loukidelis ever was.

(sorry for all the repetition but this, I truly believe, is very, very important)

Here goes....

"...Among the conditions was that if an indemnified person were convicted, he would become liable to repay the amounts paid on his behalf under the indeminity. His predecessor having imposed that condition, Deputy Minister of Finance Graham Whitmarsh had the authority to amend the indemnities by removing it. He did so before any liability came into being..."

In other words, the letter quoted above states, unequivocally, that the change occurred before Mess'rs Basi and Virk pled guilty, which Mr. Loukidelis' statement, as noted above, indicated was also the time period when their lawyers were in discussions with the Legal Services Branch about legal costs.

To my mind that is the end of the discussion, regardless any and all legal technicalities.

Because no matter how many hairs you split, in my opinion, there was a prior inducement for the accused to plead guilty, even if there were no firm dollar figures attached to said inducement at the time said inducement was made.

Oh, and one more thing.

Who, you might be wondering, actually signed the letter to our concerned reader?

Well, it turns out it was not the nebulous/faceless/anonymous 'Ministry of Justice'.

Instead, it was a real person.

And that real person was then, and still is now, the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of British Columbia, Mr. Richard J.M. Fyfe, Q.C.

However, as we noted this morning, Mr. Fyfe will have a new job on June 16th.


Because that is the day he is slated to replace he who just resigned as Deputy Attorney General, Mr. David Loukidelis.

Imagine that!

And just in case you were wondering, the letter was copied to the Honorable Kevin Falcon as well as two other officials with real faces in the Ministry of Finance....
For good measure, our concerned citizen also sent the letter to Auditor General John Doyle...
Ian Reid has more, from Question Period, here....
Paul Willcocks has the bigger picture view, here...
Guess we are all Railgate  'Cultists' now, eh?.....More later....



kootcoot said...

Well, I hope the next time I get into legal difficulties the government side will be so understanding and practical so as to not, you know, waste taxpayer dollars, proceeding with my prosecution and paying my lawyers for their work done to date etc. etc.

If it smells like a bribe, and it sounds like a bribe and it looks like a's a bribe and these A-holes starting with Mr. Harper's representative in London, pulled out all the stops (and all the taxpayer supported resources necessary) to delay and then STOP this trial in its track before evidence surfaced that would point to the REAL criminals in the case, in spite of the obsequious MSM ass covering being performed.

I know they've been trying to destroy the education system in BeeCee for years now, but WE AIN'T THAT DUMB YET!!!!!!!!!

Pretty soon words aren't gonna be enough to regain a semblance of democracy and government accountability......this crime spree disguised as government or politics HAS GOT TO STOP and SOON!

And I don't care what some blowhard that considers himself the greatest blogger ever says, BC Mary is the one who kept this file visible and in the public, or at least some of the public's eyes and now that you are in a better place Mary, we feel an added duty to carry on your fight. The blowhard is welcome to join in, just don't act like you're the only game in town, cuz you ain't.

And as always, I admire your style RossK.

RossK said...


I'm pretty sure our concerned reader is one of those fine folks that Mary hoped would all tell us the stories of what they know after she left us.



North Van's Grumps said...

RossK said...

Thanks NVG--

Politics, bedfellows, making strange and all that, eh?


North Van's Grumps said...

Actually RossK, this Post by Ian, over at the Real Story, is a must read, written shortly after the Plea deal was announced by the Special Prosecutor. All of the "facts" were freshly planted by the BC Liberal Government

Posted on November 26, 2010 by Ian

The BC Rail plea bargain: The question that hasn’t been asked.

"....On the day the deal became public, Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino said he never saw the final offer until 9:40 AM the morning the deal was announced. Attorney General Mike de Jong says he wasn’t part of it. The defence didn’t approach the government or the Special Prosecutor.

No one has admitted to initiating the deal......
" Snip

RossK said...


Ya, well, if you take Mr. Loukidelis' Oct 20, 2010 statement at face value, it would appear that the SP was fully protected from all this....Regarding Mr. de Jong, please note that Mr. Loukidelis only stated that they informed him of the decision to waive the guilty clause....Thus, it could still be argued, I suppose, that Cookie Recipe Mike was kept out of the loop re: the actual dollar figure in the 2nd part of the deal (two parts of a whole is, of course, just my opinion however).

Please note that Norman Spector, who was very skeptical of Railgate Cultists back in the day in general, and Bill Tieleman's reporting specifically, finds it very, very hard to believe that two DM's could do this without the involvement of bosses on high....That might be true generally, but don't forget who was really still in charge, specifically, in the fall of 2010.


North Van's Grumps said...

A -HA!!!!!

I have this little document that says that Two DMs were capable of making the arrangements of an indemnity via a Briefing Note.... Tamara Vrooman Deputy Finance and Robert Lapper Acting Deputy Attorney General. Page 1 of 57

July 18, 2005

"....Note that I have not yet discussed this (Indemnity) with the new Attorney General. If you are prepared to accept the recommendation, I suggest that we arrange to have both the Attorney General and the Minister of Finance briefed on this before proceeding."

new Attorney General.... de Jong???? which sort of implies that the OLD Attorney General, Wally, was privy to the information.

And then if you go to page 12 of 57 a letter addressed to Bobby Virk:

"......In considering coverage (indemnity), the Government will likely require further information with respect to the matters arising directly from the performance in good faith of your duties. Further, any indemnity in that regard which may be extended to you must be in a form satisfactory to the Attorney General, and must, in particular, exclude any payment of legal fees, disbursement or expenses other than with respect to the particular matter that is the subject of the indemnity."

Where is this document? BC NDP Caucus 8000 files! Binder 3 (AG Com Dev Tour???)

Purpose of Note

"For Decision by: Deputy Minister of Finance; Decision as soon as possible (trial starts November, 2005)

.... And of course, the bottom line was not $6 million, these two DMs were talking in the range of $100,000, maybe

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Let's not forget why the corrupt minister's aides got their buy out in all this. Nice to finally be getting details but the whole province, even the most hood-winked Liberals, knew the citizens of B.C. were paying to save singed Liberal political skin in this affair.

cfvua said...

So as compared to lets say a snake skin or a wily coyote skin, what is singed liberal skin worth?
And just as mentioned here and elsewhere, lets not be too distracted by this payoff that we take our eyes off of the real payoff to certain liberal supporters. The gift of a railway that keeps on giving.If you are on the inside that is.

Anonymous said...

Campbell is still the s.o.b. that sold the BCR. And, the HST wasn't on his radar either.

In England, they throw scum like Campbell in prison. Politicians are not permitted to lie, deceive, thieve and lie and cheat to win elections. Even two Lords, from the House of Lords, went to prison for theft and corruption.

Harper rewards scum like henchman Campbell. Harper and Campbell both should be tried for treason, and flung into one, of Herr Harper's new stalags.

Christy wants to change the name of the Liberals Party. I think she should call the party, the Northern Foundation Party. That would please Harper, to no end.

Anonymous said...

a little off topic - Did Basi & Virk have to pay the HST on that $6mm deal? If not, why not?

12% HST on $6mm = $720,000.

North Van's Grumps said...

The $6million has never been broken down into where the monies went to. Like although Dave Basi and Bobby Virk pleaded guilty, Aneal Basi had his charges STAYED.

The monies went to three defendants Counsel. One of the three Counsels, Aneal Basi's lawyer called Joe Doyle, shouldn't have his fees for services rendered lumped in with the purported $Six million. Probably closer to $5 million for the remaining TWO Counels.

And having said that ....Aneal Basi's charges being stayed, his tab was picked up by ORIGINAL Indemnity clause, remained in existence... right????

How is it that two Deputy Ministers rewrote the Singular Indemnity clause and made it into two Separate Indemnity clauses? Or were there THREE Indemnity clauses.... of course there were three, for three individuals.

Can we have a peek at those three, or rather FIVE, Indemnity Contracts, especially the dates?

lenin's ghost said...

lol.......when I arrived in lotusland 20 odd years ago, I knew bc politics was a gong show but never believed it could get this strange.
I've had the pleasure of acquainting myself with many folks from 3rd world countries and in comparing the politics, society, and basic attitudes of the country, things in canuckistan are about the same as these third world countries with a better paint job to cover the blemishes and so much wealth combined with so few people that it is nearly impossible to starve to death...............indeed a shameful thing for canucks to be so lame as to not care about their own country enough to demand good governance, education and social services........a shame indeed!!!