Friday, May 04, 2012

What Mr. Loukidelis Said About The Six Million Dollar Deal In The Fall Of 2010


Update Late Friday....Gary Mason, in his Saturday Globe column, tills some of the same ground we in the Bloggodome covered in detail, as discussed in part below, a month ago...Surprise!

About a month ago Paul Willcocks, myself, and others got into a discussion with former BC Liberal Government Attorney General Mr. Geoff Plant about the 'chronology' of how the Six Million Dollar Deal to suddenly end the RailGate Trial  in the fall of 2010 actually went down.

This occurred because of a blog post that Mr. Plant wrote. 

In the end, Mr. Willcocks and I both disagreed with Mr. Plant. Essentially, we both felt that if there was an 'understanding' that there would be a fee waiver (ie. what turned out to be the Six Million Dollar Deal) if the accused were to plead guilty, well..... The actual chronological mechanics of the way the deal was formally presented to the accused did not matter because there was, essentially, a de facto prior inducement to make said deal.

Which, of course, is just an opinion from two citizens, neither of whom are lawyers.


All of this led to Mr. Plant pointing out exactly what Mr. Loukidelis said about the deal at the time, in writing.


Given that Mr. Loukidelis suddenly resigned today just two days after Mr. John Van Dongen raised this matter on the floor of the legislature this week, we thought we should reprint our post in which we had a look at the 'Loukidelis Statement' that Mr. Plant was nice enough to point us towards.

That post went like this....

The Six Million Dollar Deal...What Mr. Loukedelis Said.


Last week we disagreed with former BC Liberal Government Attorney General Geoff Plant who insisted that, despite the fact that there was an 'understanding' (Mr. Plant's term, not mine) that legal fees would be waived after the fact, that there was no prior inducement for Mess'rs Basi and Virk to plead guilty and suddenly end the RailGate Trial in the fall of 2010 just before former BC Liberal Government Finance Minister Gary Collins was scheduled to appear as a witness, under oath, in open court.


Taking another tack on this matter....

If there was, indeed, an 'understanding', where might such a thing have come from if, as Mr. Plant indicated, the plea agreement (which involved an initial deal between the special prosecutor and the accused), and the fee waiver (which was subsequently granted separately by BC Liberal government Deputy Ministers David Loukidelis [Attorney General's Office] and Graham Whitmarsh [Finance]) were granted sequentially and separately?


According to a written statement from Mr. Loukidelis that Mr. Plant was good enough to point his readership towards that is not entirely clear.

Here is a portion of Mr. Loukidelis' statement from Oct 20, 2010 that was released to the media at the time:

"....On October 5, 2010, it came to the attention of the Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General, that the special prosecutor had proposed resolution of the prosecutions through guilty pleas.

Discussions then took place between the Legal Services Branch and defence counsel, including with respect to their clients’ liability to repay their legal costs. (The indemnities provided that they would have to do so unless acquitted on all counts.)

Legal Services Branch referred the matter to me and to the Deputy Minister of Finance. 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 relatively 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 and I decided to release Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk from their liability to repay. I communicated that decision to the Attorney General on October 8, 2010.
No one outside the Legal Services Branch, myself and the Deputy Minister of Finance had any knowledge of this or involvement. For clarity, neither the special prosecutor nor the Attorney General had any knowledge of the matter or any involvement in this...."

Fair enough as far as it goes, right?


But please go back and re-read that last paragraph, bolded above.

It states that the BC Liberal Government Attorney General of the day, Mr. Mike de Jong, had no knowledge of the coming fee waiver agreement.

And neither did the Special Prosecutor for the RailGate case, Mr. William Berardino, who put together the initial guilty plea deal.

Which, taking Mr. Loukidelis' statement at face value, means that neither Mr. de Jong nor Mr. Berardino could have conveyed an 'understanding' to the accused or, we can only surmise, their lawyers.


Mess'rs Loukidelis and Mr. Whitmarsh obviously knew what was going down given that they put waiver deal together (sans Treasury Board approval, of course, which is a separate story we will return to in a later post).

But we can only assume that, as very fine public servants of the utmost integrity, neither Mr. Loukidelis nor Mr. Whitmarsh conveyed an 'understanding' to the defense prior to plea agreement.


If there was someone in the know who could have conveyed an understanding prior to the accused pleading guilty, who's left based on Mr. Loukidelis's statement?


As is clear from what Mr. Loukidelis wrote above, it would appear that an unamed person or person(s) inside the 'Legal Services Branch' may have known what was happening before it happened.

And yet....

Somehow I doubt that any full time members of said branch, which is also made up of legal professionals and public servants of the utmost integrity, would convey such an understanding to the accused which could have later been viewed, at least by some, as a 'prior inducement'.


Is it possible that....

...They 'deputize' members of said legal branch when the need arises?

And/or hire legal-type 'consultants' with the right 'connections' for short-term assignments?

(just askin', because finding a record of any such short term hires in October of 2010 could, perhaps, be something that the Auditor General of British Columbia, who is looking into the Six Million Dollar Deal, might want to undertake)



Don F. said...

BC Mary must be smiling up there tonight! It won't be long now Mary.

off-the-radar said...

Thanks goodness you're posting on this Ross (Ian too). And Paul Willcocks has a great column too.

Given MSM, I am so thankful the independent political bloggers.

Although Gary Mason waded in today with a surprisingly tough column.

RossK said...

I think you're probably right Don.


Wonder if, perhaps, someone in the AG's Ministry got wind of Mr. Mason's coming column?


Advocatus Dei said...

David Loukedelis resigned because he and his Assistant Deputy were caught lying to Premier Christy Clark about corruption inside the AG's office

Mason is full of BS when he writes the lawyers in the AG's office are of the utmost integrity. They are frequently caught lying and cheating in court documents

see for more on the dirty Deputy AG Richard Fyfe

lenin's ghost said...

duh!!! lawyer and liar are interchangeable!

Advocatus Dei said...

David Loukidelis did not resign on May 4, 2012, he was removed by Order in Council 286 on May 3, 2012, the same day he was caught in the lies of his Deputy AG Richard Fyfe see


Statutory Authority: Public Service, s. 12

Effective June 16, 2012,

a) the appointment of Richard Fyfe as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, made by OIC 747/2007, is rescinded,

b) the appointment of David Loukidelis as a Deputy Minister, with the title Deputy Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, made by OIC 50/20 12, is rescinded, and

c) Richard Fyfe is appointed as a Deputy Minister, with the title Deputy Attorney General, Ministry of Justice.