The latest, from Charlie Smith, in the GStraight:
B.C. AUDITOR GENERAL Russ Jones has proposed that the provincial government require people to waive solicitor-client privilege "for audit purposes" if taxpayers are going to foot their legal bills.
It's one of 10 recommendations arising out of Jones's just-released review of special indemnities covering private legal costs.
He also noted that the $6.4-million defence of Dave Basi and Bob Virk could have cost an additional $2 million.
That money was saved when the two B.C. Liberal ministerial aides pleaded guilty to lesser charges in 2010 in their corruption trial.
Halting the trial meant that 40 witnesses did not have to appear in court...
But if we had finished the trial and Mess'rs Virk and Basi had been found guilty wouldn't the province have been under no obligation to pay court costs to the accused (i.e. the $6 million)?
Apparently, the government of British Columbia saw it that way at the time.
Specifically, the following is a passage of a letter from the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia, dated April 19th, 2011 that was sent to a reader of ours (who then passed it along to us):
"...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..."
Now, please go back and read the second paragraph, in red above, one more time.
Especially this part....
"...if an indemnified person were convicted, he would become liable to repay the amounts paid on his behalf under the indemnity..."
Based on the above, I can only surmise that, had we had gone ahead with the trial it would have cost us another $ 2 million.
Presuming that Messr's Basi and Virk had been found guilty at the trial's conclusion we would not have been forced to pay them $6 million.
Which means that the potential 'cost' of completing the trial and getting to the bottom of things would have been....
An actual savings to us of, again potentially, $4 million.
Funny that this is not the way this has been played by the media types on the Twittmachine so far.
Then again, what do I know given that I am, apparently, one of those cultish 'conspiracy theorists'.
Regardless.....Even if it had been $6 million + $2 million + another million or two in exchange for putting those 40 or more finest of the fine folks on the witness stand, under oath, to find out what really went down....Well....What did that Bogus Bollywood thing cost us again....And what did we get for that, exactly?