Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Serious Accusation of Evidence Withholding in the BC Rail Trial


Now the header to this post refers to something that you might find deep on a comment deep within the bowels of an Anon-O-Mouse-laden comment thread over at our friend Mary's place.

And originally it was.

But then Mary liberated it and posted it up on her front page.

And, just to be clear, the comment in question was written by me.

The accusation, however, was not made by me.

Nor was it made by any other member of the Railgate-Obsessives club.

Instead, it was levelled by the editorial page writers of the Vancouver Times Colonist, and it was made way back in February of this year in regards to the continued suppression of documents by the British Columbia government of Gordon Campbell because they are hidden beneath his (ie. Mr. Campbell's) self-assembled umbrella known as 'solicitor-client' privilege.

Now, there was a lot of fuss made earlier this week about how the Crown and the government of Mr. Gordon Campbell have recently released 1100 previously lawyered-up documents of privilege to the defense.

Which sounds impressive, eh?

Kinda/sorta even sounds like maybe just maybe the government of Gordon Campbell has finally decided to stop Stonewalling almost five (yes, five!) years after the original BC Legislature Raid.

But here's the thing.

If eleven hundred have been released that means that there are STILL approximately 400 documents being suppressed, documents that could very well contain information regarding, as the Judge in the case has already described it, matters of 'innocence at stake' for the defendents.

And why are these documents and this information being suppressed?

Well, as the Times-Colonist editorial writers made very clear back in February , it is really for no good legal reason at all:

It (the government of Gordon Campbell) is claiming lawyer-client privilege, a legal principle intended to ensure that people can communicate freely with their lawyers without fear that any conversations or letters will later be used against them.

The principle is important to protect the rights of the parties in a legal case. But there is no requirement that solicitor-client privilege be maintained; it is not law. The government is not a defendant in these proceedings.

It could choose to be open, transparent and co-operative and provide the evidence.

Instead, it is seeking to withhold the evidence."

And, despite those recent news reports that imply otherwise, it still is.

Withholding evidence I mean.


Just in case the original T-C Editorial disappears down an Asperian pay-to-play-hole in the future, here is what I originally had to say about it - and it really was filled to bursting with good, strong conclusions based on an examination of all the evidence at hand.


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