Monday, March 02, 2009

RailGate's Red Glare - Bombshells Start Dropping


Well, well, well......

Mr T., Bill Tieleman, has had a first pass at 'The Railgate 8000'.

(ie. the 8000 pages of BC Rail documents obtained by the defence by FOI that were released by the court last week)

And one of the things Mr. T. found was an Email from lobbyist Jamie Elmhirst, who was once a lobbyshop partner with Brian Kieran and Erik Bornman(n), to a Deputy Attorney General by the name of Allan Seckel in April of 2005.

According to Mr. T's report.....

Elmhirst wrote Seckel to tell him that he and Kieran were "proud to announce a re-branding our public affairs partnership" and ask Seckel to "update your contact records." The next five pages of documents are blanked.

Looks all innocuous and kinda/sorta spam-like, right?

Which had the apologists, including Norman Spector on the Goodship Watercarrier this morning, screaming.....

'So What!'


But let's not forget that Mr. Kieran and Mr. Bornman are, apparently, scheduled to be key witnesses in the Railgate trial given their involvement as lobbyists for one of the failed bidders that led them to, allegedly, pass along inducements, cash or otherwise, to the accused when the latter worked for the government of Premier Gordon Campbell, the man who offered up the public's railway for sale in the first place.

And as for Mr. Seckel?

Well in his role as Deputy Attorney General in the government of Premier Gordon Campbell he has already had a significant hand in the Railgate court proceedings.

Specificallly, he's the very fine civil servant who acted as the 'decider' on just what 'privileged' documents generated by the Cabinet of Premier Gordon Campbell would be released to the court.

How do we know this?

Well, first check out this passage between Opposition Leader James and Premier Campbell in the Legislature on May 28, 2007:

C. James: I certainly would expect that the Premier's office will be involved in deciding documents to go forward and not go forward. We've heard discussion previously about cabinet confidentiality and other questions that sometimes come up.

My question would be to the Premier. Will he commit to releasing documents without invoking privilege?

Hon. G. Campbell: Again, I would go back and say that obviously there are issues with regard to cabinet confidentiality that must be and would be considered in these issues. Having said that, my goal and the objective of the government throughout has been to proceed with an unfettered and, frankly, independent process.

There's a special prosecutor in place, and I will not be involved in those discussions. That has been delegated to the Deputy Attorney General, and he will make those decisions as he sees fit.

Then, check out this story from Keith Fraser in The Vancouver Province that was published a few months later in Dec 2007:

Kevin McCullough, a lawyer for (BC Railgate co-accused Robert) Virk, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett (on Friday Dec 14/07) that there is an issue as to who is giving instructions on whether to release the documents (under the claim of 'privilege').

Court heard from government lawyer George Copley that deputy attorney-general Allan Seckel is currently giving instructions to him. Prior to Seckel, it was former deputy cabinet secretary Joy Illington, who reports to the B.C. cabinet.

So there you have it....a partner of one of the scheduled star witnesses in the case, whose offices were also raided at the time of the Ledge Raids in 2003, contacts a DAG in 2005 who turns out to have played a key role in the pre-court hearings as revealed by the Premier in 2007.

And this is irrelevant in 2009, how, exactly?

(especially given that the trial STILL hasn't even started....)

First wrote about the whole privileged document thing, which later exploded again when folks learned of a certain well known content-consultant's role in the process a few months later, in a piece titled 'Hansard's Revenge'.


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