Friday, April 03, 2009

RailGate's Revenge....More Defense Allegations Of Political Interference


Again, another eyewitness report from Bill Tieleman from today's RailGate court hearing:

The defence in the BC Legislature Raid trial today raised in BC Supreme Court the possibility that Premier Gordon Campbell used the attorney general's ministry to politically interfere with the case.....


(Defense lawyer Kevin) McCullough alleged that Deputy Attorney General Allan Seckel was put into a potential conflict of interest position by Campbell when he was made responsible for giving directions to government lawyer George Copley on which documents could be disclosed to the defence and which should be withheld on the basis of parliamentary or cabinet privilege.

"The real thing that makes this documents relevant is that the deputy attorney general ought not to have been deciding on assertions of privilege whe that same ministry and people were deciding how much money, if any, they would give the accused to defend themselves," McCullough said. "That we allege, our argument is that it creates poltiical interference."....


McCullough quoted at length from Province newspaper columnist Michael Smyth's column of February 22, 2008 in which both Campbell and Seckel made statements about the Basi-Virk case.

"I don't hear 'no comment' there," McCullough said, referring to the fact that Campbell, Attorney General Wally Oppal and other government members have said they can't answer questions about a wide range of issues, including the role of BC Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella in the BC Rail deal, because it's before the courts.

And McCullough alleged that Seckel was inappropriately speaking for the government about the case's political aspects.

"The deputy attorney general is saying the government has done nothing wrong, everything right, there is no political interference - to the press," McCullough said. "Do you not see that as a political statement on behalf of the government?"

Hard to disagree with you there Mr. McCullough.

But here's the (extra) thing.

At the time, there was some question as to whether or not the Premier and/or Mr. Seckel kept a recording of their conversations with Province columnist Mike Smyth (ie. notice the minders with the microphones at all of the BC Liberal member Scrum interviews on Public Eye TeeVee).

With respect to Mr. Seckel's conversation, government lawyer George Copley explicitely stated, at the time, that there was not tape. That statement was also recorded by eye witness Mr. Tieleman, for posterity:

Government lawyer George Copley later told (Judge) Bennett that there is no government audio tape of the interview with (Deputy AG) Seckel.

"The deputy (Seckel) did reply to Mr. McCullough's letter and said he did not record the interview with Mr. Smyth but the passages quoted by Mr. Smyth were correct," Copley said.

Which had me wondering, also at the time, how Mr. Copely and/or Mr. Seckel knew the quotes were 'correct'.

Did somebody take notes?


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