Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Six Million Dollar Basi-Virk Agreement: "A Complete Release From Liability And....Indebtedness."


The written documentation on the six million dollar deal has been released, and Jas Johal of Global News has the story (and the actual paper).

I will get to a whole lot more later but tonight I would like to get to the heart of the matter right off the top before the spin starts to crank tomorrow.

Specifically, I would like to point out that it a letter to the lawyers for Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk that was signed by then Assistant Attorney General Richard Fyfe on Oct 14, 2010 explicitly indicates, in my opinion at least, that there was a 'prior inducement' for the defendants to subsequently plead guilty:

"...The Province and your clients, Dave Basi and Bob Virk wish to enter into arrangements to provide Mr. Basi, his wife Iderjit Kaur Basi ("Mrs. Basi") and Mr. Virk with a complete release from liability, and a complete release of supporting security, for and with respect to repayment of Mr. Basi's and Mr. Virk's indebtedness under the Indemnity Agreements, in return for certain consideration including as described herein and in the attached.

You have advised that each of Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk intends to plead guilty in the BC Rail Proceedings on the count(s) and terms as required by the special prosecutor, and Mr. Basi intends to plead guilty in the A.L.R. Proceedings on the count(s) and terms as required by the Special Prosecutor..."


Why does this matter?

Well, it turns out that the BC Liberal government and former BC Liberal Government Attorney General Mr. Geoff Plant have long maintained that there was no 'prior inducement' offered to Messr's Basi and Virk.

Case in point....Here is what Mr. Geoff Plant wrote, on his personal blog, in the Spring of 2012 on the matter:

"...The defendants pleaded guilty. What is clear is that there was no legally binding deal. There couldn’t be. The waiver of recovery of fees was not and could not be an inducement to plead guilty. As a matter of law they were not connected. But that was of course the outcome. It was done very, very carefully, to make sure the rules were followed..."

Myself and Paul Willcocks did not agree with Mr. Plant's conclusion, which was apparently based on a written statement written by then Deputy Attorney General David Loukidelis.

Here is the question I posed to Mr. Plant at the time:

"Mr. Plant first you state the following: 'The defendants pleaded guilty. What is clear is that there was no legally binding deal. There couldn’t be. The waiver of recovery of fees was not and could not be an inducement to plead guilty. As a matter of law they were not connected. But that was of course the outcome. It was done very, very carefully, to make sure the rules were followed.'

Then, in the next sentence you state:'But it was understood that with guilty pleas, the claim to fee recovery would be waived.'


Based on those continguous statements, perhaps you could help me 'understand' the following:

If it was 'understood' that guilty pleas would subsequently lead to the waiver being granted, does it not logically follow that there was, for all intents and purposes, a prior 'inducement' regardless how 'carefully' things were done to make sure 'the rules were followed'?


Fortunately, Mr. Plant was good enough to respond, for the record:

"Ross K,

There was no "prior inducement". The offer of pleas was made first and entirely independently. The discussion about the fee waiver happened afterwards, and involved government, not the special prosecutor."

Mr. Willcocks then weighed in:

"Sorry, but the hairs are being split too finely. If there were genuine guilty pleas arranged in negotiations with the special prosecutor in place, then there was no need to break the policy on indemnities. The guilty pleas would have been secured, the trial ended and the taxpayers could have recovered at least some of the $6 million.

If they weren't in place, then the $6 million was indeed a prior inducement because it came before the guilty pleas were actually secured."


It would appear that both Mr. Willcocks and myself were correct because Mr. Fyfe's letter indicates that the government was offering to provide the defendants with a 'complete release' from 'indebtedness' (eg. release the defendants from the obligation to repay the government loans that had been provided to pay legal costs if they were found guilty) BEFORE the guilty pleas were actually secured.


Now, of course, there are other ways you, dear reader,  may wish to describe a 'prior inducement' .

Regardless, no matter how you choose to phrase it, the fact of the matter is that, based on the documents just released by Mr. Johal of Global News, dangled a financial incentive in front of Messr's Basi and Virk to plead guilty. As a result, the BC Rail trial came to a screeching halt just before major BC Liberal government players, including former Finance Minister Gary Collins, were set to take the stand.

Which means that now, more than ever, we need a full public inquiry into the entire matter of the BC Rail sale/not sale that is not limited in scope in any way.


I, for one, sure wish our good friend Mary was here tonight so that we could all talk this over with her....



Grant G said...

Sheesh Ross K..

I still talk to Mary`s spirit almost every night, my guiding light mentor never left..


I think this is the first time in a very long-time that Global News..

Hammered a coffin nail.


chuckstraight said...


Anonymous said...

Ross K

Earthshattering...No doubt the MSM will try their best to ignore or spin this latest proof of corruption within both our courts and legislature. How do we, the citizens of this province, ensure this story gets the coverage it deserves? Where are our Woodward and Bernstein/Washington Post? Surely there must be someone left with a conscience in the MSM?

Warren White
Gordon Head

Anonymous said...

So what happens to the "Do not talk" clause. Will the Liberals go after Global & Jas ? Are the Liberals free to talk about this deal now that it has been made public ?
Will the Liberals be furious & demand an investigation into this leaked document as they have with it's own MLA's to stall & protect them ?
Can't wait.

Guy in Vic

Anonymous said...

The Global news link goes to a video with sound problems and there is no direct link - almost like Global is trying to bury their own story.

Anonymous said...

Sent: May-08-13 6:30 AM
To: 'victoria@cbc.ca'; 'vpalmer@vancouversun.com'; 'kbaldrey@globaltv.com'; 'cbcnewsvancouver@cbc.ca'; 'msmyth@theprovince.com'; 'editor@thetyee.ca'; 'editor@saanichnews.com'; 'good@cknw.com'; 'ibailey@globeandmail.com'; 'jhunter@globeandmail.com'; 'letters@tc.canwest.com'; 'letters@globeandmail.com'; 'Hall, Neal (Vancouver Sun)'; 'sunletters@vancouversun.com'
Cc: 'David Schreck'; 'Laila Yuile'; 'hoberfeld@hotmail.com'; 'Norman Farrell'; 'RossK'; 'Richard Atwell'; 'willcocks@ultranet.ca'
Subject: BC Rail Basi Virk Indemnity Agreement

An Open Letter from a Concerned Citizen of BC:

If ever the people of BC needed the power of the press, now is that time.

The Basi-Virk plea agreement made public yesterday lays bare the corruption of our courts for all who have eyes to see.

Now we get to find out if that same corruption has neutered our fifth estate.

Warren White
Gordon Head, Victoria

RossK said...

Thanks Grant--



And yet, this morning (Wednesday) pretty much crickets in the proMedia



Big question...So...Will the NDP go hard on this and make it a story?...Or...Are the Wizards working for the Orange afraid of the inoculation factor that was generated by the Conflict Of Interest report?



Excellent questions....Don't forget that the Plea Agreement was announced on Oct 18th, 2010...On Oct 20th, 2010 David Loukidelis announced that the gag had been lifted...More on that later.



The links to the docs themselves are there...I'll get those up in a follow-up. Thanks.



North Van's Grumps said...

Last paragraph with Richard Fyfe.. Assistant Deputy Attorney General signing off...

All documents executed and delivered as a contemplated herein, including this letter, are ???? delivery to the beld on undertakings (i) not do deal with them unless and until the convicio??? referred to in paragraph 1(a) have been duly entered, or (ii) if those convictions are not enter??? to return them to the sender.

The kicker to this whole mess are the two Riders (2 & 3) by which ".... if Mr. Basi (2) or Mr. Virk (3) breaches the agreement, the release by the Province of his liability is of no force and effect."

Someone ELSE (not a Party who signed) has released (breached) the information regarding the indemnity write-off. Former Attorney General de Jong, eloquently, said: “It is a balance between accountability on the fiscal side of the equation, but preserving absolute prosecutorial independence from political interference,” “And this is the case where those two considerations seem to intersect.”

So the Deal is still valid to the benefit of the Defendants ... but were they guilty or were they.... induced, pressured?

cfvua said...

Coverup, any way you look at it. And you are right RossK that there were people paying attention and they were right. Now lets see somebody run with this. If we know that this part of the whole railroad give away was a lie, how much else was?