Those following the BC criminal trial of Dave Basi, Bobby Virk and Aneal Basi might not have been surprised to hear that Special Prosecutor William Bernardino worked out a plea deal that brought an end to the criminal proceedings arising from Basi and Virk’s alleged breach of trust concerning the sale of BC Rail. That the deal came before the trial was set to resume with testimony from key political insiders, including former finance minister Gary Collins and Premier Gordon Campbell, was necessarily shrugged off as coincidence. The timing of the deal, coming just before Premier Campbell was set to hit the airwaves with a televised full-throated defence of the HST — and his government’s decision to implement the tax despite having unequivocally promised not to during the previous election campaign — was pure happenstance. After all, Bernardino’s integrity is above reproach. That’s why we have special prosecutors that are fully independent from government and all of its political wants and needs. (more…)
Given that the obvious alternative to reaching a deal was an embarrassingly public airing of the BC Liberals’ dirty laundry in open court, we can’t help but wonder whether waiving Basi’s legal fees was a politically driven call. It certainly wasn’t an economically or principle-driven one.