Star witness at Basi-Virk trial could face grilling
The defence in the political corruption trial of former B.C. Liberal ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk want the Crown's star witness, his lawyer and the special prosecutor put on the stand.
Basi and Virk are charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting money and other benefits in the sale of the Crown-owned B.C. Rail line to CN Rail in November 2003.
Basi's lawyer, Michael Bolton, made the request to the judge during a pre-trial disclosure application, saying it's the only way the defence can get to see the terms of the deal ex-lobbyist Eric Bornman made with the special prosecutor to protect himself.
Bolton said he and the other defence lawyers cannot prepare a proper defence because the terms of that deal have never been revealed.
Bornman was a lobbyist with Pilothouse Public Affairs in Victoria, who Bolton says, admitted giving bribes to the two accused.
He is expected to be the Crown's star witness when the trial proper gets underway in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
The court has already heard how Bornman declared himself exonerated of any suspicion in the B.C.Rail deal,and how that public statement in 2004 caused the special prosecutor to try to cancel the deal.
The problem,according to Bolton,is the deal was never written down and there has been no disclosure of it. He said that flies in the face of the public interest.
He said Bornman has admitted to giving bribes, but still maintains he's not culpable. AndBolton said that's why he wants special prosecutor Bill Berardino,Bornman and his lawyer on the stand so they can be cross-examined.