The start of the long-awaited B.C. Rail corruption trial was delayed yesterday to allow lawyers time to resolve some outstanding issues.
Former B.C. Liberal aides Bob Virk and Dave Basi have pleaded not guilty to a number of charges stemming from a police raid on the provincial legislature six-and-a-half years ago.
The trial, which centres on the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail to CN Rail in 2003, was supposed to have begun yesterday morning.
In the afternoon, after the trial had been delayed once, Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie apologized to jurors for inconveniencing them. She said there were issues that needed to be sorted out and told jurors the trial would reconvene today at 10 a.m.
Virk and Basi are charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting a bribe. Aneal Basi, Dave Basi’s cousin and a former public relations officer with the Ministry of Transportation, is charged with laundering money.
Outside court, NDP MLA Leonard Krog said he’s hopeful the trial offers a full account of the privatization of B.C. Rail.
“It’s not ideal when you have a raid on the legislature six-and-a-half years ago and you are only now at the formal commencement of a trial,” Krog said.
“This is not satisfactory justice, by anyone’s standards.”