The judge who has been presiding over the B.C. Rail corruption trial for more than three years announced yesterday she’s stepping down to begin her new job with the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The case against former Liberal government aides Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, who are charged with corruption and fraud in connection with the sale of B.C. Rail, has been in the pre-trial stage since 2006.
It likely won’t go to trial for at least another year.
In May, Justice Elizabeth Bennett accepted an appointment to the Court Of Appeal and said it’s “unrealistic and impossible” to expect her to essentially do two jobs. She added that since she has heard no evidence yet, the rights of the accused won’t be jeopardized by introducing a new judge.
Bennett made her announcement on the same day the court was expected to hear what happened to thousands of missing cabinet emails — which may have been deleted — related to the $1-billion sale of B.C. Rail to CN.
Basi and Virk argue that anything they did during the sale of B.C. Rail was under the direction of the government.