Contradictory statements by some B.C. government officials over missing emails has a major corruption trial in an uproar.

 

Defence lawyers want a B.C. Supreme Court judge to order the production of allegedly destroyed emails tied to Premier Gordon Campbell and cabinet members.

 

Lawyers for former cabinet aides David Basi and Bobby Virk hope the emails contain information that will help the men accused of fraud and breach of trust in the 2003 sale of Crown-owned BC Rail to CN Rail.

 

The government had always insisted the emails could not be recovered because backup tapes are erased after 13 months.

But an affidavit by the official in charge of the government’s messaging service apparently states they were not ordered destroyed until last May, and that some could still exist in the hands of a private contractor.

Judge Elizabeth Bennett says she will rule Monday on the relevance of the emails, which defence lawyers hope will bolster their claim that Basi and Virk were acting on instructions to leak information about the BC Rail bid process to keep one bidder in the game.