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Basi-Virk trial goes another week with no evidence

The long-delayed Basi-Virk/BC Legislature Raid case has once again gone a week without any evidence presented to the jury.

Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie dismissed both the jury and witness Martyn Brown, Premier Gordon Campbell's Chief of Staff, until Monday June 28 at 11:15 a.m. due to the need to hear legal arguments that cannot be reported because of a publication ban.

When Brown was last on the witness stand lawyer Michael Bolton, representing David Basi, asked Brown if he knew that RCMP Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere was the brother-in-law of BC Liberal Party Executive Director Kellly Reichert.

Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino objected to that question before Brown could answer and the cross examination was suspended at that point.

MacKenzie also informed the jury on Wednesday that two jurors had been approached by a man who spoke to them about the case at a SkyTrain station on June 16.

That man, MacKenzie told the jury, is the father of one of the three Special Prosecutors in the case.

MacKenzie instructed the jurors to not draw any negative inferences from the incident.

The trial resumes on Monday June 28 but at 11:15 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. in order to accomodate a juror who is taking a work-related educational course.

The trial will sit from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. without a break and again from 2 to 4:30 p.m. until July 7, when it will be suspended until late August. The court does not sit on July 1 -- Canada Day.

The trial is expected to continue until March of 2011.

Bill Tieleman is a regular Tyee contributor who writes a column on B.C. politics every Tuesday in Vancouver 24 hours. This column first appeared on his blog. E-mail him at [email protected].

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