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Charges laid against two BC Liberal campaign workers, but not Kash Heed

The second special prosecutor to investigate Kash Heed's 2009 election campaign in Vancouver-Fraserview has decided no charges should be laid against the former solicitor general and West Vancouver police chief.

Peter Wilson did, however, approve charges against two of Heed's campaign workers related to illegal pamphlets distributed during the election and the campaign's election financing report.

"There is insufficient proof that Mr. Heed was involved in the production of pamphlets, that he knew of or was involved in filing a false election financing report, or that Mr. Heed knowingly made payments to campaign staff for election-related purposes following the 2009 General Election," said a statement from the criminal justice branch of the ministry of the Attorney General.

Wilson was appointed in May, 2010, to review the case after a previous special prosecutor, Terrence Robertson, resigned citing a conflict of interest since his law firm had donated to Heed's campaign.

The statement said Wilson found no fault with Robertson's work and that based on the "much more extensive materials provided to me" Wilson did not approve a few of the counts Robertson had, while he also approved some additional charges that had not been recommended to Robertson.

Heed's campaign manager Barinder Sall has been charged with 10 counts, including seven under the Election Act and three under the Criminal Code.

Dinesh Khanna was charged with three counts under the Election Act and one under the Crimnial Code. Robertson had approved one Election Act count against Satpal Johl, but Wilson stayed it.

Wilson considered whether Heed could be charged for filing a false Election Financing Report, the statement said. "Under that section of the Election Act, an individual is not guilty of an offence if that person did not know that the information in an election financing report was false or misleading and, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have known that it was false or misleading," it said.

"There is no reliable, independent evidence proving that Mr. Heed knew of, or could with reasonable diligence have learned of, any unreported election expenses."

Wilson also considered whether $6,000 in payments Heed made to Sall and Sameer Ismail in June, 2009, warranted charges. "On the evidence reviewed by the Special Prosecutor, there is no reliable, independent evidence proving that Mr. Heed made payments to these individuals for election-related purposes."

The criminal charges against Sall include forgery and obstruction of the RCMP "by fabricating a story and arranging to provide it to investigators."

Included in Khanna's charges are publishing election advertising without identifying the sponsor and obstructing the RCMP by telling a false story.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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