Opinion Column

Different tale of the tape


Sex is full of lies.

- Jim Morrison, The Doors

Lurid headlines suggest sex, lies and videotape starred in the B.C. Legislature Raid case, according to new police evidence released by the courts last week.

But an exclusive 24 hours interview with David Basi - one of two ex-B.C. government aides guilty of breach of trust and fraud - and a separate exclusive interview with a man Basi allegedly procured sex with a young woman for - paints a very different picture.

The stakes couldn't be higher, with the New Democrat opposition demanding a public inquiry into the $1 billion deal that saw publicly-owned B.C. Rail sold to CN Rail in 2003 - and as Christy Clark - deputy premier at the time - attempts to become B.C. premier in a B.C. Liberal vote Saturday.

The wiretaps give a distasteful view of Basi and Bob Virk, the other ex-ministerial aide, who both made surprise guilty pleas in October after just two witnesses testified.

In obscenity-filled transcripts, they discuss providing confidential government information on B.C. Rail to lobbyists Erik Bornmann and Brian Kieran, representatives of losing bidder OmniTRAX.

But in the headline-grabbing passage, Basi appears to have procured a woman to have sex with another man asked to obtain "membership lists" for "my guy."

"She'll be putting out like you wouldn't believe, pal," Basi says on tape. Days later he adds: "Who's your daddy? Do I come through?"

But the other man - interviewed by 24 hours on the condition his name not be used - says media reports have been completely misleading.

And so does Basi.

"There were no prostitutes procured for anyone, for gosh sakes!" an exasperated Basi told QMI Sunday. "How completely and utterly ridiculous this is that people can't joke on the phone."

"I have consistently called for all documents in this case to be released and for a public inquiry, which I will fully cooperate.

"Christy Clark and all the other B.C. Liberal leadership candidates refuse to hold a public inquiry - what do they have to hide?" Basi asked. "That speaks for itself."

The other man told me he was already having a brief sexual relationship with the woman when Basi called.

"It was not 'procuring a prostitute.' It was a jocular conversation, albeit in poor taste," he said. "Conversations taped, transcribed and edited can create an impression that diverges from reality."

Regardless, those wiretaps and others appear to have no bearing on Basi's and Virk's guilty plea.

Why were these pages released by police and the Crown in negotiations with CTV news and the Globe and Mail newspaper in response to their court application and not other documents?

We will never know the true story until a public inquiry is held. Please join my group Basi-Virk Public Inquiry on facebook.com.

Read more from Bill Tieleman at thetyee.ca Email: weststar@telus.net Website: billtieleman.blogspot.com