Monday, December 03, 2012

Railgate Goes Completely Off The Rails...Gov't Lawyer Admits To Filing A False Affadavit


The story is, quite literally, unbelievable.

Essentially, a government lawyer has now admitted that he filed a verifiably false written affidavit previously, in Supreme Court, that stated that they (i.e. the 'government') were NOT in possession of detailed billing information about Robert Virk's Railgate lawyer's fees.

That's right.

The government lawyer concerned, Mr. Richard Butler, filed yet another affidavit in court yesterday that says that the previous affidavit is null and void because the government (i.e. Mr. Butler himself) is, indeed, in possesion of such billing information (information, by the way, that is critical to the A-G's investigation into the $6 million pay-off to Mess'rs Basi and Virk).

And why was the previously filed affidavit filled with lies?

Well, according to Mr. Butler it was all caused by some kind of weirdly inexplicable sloppiness on his part because he kinda/sorta must have known that he had something that he thought was nothing because he knew it was there but didn't know what it was or some such bizarre thing.

Mark Hume, in The Globe, has the story:

...Last year Mr. Butler filed an affidavit with court in which he stated “the Government never received copies of any statement of account or supporting information,” from the lawyers reviewing the bills from Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk.

Mr. Butler acknowledged that he also told Mr. Virk and Mr. Virk’s lawyer that he never saw any of their detailed billing records.

But in a new affidavit filed Monday (Dec 3rd, 2012) he said that information was simply wrong.

“In fact, the certificates received by the government under the indemnity arrangements with Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk did have statements of account and supporting documentation attached,” he stated.

“I am surprised by those errors … I must have been aware, even if I did not review them in detail, that the certificates had additional material attached … I have no explanation for how or why … I said the certificates did not have statement of account attached … other than failure of memory and failure to go back and review the files at the times I made those misstatements.”...

Like I said at the top....

...Quite literally unbelievable.

So much so that I have a hard time not agreeing with Norm Farrell's take on the matter which you can find here.



G West said...

Hi Ross,

NOW, that's more like it - I think you'll recall that (some time ago) I described to you the usual practice with respect to contracted legal billings and supporting documentation that is used in the ministry and how it was entirely likely that the same procedures had been followed by counsel acting for the accused in the BC Rail matter.

What is most interesting, and what must now be the subject of considerable speculation, is the reason why Mr Butler (whose career as a lawyer would seem to be in some jeopardy at this point), would not have known what he was doing and what falsehoods he was furthering.

In a case of this importance, touching as it does individuals at the highest level of government, it seems inconceivable that there is not a lot more information (and information withheld) which may still come to light.

I can't help but think what news like this would have meant to Mary if she were still here to learn about it!

RossK said...


Have I got this right?...Is Mr. Butler now admitting that he knew the material was there all along, but that he just did not look at said material 'in detail' and then wrote the original affidavit saying there was nothing there?

More questions are required, indeed....So...Where is the proMedia?...My theory - whoever the CP person was, they left early (thus all the pablum stories picked up from the wire that do not include Mr. Butler's admission)...As a result, the only reporter in the room when the admission came was likely Mr. Hume...Had me thinking of that statement Mary drew out of a certain editor regarding the publishing of news when they, and they alone, decided it was newsworthy....


G West said...


These are the key words from Butler: "I must have been aware, even if I did not review them in detail, that the certificates had additional material attached..."

As to where the MSM goes with this now? That's a good question. Mason, Hume, Justine Hunter and probably Rod Mickleburgh (though his beat seems to have changed) would be expected to have 'something' to say on this subject.

The next question, since the government has always 'claimed' (on the basis at least partly of Butler's affidavit) that it didn't 'have' the information the auditor wanted....

They're going to have to release it all now, one would think.

RossK said...


Agreed, re: the critical passage.

Regarding full release....Have Basi and Virk really waived all claims of Solicitor-Client privilege?


G West said...

That is, apparently, the case...this statement from Butler is also more than a little interesting:

"I have no explanation for how or why, in making the statements referred to in paragraph 15, above, I said the certificates did not have statements of account attached when in fact, they were required to, and did, attach statements of account and other documentation - other than failure of memory and failure to go back and review the files a the times I made those misstatements,"

Which goes back to our original conversation about the way these things are always handled....

Not to put too fine a point on it, one needs to remember that Butler's affidavit is a rather lengthy document in which he tries, in my view, to provide a kind of gloss with respect to his earlier errors, omissions and mis-statements...

There is undoubtedly more slime beneath the rocks - something even the worthies of the mainstream media ought to admit aren't simply of interest to online cultists - wouldn't you think?

West End Bob said...

As an online cultist - as various Corporate Media personalities have referred to knowledgeable citizens - I'm definitely interested in the additional slime beneath the rocks, G West.

Sure would be nice if a major BC media outlet would start diggin' in the slime . . . .

RossK said...



And frankly, while I can kinda/sorta put up with the 'will print news when it's news' rebuff that we in 'The Cult' have received in the past, in this specific case I really, really don't get it.