Charges without powder

The Crown has stayed charges against one of the men connected with the raid on the provincial legislature, we have learned. Mandeep Sandhu, a former executive member of the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca federal Liberal constituency association, was charged with conspiracy to traffic in marijuana in September 2004. His laywer, Richard Peck of Peck and Co., confirmed those charges were stayed on or about November 7. Mr. Sandhu's cousin, Victoria police Constable Ravinder Singh (Rob) Dosanjh, was also charged in December 2004 with obstruction of justice for allegedly counseling Mr. Sandhu "make false statements to law-enforcement officials" about the origin of money seized during a police search of his residence. A trial date for former provincial Liberal government employees Dave Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi is expected to be set on Friday. A version of this article was originally published in today's edition of 24 hours.

6 Comments

Humble Organ: any idea why the drug trafficking charges against David Basi were dropped? Or when they were dropped?

Maybe he like this sandhuu fellow was innocent. Typical rcmp, let the real criminals escape with 40 million while you crucify others. but then again its more sexy to go after "indo canadian gangs" then real criminals. come to think of it, isn't the federal government being investigated about income trust leaks?? that would be another "gang", not as sexy or appealing, the federal liberal party.

"Maybe he like this sandhuu fellow was innocent." Glen Clark turned out to be innocent after a very lengthy and extremely expensive RCMP "investigation" that at times reached comic opera proportions. For example, the Mounties spent considerably more on obtaining professional estimator's opinions on the cost of building Glen's sundeck that what the professional estimators figured in the end that the deck itself cost! So, ... I won't discount the possibility of Mountie error or even misdeed on occaision.

However, in this instance it's the natural governing party's underlings who are sitting under the hot lamp, asking for a glass of water and being told their lawyer will be here shortly. That put's a bit of a twist on things compared to the Glen Clark or Brian Mulroney "investigations".

Innocence is one reason to drop charges, ... a deal with the prosecution around testimony is the other {LARGE COLLECTIVE GULP HEARD COMING FROM STAFF ON LIBERAL CAMPAIGN JET, OTHERWISE PRE-OCCUPIED WITH GOODALE AND INCOME TRUSTS.}

Fair comment budd. did you read the tc this morning, sandhuu's lawyer was very clear why the charges were dropped.

Don't get the Times Colonist. Is it online somewhere?

Jim, here's what I get from the Times Colonist online:

Trials connected to legislature raid about to start
* Jeff Rud and Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist
Published: Thursday, January 05, 2006

A high-profile drug investigation that began in 2002, dubbed by police as "Project Everywhichway," is finally winding its way to the trial stage.

... A drug charge against Mandeep Sandhu, also of Victoria, has since been stayed as well.

Lawyer Richard Peck of Vancouver said Wednesday that a charge of conspiracy to traffic marijuana against Sandhu was stayed on Nov. 7, presumably, Peck said, because of a lack of evidence against his client.

According to federal Justice Department spokeswoman Lyse Cantin, charges against Sandhu were stayed after he "forfeited certain funds that were seized from his residence.''

The key word here is "presumably". Peck is not offering a full explanation, and in fact it sounds as though the dropping of charges caught him and his client somewhat by surprise. I would not at this stage rule out the idea that Sandhu is going to be testifying against others as part of an overall package that included the forfeiture.

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