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Separate RCMP teams pursuing parallel drug and breach-of-trust investigations became so intensely competitive that a mediator had to be called in to keep them both on track, a Crown attorney in a political-corruption case told the Supreme Court of British Columbia Monday.

Janet Winteringham, a member of the special prosecution team, talked about the internal police conflict as she opened the Crown's response to defence submissions made during the past two weeks.

Ms. Winteringham told Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett that the arguments the defence had put before the court were based on "a multiplicity of disputed facts … [and]a number of inaccurate statements."

She said lawyers representing three government employees charged with breach of trust, fraud and money laundering related to the privatization of BC Rail presented a misleading picture based on an incomplete record of events.

"The entire submission … is inaccurate," she said of a defence argument that the police tailored and targeted their investigation to focus on two ministerial aides - Dave Basi and Bobby Virk - while ignoring the activities of their political masters.

Ms. Winteringham said the defence was simply wrong when it stated that the investigation, code named Project Everywhichway, suddenly veered off course to target Mr. Basi, who was an aide to then-finance-minister Gary Collins, and Mr. Virk, who was an aide to Judith Reid, the transport minister.

In fact, she said, Mr. Basi emerged as an early person of interest in a drug investigation that was triggered when informants told the RCMP that the arrest, in May, 2002, of U.S. drug dealer Cirilo Lopez had created an opening for a new drug boss on Vancouver Island.

"The word on the street was that Jas Bains was going to be the person taking over," Ms. Winteringham said.

Mr. Bains is Mr. Basi's cousin.

That drug investigation identified Ravinder Singh Dosanjh, who was then a Victoria police constable, and Mandeep Singh Sandhu as other persons of interest. Both are related to Mr. Basi.

While tapping the phones of Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Bains, the police intercepted calls to Mr. Basi, and soon formed a suspicion that he was being used to launder money, Ms. Winteringham said.

The police drug operation later spun off several investigations, and soon, the RCMP's Vancouver Island drug team and commercial crime units were developing different theories about what was happening.

Some investigators, she said, thought that Mr. Basi's boss, Mr. Collins, was a suspect in a scenario related to the alleged leaking of confidential government information about the pending sale of BC Rail.

But other investigators argued Mr. Collins wasn't a suspect, she said, and the defence contention that he was dropped because police didn't want to implicate any politicians was incorrect.

"Different investigators had different views as to whether Mr. Collins was under investigation," Ms. Winteringham said.

RCMP Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere, a lead investigator, "held the view that Mr. Collins was under investigation and he wanted to interview him immediately," she said.

But others argued Mr. Basi was the real target and Mr. Collins was an innocent bystander, unaware of the outside activities of his trusted aide.

"There wasn't a consensus between the investigators. There wasn't a tailoring and targeting away from the Liberal Party," she said.

Tensions built between the police teams, she said, because the anti-corruption investigators "like to shake the tree," while the drug investigators "want everything secret and covert."

Those tensions grew to a point that a mediator had to be called in to make sure the teams worked together.

With the focus on Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk, the police in December, 2003, executed search warrants on their offices in the provincial legislature.

Ms. Winteringham dismissed defence complaints that Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, who issued search warrants and wiretap authorizations, wasn't told the offices were in the legislature, or that a phone to be wiretapped was registered to the government.

She said the judge was advised that Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk were ministerial aides, and that their offices were in the legislature.

Ms. Winteringham also dismissed complaints about lack of disclosure, taking to Judge Bennett several documents the defence said weren't provided that in fact were in files, and saying other material that had been demanded just didn't exist.