|Paul McBride QC|
The final session of the week was taken up with Paul Mcbride QC cross-examining Anvar Khan. He opened his questioning by going over Ms Khan's varying accounts of the date of the alleged visit by her and Mr Sheridan, to the Cupids club in Manchester. Mr McBride pointed out that the witness had told this court that the date of the trip was September 2002, while she had told the jury at the 2006 libel trial it was November 2002,. The witness agreed she had. He then asked if Ms Khan had given an affidavit to the News of the World giving the date as "the end of 2001" which she agreed she had. Mr McBride then read through that affidavit and asked the witness "this is a perfectly simple question, why 2001?" Ms Khan responded that she had felt under pressure to sign this document. Mr Mcbride put it to the witness that the affidavit must have been typed before she signed it and had been based on information "given by you" Ms Khan said that Mr McBride should" refer to her previous answer," to which the QC retorted "This is not the houses of Parliament Ms Khan."
Ms Khan then suggested that the date in the affidivit "might be a typo" to which Mr McBride responded that this was a sworn statement under oath. The witness replied she had not realised at the time she was under oath to which Mr McBride responded by showing the court that at the bottom of the document she had signed where it said "Sworn by Anvar Khan." Mr McBride asked what she had thought this meant, "a curse?" and warned her to be "careful as you are digging yourself into a perjury trial of your own." Ms Khan said she had realised in 2006 she had made a mistake and told the jury at the July 2006 libel trial that she had. Mr McBride then produced a police statement the witness had made in October 2007 where the witness stated "I signed the affidavit because it was the truth and I wanted to help Bob Bird" (Scottish editor of the News of the World.)
Mr McBride put it to the witness that she had lied in telling the libel jury the date was 2006 and then telling the police in 2007 her original statement was true. Mr McBride then walked over to the jury box and said to the witness "this jury are not stupid" and that "you do not know what truth is any more do you?" Ms Khan asked "was that a question" to which Mr Mcbride stated that his statement had "do you at the end...do you; question mark!" The witness replied that she was telling the truth. Mr McBride then said to the witness "we can't believe a word that comes out of your mouth Ms Khan, to which she replied "I thought we were not supposed to make jokes." Mr Mcbride replied "don't you be cheeky with me, the court has had quite enough of that from you."
Ms Khan was then questioned about her statement about taking condoms to the Cupids club and asked how many she had with her. When Ms Khan replied "a bag" Mr McBride asked if she meant a "bin bag" and asked again how many. The witness replied that she had a "small white paper bag" of condoms as she wanted to make sure she had "safe sex." Mr McBride then suggested that "walking about a sex club with a bag of condoms is something that would "stick in your mind as you don't do it often." The witness said she had remembered the event to which Mr McBride she had not, "in terms of a date."
Mr McBride then moved on to discuss Ms Khan's evidence previously (see Here ) about meeting Andrew McFarlane at Glasgow airport in September 2002 and a discussion she had with Mr Sheridan about how she would recognise him. Mr McBride put it to the witness that she had "reason to remember him as "the first time you met him you went to bed with him" to which the witness said "correct." Mr McBride then said "You had sex with him, so what was that all about?". Ms Khan repeated her earlier testimony that Tommy Sheridan had told her a friend of his, whom she had never met, might be picking her up, Mr McBride said "she had not mentioned that when asked" (in 2006) to which the witness responded that she was "trying to be succinct" Mr McBride said that the witness had affirmed to tell "the whole truth, not just the bits you happened to find convenient." Ms Khan insisted she had, and was telling the truth.
Mr McBride then turned to the evidence of Katrine Trolle (the other woman who gave evidence that she had visited Cupids with Mr Sheridan) and put it to the Ms Khan that Ms Trolle had also originally stated the visit to Cupids was in 2001 and then "came here and and said 2002, coincidence?" Ms Khan replied that she had no knowledge of that. He put it to the witness "a passing coincidence that you both make exactly the same mistake then correct it in exactly the same way, coincidence?" the witness replied "yes." Mr McBride said "if you and Katrine Trolle are not telling the truth it is easier to explain?" He then produced Ms Khan's CV (with which the Crown opened it's evidence on Wednesday morning" and asked the witness if the dates on that were correct, which she said they were." Mr McBride then said "35 dates all correct?' to which Ms Khan replied "yes" and added that the newspaper articles listed had publication dates so it was possible to check.
Mr McBride then again moved to stand beside the jury box and said to the witness "my problem is that someone might stand up here in the future and ask this jury to believe you." and added "you can't reconcile the dates, they can't all be right, only one can" to which Ms Khan replied "September 2002." At this the defence QC stated "What is it going to be next week? the first thing that pops into your head? Mr McBride concluded by stating that Ms Khan was "like a fish on a hook wriggling every time someone tries to pull you in by asking for a straight answer." He then finished his cross examination and instead of returning to his seat walked out of the court (as did a good portion of the public gallery.)
The Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC then briefly re-examined Ms Khan and showed the court a statement she had made to the police in 2006 where she clearly stated the 2001 date was a mistake. He also showed the the witness a transcript of the 2006 trial where she had identified Andrew McFarlane. He then concluded his questioning and Ms Khan was allowed to step down from the witness box.
Just before court concluded for the day the presiding judge, Lord Bracadale, asked the Adocate Depute how much longer he expected the prosecution case to last. Mr Prentice told the court he would consider this over the weekend and answer on Monday. With that the court rose until Monday morning.
The case continues.