The court sat again after lunch and Alex Prentice QC for the Crown resumed his examination of Alan McCombes (you can find an account of the morning session Here ) Mr Prentice gave the jury copies of the witnesses affidavit to the Sunday Herald newspaper and read it out in full. In the affidavit Mr McCombes states he had "consulted senior members of the party" before giving this legal statement. Mr McCombes told the court he had told Carolyn Leckie about his meeting with the Sunday Herald and that the SSP's press officer Eddie Truman had accompanied him. Mr Prentice then asked about a text Mr McCombes had planned to send to Carolyn Leckie which stated "Tommy will end up joining the Independents' [Independent MSP's in the Scottish Parliament] He said he meant this to be a private text and that he was concerned that Mr Sheridan was "acting independently of the party" and in particular discussed an event organised to support Rose Gentle (an anti-war campaigner) at which he had "excluded" the SSP's other members of parliament.
Mr Prentice then moved on to events around the 2006 libel case between Tommy Sheridan and the News of the World. Mr McCombes told the court about the SSP's "defiance" strategy and how he had went to Saughton prison in Edinburgh for three days rather than hand over the minutes of the "9/11" meeting. The witness told the court he had only given evidence in that case although he was "extremely unhappy' to do so. Mr McCombes stated that he thought the whole case was "disastrous" for the SSP" and added "as it proved to be."
The Advocate Depute then asked if Mr McCombes was a "friend of George McNeilage?" To which the witness responded that he was not a "close" friend. Mr McCombes was then asked if he had seen a video tape produced by Mr McNeilage, to which he replied he had seen it on the website of the News of the World. Mr Prentice then played a portion of the video (you can read an account of the tape Here ) and Mr McCombes identified the voices on the tape as those of Tommy Sheridan and George McNeilage. The witness was asked if he had prepared a "script" for this video, and idea Mr McCombes described as "preposterous" and if had written that he should be "hired to work on shameless" [the TV show] He also denied any suggestion he, or the SSP, had received any of the money from Mr McNeilage had received from the News of the World.
Finally Mr McCombes was shown the other minute the court has seen that purports to be of the "9/11" meeting (the "mystery minute" as Barbara Scott QC called it. Mr McCombes denied this was an accurate minute of that meeting and, with that, Mr Prentice thanked the witness for his evidence and returned to his seat. Mr Sheridan then began his cross-examination of the witness which we will report on later tonight.