Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Any questions?

We are just putting together a post on some of the legal arguments in the trial that we could not report at the time, as they occurred outside the presence of the jury. 

If anyone has any specific questions they would like us to try and answer, could they email them to us or put them in the comments. 




Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the phone signal evidence led?

Why didn't the crown do audio forensics based on existing authenticated samples such if they couldn't lead the police interview samples because of cadder?

James Doleman said...

To the anon who just asked me about my reporting of Mr Prentice on Thomas Montgemery, not sure what you mean that I didn't report it as here is what I wrote:

"Mr Prentice then brought up defence witness Thomas Montgomery's testimony, stating that he had found him to present "most unsatisfactory evidence", reminding the jury of Mr Montgomery's "Eureka moment" when he had first read about the Cupid's allegation date of the 27th September 2002 during the course of this trial, that his body language may have been useful to the jury, and that when asked by Mr Prentice "Who did you tell", replied "Nobody". Mr Prentice put to the jury that Mr Montgomery expected them to believe that the first time his evidence concerning this date became known to the defence was when he took the witness stand in this trial, with Mr Prentice concluding "I suggest you view him as a complete out and out liar".

I'm not therefore sure which remarks you mean that I ignored.

(ps sorry for not posting your comment but I try not to post libel, especially about myself.)

KaizerSoggy said...


Having sat through every day of the case, do you agree with the verdict?


Anonymous said...

When are we going to see a discussion regarding the submissions (which Lord Bracadale prohibited until the conclusion of the proceedings and trial) the legal arguments on preliminary issues including all evidential matters, and issues concerning documentation, pleas in bar of trial etc.

James Doleman said...

Hello Kaizer, I'd rather not answer that for now thanks, in some ways I am still making up my mind.

Anon, hopefully the post I am writing today will answer some of those questions.

Legal Seagull said...

Some people commenting on other blogs have suggested that Lord Bracadale said or implied in his summing up that there was reasonable doubt that a trip to Cupids took place on that weekend.
Is that a fair reflection? What exactly did the judge say on this point?

Victor said...

Seagull, LB pointed out to the jury that Katrine Trolle had been certain of a different date in 2006 and had been sure of it because of a work placement. I wouldnt think he would have said that the jury should have reasonable doubt, but his instructions clearly aluded to it on that particular charge.

anon 1156, I didnt hear of any 'phone signal evidence'. Cadder would not have prevented use of another sample as you say and, from the BBC video of his interview, wasnt Mr Anwar with Sheridan in the room? That would rule out any cadder considerations.

Whatsy said...

I never heard of any "phone signal" evidence either, but James was in court more than me and may have heard something.

People keep mentioning this area of evidence, but does anyine know if it is ever actually used (or even exists?), or is it one of the things typical of CSI Syndrome?

James Doleman said...

There was chatter about it from the assembled ladies and gentlemen of the press, never mentioned in court though.

Anonymous said...

It comes from a much-hyped "leak" to the press from Police a few years ago. In reality, it never excisted at any point.

Mr Sinatra to you said...

Yes James,

My question is, are you and Whatsy going to get married? - I'm sure Cupid's you lend you their premises for the reception after all the publicity you've given them and we could all come along to wish you well...

MSTY aka 'Steve'

Whatsy said...

That's a nice thought Steve, but there are several fairly major & permanent obstacles to that ever happening, I believe. Sorry to deny you such a fairytale ending.

Plus, Flamingoland is the place to go.

*This message comes to you courtesy of Flamingoland - still partially open and a great place for a winter break.

donaldb said...

Ok. People who could be described as Trotkyists. I don't think it would be hard to prove in court that they have no problem lying and deceiving in court, provided it advances socialist revolution. Entry-ism, Front organizations etc.

Tommy did allude to that when I was in court at the beginning. Referring to Militant as being a 'clandestine' organization. I think it was also the former Treasurer of the SSP who replied when asked by Tommy why she had voted not to provide minutes of the meeting to the court said' because we are a revolutionary socialist organization, and dont cooperate with the bourgeois courts' (whilst turning to the judge saying 'though obviously not at this moment')

In a court, why should the evidence of any revolutionary socialist be admissible? It is after all about the overthrow of the State (Parliament, Police, Courts etc.)

Steve said...

Trotsky appears to dismiss 'going back to Moses, Jesus, Mohamed' in the 'Their Morals and Ours' essay someone quoted.

I don't see what objection he would have at least to 'you shall not bear false witness against your neighbour'.

If you ask me, you can overstate a 'class-based approach', given that individual people can change social classes, particularly in bourgeois societies, e.g. through marriage or just doing well for themselves.

It's not as though there was some proletarian Volksgericht the SSP memebers could have gone to, to identify who was lying, and the arguments that being called a liar isn't important is not compelling - any working person depends on their reputation for honesty with their fellow workers as much as with their bosses.

Nosey parker said...

James, after McColl's car crash testimony, some posters indicated a very good reason existed as to why Crown did not proceed with that part of the indictment and that it would all come out after trial. I wondered what McColl meant when he said something to P McB under cross examination about drugs and crack cocaine and McB said ,has someone been feeding you information? For me the Mcoll part of the trial was one of the most dramatic and mystifying but not sure if there is anything more you can tell us now?

Sir Brian Hine said...

What - if any - legal arguments were there regarding the McNeilage tape?

Bob Bird made much of independent, forensic, testimony from Prof French that would prove the voice on the tape was TS, before the trial, but I don't recall this ever being presented to the jury.

Whatsy said...

@iain brown
Your post didn't make it, but i direct you to Voice Of Reason's post regarding direction to the jury:

"The Appeal Court has repeatedly advised judges that they must not, under any circumstances, draw a distinction between "not guilty" and "not proven". In the past, trying to create a difference between the two has caused massive problems, and a few convictions have been quashed because directions were either confusing or wrong.

The guidelines issued to sheriffs and judges are that you must only advise that both operate as verdicts of acquittal. From what you say, his directions were exactly as required, namely "if there are not eight for guilty you must acquit".

Also - a majority of the original jury number is required for a conviction. Hence 8. Lord Brac has no discretion in this matter.

iain brown said...

Sorry "Whatsy" ,i respect your moderators judgement and would certainly not ,like to place yourself,and certainly not Frank(James),to most of you,(but not myself),and certainly not myself as i have always posted my actual real/given name throughout,in some serious"Contempt of Court" proceedings.But i still query your (obviously) ,far greater knowledge in to the matters i earlier posted(which for understandable reasons have been moderated(.Since we are only(presumably) ,"au fait", to that exchange,Maybe another (daft),question of mine is" is it the case that judges have never "any discretion" in applying the eternal laws of "The Law".Again,i am no legal eagle,but i am accutely aware,that as with TRUTH/MORALITY itself,that THE LAW is no fixed eternal,irrefutable(God given) entity. Law(and the whole basis of "legal precedents"),is not enshrined (whether Moses,Jesus ,Mohammed(or all their various multitudes of different sects with their myriad interpretations) bit like "us Socialists?". No,there is always eternally shifting sands,reinterpretations,new "recieved wisdoms,conflicting insights ,into all these and many other matters.The dialectical materialist critique of "History" in brief.Suggest that may be some more recommended reading for us all!

iain brown said...

Steve,sorry must have overlooked your post in response to "someone" quoting Trotskys,"Their Morals etc".That was me.In gereral i take on board your point re.integrity amongst your workmates/peers/associates/community or whatever. I have always valued this highly and have endeavoured to uphold these values. Personally i would be happy to be both liked and respected as a human being.Forced to choose,i would always go for being respected.Apart from no one ever being liked by all,with a few notable exceptions(like the late ,great Norman Wisdom),i have never been a social chamelion trying to be all things to all people. And as the late ,great Tony Cliff used to tell us, if you never upset anyone or never attract some criticism,hostility or even hatred,then you are failing in your duty as socialists and revolutionaries.However as to being held in high regard by the police,the bosses,the Murdoch empire:FORGET IT!

jim mclean said...

Is all this back to the original precedent set by Lord Turnbull in calling for an investigation into perjury, having spent a few wet afternoons in the public benches I dont think I have seen a trial where somebody didnt lie through their teeth. Could that precedent be challenged, surely he could have dealt with the reticent witnesses himself,no?

Steve said...

There's one question I'd like to ask, but it's probably a symptom of our divided society that it interests me.

Anyway, here goes - what does AP sound like - is he bool in the mooth, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Highland or how would you describe it?

James Doleman said...

usually very softly spoken with what I would call an "Aberdeenshire" accent.