Mr Prentice then turned to the issue of minutes, an issue that he said the jury had "heard a lot about." He suggested the jury consider that the issue in question was not the minutes themselves but the "recollection of those people at the meeting." If the jury believed the minutes "could assist them" they were free to do so, however Mr Prentice also asked the jury to consider that if the notes and minutes were a "complete fabrication" and part of an "elaborate conspiracy" then "why on earth would you take them to the police?" The Advocate Depute then asked the jury to consider that when Barbara Scott had said that she had taken the documents to the police as she was "indignant about being called a liar" she may have been telling the truth. If this was not true then she must have been part of an "sophisticated conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice."
The Advocate depute then turned to the evidence of witnesses who had attended the 9th November 2004 SSP executive. He quoted the testimony of Colin Fox, who had said he was "hanging on every word," and of Kevin McVey who said "his whole world had fallen in on him" Mr Prentice said there was "no issue of confusion" from these witnesses on what was said. He then reminded the jury of the testimony of Alan Green who said Tommy Sheridan was a "tremendous ambassador for the party" and that of Colin Fox who had stated he had not given testimony through malice. Mr Prentice then suggested to the jury that there was no great split over policy or principles in the SSP, and that the jury might wonder if the rifts had been so severe would people just not have left and formed another party "which would have been easy to do."
Mr Prentice then turned to the testimony of five other witnesses who attended the 9th November meeting, reminding the jury that"
- Carolyn Leckie had stated she had seen Catriona Grant and Barbara Scott exchange notes
- Jo Harvie had called it "the most devastating day of her life"
- Rosie Kane had stated that she "hoped it was a mistake"
- Frances Curran had said she was "Sad"
- Kevin McVey had "been tearful"
Mr Prentice then turned to the situation of the SSP in 2004. He described the party as being created through the hard work of a group of "committed socialists" that had put left wing politics in Scotland on a "different plane" through the work of Mr Sheridan in the Scottish Parliament and the election of six members of parliament in 2003. He asked the jury to consider why any group of the party would conspire to remove Tommy Sheridan and if they had "why on earth they would choose a sex scandal involving a club." He called this a "potential disaster" for the party adding that "there would be no survivors from that sort of disaster." He then asked why any of the witnesses in the case would want to "destroy the party?"
Mr Prentice then turned to telephone records, that have been agreed by both parties to be those of Mr Sheridan. He asked the jury to consider why the accused, having left the 9th November meeting early, would have then phoned Gary Clark and Katrine Trolle, saying that the "ladies and gentlemen of jury may draw an inference" on why Mr Sheridan had phoned two of the people alleged to have been involved in the "Cupids visit," he then invited the jury to "consider this."
Mr Prentice then moved on to the question of the accusations, made against Mr Sheridan by the News of the World, that he had an affair with Fiona McGuire. The Advocate Depute then said that Mr Sheridan had "consistently denied" these allegations and had "never faltered from that." He then asked the jury to consider why, if there was a "conspiracy" had that denial been accepted and why it had not been "suggested by the conspirators" that he had not denied the Fiona McGuire story. The court then adjourned for lunch.
When the court reconvened the Advocate Depute turned to the question of the SSP executive meeting of the 24th November 2004. He asked the jury to consider the question of why documents distributed at that meeting had been numbered, signed for and then returned. Stating that this process had never been used "before or since." He asked the jury to use "common sense" on interpreting this, suggesting that it may have occurred due to the minute of the 9th November meeting been distributed. Mr Prentice stressed again that the issue of admissions on the 9th November "did not hinge" on the question of the minute being "ratified" but on the jury's interpretation of the witness testimony they had heard.
Alex Prentice QC then asked the jury to consider that in relation to the alternative minute of the 9th of November meeting that had been presented to them, which Maggie Scott QC had called the "mystery minute", the jury had never heard "where it came from" and suggested that they "pay it little regard." The Advocate Depute then suggested to the jury that they might find it "surprising" that Mr Sheridan had circulated by email a motion by the Cardonald branch of the SSP that "any minutes or other documents referring to Tommy Sheridan's private life be immediately destroyed." Mr Prentice then ended this chapter of his summing up by asking the jury to consider that "if it was all a conspiracy" why had the conspirators not "never told anyone about it publicly" until the 2006 defamation trial.
The Advocate Depute then moved on to the question of the alleged visit to Cupids, which we will cover in our next report.