Thursday, December 16, 2010

Graeme McIvor Cross-Examination

After Mr Sheridan had ended his evidence in chief (see Here) and returned to his seat in the dock, Alex Prentice QC, the Advocate Depute rose to cross-examine Mr McIvor. Mr Prentice began by asking the witness if he had told the truth at the 2006 civil trial (in 2006 Mr Sheridan successfully brought an action for defamation against the News of the World at which Mr McIvor testified) Mr McIvor said he had. The Advocate Depute then asked the witness why he had "been warned by the judge in the absence of the jury" during that case. Mr Sheridan then rose to object that the record of Mr McIvor's 2006 testimony had not  been entered as a production in this case. The Advocate Depute responded that it was not necessary as this was evidence of "prior inconsistency" Lord Bracdale, the judge presiding, agreed the evidence could be presented but to allow copies of the "live note" to be circulated adjourned the court for a short interval.

When the court reconvened Mr Prentice had the Mr McIvor read the record of his testimony at the 2006 case at the Court of Session. The section read to the court contained remarks by the judge in that trial, Lord Turnbull where he had, in part,  to Mr McIvor "in questioning you shifted evidence" warned him he faced "serious consequences" and added "fencing with questions is not acceptable" The Advocate Depute then asked the witness for his comments. Mr McIvor told the court he thought his testimony in 2006 was "understandable" as "we we were all members of the same party and friends" and he was "not going to call anyone a liar. 

Mr Prentice then turned to the issue of the 9th November SSP executive meeting and put it to  Mr McIvor if Mr Sheridan had denied the accusations of sexual misconduct the meeting would be "overjoyed" yet instead the court had heard that "people had been in tears" The witness replied that "some people had made their minds up already." The Advocate Depute then asked Mr McIvor if he recalled a conversation there about "Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski" at the executive meeting in question,  to which the witness replied that he did not. Mr Prentice again produced the "live note" of Mr McIvor's testimony in 2006 where, when asked if Bill Clinton's name had been mentioned and  he had answered "I think he maybe did" Mr McIvor stated that now he had seen the record he remembered it.

Mr Prentice then questioned the witnesses earlier testimony and aked  why any libel action taken by Mr Sheridan would be of "concern to the party." Mr McIvor replied the party would be "dragged into it' and that he was also worried about the "financial implications" Mr McIvor went on to say that had feared "sequestration" as this had been used against trade unions in the past, such as the case of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1984,1985, and that courts were "not a friendly place for Socialists" 

The Advocate Depute concluded his cross examination by asking Mr McIvor is he was an "ally" of Mr Sheridan. The witness replied that he was his "comrade." Mr Prentice then asked the witness if he was a member of Solidarity and asked "how do you do that" Mr McIvor replied that he had attended a conference in 2006 and had "signed up: Mr Prentice then stated that this was not a difficult "process" and it is "easy to join another party. He then returned to his seat.

Mr Sheridan then briefly re-examined the witness. He asked Mr McIvor  about his testimony in 2006 and how many times he had been in the court before that date, The witness replied it was his "first time in court." Mr Sheridan then read from Mr McIvor's response to the comments made by the judge cited by Mr Prentice where he had said "Yes I have to admit to being somewhat confused, I am being handed statements I have never seen before." The witness also agreed with Mr Sheridan that he had, at that time, been being "taken through, line by line, a document you had never seen before." Mr Sheridan remarked "The Advocate Depute seemed to miss that bit out there."

Mr Sheridan concluded by putting it to Mr McIvor that the Advocate Depute had said he was not telling the truth, "was he?"  The witness replied "Yes I am." Mr Sheridan then asked "did you hear me deny I was in a sex club" Mr McIvor replied "yes" Mr Shieridan then thanked the witness for his evidence and Lord Bracadale, the presiding judge" allowed the witness to step down from the stand.


GlasgowX said...

Thanks for the late shift .... all all your other work on this. Invaluable and very balanced (I've been able to attend some days and your accounts are very accurate).

Anonymous said...

What was the stuff about how to join the Solidarity party about??