Monday, October 25, 2010

Alan Green, Re-examination

The second and final witness of the morning was another  recalled at the request of Mr Sheridan, Allan Green, ex National secretary of the SSP (you can find accounts of his initial testimony Here and Here)  The Adocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC, formally called the witness but declined to ask him any questions, Mr Sheridan then left the dock and began his examination from the lectern.

He opened by asking Mr Green if he believed the "democratic structures' of the SSP were important, to which the witness agreed. He then asked about a meeting in early November at Alan McCombes' flat in which he was in attendance and what he recalled about it. Mr Green told the court that this was an informal meeting and he had been told Mr Sheridan would be there. When asked who it was who told him this,  that he replied that it was Alan McCombes. Mr Green was then asked if he recalled anyone phoning Tommy Sheridan from the meeting, which he did not. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that the court had heard evidence that someone from the meeting did call him, the witness said he did not recall that happening.

Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Green if he was a "senior member" of the SSP, to which he replied that, as he was National secretary at the time, he would say he was. He was then asked if Alan McCombes had consulted him before giving an affidavit to the Sunday Herald newspaper (the affidavit states that Mr McCombes had consulted "senior members before going to the paper) Mr Green replied, "no he never approached me." He was then asked if Mr McCombes had ever been disciplined by the party for this action to which the witness said "I would be surprised if he had." When asked if he was surprised to hear in court that Mr McCombes had sworn the affidavit he responded that Mr McCombes had telephoned him "a few days ago" to let him know "as a courtesy."

Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Green about handwritten notes, allegedly made at the 9th November 2002 executive meeting by Barbara Scott, and why Mr Green had said at the 2006 libel trial that he had "probably destroyed them." Mr Green insisted that had made a mistake and he had used the word "probably" as he had not been certain. He added that he had never any intention to mislead the jury. Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if the police had ever cautioned him or charged him with perjury over this statement, Mr Green replied that they had not.

The defence then moved on to a meeting beween Alan Green, Colin Fox and Tommy Sheridan at the Golden Pheasant public house in Lenzie, held just before the 2004 libel case between Mr Sheridan and the News of the World. Mr Sheridan read to the court  Mr Green's testimony in the 2006 libel case where Mr Green said of the disputed minute, "I showed it to Tommy Sheridan Colin Fox had left." He then asked Mr Green if he had told the police this was the first time Mr Sheridan had seen the the document quoted, which he agreed he had. Mr Sheridan then read from Mr Green's evidence in this case where he told the court Mr Sheridan had said about the disputed minute "My Lawyer says it is a blow but not a fatal blow." Mr Sheridan then put it to the witness that this was a "weird statement" since,  if had never seen the document before how could his lawyer have advised him about it?  Mr Green responded that he and Mr Sheridan had spoken about the document previously so Mr Sheridan would be aware of what it contained.

Finally Mr Sheridan asked if any other serious allegations had been made against him at the 9th November SSP executive meeting, and when the witness said he was not sure, asked if there had been any mention of transporting a firearm. Mr Green said he remembered something about that and believed it had been said later in the meeting in response to Keith Baldessera. When asked if Mr Sheridan had said "I carried a gun" the witness replied "not like a cowboy in a film."  Mr Sheridan then showed the court Barbara Scott's handwritten note which appears to place  the mention of the gun in Mr Sheridan's opening remarks. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that he had not heard any mention of a firearm at the meeting and had just added it because it had already been mentioned in court. This the witness denied and Mr Sheridan finished his examination and returned to the dock. The prosecution had no further questions for the witness and he was allowed to step down. The court then adjourned for lunch.


Anonymous said...

I am an interested member of the public. I would also like to ensure that a contentious trial is properly reported. I was among those who were asked to stop taking notes.
I had a most pleasant chat with the clerk of court. She was very charming and advised me that there was "an unwritten rule that spectators did not take notes in court". I showed her that my notes were rudimentary and assured her that I would publish nothing until the trial was ended - I should be so lucky.
She also indicated that it was the judge who had asked her to intervene. For the record, no members of the National Press were asked to stop taking notes.

Frank said...

Allan Green didn't know about McCombes' affidavit. Who are the senior members who were consulted over this and conspired to keep it secret? So far only Leckie and McCombes. Thats taking the "party within a party" to extremes. More like "a party within a household".

Anonymous said...

Or more like "a relationship"

hard case said...

I'd always understood that members of the public aren't allowed to take notes in court. I'm surprised the matter wasn't raised earlier.

Pike said...

aren't the national press 'members of the public'?