Monday, October 11, 2010

Tommy Sheridan to defend himself in court.

                                     Ms Scott QC Hails a Taxi Outside Court today

(pic via Scottish Daily Record)

Arriving at court this morning it was clear, from the number of press in attendance and the buzz around the defence and prosecution teams that something big was in the offing. Due to  restrictions we can only report Lord Bracadale's statement.
He thanked the Jury for their patience and said they would notice that Maggie Scott QC was no longer in the court. He told the jury that Mr Sheridan had decided to conduct his own defence, as he was "perfectly entitled to do." He would retain the support of his solicitor Mr Aamer Anwar. Mr Sheridan had asked for an adjournment to prepare himself and this was granted. The court is to adjourn until Thursday 14th October.

The BBC reports
"This is not the first time the former MSP has parted company with his lawyers.He sacked his legal team during the original defamation action, choosing instead to represent himself.In the run up to the perjury case, Mr Sheridan also dismissed Donald Findlay QC, one of the country's most high-profile defence lawyers.His decision to sack Ms Scott, who defended Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, appears to indicate that he was unhappy with how she had handled evidence."


John said...

Interesting move this morning. Looks like this trial is set to run and run. I wonder if it will ever reach a conclusion. Re: Contempt of Court, give the length of this trial this must be a serious consideration. Contempt of Court is also likely to result in the Trial having to be abandoned and most likely re-started afresh.

Daft Senga said...

I'm not at all surprised at this move. Apparently Tommy was odds on to sack his legal counsel. He did the same last time. Tommy has to break away from the Establishment game and speak to the good folk of the Jury directly. His only hope is the same as last time, i.e. the jury refuse to take legal direction and apply their own natural justice. Pity that he can't defend Gail as well. Solidarity!

Jim said...

John, think that because of the legal rule in Scotland against double jeaopardy (being tried for the same crime twice) it wouldn't be possible to have a "retrial" if it is abandoned...pretty sure the Scottish law Commission haven't repealed it yet.

Bob said...

Hmm, I can't quite recall... but didn't the "Lockerbie Bomber" say that he felt that his defence representatives were part of a conspiracy to convict him? I remember Maggie Scott representing him at his successful appeal and it now seems that she did indeed represent Al-Megrahi at the original trial. I don't think that any of these so-called advocates can be trusted, all part of the same club, who knows whose side they are on. Anyway, she has obviously irked Tommy. Good luck Tommy & Gail!

John said...

Jim, just to clarify: I am not sure where the Law stands on Double Jeopardy at the moment, although I believe it has been repealed in England & Wales. What I meant to say is that if an allegation of Contempt of Court were to be made that in all likelihood the Judge would dismiss the present Jury and immediately re-start with a fresh Jury. This circumstance occurs frequently, and at the time the issue is usually dismissed as "legal matters". Often times, the reasons are never (fully) disclosed. Given the duration, complexity and number of witnesses involved in this case I'd reckon that there is a strong likelihood of this Trial starting afresh at some point for some reason or another. (At the least I expect it to take many twists and turns) Unfortunately, even if the Crown were faced with an insurmountable prosecution I don't think that they would readily do the decent thing and abandon the case. All the Best to Tommy & Gail

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting development and i suspect that if anything it may help Sheridan with the jury, who will already have a preformed opinion of the NOTW due to Coulson etc.

i dont know about any of the legal contempt of court type stuff that has been discussed, although one thing that is for sure is that this trial wont be disappearing from the front pages any time soon