Thursday, November 4, 2010
The next witness for the Crown on Wednesday afternoon was James (Jim) McVicar, current National treasurer of the SSP. After taking the oath Mr McVicar told the court about a car journey he took with the defendant on the 22nd February 2006. The witness testified that during that journey Mr Sheridan had asked him why "Alan [McCombes] and Keith [Baldessera] were turning against me" and added "going to the club was a mistake." Mr Prentice QC then entered into evidence a statement the witness had made to police where he had reported the above conversation as "he said visiting the sex club was a mistake" Mr McVicar agreed this was "probably" accurate. The witness then told the court that Mr Sheridan had then added that he was a "working class boy from Pollok" and that that "when it is on a plate for you what would you do?" Mr Prentice then ended his evidence in chief and Mr Sheridan left the dock to begin his cross-examination.
Mr Sheridan began by asking about his and the witnesses "shared political tradition" as members of the Militant and asked the witness if the Militant was a "secret clandestine organisation." Mr McVicar stated that "he wouldn't describe it as that" He then asked the witness if he was a member of the United Left (a group within the SSP) Mr McVicar said he had went to a few meetings but denied this group was an "SSP within the SSP" saying it's aim was to take the party forward. Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if he had been angry at the outcome of the 2006 libel trial, to which Mr McVicar replied that he had been "disappointed" and that "his heart sank at your description of people you had worked with for a long time" [as "scabs."] Finally Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that he was here to "right a wrong" would "say whatever was necessary" and was not telling the truth. Mr McVicar denied this. The Advocate Depute briefly re-examined Mr McVicar and asked if he had anything to gain from lying? Mr McVicar said he had not. The witness was then allowed to leave the witness box.
Posted by James Doleman at 4:30 PM