Court began this morning with Tommy Sheridan's cross examination of Kenneth Lang (for a report on Mr Lang's evidence in chief see Here ) Mr Lang confirmed he was a partner at Mellick's solicitors and had been for 13 years. He also agreed that the News of The World (NotW) did not use any other firm of solicitors in Scotland and that he worked with it's editor, Bob Bird, and other editorial staff on regular basis. Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Lang about his work in the July/August 2006 defamation case between Tommy Sheridan and the News of the World, Mr Lang told the court that from May 2006 to the end of that case it was his "full time occupation."
Mr Sheridan then turned to Mr Lang's role in this case, specifically over the discovery of documents by the defence. Mr Lang agreed that "90%" of the material given to the defence had came from "our office." and 10% from the "havers" (Havers is the legal term for the person or institution that has the documents) Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that this represented a conflict of interest as Mr Lang was both a Crown witness in the trial and in charge of producing documents required by the defence. Mr Lang denied this. Mr Sheridan then questioned Mr Lang about the steps he had taken to find documents required for the case, Mr Lang admitted that he had relied on Mr Bird to ask his staff about offers of payment to Crown witnesses and had not questioned any of the journalists himself.
Mr Lang was then asked if he knew a Stephen Whitimore or Glen Mulcaire whom Mr Sheridan accused of being involved with "hacking his phone" Mr Lang denied ever hearing their names while working with the NotW or seeing any invoices made out to them. Mr Sheridan the put to the witness that he either "knew what the NotW was up to" or was not told. Mr Lang told the court he "resented that suggestion" as he was a solicitor and an "officer of the court."
Mr Sheridan then returned to the issue of the discovery of documents for the case. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that he had never done a "proper search" for documents and had just "took Bob Bird's word for it" He also queried the disapearence of a number of emails that the defence had wished to examine, Mr Lang explained that there had "been a problem with emails as they had been lost in India" but insisted he had taken his duties seriously. Mr Sheridan also asked that as a lawyer Mr Lang should have had notes of various meetings, including one attended by Andy Coulson in 2006 to watch the "McNeilage tape" Mr Lang said that he did not always take notes and had not done on that occasion. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that no record had been kept so that Andy Coulson's role could be "kept secret" Mr Lang replied "I don't agree."
Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Lang about telephone records, that Mr Sheridan had handed over voluntarily to the NotW's legal team in 2006. Mr Sheridan asked "what happened to them" to which Mr Lang replied "I never had them they were with our Edinburgh partners" Mr Sheridan then asked "how did they end up with Bob Bird" and asked if it was appropriate that his records had ended up being "handed to a tabloid." Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Bird, "you were in charge" to which the witness replied "subject to instructions from Wapping" (Wapping is the HQ of News International in the UK)
Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Lang about an invoice, which showed a bill for £2,594.66 for food and accomodation for two witnesses, Helen Allison and Anne Colvin. The invoice included an entry for £92 for Champagne, and £111 for one nights dinner. Mr Sheridan also told the court that the Newspaper had provided an "A Type Jag" to transport the witnesses to court, at a cost of £1950, despite, as the witness agreed, the court only being "5 minutes away." Mr Sheridan also asked Mr Lang about a witness Fiona McGuire and produced a letter from a Psyciatrist asking for payment for an exam conducted on Ms McGuire during the 2006 trial. Mr Lang told the court that Ms McGuire had been in a "fragile state" and it seemed like an appropriate course of action. The court then took a short break.
When court resumed Mr Sheridan asked about an analysis Mr Lang had carried out on the mobile telephones of Katrine Trolle and Fiona McGuire. Mr Lang agreed that these had not found any records of telephone calls or texts from Mr Sheridan to either of the phones, adding that Ms Trolle's phone had a "technical issue" that made that analysis difficult. Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Lang about his contacts with Ms Trolle after the 2006 trial, he said he had some contact bit this "trailed off" in early 2007. Mr Sheridan then produced an email from Ms Trolle to one of the police officers investigating the case from the 16th November 2007 which read in part, "I told Ken the Lawyer that I would be gone for a year, he said it would not be good if I was not there for the trial, but he would think of something." Mr Lang said he did recall receiving a phone call to tell him Ms Trolle was going to Australia. Mr Sheridan then accused Mr Lang of "trying to correct himself in the witness box" which Mr Lang denied.
Mr Sheridan then asked the witness how he could have spoken to Ms Trolle about a "trial" before November 2007 when no-one had even been charged in the case until December 2007. Mr Lang said he did not recall. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that he had "inside information" via the News of the World and that Mr Lang's "loyalty was to the NotW not to the court." Mr Lang said that "my loyalty is to the court." With that Mr Sheridan ended his cross-examination and returned to the dock. The Advocate Depute having no further questions Mr lang was allowed to step down from the witness box.