The first witness on Tuesday morning was Charotte Ahmed. Ms Ahmed told the court that she lived in Glasgow and taught chemistry in a secondary school in the city, a job she had done for 20 years. Mr Sheridan, who is conducting his own defence, asked Ms Ahmed if she had originally been a Crown witness, Ms Ahmed told the court she had been cited by the Crown but had not been called to testify.
Mr Sheridan then asked Ms Ahmed about her "political background" Ms Ahmed told the court that she had been a "socialist for a long, long time," had been a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and had joined the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) along with other SWP members in 2001. Ms Ahmed also confirmed that she had been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the SSP.
Mr Sheridan asked Ms Ahmed if she had attended the SSP executive meeting of 24 November 2004, which she had, and asked the witness if she had been presented with a minute of the 9 November Executive (at which the Crown allege Mr Sheridan admitted attending a "sex club") Ms Ahmed told the court she had not and that "no minutes were presented." Mr Sheridan asked the witness if she had been presented with any documents at that meeting. Ms Ahmed said she had been given a "bundle of papers" but there was "nothing I would describe as a minute."
Mr Sheridan then showed the witness a booklet, which the Crown claim was given to attendees at the 24th November meeting and asked the witness to read the minute contained within. Ms Ahmed stated "this is not like any minute or any proposed minute of any meeting I've been at" Asked to describe the differences the witness told the court that a "normal" minute contained an agenda and a list of decisions made and perhaps a financial report, it did not "quote people"
Mr Sheridan then asked Ms Ahmed if she could describe the "state of the SSP in 2004." The witness told the court that after the election of 6 MSPs in 2003 the party should have been "growing and making a big impact" but "a divided leadership had not taken the fullest advantage" Ms Ahmed added that she had personally believed that the party should have been recruiting more members from a wider range of people, but that "a section of the leadership did not want to do that."
Mr Sheridan finally asked the witness if they were "friends" Ms Ahmed said they were not. Asked if she would lie for him the Ms Ahmed replied that she had a professional career and a trade union position and would not. Mr Sheridan then returned to his seat and the Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC, rose to cross-examine the witness.
Mr Prentice asked Ms Ahmed to explain to the court "what was unusual about the minute shown to you" The witness replied that it was structured wrongly and there were "long passages of people speaking, that is not what a minute is." Mr Prentice asked if the minute was unusual because there was "personal information in the document" Ms Ahmed responded that "could describe it"
The Advocate Depute then asked the witness about the documents she had recieved at the 24 November meeting, which she describes as "a bundle in a cardboard folder" asked what it contained Ms Ahmed replied that there were various photocopied resolutions and a financial report but she had only read the first two or three of them. Mr Prentice then asked that as the witness had not read all of the documents there "could have been a minute" Ms Ahmed replied "no it would have had to be approved" but accepted the Advocate Depute's contention that it was "possible" that there "could have been a minute there but you didn't see it"
Mr Prentice asked Ms Ahmed what issues she had raised at the 24 November executive meeting and asked if the 9 November meeting had been discussed, Ms Ahmed said she could "not remember precisely" but did not believe so. Mr Prentice put it to the witness that what had been discussed was the draft minute, Ms Ahmed said "no" and Mr Prentice returned to his seat. Mr Sheridan then briefly re-examined the witness and asked her to look at the booklet that the Crown claim was given to attendees at the 24 November executive. Ms Ahmed did and Mr Sheridan asked her to look at the first three documents and asked if one of them was the disputed minute. Ms Ahmed confirmed it was the second document. Mr Sheridan then put it to the witness that if even if she had only looked at the first three pages of the document she would still have seen the "minute," Ms Ahmed confirmed that she would have. Mr Sheridan then ended by asking Ms Ahmed if "this was the paper you were given" Ms Ahmed said "no" and, with that, Mr Sheridan returned to his seat and the witness was allowed to step down.