Mr Prentice then said to the jury that when they had been read the indictment at the start of the case they may have wondered about the nature of the crime stating that it was not about "murder, drugs or child abuse" and why the court would be interested "if Tommy Sheridan had sex at a sex club" stating that this was not a crime, involved consenting adults and left "no victims." The reason, Mr Prentice told the jury, was that the crime was perjury, the crime of "knowingly giving false evidence" adding that juries should be able to expect that the evidence they heard to be true. Mr Prentice stated that perjury led to a "denial of justice" for both "the victim and accused," this was "never acceptable in a dignified and mature democracy" and if allowed would cause "our whole justice system to fall apart." Mr Prentice then said to the jury that he never normally gave an introduction of that sort, but as a defence witness, Hugh Kerr, had expressed the view that this case was "an incredible waste of time and money" he stated that he thought the case appropriate, to show that no-one was "above the law".
Mr Prentice then discussed his own role in the trial stating that he was there to represent "the public interest" not the News of the World, the SSP or the Police. The Advocate Depute then said "Mr Sheridan has said that this prosecution is driven by the News of the World, it is not," Mr Prentice then spoke to the jury about their role in the trial, then adding that they would know that the accused Tommy Sheridan "is not a trained laywer." Mr Prentice stated that the jury would have seen him making objections to some of Mr Sheridan's questions to witnesses. The Advocate Depute told the jury that he had objected not because of anything "improper" but due to the "rules of evidence"
Mr Prentice then went on to describe much of the evidence presented by the defence as "irrelevant" to the charge of perjury stating that "this is not a public inquiry it is a criminal trial" He told the jury that they should be "careful to proceed with what you have established as proved" and it is "your recollections that count" Mr Prentice then informed the jury that he would not be covering all of the Crown evidence as this would take an "inordinate time." He added however that if he did not mention certain evidence, the jury were not to conclude that it was not important, as it was "up to you to decide what's important.
Having told the jury that this trial was "not an appeal on the outcome of the civil trial" He told them that this criminal trial was a "different case with different witnesses" and that they should put the verdict in the defamation trial"out of their minds" He also reminded the jury that no evidence had been led about Fiona McGuire in the case so any issues around Ms McGuire where "irrelevant to the issue of perjury" He also warned the jury to be beware of "hearsay" evidence, such as one article read to the court, in relation to Barbara Scott. Mr Prentice reminded the jury that this article had not been put to Ms Scott stating that the quote attributed to her could be a mistake on her part or "journalistic licence." The Advocate Depute told the jury this was just one example of hearsay evidence they had heard, there had been "many"
The Advocate Depute then turned to the issue of the charges removed from the indictment, stating that was "my responsibility" and that the jury "should draw no conclusions" from this. Mr Prentice told the jury that the removal of significant parts of the indictment was "designed to assist you" and allowed them to "sharply focus" on what was now a "straightforward" charge. Mr Prentice then reminded the jury that Mr Sheridan had not given evidence on his own behalf and that they "must not draw any inference" from that. He then added however that this had led to much of the Crown evidence being "unchallenged" such as a reference in Mr Sheridan's diary to a scored out word that Felicity Garvie had "said was Cupid" and the fact that a partial telephone number found in Mr Sheridan's diary matched that of the Cupids club in Manchester, as did an address in that diary. Displaying the diary on the court screens Mr Prentice invited the jury to consider if this was a "telling and significant piece of evidence."
The Advocate Depute then told the jury that one of their most important tasks was to "assess the credibility and reliability of witnesses" through their "body language" and "demeanor." He stated that the jury "could consider Thomas Montgomery" in that regard and suggested that "his body language spoke volumes" when he had spoken of his "Eureka moment" Mr Prentice then informed the jury that he would now move on to what he called the "three key areas" in the case. These were:
- The Scottish Socialist Party Executive meeting on the 9th November 2004
- The Cupids visit
- The "McNeilage Tape.