Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jim Monaghan Cross Examination

After Mr Sheridan had completed his examination in chief of Mr Monaghan (see Here for our report) Mr Nicolson rose, for the first time in this trial, to cross-examine a witness. Mr Nicolson opened  by asking the witness whose idea it had been to leaflet the 27th September SSP event, the witness replied that it was his. Mr Nicolson then asked if it was true that Alison Kane had sent out a "three line whip" to members of the SSP to attend this event Mr Monaghan said he did not know of this had happened.

Mr Nicholson then asked Mr Monaghan "what other events at the people's festival did he "target" to leaflet  people to his Keir Hardie memorial. Mr Monaghan told the court that he had decided that the Friday night event would be the best chance to attract the people he thought would be interested in his meeting as it combined "politics and culture," and that a further attraction was the list of speakers. Asked why as a "part time poet"(which he had so described himself in his testimony)  he had not found the "poetry event" the next day "of interest" Mr Monaghan told the court that it was "expensive to come from Cumnock to Glasgow" and that he thought the poetry event would just be "poets and alcohol" and not many of the attendees would be interested in his meeting.

Mr Nicholson then asked if the witness had attended the part of the festival which had been held on the Sunday, which the Councel told the court was a "poetry event" Mr Monaghan stated that he had not been aware of that and added that there was no train on a Sunday and that he worked the night shift on Saturday night. Mr Nicholson then asked the witness if he had seen any other "SSP Executive members" at the Friday night meeting. Mr Monaghan said he had not, to which Counsel responded that there could have been but as he had not been a member of the party for very long Mr Sheridan was the only one he had recognised. 

Mr Nicholson then asked Mr Monaghan if he was "quite sure he had met Tommy Sheridan on the 27th September 2002" The witness replied he was because he had "checked it" Councel then asked what he had done after he had realised that he had seen Mr Sheridan on that date. The witness replied that he had called Tommy Sheridan who had told him to call his defence team. Mr Nicolson suggested to the witness that his story was "just a lie" which Mr Monaghan denied.

Mr Nicholson then moved on to Mr Monaghan's testimony that he had seen "SSP members" talking on the internet about the forthcoming release of the "McNeilage Tape" on the Saturday night before the tape was released and asked where he had seen this being discussed. Mr Monaghan told the court that it had been on various websites and said one in particular he remembered  was the Socialist Unity Blog. Mr Nicolson asked if the witness had informed Mr Sheridan of this, Mr Monaghan said he "could not recall" if he had.

Mr Nicholson then turned to the witnesses testimony about the "McNeilage tape" and asked the witness "what else confirmed it was not Mr Sheridan on the video apart from the "swearing  " Mr Monaghan replied that it was too "stop start" and too "jumpy" to be Mr Sheridan. Mr Nicolson asked the witness if he had ever seen the whole video to which the witness replied that he had only seen the "ten to fifteen minutes" that had appeared on the News of the World's website. Mr Nicolson concluded his cross examination by putting to the witness "the truth is you know it is Tommy Sheridan" to which Mr Monaghan responded "I don't think it is" adding that various people could do impressions of Mr Sheridan, such as Des McLean. 

Mr Sheridan then left the dock to re-examine the witness and asked if the Mr Monaghan knew that the event on Saturday, which Mr Nicolson had described as a "poetry event" had featured the "Dead's Poets's Society"  Mr Monaghan stated that he understood that this was a "folk band" Mr Sheridan ended by stating, "just because it has poets in the name does not mean it was a poetry event" and with that Mr Monaghan was allowed to leave the stand.


Anonymous said...

Des McLean - wow, we've got a POSSIBLE name, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Some have questioned the poor body language of the prosecution in earlier posts and this appears to be another indication that the prosecution are struggling. Prentice had a poor day yesterday so for Nicholson to step in today must send a signal of desperation to the jury. From your report James, it seem Nicholson has tried to go in heavy and not done any better than Prentice IMO - was that the mood in the court room?

Great reporting btw

The Shrink said...

I was expecting a lot more from this cross-examination tbh.

The crown case in general is hardly convincing. I'm still waiting for something cast-iron, something shocking, something that makes the defence reel on the ropes.

So far, it feels to be precisely the other way around!

I'm not sure thats gonna stop the rabid anti-sheridan comments from appearing below though.

For a set of impartial commentators, they all seem a bit myopic and repetetive.

Anonymous said...

You can google Des McLean and hear his TS windups, dont think it is him on tape though, but he is a fairly good mimic and comes close to the real thing IMO.

Whatsy said...

I agree with you re Nicolson's efforts today - he didn't dent Monaghan's testimony as far as I could tell. I don't know what to make of him doing the cross rather than AP.

However, I thought Prentice had a very good day today. He let Arnott talk and talk to the detriment of his testimony, and really put Montgomery through the mill near the end.

Bunc said...

Perhaps Prentice was beginning work on his closing speech?

An BTW just because some feel that the prosecution has set out a case to answer that doesn't mean they are rabid anti-TS. Its just that some have come to different conclusions about the evidence that has been led as set out in this blog.

There are commenters on here who could by the same standards be called rabid pro-TS.

knock knock said...

des maclean hes the guy on the radio, right?

could he not have said it was rory bremner.

bet both are all booked out to appear at this trial. not that either would take the stand and say, "it's me on the tape, M'lud".

this tape is the pivitol point of the trial. why is there no stills of the person on the tape so they could have profiled the facial features? why no evidence on the authenticity of the tape.

were the police so stupid to use an unverified audio of mr sheridan to send for comparison?

Anonymous said...

Or did they use his interview tape?
Is that allowed?

Whatsy said...

> Moderation <

Any queries or complaints regarding posts that don't get published should be directed to rather than entered as comments, as it is hard to reply to individual queries without an e-mail address.

> Moderation Ends <

The Shrink said...

Hi Bunc

"different conclusions" is a nice way of putting it!

Lets face it, the blog is - on the whole - very split into two very different camps. I'm sure you'd agree with that?

Every now and again we get a post (e.g. from 'Peter'), which is clear and precise and not particularly partisan. But the vast majority are pithy, repetetive and - interstingly - quite angry!

Funnily enough, we've heard from witnesses during this trial who have themselves felt part of an angry situation in which people were split into two opposing camps!

Lets hope the mud-slinging that we've heard about from the witnesses, doesn't also happen between commentators on the blog.

Indeed, we could end up sugessting that even WE are unknowingly part of an effort to make TS guilty when he actually isn't. Ho ho ho what a silly thought...

I am thinking more and more about the concept of anger, and what it motivates people to do.

Perhaps a good way to start thinking about this, is to look at the comments below this, as well as the comments from the witnesses?

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know how many of the defence witnesses are supporters of Tommy's poltical group, Solidarity?

Anonymous said...

11.55. Cadder.

ten bob note said...

anon 12.44 Of the witnesses today, only Steve Arnott is a member of Solidarity as far as I know. Jim Monaghan is a member of the Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

what happended with Ryan Sloan what was that all about?

14 good pair of ears said...

Re tape. Surely all these witnesses contending that it doesn't sound like TS are a waste of time. The Jury has been listening to TS for weeks and will have had plenty time to become familiar with his voice, and unlike the witnesses, have listened to the whole recording plus excerpts many times and can ask for it to he played again during their deliberations and therefore make their own comparisons with and conclusions about the voice on the tape. As my gran used to say, (quoting Burns I think), 'Convince a man against his will, he's of the same opinion still'.

Avid Reader said...

Interesting link from Hmmm on previous thread about Sienna Miller,phone hacking and the Guardian. (Google those words and you'll get it.) Thanks for that,

Anyone know what has happened to Glen Mulcaire? Will he be appearing as a witness?

Peter said...

From the Guardian this week:

"More than 20 journalists who worked for the NoW have told the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel 4's Dispatches that illegal activity assisted by private investigators was commonplace and well known to executives, including Coulson. Coulson has always denied this.

More than 20 public figures are now in the early stages of suing the News of the World and Mulcaire for breach of privacy.

The former deputy prime minister John Prescott and others are seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard's handling of the case, which may lead to a new inquiry.

Tom Watson, a Labour member of the commons culture select committee, on the latest revelation about the NOTW this week said:

This is very significant evidence. It is clear the net is closing in on one of the biggest media scandals in post war history."


All good stuff for the defence.

The defence on a daily basis is getting assistance from the exposure of the failure of the police to properly investigate the NOTW.

The defence have contended that the dirty tricks and black bag operations are widespread.

They contend that such activities could extend to involvement with the McNeilage / NOTW video and Crown witnesses.

Also consider the recent evidence of McFarlane that he never met Trolle or Khan nver mind went to Cupids with them and Tommy as they allege; the apparent breakdown of the Crown case regarding the alleged Sheridan trip to Cupids and the trip to Dundee (as they clashed with the People Festival and a Stop the War rally); the complete breakdown of the Moat House indictments; and the failure of some Crown witnesses to reveal offers from the NOTW.

With that in mind the appearance of Coulson and the Met detective who confirmed the light touch approach in the wider NOTW inquiry becomes directly relevant to this case.

Basically the defence are indicating that that the police failed to investigate the NOTW witnesses in that wider matter as fully as they should.

They make the direct connection that Lothians police had a similar aproach gentle touch approach to the NOTW.

The defence claim that if there had been a robust investigation into Crown witnesses who appeared for the NOTW in the libel trial eg. Trolle, Khan etc they would have discovered the apparent holes in their accounts that the defence has this week exposed.

NB: The name Mulcaire allegedly used accessing Vodaphone database would be a good user name for this blog

Jamesie Cotter Esq. Govan said...

Well if the Defence contend that the NOTW video was created by dirty tricks, they had only to obtain an expert's report to the effect that the video was a fake. Can't think why they might have overlooked that obvious step, especially if legally-aided.
And before anyone says it's not for TS to prove fakery: as it stands there has been no expert evidence challenging its veracity.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but I just don't buy this "Des McLean" theory. Des McLean "doing" TS is "obviously" and "crystal clearly" NOT TS.

marvinfaethescheme said...


Precisely where in the Coulson and Williams evidence was what you are saying confirmed? I cannot find it. If anything, apart from raising "spectres", nothing was confirmed. in fact the DCI was very forthright on that matter.

Presumably because the accused is a former left-wing political figure whose central contention is a state-media-political conspiracy, there have been a lot of assumptions made about how ordinary people will respond to certain evidence.
For example: accusing the police of corruption/collusion/conspiracy/lying may go down well at a left-wing rally; but it is not most people's experience of the police.
Likewise, the notion that News International is an evil empire might come across as rather strange to jurors who probably have Sky TV and read Murdoch papers (or others equally as nasty.)

The fact that NOTW employees have been convicted of hacking the royals might have some purchase but that is possibly nullified by the fact that no evidence has been presented connected to this case.Most adults know that tabloids go after celebrities and often catch them out - and not all people are hostile to that.

The gentle touch versus the hard cop approach is another line the defence hopes will go down well. However, it is possible that many people hold that the accused was suspected of a very serious crime, and the search, arrest etc is absolutely in line with standard procedures, and not one law for politicians andanother for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

"For example: accusing the police of corruption/collusion/conspiracy/lying may go down well at a left-wing rally; but it is not most people's experience of the police."

Really? I know very few people, Socialist or otherwise, who trust the police.