Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tommy Sheridan's Summation Part 11: Conclusion.

After concluding the previous section of his summation with the words “either I'm a liar or I'm no'”, Mr Sheridan moved on, stating that it was generally rare for a defence to cite a witness who would harm their case, but that he had a sense of greater responsibility to the standards of public life, and that was why he had cited Glenn Mulcaire and Andy Coulson as witnesses – not because they would help his case, but by putting Andy Coulson in the witness box he was able to hold him to account.

Mr Sheridan went on to state that although Mr Mulcaire had been called as a witness, he had been unable to attend on medical grounds, but “we'll keep an eye on that one”, and that what the court did know was that Mr Mulcaire had been convicted of phone hacking, and was in possession of a notebook containing Mr Sheridan's name, contact details and PIN codes. Mr Sheridan stated that the Advocate Depute may have been correct when he said that there was no evidence of Mr Sheridan's phone being tapped, but the stopped, retracted this comment, and stated that “if Mr Prentice had said there was “no proof” that my phone was tapped, that would be more accurate”. Mr Sheridan's voice rose as he stated that as Mr Mulcaire had an exclusive contract with News of the World for £105,000, “I think I'm entitled to suggest to you that my phone might have been interfered with”.

Mr Sheridan mentioned the distinctively named Greg Miskiw, whose name had been on the contract Mr Mulcaire had signed with the News of the World, and recalled DCS Williams's testimony that Mr Mulcaire had not been spoken to during the investigation into phone hacking, and that neither had Mr Coulson been interviewed. Mr Sheridan then stated that was why he had got Andy Coulson in the witness box - “I don't think I'm above the law, they think they're above the law”.

Mr Sheridan moved on to Fiona McGuire, stating that she had also been excused from appearing as a witness despite being cited and called, stating that she she had attempted suicide several times, and was also subject to a separate perjury proceeding. The accused stated “I think that's wrong. I know she lied. She knows she lied. I don't want her convicted when she was exploited by the likes of Bob Bird and Douglas Wight. I've been on the side of the exploited all my life. I don't want to see Fiona McGuire in the dock. I want to see Bob Bird and Douglas Wight in the dock.”

Mr Sheridan then displayed several entries from his diary:

“SSP Peoples Festival Fri-Mon”
“Must Attend”
Mr Sheridan stated this was the appointment he attended, with witnesses Jim Monaghan and Alan Brown testifying they had met him there.

“Cumnock Keir Hardy Commemoration”
The meeting Mr Monaghan had reminded Mr Sheridan to attend when he met him in the CCA on 27-Sep-02.

Details of train times between Aberdeen and Dundee
“Stay at Duncan's brothers” at the bottom right of that day's entry.

Mr Sheridan first asked the jury to consider “Why have you not heard from Duncan's brother?”, then stated that these diary entries were independent evidence to back up Brett Harper.

“Mtg with KB/AMcC – Row
- They don't believe me”

Clarifying that this referred to a meeting with Alan McCombes & Keith Baldassarra, Mr Sheridan asked the jury “What did they not believe – my admissions?”

Mr Sheridan stated “I believe my diaries underpin and bolster the testimonies of my witnesses” and that the diaries were independent corroboration.

Mr Sheridan paused, then said to the jury “I don't fear many people, ladies & gentlemen”, adding that he had stood up to Mrs Thatcher and been sent to jail protesting against the poll tax, had also been jailed for protesting against nuclear weapons as he thought they were barbaric, was not frightened of the Murdoch press whom he had fought throughout his life, and was not frightened of Lothian & Borders Police.

A clearly emotional Mr Sheridan then stated “I'm frightened of you. You can do something News of the World will never be able to do” at which point Mr Sheridan briefly broke off, then with voice cracking, resumed “You could separate me from my wife, you could make me break my promise to my daughter to spend Christmas with her”.

Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to disregard his emotion and to “believe that you've heard more than enough evidence to convince you of reasonable doubt”.

With that, Mr Sheridan sat down, followed by applause from the public gallery. The presiding judge, Lord Bracadale, asked the jury to return to their room, and court was adjourned.

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