As matters crank up prior to the December hearing before the Inner House more information has emerged from the Tommy Sheridan case in the Sunday Herald. Given the timescale the grounds of appeal and other relevant information to argument will have to be presented to the court in advance of the case. According to the Sunday Herald (the one paper still pursuing the case every weekend) the News of the World has lodged papers indicating that a new trial is necessary (to the delight of journos and Falkirk based livejournal bloggers everywhere).
Their allegations include:
a suggestion (denied by Sheridan) that he had a sexual relationship with an SSP party worker not referred to in court;
an allegation (denied by Sheridan) that the fragrant Gail lied to the court by imputing the character of Katrine Trolle (when alleging Trolle had told an SSP conference she’d been offered money to allege an affair – the Screws allege that Trolle was not at the conference and had no money);
a worker at Cupid’s (the club which Sheridan (and others) is alleged to have attended in Manchester) has come forward to say she had intercourse with Sheridan (which Sheridan denies);
a prostitute from Birmingham has been traced who is alleged to have been one of the participants in a “Party” the Screws allege Sheridan attended (which he denies);
the mysterious pieces of information which emerged after the jury proof (the handwritten SSP minutes and the video of a hairy handed man – both of which are denied to be genuine by Sheridan, in the latter case through his invoking the CIA and others who digitally manipulated a video purportedly shot in Sheridan’s best man’s flat).
To have some validity, the Screws need to show why this information was not available at the original proof, and why it should be introduced now. Sheridan denies their allegations and according to the Sunday Herald,
“has rejected every one of the newspaper’s reasons why the “alleged new evidence” could not be produced during the original trial, and has stated that the fresh charges “replicate” the original allegations which were rejected during the trial. The tabloid should have “duly and diligently” prepared its case before it tried to “ruin an honest man’s reputation”.”
The wording of this is interesting – focusing on the reasons why the new evidence should not be admitted (a matter on which many lawyers would have sympathy – the system requires prior preparation for your case, if you’re too late in getting the information together then tough! (unless you have a good reason for it not being available).
Anyway, the police enquiries and preparations for the appeal continue.