Just a quick post on day 1 of the HMA v Sheridan and Sheridan trial linking to some of the material out there. The jury was sworn in and the trial began. The indictment is available in a few places. This contains the charges the Crown has to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The charges include perjury and Mr Sheridan is also charged with attempting to get his successor as SSP leader Colin Fox to perjure himself during the original defamation case.
Tommy Sheridan’s own take on the day is accessible from his blog and the recently established Tommy Sheridan trial blog covers the morning proceedings (noting that the jury comprises 12 women and 3 men – for non-Scots (and Scots who watch too many bad American law shows) a simple majority is all that is required for decision come the end of the trial) and the afternoon proceedings. During the afternoon the witness was former SSP minutes secretary Barbara Scott – who gave evidence in the original defamation action. It appears that the evidence is beginning with consideration of the alleged SSP executive committee meeting attended by MSPs and senior SSP members where contradictory evidence was given in the original defamation case.
News coverage thus far can be found in the Record, the BBC, the Daily Mail, Guardian (a second report on Scott’s evidence is also on the Guardian website), the Scotsman, and the Herald (although peculiarly the Herald website coverage of the evidence today relies on a PA report – which is also relied on by the Independent).
Reporting is a tad sensationalist (not unfamiliar to those who followed the original defamation action) and there was little today that was not considered in the original defamation proof – other than reference to a handwritten minute which Ms Scott handed to police after the original defamation case. As yet Ms Scott has not been cross-examined so the position to be taken by the defence is not clear.
Mr and Mrs Sheridan have pleaded not guilty.
The trial, as they say, continues.
As this is an ongoing matter I am mindful of the rules relating to contempt of court. If any comments are made on this (or later posts about the trial) that appear to cross the boundaries they will be deleted as soon as I am aware of them.
Edited to add links to further on-line comment on day 1- The Defend Tommy Sheridan website has blogged on day 1 of the trial. The Absolvitor law website queries the use of public money in the case. The Socialist Unity website picks up one interesting aspect of Ms Scott’s evidence. Most bizarre host for a comment on day 1 of the trial is the on-line Reputation Management website which offers advice to those that find themselves in the press. Also there is quite a full report in the Press Gazette.