Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tommy Sheridan convicted of perjury at the High Court in Glasgow, he couldn’t move the biggest stumbling block in the trial; the truth!

Dear All

The wait is over; Tommy Sheridan has been convicted of perjury.

This is the verdict of the 12 women and 2 men at the High Court in Glasgow following a 12-week trial.

Tommy Sheridan now faces a lengthy prison term when he is sentenced.

I can genuinely say I am disappointed but the evidence of so many people against him must have weighed heavily on the minds of the jury.

And the voice on the videotape in my mind did sound like him although he called it a fake.

Tommy Sheridan had it all, a recognisable name, a career in local and then onto national politics.

His career and reputation now lie in the dust.

His downfall started after ironically a win in his successful defamation action against the Sunday tabloid, The News of The World in August 2006.

Sheridan sued after it printed allegations that he was an adulterer who had attended a swingers' club.

It was a case which would see the SSP finished as a political force and Sheridan leading effectively the Tommy Sheridan Party called Solidarity.

Two months later the defamation case ended Edinburgh's procurator fiscal ordered Lothian and Borders Police to investigate allegations of perjury during the case.

An unusual step in a civil case, unheard of which attracted a lot of comment.

One of the things which I touched on through-out his trial was that Tommy Sheridan needed a trial lawyer.

George Laird was right again!

The case was a rollercoaster which made it a nightmare to predict, it could have gone any which way.

The News of the World published details of a video tape, secretly recorded by Sheridan's best man George McNeilage and this must have done considerable damage.

In the High Court in Glasgow dozens of witnesses give evidence against the former MSP.

The sheer volume alone must have raised eyebrows of outsiders.

During the second week of the trial, Sheridan released his defence QC Maggie Scott and opted to represent himself just as he had done successfully during the 2006 defamation action.

Tommy Sheridan was caught in the myth of his own invincibility.

In a marathon closing speech, lasting five hours over two days, Sheridan told the jury that the Crown witnesses were not credible or reliable, he made an emotional speech.

In hindsight, perhaps he should have kept emotion out and concentrated on weaknesses of the prosecution.

At the end five hours to me seemed to be a man who was sliding down a slippery slope throwing everything but the kitchen sink; at the jury.

He accused police of conducting "a vendetta" against him.

Claimed people were liars.

Said the tape was a fabrication designed to incriminate him.

The jury, however, chose to believe the Crown's case, and convicted him of perjury.

I have met Tommy Sheridan on a few occasions; I have to say I always found him friendly; he was a hard campaigner and a passionate fighter who made a name for himself.

Leaving the merits of the case aside, I hoped as an outsider he walked for his daughter’s sake.

But there was one stumbling block that Tommy Sheridan could shift in the Trial of Sheridan vs. the Crown, the truth!

And I always say if you want to do the most damage, use the truth, there is no answer to that!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perjury? It's committed every day in every court...