Day 83: 19 June 2017
Thursday, 19 July 2018 08:46

Day five of the trial. Today begins with the lead defence counsel informing His Honour that he is continuing his efforts to obtain a certificate from the radiologist who saw defendant No.1 yesterday, and over whom health issues remain. The accused has instructed his barrister not only to get him excused from attending court, but to have the case adjourned altogether. His Honour retires to his chambers to allow defence counsel more time to obtain the certificate. Meanwhile, he asks the lead prosecutor to join him in his chambers. The jury remains out. The judge returns, and declares that the defendant may continue to be absent, but that the case will continue. The jury is brought back, His Honour explains the situation, and we then watch ninety minutes of closed circuit television footage of men coming and going from a shed. The surveillance footage is the most boring television I have ever watched, and I ponder its merit; I wonder how watching vehicles and people come and go from a factory necessarily amounts to criminal activity. Sure, a lot of men come, and shortly after, go, but so what? There is no commentary, just silent TV footage. It makes for mind-numbing watching. Today’s witness is in security. He admits to knowing one of the accused. But this guy got bashed-up, and can’t remember things. As such, he’s really not much value. He does, however, concede that it is him in the footage, but that he was there to make payments on a caravan he was purchasing from one of the accused. He is shown a statutory declaration, but denies he wrote it – or agreed what it says – or that the signature at the bottom, is his. [I must share with you that while I find court, and this case, fascinating, I’m a total novice at witnessing and reporting court events. Accordingly, when the prosecutor asks the witness if he is worried about his safety in giving evidence, I’m intrigued that His Honour jumps in, and rules the question out of order, saying she was treading on potentially-dangerous ground, because if the witness were to blurt out one particular answer, it could lead to a mistrial!]