We are posting live updates and analysis from the perjury trial of Her Majesty's Advocate versus Thomas Sheridan and Gail Sheridan.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Katrine Trolle Cross-examination, morning session
As mentioned below I was unable to attend the court this morning due to a family matter. Regular commentator "Whatsy" has been kind enough to send an account of the proceedings
TS Opened his cross examination with a recap of some of the witness's testimony so far including her claim that
she had never received payment from News International (N.I.). The witness was asked her opinion on whether it was likely that various Crown witnesses had received payment from N.I. In the past for their story, to which the witness agreed that this was likely.
TS then continued to ask the witness to comment on the size, wealth and influence of N.I., which she confirmed she was aware of.
TS asked for her opinions on how much N.I. Had spent on the trial, and suggested to her it was in the region of £2m, which she agreed seemed reasonable.
Around this point, the Advocate Depute objected that the witness was not able to comment on such matters and that other called witnesses associated with N.I. could speak to such issues, to which Judge Bracendale agreed and directed TS to focus questions to this witness on areas pertaining to her.
TS went back to the Cultural Festival and provided evidence of it having taken place, and the relevant entries in his diary - "must attend".
KT could not recall the festival and could not recall attending.
Duncan Rowan & Anti-Tommy Conspiracy
TS then moved on to the matter of whether KT had told Duncan Rowan of her alleged affair with TS. TS had her review her police statement of Nov '04 again, and she agreed that she must have not told DR of any affair with TS, despite having testified earlier in the trial that she had done so. TS stated that it was now established that KT had not discussed this with DR and moved on.
Next, TS brought up the issue of a conspiracy within the SSP against him and his leadership. He showed evidence in the News Of The World about how Sheridan was finished as SSP Leader, and asked the witness to read out a quote from Duncan Rowan to the effect that “Sheridan's finished. People have been lining up for him in the party for f*****g years”. The witness did so, not enunciating the censored expletive. TS reiterated that in the actual recording, the quote was “People have been lining up for him in the party for fucking years”.
The witness commented that Mr Rowan also predicted an armed uprising in Scotland for independence, that she wouldn't put much on Rowan's opinion, and that he “saw enemies in his own shadow”.
In Your Mind
TS showed KT record of her police interview where she recalled a telephone conversation with TS in which he mention an internal SSP plot to do him in. KT accepted that this conversation must have happened although she could not now recall it, and when pressed on the subject commented that the plot was mostly in the defendant's mind.
TS responded that this would be just like how Duncan Rowan's comments of a plot were all in his mind, too. The witness agreed.
TS showed numerous entries in his diary over several years, asking the witness to confirm that some entries were in different handwriting, which she did, then asserted that many of these entries were by his wife, along the lines of “Tommy loves Gail so much” and other notes of a personal nature. Other diary entries which TS asked the witness to view and confirm were appointments for football training on some Thursdays, some Saint Anthony's results and social events, and a very neat, densely written (and hard to read on the monitors) list of around 20 names with a heading like “Resolution of Solidarity And Support” from the date of the infamous 9/11 SSP meeting, which TS asserted was a note by himself of those at the meeting who had agreed to the resolution, and asked the witness to confirm the presence in this list of a number of names including Allison Kane and her partner.
Attention then moved to TS diary entries on the date of an alleged sexual encounter between TS and KT in her flat in Dundee. TS pointed out the number of appointments he had in the Dundee and Aberdeen area on the 3 days around the evening in question. He asked the witness if the movements of travelling back and forth between Aberdeen and Dundee on the dates of this alleged sexual encounter at KT's flat in Dundee to facilitate such an encounter were logical, and she agreed they were not. TS drew attention to an entry where he was to stay at “Duncan's Brother's flat” on the night in question, but the witness stated that he had stayed with her, whatever his diary said, and that anyway, he would be mad to stay at Duncan's brother's flat as it was a minging tip. TS agreed, and that he never set foot in the place again after that night. There was considerable laughter from the public gallery during this last little exchange.
TS's presence at KT's flat on this date is alleged to have been witnesses by her flatmate Fiona and her boyfriend (a journalist). TS pressed KT to estimate how long the conversation with KT's flatmate and boyfriend lasted, with a response of a not long, a few minutes, then quoting her police statement of how they all sat around and had “a wee talk”. TS then presented a statement from the flatmate's boyfriend who stated he had met Sheridan for “30 seconds max”. TS then put it to the witness that this was another example of her unreliable testimony.
Again referring to his diary, TS brought up another entry in his diary on this date when he had visited a project for the handicapped – the witness interjected that was where he had got the bread (she mentioned yesterday that TS arrived at her flat with some rye bread from a project he had visited). TS drew attention to a rally in Caird Hall in Dundee on that date and asked the witness if, as an SSP member she had attended, but she could not recall but that it was possible, and in any event she preferred the social side of meeting up with people. TS tried to jog her memory by asking her if she remembered anything special he mentioned in his speech there to do with buying his first gift for his as yet unborn child, but the witness could not recall this.
TS asked the witness to agree that so far so far in her testimony she has made “quite a considerable list of mistakes”.
KT agrees, then comments passionately "You can call me guilty of getting my facts wrong, of being naive and silly. I'm guilty of thinking you had charisma and I'm guilty of having sex with you. Yes, I'm guilty of all these things, but I'm not guilty of lying in court."
"There is only one person lying in court and it is you.”
TS asked the witness to restate whether she had ever received money from News International, and she once again denied this.
TS produced receipts from the hotel in Edinburgh where KT had stayed when waiting to be called as a witness for News of the World in the civil case TS brought against them. It was established that NotW had booked and paid for the hotel and KT had submitted some expenses claims to the NotW lawyer Kenneth Lang.
TS reiterated that other witnesses had received payment from NotW, and asked the witness to comment on whether she agreed that friendship was important, that money corrupts and can ruin friendships, and that witnesses could be bought. The witness agreed.
TS opened a short, and to my memory inconclusive, discussion with the witness on how friendly she was with Grant (Officer Grant Wilson of Lothian & Borders police ). Evidence was then presented showing a list of e-mails between KT and Grant. The subject of some were “my underwear”, but the content of this mail was not discussed and TS stated that some of the e-mails recovered had mysteriously had their content deleted.
TS enquired who the witness had spoken to concerning the case, particularly after the civil trial had concluded.
TS also enquired who had visited the witness concerning the case once she had moved back to Denmark, particularly on one visit when the witness gave a DNA sample. The witness could not recall every person who had visited her, but after some uncertainty about how sure she was, confirmed to a high level of certainty that Officer Wilson was not one of them.
TS then produced an e-mail from the witness to Officer Wilson. This contained details of her Danish contact details including address, and expressed that it had been good to see him that morning, thanking him for the coffee and muffins he had brought. The witness took some time to consider this as she was puzzled by the e-mail and that something was not right. KT then said the e-mail referred to a meeting with Grant at the flat of a friend (Lorna Martin, Observer journalist at the time) in Glasgow, and that Ms Martin had been present but had not contributed to the discussion, and that Grant had brought coffee and muffins for her also. They had talked about the case, mostly.
An e-mail was presented from KT to Grant informing him of her plan to travel round the world for the next year. Mention was made of her mum not being happy about this, and that the NotW lawyer thought it would not be good if she was absent for the trial, but “he would see what he could do”. Also mentioned was a comment that KT would be available if Officer Wilson needed to discuss the case with her, and that there should be enough in the case budget to send him out to interview her.
TS questioned why there was reference to a trial when the date of the e-mail preceded the Sheridan's being charged with perjury. The witness did not know.
TS questioned why the witness had laughed when reading out the e-mail at the section when it was suggested Officer Wilson might fly out to interview her. KT responded she was being ironic in that suggestion. TS asked why she thought it ironic that a case brought by the Crown and funded by taxpayers, should pay for this. TS asked KT whether she thought the e-mail was professional, and she responded she was not responding professionally, she was responding as herself.
Another e-mail was presented from Officer Wilson to his boss, the officer in charge of the Sheridan perjury case investigation, appraising him of Katrine Trolle's travel plans over the next year, including her plans to go diving with an added comment “- no jokes please-”, and an offer to travel to bring her back “or for any other purpose...”.
TS asked the witness why she saw fit to mention her mum in an e-mail to a police officer, but the witness could not explain it.
TS asked KT to comment on whether she found this e-mail to be a professional in tone. She answered “no”.