Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Crown Court - Transcript - Day 12

Case: Rex vs Mister Beaver Hateman, Criminal Libel

Presiding Judge: Sir George Jeffreys

Counsel for the Prosecution: Godfrey Badger K.C.

Counsel for the Defence: Mister Hootman G.H.O.S.T

Judge Jeffreys: It has not been possible to ascertain the identity of the person who threatened the jury, however, I have ordered that the Badgertown Police undertake around the clock protection for the jury – there shall be no more attempts at fixing this trial. Mister Badger, Can we hear the closing speech for the prosecution?

Mr Badger: Yes, your honour. Members of the Jury, we have heard differing accounts of the events that took place on that fateful day in the Treasury. Uncle denies the Badfort News's version unequivocally. His manner may be brusque at times but you must not let this blind you. He comes from an old fashioned school where the principal tenet is uncompromising honesty and we can be sure that he will invariably tell the truth.

A libel is a remark calculated to injure the reputation of someone by bringing him into hatred or contempt. Mister Hateman has pleaded justification – meaning that what he published was true, and it was in the public interest that it should be published.

As for the matter of justification you must ask yourself – What grounds did the accused have for making these allegations? I think that you will have observed that Mister Hateman is a man of uncertain temper, given to emotional outbursts, when he finds himself at a disadvantage. He has a long held grudge against the owner of Homeward, envious of his status, power and wealth.

Caught red-handed, attempting to steal from our great benefactor, he invented the spurious defence that he was a mere lost tourist – who happened to be wearing a dressing gown of invisibility! Are we to believe that he had not knowingly made use of its powers ? or are we to believe, as he now claims, that the magical arts are a nonsense. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I think that we are all aware that we live in a magical kingdom. Magic is a natural part of our lives, we have all experienced the strange places within Homeward, the magical events that happen here. These are not merely a fact of life, they are the cornerstone of the way in which our world operates. To claim that they are used, in someway, to bolster the establishment is not only heretical but foolhardy and dangerous – that way lies anarchy!

Homeward – this land of long shadows on tower rooftops, warm koolvat, sinking parades, fairy lovers and - as Uncle, himself, has said – “dwarf’s cycling on their borrowed bikes, to pay their rent, through the morning mist."

To protect all this, my friends, you must find Mister Hateman guilty!

Judge Jeffreys: Thank you Mister Badger, tomorrow we shall here the closing speech from the defence.

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