B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE PITCHFORD
THE RECORDER OF LONDON
(Sitting as a Judge of CACD)
|R E G I N A|
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|REZA AMINABB CHATROODI|
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HD
Tel No: 0171 421 4040 Fax No: 0171 831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR A MOORE appeared on behalf of the Crown
Crown Copyright ©
"As you know Michael Shaw was dealing with this case but unfortunately is not able to complete it and I gather that you have agreed to take over the case which is for hearing at the Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on Monday 17th July 2000. Michael should have given you all the papers that he has in the matter which should give you all the background necessary. I have taken a further statement from Mr Chatroodi in which he changes his story yet again but I thought you should see it and I have asked Mr Chatroodi to let me have his observations on the statement so that we can discuss this at the conference at my office at 4.00 pm today."
"His sister was always present and took a very active and lively part in those conversations because she wanted to understand everything that was going on. Things were explained over and over again, so they were quite clear. About the tape recording, once we decided that he would give evidence, I said: 'Well it would be possible for the jury to hear your voice if we were to play the tape.' That became impossible because there were so many edits to the tape that it was never feasible. Again that was fully explained to him, so was the matter of the voire dire."
"At the trial of any person for an offence subsections (2) and (3) below apply unless it appears to the court that the physical or mental condition of the accused makes it undesirable for him to give evidence."
"The Court was rightly concerned to emphasise that where counsel had made decisions in good faith after proper consideration of the competing arguments, and, where appropriate after due discussion with his client, such decisions could not possibly be said to render a subsequent verdict unsafe or unsatisfactory. Particularly does this apply to the decision as to whether or not to call the defendant. Conversely and, we stress, exceptionally, where it is shown that the decision was taken either in defiance of or without proper instructions, or when all the promptings of reason and good sense pointed the other way, it may be open to an appellate Court to set aside the verdict by reason of the terms of section 2(1)(a) of the Act. It is probably less helpful to approach the problem via the somewhat semantic exercise of trying to assess the qualitative value of counsel's alleged ineptitude, but rather to assess its effect on the trial and the verdict according to the terms of the subsection."
"...despite the change of wording in section 2(1) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 due to the amendment made by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995, the principle that it was open to an appellate court to set aside a verdict where it has been shown that counsel had taken a decision either in defiance of or without proper instructions, or when all the promptings of reason and good sense pointed the other way. The proper approach to be adopted in such circumstances was to seek to assess the effect of counsel's alleged ineptitude on the trial and the verdict."
1. The appellant was an unreliable historian;
2. The appellant had demonstrated a willingness to change his evidence in contradiction of his interview with the police to accord with a version which might be given by a co-accused, and in a way which would involve an unnecessary conflict with the evidence of police;
3. The appellant gave the appearance of being an excitable witness who was liable to be trapped in cross-examination, particularly on inconsistencies between his evidence and his interview;
4. The appellant's evidence as to the circumstances in which some other person may have deposited the explosive devices in his car, was of limited value, since he had collected it from his friend Saam only hours before. It was Saam who could provide the missing chain of events; 5. However, the trial judge was bound to give a direction to the jury of their ability to draw an adverse inference pursuant to section 35 of the Criminal Justice Act and Public Order Act 1994.