Yesterday’s court appearance by Craig Thomson was extremely interesting — not only in the way it unfolded, but also in the way it was reported, writes Peter Wicks.
AS REPORTED here first on Sunday, Thomson set out to seek a summary judgement — something that he hopes will be determined on the 19th July when the case is due to go back before the court.
Also, as predicted, the prosecution are attempting to block this and are seeking for the matter to be heard in a higher court.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwaig was quick to point out that there was no valid reason to not hear the matter in the Magistrates' Court, as it is is authorised to hear matters that fall below a certain dollar value, and the charges against Thomson are a fraction of that value.
In fact, the total dollar figure of all the charges combined equates to approximately $26,000. Far less than the $500,000 widely reported by the press for the past few years.
As expected, the media has had their own distorted view of today’s events.
Some have claimed that Thomson is pursuing a summary judgement to avoid a jury trial. Those advancing this theory are either delusional or deliberately misleading the public. If Thomson really wanted to drag things along, as has often been insinuated, he would be hoping for a jury trial.
The major reason he would be better off with a jury trial though is that he would be 12 times as likely to be acquitted. In a summary judgement it is totally up to one magistrate to decide the outcome, whereas in a jury trial it only takes one of the twelve jurors to have reasonable doubt for Thomson to be acquitted.
To report this as something Thomson would seek to avoid is flat-out irresponsible and deliberately misleading.
So it would seem that despite all the talk of rushing things along by the Coalition they seem to be encouraging the exact opposite.
In fact,the only one that seems to want things rushed along is Thomson himself —and seems quite confident in doing so, to the extent that he would risk not going before a jury.
It may be just as well that Thomson has a legal cost fundraiser coming up on Thursday, 4 July in Sydney, as it would seem that Coalitions plan of sending him broke are humming along quite nicely indeed.
Craig Thomson Fundraiser
Thomson may need all the help he can get at this rate.
Whether Thomson is innocent or guilty, the way this whole sideshow has played out has been shameful, but has certainly taught us one valuable lesson.
Proving ones innocence comes with a hefty price tag.
EDITOR'S NOTE 3/7/13: The Craig Thomson fundraiser has been rescheduled to 25 July due to the unavailability of two speakers.
(Catch up on the full Jacksonville saga here.)
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independent journalist, michaelwest.com.au