Apparently we haven’t had a jury trial in a civil matter for the last 14 years.
It is generally well known that if you have a civil matter, and you force 12 people into a court room for over a month, you’re likely to be punished for it.
So why on earth did Jordan Williams elect to proceed with a jury?
He’s not explained it, but what follows are my own thoughts.
First, Colin Craig is fairly accomplished at providing a smile and a sound bite. But to sit in front of 12 people for a day or two and being questioned in detail about your conduct is a different thing altogether. The ability to get a single message in people’s minds due to a short and sharp exchange is lost.
Mr Craig will have relished the idea of a jury trial. He clearly backs himself and trusts his abilities, skills and personality to carry his message through to the minds of those who will eventually be asked to sit in judgement.
Mr Williams on the other hand is counting on the fact that the people on the jury aren’t going to let his behaviour slide.
But the most important reason that this is a jury trial is probably because Mr Craig insisted on taking his side of the story to 1.6m households in New Zealand via a pamphlet. He also had a public meeting where he invited the media, and that was reported in some detail in and on all major and minor media.
Mr Craig has been relying on confidentiality, heavily so, in many matters. Yet he says he doesn’t want it, he says he’s restricted by it, and he says he wants all of it removed so he can tell his side of the story.
In his novella, Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas, he quotes both George Washington and the Bible indicating he wants the truth to come out, and he wants the New Zealand public to be the final judge as to who has acted appropriately, and who did not.
We have since seen that there were other messages, and it will be up to the jury to decide if Craig wanting to sleep on Ms MacGregor’s legs is indeed “worse” than the one quoted in the novella.
A story that had to be told.
And a bible quote that, in the end, Mr Craig will have to explain fits his defence.
Perhaps defense witnesses Martyn Bradbury and Nicky Hager will be able to assist Mr Craig in explaining away all the “SEXTs”, the poems, the cards and the, kissing (as someone Mr Craig thinks of as his sister) and breast touching.
That doesn’t even cover what is being euphemistically referred to as “the 2011 election night incident”, details of which have not been covered by the lawyers so the media can not report on the detail. Jurors on the other hand, have all the detail available to them in court documents.
So not all of it is available to the public, just yet. But the jury are performing that duty on our behalf.
Two men. Both authors of publications titled “Dirty Politics”. Mr Craig is calling Mr Hager as part of his defense.