Williams v. Craig – Week 1 summary

I have spent the week in court observing, as media, the Williams v. Craig defamation trial.

You have all seen the other media coverage But I thought I would give my observations in a quick reference format of what has been revealed this week. Nothing is suppressed so far, so it is safe to publish these details.

Only two witnesses have given evidence so far. The evidence in chief of Jordan Williams and evidence from Christine Rankin. Jordan Williams was cross-examined for more than the time he gave evidence.

What we have found out:

  • Colin Craig told the board that there were no allegations of sexual harassment, and it was an employment dispute only.
  • Colin Craig repeatedly told the media that there was no inappropriate conduct. He stated numerous times on camera and in radio interviews that any allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” were “scurrilous baseless and just wrong and retractions would be demanded”.
  • Craig’s defence is now claiming there was a relationship and it was consensual.
  • Colin Craig repeatedly told the board that there was no inappropriate conduct.
  • Colin Craig has asserted in sworn affidavits in other proceedings that he is not a Christian.
  • A video of the sauna interview and another news clip shows Mr. Craig clearly claiming he is a Christian.
  • Colin Craig has asserted in sworn affidavits in other proceedings that the Conservative party did not stand on moral values.
  • Christine Rankin informed the court of regular Thursday morning prayer sessions, the fact that Colin Craig often took days off to read the bible, and that he used to fill his press releases with bible quotes that were removed by Ms MacGregor or Christine Rankin herself.  
  • Colin Craig asserted that letters, poems and cards were often sent to many members of staff and there was nothing untoward about the letter despite making mention of wanting to be in a relationship with Ms MacGregor.
  • Christine Rankin said that in all the time she worked at the Conservative party she had never received such letters or cards.
  • Colin Craig told the media that no one on the board had ever raised issues of the “relationship” between him and Rachel MacGregor.
  • Christine Rankin gave evidence that she confronted Colin Craig several times over his behaviour towards and with Rachel MacGregor.
  • Colin Craig has asserted that his “relationship” with Ms. MacGregor was akin to a brother and sister relationship but has also admitted touching her breast and kissing her and wrote that he enjoyed kissing her lips.
  • Colin Craig has told the board the amount of the settlement from the first negotiated Human Rights Commission complaint process where Rachel MacGregor laid a complaint of sexual harassment was $16,000.
  • Colin Craig showed Christine Rankin a settlement agreement that showed a figure of between $25,000 and $28,000 with no confidentiality agreement and it was the only version of the agreement in existence.
  • Colin Craig told other members of the board differing numbers.
  • Colin Craig told media that the settlement figure was $16,000 firstly.
  • He then told the media it was the repayment of her credit card debts.
  • He told the media that he forgave a loan given to clear credit card debt was forgiven on compassionate grounds.
  • We learned that the loan carried an interest rate of 29% interest, that was applied once Mr. Craig had been rebuffed by Ms. MacGregor, but that Mr. Craig saw this as justifiable so that he could get her to talk to him.
  • We discovered that there were no compassionate grounds, that Mr. Craig had lied to the media when the loan forgiveness was part of the negotiated settlement in the Human Rights Commission.
  • We learned that the settlement reached with the Human Rights Commission and Rachel MacGregor actually did contain a confidentiality agreement, contrary to what he told Christine Rankin, and that the agreement was different from the one he had shown her.
  • We also learned that the settlement agreement was for a sexual harassment complaint, that the amounts contained in the agreement were $16,000 for unpaid salary, $20,000 forgiving of a loan, and legal costs in excess of $100,000 incurred by Ms. MacGregor. Essentially a 6 figure sum which Mr. Craig has constantly denied existed.
  • We learned that Mr. Craig also has another proceeding regarding the breaching of the confidentiality agreement and that what was presented to media as justifiable for him to discuss regarding the settlement agreement was lop-sided at best and deliberately false at worst.
  • We learned that of the 110 pages of text messages, more than 95% were from Rachel MacGregor and recovered by Mr. Craig in discovery but strangely there are almost no text messages from him. It is obvious from the context of the messages that Mr. Craig’s messages have not been disclosed.
  • Of the 110 pages of texts the defence has focused on just one text message and accused Mr Williams, of not ever seeing it. This ignores the fact that Mr. Williams had the material details right, and some wording wrong, meaning that he must have seen it at some point. Indeed the text message does in fact exist and has been discovered in two other cases. It is clear that Mr. Williams had seen it or at least had the content of the message disclosed to him, but due to the constraints of stress and travel only made notes of those details sometime later.
  • The defence asserted that Mr X. was a literary device, and then later tried to claim it was an amalgam of sources and devised in such a way so as to protect those sources even though Mr. Craig cannot claim either journalistic protection of sources nor protection of sources like lawyers can claim.
  • The defence also asserted it was no different to using a pseudonym on an email sent to just one person and it was irrelevant that Mr. Craig used the Mr X. device to send his booklet to 1.8 million households.
  • The defence asserted that the poem leaked by Mr. Williams to me caused Colin Craig to resign and it had nothing whatsoever to do with his constant misleading of the board nor the sauna interview.
  • The defence asserted the poem was published at 09:46am on the 19th June 2015, despite a printout of the blog post clearly showing that the publishing time was 1515pm the same date after Mr. Craig had started his press conference announcing his resignation.
  • The Plaintiff’s counsel established from the Defendant’s own discovery that Mr. Craig had in fact resigned from the leadership of the Conservative party the previous day, 18th June 2015, at 1821pm and that the resignation letter was dated and stamped and signed by Mr. Brian Dobbs on that date. This was before Mr. Williams had leaked the poem to me.
  • Mr. Craig had resigned but informed the public he had in fact only stepped aside temporarily.
  • Colin Craig, in repeated media interviews denied a relationship even existed and until recently in pleadings in various cases has claimed the same. Craig’s defence is now claiming there was a relationship and it was consensual.

All of this was canvassed in open court and discussed freely with no suppression orders.

The trial continues and Monday will hear the testimony of Rachel MacGregor. There are some legal issues canvassed in chambers on Friday that cannot as yet be discussed, though Katz J. will be issuing minutes regarding those issues on Monday.

So far we have only heard from Jordan Williams and Christine Rankin. There are many more witnesses and documents to canvass so premature cackling from the left and tumbleweed side of the blogosphere is somewhat premature.

  • shykiwibloke

    Re your last comment. I can’t see any reason for left or right to cackle. This is a court case, not a media beat up. The week one summary reflects a conflict of recollections around a sad infatuation, and I fail to see any profitable political angle.

    • LesleyNZ

      This is a bit more than a sad infatuation. Colingate was built upon deceit and the voters were deceived up until the eleventh hour. I know many who were going to vote for the Conservative Party who would have been taken in by the deceit hook line and sinker.

      • shykiwibloke

        You may be right. I was trying to stay as neutral as possible given this is a court case that could impact future cases we all may be keen to see go well.

    • What Lesley says is correct. This is just a summary of a full week exposing the multitude of lies Mr Craig told to cover up the extent of his offending and duplicity. The game was up as he continued the charade int eh media with his one-sided jihad against Rachel MacGregor. It was even more up as soon as be decided to sue me, Williams and Stringer. We all knew too much and all that was going to come out in court. This is but one proceeding Craig faces.

      It has become abundantly clear in this proceeding that many documents that should have been disclosed to me have not been disclosed…more dishonesty from Craig. When you sit there and listen tot he preponderance of evidence it is gobsmacking….and remember I have been in that court the whole time….I have a blog not constrained by print deadlines or word limits.

      • Max Rennie

        I can’t help feeling that you may have been enjoying yourself in court this week. Perhaps just a little bit?

      • shykiwibloke

        Can you have my complete support. Was trying to be as open minded as possible with comments given its before the court and erred on the side of caution.

      • Kevin

        The fact that he’s now claiming that the relationship was consensual to me reeks of desperation. For one thing there is nothing in MacGregor’s behaviour as has been reported that corroborates it. And even in the bizzaaro world instance that it was true it means Craig was having an extra-marital affair – hardly the behaviour you’d expect from the leader of a Christian conservative party and given Craig’s position, something that should be justifiably exposed.

  • Chris Bell

    You missed one thing we also found out – Colin Craig is a deluded muppet

  • Big_Al

    Reading through the above summary, it is obvious that Craig appears to contradict himself every time he opens his mouth. This must be more like a circus sideshow than a court hearing.

    • It is actually quite tragic.

      • Bling Bling

        It is tragic: the odd thing though is that one then starts to feel some pity for these Dodo’s. Compassion for idiots is what the ship of fools is about,

  • spanishbride

    What amazes me reading through the summary is how much the MSM had chosen to leave out. This is a wake up call that illustrates how the Media tells us only what they want told. Clearly we have a personal interest in this case but the list shows that media coverage has been limited to certain facts only

  • Nige.

    This is exactly how I like my news delivered.

  • Not Clinically Insane

    I wonder how far up the pathological liar scale Colin sits?

  • greendogg

    Does the failure to disclose material that “exists” during discovery lead to potential criminal sanctions?

    • biscuit barrel

      As long as it happens before the hearing they usually get away with it- or the hearing is delayed. often the best stuff will be kept back for ‘friday dump’ before a long weekend.

  • Spiker

    Newsworthy facts by bullet point. If only all news was reported in the same manner.

  • JohnO

    I have been trying to get details from this most interesting of court cases all week. This is finally a summary of the case with lots of meat and no fluff. An excellent read. I am glad all this stuff blew up before the election and I did not waste my vote on this imposter. Please continue to shine light on this case. Other media are useless and give little or no pertinent details.

  • Effluent

    I am curious – within the bare facts as listed by you above, there are the makings of a very entertaining story. It’s bizarre that the MSM have chosen not to cover this , since it has all the ingredients that provide their readership – it’s salacious

  • Kevin

    Colin Craig should have taken Judge Judy’s advice – if you stick to the truth you don’t have to have a good memory.

  • T Mardell

    Can’t wait for the movie.

  • CoNZervative

    In media elsewhere CC claimed categorically “there was no relationship” ~ now in court a “consensual relationship” is the central defence (???) I’m sure RMac will have something to say about this: it was the only pt that got her to break silence in all this

  • Time For Accountability

    Have seen the tragedy several times before.

    The biggest loser is always the family and in particular the wife how must bear the humiliation.

    If it is narcistic driven he will hold out to about the 90% stage then collapse and if his lawyer is any good he will already be pursuing a path to minimise rather than win and will be relying and working the legal cartel pecking order to quietly get sympathy for any mental health issues.

    Regarding reporting many reporters only attend a small portion of the trial and reply on court transcripts thus their parotting. Anyone who has sat through an entire trial often says the reporting does not match the court proceedings. There are some exceptions where reporters may attend a key witness time in the stand.

    The other reporter trick is to rely on the judges summing up in criminal trials and points of clarification During the trial.

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