Craig v Slater – Day 2

Photo: Chris McKeen via Stuff

Mr Craig started the day off by finishing reading his statement (Brief of Evidence) into the record.  Then it was the turn of Cam Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry to cross examine Mr Craig.   This is what the media took away from the day.

Stuff, at midday

Colin Craig has read to a court a letter he wrote to his former press secretary in which he said he wanted to kiss her and apologised for looking down her top.

The former leader of the Conservative Party is suing right-wing blogger Cameron Slater for defamation, over articles posted on the blog Whaleoil.

The articles alleged Craig had sexually harassed his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, and tried to pressure her into sleeping with him.

and

Craig also mentioned a top MacGregor had been known to wear, which he had previously deemed too revealing for the workplace, saying: “My eyes went where they shouldn’t have gone.”

He apologised for looking down her top.

Henry questioned the appropriateness of Craig’s letter in the context of their professional relationship.

“Why did you think it was appropriate to write to your press secretary about someone asking you whether you’d kissed her?” Henry said.

“That’s pub talk, isn’t it?”

But Craig said he and MacGregor shared a “very close and affectionate” relationship.

“I don’t know that that’s pub talk,” Craig said.

“It certainly didn’t occur in a pub, but Rachel and I communicated very openly.”

Radio New Zealand: 

Under cross-examination from Mr Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry, Mr Craig confirmed he wrote a letter to his press secretary Rachel MacGregor in the middle of the night, six weeks after employing her.

In the letter he said he had been asked by a friend whether he was having an affair with her, whether they had a special relationship and whether he had kissed her.

Mr Henry characterised it as “pub talk”.

Mr Craig said he wrote her the letter as a friend and praised her for working hard on election material.

He acknowledged that the pair got close very quickly and, in hindsight, things had happened that were inappropriate.

RNZ also published this audio of Mr Craig and Mr Henry

Newshub covered another part

In a letter to his then press secretary, Colin Craig admitted looking down her top.

The letter’s been read out during a defamation case taken by the former Conservative Party leader against blogger Cameron Slater.

Craig began writing the letter in bed on November 2, 2011 .

He wrote “my eyes went where they should not have gone” and he asked for her forgiveness.

Under cross examination by lawyer Brian Henry, Craig conceded looking down Rachel MacGregor’s top was sexual in nature.

Mr Henry asked Craig whether he believed any woman would find it appropriate to be told in a letter from their boss that he’d looked down her top.

Craig replied “probably not”.

The NZ Herald summarised it like this

Today Mr Craig will continue to be cross examined by Cam Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry.   It should take most if not all day.

At one stage Mr Henry asked if Mr Craig had purchased presents for his wife and his press secretary.  Mr Craig confirmed he had.  Mr Henry asked if he could remember who got which present.  Mr Craig said he could not recall.

Mr Craig’s wife, Helen Craig, is expected to take the stand after Colin as he calls her as one of his defence witnesses.  Mr Henry will then cross examine her testimony.

 


Do you want ad-free access to our Daily Crossword?

Do you want access to daily Incite Politics Magazine articles?

Silver Subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

41%