Williams v Craig

Williams v Craig

As you read this, Judge Katz will be summing up or has recently finished.  The jury will retire and consider a verdict.   Yesterday, both Mr Mills and Mr McKnight provided closing arguments.

Amelia Wade was at court

…[Colin Craig’s] lawyer, Stephen Mills QC, kicked off the closing statements by echoing his opening remarks that the case was not about the politician’s former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor.

“It’s about Mr Williams and Mr Craig.”

After MacGregor’s shock resignation, she allegedly told Williams that Craig, the former leader of the Conservative Party, had sexually harassed her through texts, cards and letters.

It included “and the now infamous” poem with the line: “you are beautiful because you have the most perfect dot dot dot”.

Against MacGregor’s wishes and breaking her confidence, Mills said Williams passed the information on to members of the Conservative Party board and right-wing blog Whale Oil.

“From the very outset … he formed the absolutely fixed and unshakable view that Mr Craig had to go.”

Mills said Craig distributed the Dirty Politics pamphlet to 1.6 million households across New Zealand and held the press conference, because after the attacks he needed to defend his reputation.

He was standing up for what he thought was the right way to conduct politics in New Zealand his reputation had taken a hit from the “incredibly damaging” allegations, Mills said.

“If you are a politician and you are made a laughing stock, it’s not survivable is it?”

But Craig didn’t go away quietly.

“He fought back, which is how we got here.”

Mills told the jury it was up to them to decide whether Williams had “acted with honesty and integrity” while acting on the information MacGregor gave to him in confidence, and whether Craig believed the information he distributed was the truth and his honest opinion at the time.

“Whether they were ultimately right or wrong is not the test.”

And if the jury decided that the answer is “Yes, you think yes they’re true – he [Williams] isn’t trustworthy for example, then that’s a defence.”

Then, Mr McKnight summed up. Read more »