Holes in Alex’s trial

No, not that Alex. Alex Prentice, of course, the prosecutor in the Craig Murray contempt-of-court case.

Craig is proposing to bring forward individual witnesses who say they couldn’t identify any anonymised witnesses from reading Craig’s blog. The prosecutor wants to rule this evidence inadmissible, on the grounds that the individuals are too few to make a difference: “…the state of knowledge of a limited number of individuals cannot assist in the central issue [of ‘likelihood’]…”. This is an unfortunate argument for the prosecutor to have used, because it concedes the point that likelihood is measurable: if these individuals are too few, there must be a number that is not too few.

Further, Alex Prentice has to decide what that number is, because he’s going to need it. He’s going to need it to deal with the second implication of his argument, which is his presumption of guilt: these numbers are too few, he implies, to show Craig’s innocence. But Craig doesn’t have to show his innocence; the prosecution has to show his guilt, and by their own argument they can only do that by presenting numerical evidence of individuals to whom Craig’s blog has revealed the secret identities. Arguing that such numerical evidence is inadmissible doesn’t seem to be the brightest step to have taken. (If they’d had numerical evidence that lots of people had learned identities from Craig’s blog, they’d have tried to rule that out, too, wouldn’t they? Surely? WOULDN’T THEY?)

The prosecution’s only way out of this mish-mash is to argue that ‘likelihood’ is not measurable, is not statistically based, and exists only in the mind of the beholder. Like hell it does.

 

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