Day 118 - 01 May 95 - Page 02

     1                                           Monday, 1st May, 1995.
     3   MR. RAMPTON:  Before the cross-examination begins, I wish to
     4        address some words to your Lordship about the course that
     5        the defendants have taken in ensuring that we got this
     6        wodge of papers by post this morning.  It means, of course,
     7        that I have not looked at them and Mr. Nicholson has not
     8        looked at them.  What I ask your Lordship to rule is that
     9        the Defendants be debarred from making any reference to any
    10        of these documents until such time as I am able to indicate
    11        to your Lordship that Mr. Nicholson is in a position to
    12        deal with them, if any question should be asked about them.
    14        My Lord, I feel unhappy and concerned at the way in which
    15        the Defendants have, I would say, played fast and loose
    16        both with the Plaintiffs and their witnesses but, so far
    17        as your Lordship is concerned, also with the time of the
    18        court, and with the interests of other litigants who are
    19        waiting to have their cases tried.
    21        My Lord, I will, if I may, take a couple of minutes to
    22        explain why we are as unhappy as we are.  Your Lordship
    23        will remember that last term the Defendants were very
    24        anxious that they should have as much time as possible to
    25        prepare for the cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson and for
    26        the continued cross-examination of Mr. Beavers.  They
    27        persuaded your Lordship, with not much difficulty, not to
    28        sit for the last three days of last term, which is, 10th to
    29        12th of April.  They persuaded me, again without much
    30        difficulty, not to examine Mr. Nicholson about the issue of
    31        the publication.
    33        They told your Lordship that they needed as much time as
    34        they possibly could in order to prepare for the
    35        cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Beavers.
    36        Ms. Steel told your Lordship on at least two occasions that
    37        she needed time to read the pink files which bore upon the
    38        question of employment.  My Lord, the references for the
    39        Defendants' concern about having enough time to prepare are
    40        28th March, which is day 109 at pages 29, 30, 32 and 33,
    41        and 29th March which is day 110, page 25 and 26.
    43        My Lord, in the result, we did not sit for nearly three
    44        weeks from 7th April through to midday on 26th inclusive.
    45        My Lord, your Lordship said (and I have every sympathy with
    46        it) that the Defendants should take some time off from the
    47        case, a rest, a break away, but, in effect, indicated they
    48        should be ready to cross-examine Mr. Nicholson when they
    49        came back.
    51        We know that they spent five to six days in Illinois 
    52        staging demonstrations for the benefit of Australian 
    53        television.  That does not matter, it does not bother me in
    54        the slightest, were it not for the fact it is now perfectly
    55        apparent they have done nothing at all to prepare for the
    56        cross-examination of Mr. Nicholson.
    58        I say that for good reason.  On Thursday last, day 117,
    59        27th April, your Lordship invited Mr. Morris whether he
    60        wanted to ask some preliminary questions of Mr. Nicholson.

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