News

The Ghomeshi trial: Day 6

In a short day at court, the judge decided the Crown could call a witness to corroborate Lucy DeCourtere's allegations against Jian Ghomeshi.

Summary: The Crown and Jian Ghomeshi’s defence team debated the legal admissibility of a witness. The judge ruled that the witness would be called.

The big moment: When Lucy DeCoutere was on the stand last Friday, Marie Henein, Ghomeshi’s lawyer, accused the witness of “recent fabrication” — specifically, that she lied about the assault in order to gain notoriety. When Witness 3 was on the stand yesterday, Henein charged that she was colluding with DeCoutere. Today, Crown counsel Michael Callaghan sought to call a new witness he says can corroborate DeCoutere’s allegation that she was choked and slapped by Ghomeshi. Defence co-counsel Danielle Robitaille countered that the witness shouldn’t be called because DeCoutere told a “wholesale lie;” that it doesn’t matter whether the lie was told a decade ago or recently; that her emails and letters establish that lie; and that DeCoutere promoted herself as “some kind of icon for sexual abuse” to perpetuate that lie. After an hour and 20 minutes spent going over case law, the judge ruled that he would hear from the witness and decide for himself whether what she had to say was relevant to the case.

Ghomeshi: As Henein cracked a copy of the criminal code to discuss the finer points of the publication ban with journalists, Ghomeshi stepped off to the side of the courtroom and leaned against the wood-panelled wall, waiting for her to finish.

Up next: The court will hear from the next witness, and the Crown and defence indicated they’re prepared to close their cases on Thursday.

Related: 
The Ghomeshi trial: Day 5
How are witnesses prepped in sexual assault trials?
Lucy DeCoutere’s message for assault survivors