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The Ghomeshi trial: Day 8

Crown attorney Michael Callaghan and both of Jian Ghomeshi's defence lawyers presented their final arguments to the court.

Summary: The Crown and Jian Ghomeshi’s defence lawyers delivered their closing statements to Justice William Horkins, each sticking fairly closely to a particular theme.

Crown counsel Michael Callaghan: Unshaken

The three women who brought complaints against Ghomeshi may have been targeted for inconsistent memory — not surprising, Callaghan said, given the passage of time. They may have shared details at the very last minute about subsequent encounters with Ghomeshi — there is, he noted, much shame around sexual assault. They may have discussed aspects of the case — he described it as a support network, not a plot for sabotage. And it doesn’t change one fundamental truth, Callaghan told the court: “All were unshaken in their allegations that they were assaulted by Mr. Ghomeshi.”

Defence co-counsel Danielle Robitaille: Reasonable doubt

Robitaille walked Justice Horkins through every inconsistency and omission on the part of the complainants to establish that a) they aren’t credible and they aren’t reliable, therefore b) it is impossible to prove these assaults occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. She pointed to the second-last paragraph of Lucy DeCoutere’s handwritten letter, sent to Ghomeshi the week after her alleged assault. “Her avowed sexual interest” in him, and “disappointment they did not have sex,” Robitaille told Justice Horkins, is “central to your consideration.”

Defence counsel Marie Henein: Truth

“A cross-examination is the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” Henein said, quoting American legal scholar John Henry Wigmore. “An allegation is not true until it has been tested this way. It is not proven by tweets and press releases.” High-profile cases elicit a lot of emotion, she said, but the Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized the steadfast importance of a fair trial based on solid evidence. And she’s adamant that the evidence heard in court “is so riddled with inconsistences and improbabilities and proven lies under oath that [it] cannot be said to prove anything.” She asked Justice Horkins to acquit Ghomeshi on all five counts.

Up next: Horkins told the courtroom he would reserve judgement until March 24.

Related:
Watch: A recap of the Jian Ghomeshi trial
The Ghomeshi trial: Why didn’t the Crown call expert witnesses?
The Ghomeshi trial: Day 7