Craig, Slater told off by judge

Today Colin Craig continued to question Cameron Slater, and both were told off by judge for how they were conducting themselves.

Stuff: Judge scolds Craig and Slater in the High Court

Craig, who is representing himself, was cross examining Slater on Thursday, when Justice Kit Toogood took exception to his methods.

“Mr Craig, you need to bear in mind there is not unlimited court time,” Justice Toogood said.

Craig had been repeatedly asking Slater the same question, which was “unhelpful”.

“Cross-examination is not an exercise in trying to persuade a witness to your point of view. It is soliciting evidence.”

That’s one of the problems with someone with little or no court experience representing themselves. And perhaps someone with an obsession to prove themselves right or their adversary wrong.

When Slater again insulted Craig while answering a question, Justice Toogood interjected again: “Mr Slater I said to you before, I don’t need editorial comment. Answer the questions and confine yourself to the answers please.”

Sounds like trying too much to play to an audience outside the court.

The judge was unhappy with the slow pace of the trial, telling both parties they needed to “think about duration”.

“You will need to understand we can’t just conjure up court and judicial time out of the air.”

Three weeks may not be long enough (the are currently in the second week).

Earlier they got into a religious argument.

“Not one of my Christian friends ever talks about speaking with God,” Slater said.

“And none of them certainly speaks about getting messages from God, and I thought that was weird.”

Slater was referring to a letter Craig wrote to his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, on Christmas Eve 2014, in which he claimed he’d received instructions from God to “look after Rachel”.

The two men are both Christian, but appear to have differing views on the nature of prayer.

“As a Christian yourself, isn’t prayer a practice in the Christian religion?” Craig asked.

“I certainly have never had a conversation with God,” Slater replied.

“Isn’t prayer speaking to God?” Craig said.

I don’t know what people do when they pray. Do they speak top God? Perhaps it varies.

“It requires two parties to have a conversation,” Slater said. “I started wondering what accent did [God] have? Considering one of the poems was [titled] Two of Me, I wondered whether you’d actually been speaking with yourself.”

They also discussed Craig’s relationship with his party secretary.

Slater said he didn’t believe Craig’s relationship with MacGregor was consensual, but possibly the result of a power imbalance.

“If I was a female employee getting letters commenting on my breasts, saying how beautiful I was, I wouldn’t have gone to the Human Rights Commission; I would have gone to the police.”

Craig also asked Slater if he accepted it was possible for people working together to develop more than just a professional relationship.

“If they think with their nether regions and not with their heads it can happen,” Slater said.

That may be fodder for tomorrow morning’s Whale Oil trial progress post but no wonder the judge is getting fed up.

And no wonder post of the media are paying scant interest. The Court seems to be being used for a battle of the witless.


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 18, 2017

    Kit Toogood: I spent all those years at law school for this ?

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 18, 2017

    If I had a letter like that, I wouldn’t bother to go to the police, I’d hand in my notice-and keep the letter in case evidence was needed if the sender was awkward about references…

  3. Belt today:

    There is a deafening silence from the blogosphere. Not a peep anywhere. I guess they finally understand the “love me or hate me, but don’t ignore me”.

    As well as contradictory that shows how unreliable anything he claims is.

    I don’t live WO, I don’t hate WO, and I don’t ignore WO, as I’m sure he knows.

    He seems to have become a self victimising, contradictory craver of attention, similar to Slater.

    I wonder if he gets his story right tomorrow – are media ignoring WO, or can’t they ignore WO?

    • Conspiratoor

       /  May 18, 2017

      Contradictory at first sight but the fog may clear on the second pass

      “The phrase “love me, or hate me, but don’t ignore me” is a serious marketing mistake, in any context. It’s a transparently selfish cry for attention. Rather than offering something great to the audience, you’re trying to win pity points by subtly accusing them of poor judgement: You should be paying attention to X, but you aren’t!”

  4. Tipene

     /  May 18, 2017

    Craig also asked Slater if he accepted it was possible for people working together to develop more than just a professional relationship.

    “If they think with their nether regions and not with their heads it can happen,” Slater said.

    [Deleted a five year old link. PG]

    • Tipene

       /  May 18, 2017

      [It’s a defamation case, not a morality contest. If you want to indulge in an old mud fight try WO or somewhere else, I don’t want it here. PG]

      • Tipene

         /  May 18, 2017

        I agree with you – but it’s not me making the case for morality – that’s Slater’s current bent -I’m simply pointing out the radiating hypocrisy of Slater’s attempted mis-direction, because nothing he has said so far remotely leans in the direction of an adequate defence to the tort of defamation.

        • But the trial isn’t about hypocrisy or morality. It is a defamation trial, it will be judged on whether Slater defamed Craig and whether Craig defamed Slater, and if either what monetary awards would be appropriate.

          Both Craig and Slater appear to be straying too much into personal vendetta territory, beyond the scope of the law. That is more likely to detract from their legal arguments.

          • Gezza

             /  May 19, 2017

            How long before one of them defames the Judge, I wonder?

            • That may come after the judgment, whatever that ends up being. The most popular outcome is ‘pox on both their cases’.

          • Tipene

             /  May 19, 2017

            Which is the reason they both got a kick in the pants yesterday I suspect – “stay on topic, and answer the bloody question” seemed to be the Judges warning to each of them.

  5. What a couple of insignificant narcissists these two men are. Poor Toogood