Craig versus MacGregor resuming today

Colin Craig will resume his cross-examination of Rachel MacGregor today. It is unusual for someone accused of sexual harassment to be able to personally question the alleged victim.

Pete Belt at Whale Oil said yesterday:

I’m told it is to give Ms MacGreggor a day off to regain some energy and fortitude. Yesterday was not one of the easiest days of her life. Keep in mind she was there against her will in the first place 😦 I’m told she got testy with the judge towards the end of the day as she felt she wasn’t getting much help from the court. Sadly, the prosecution (Mr Craig) gets to ask just about anything and for as long as he wants.

But Belt has previously said that Craig has been given strict instructions about how he can question MacGregor by the judge.

Craig will have had time to review how things have gone and decide how to proceed from here, hopefully with good legal advice. He is up against a very experienced lawyer, as Peterwn at Whale Oil explains:

You can take it that Brian Henry is a master at his trade. He would have a fair knowledge of the personalities and other attributes of the various judges he appears before. Brian is not going to make an issue of something if there is no immediate need and in particular is not going to point out weaknesses in the other side’s case or evidence. He will gain much by merely listening. The fun starts when he makes his closing submission no doubt to a packed court. He will then point out what is hearsay, identify and disputed facts for the judge to consider and argue which he considers correct, pull apart the other side’s claims and substantiate his client’s claims by applying the facts as needed and dealing with relevant points of law. He will aim to make things easy for the judge when he writes up his decision. That is why he is on the case – no client could do this as effectively as he would do it.

If Craig sums up his own case with the same level of expertise he has conducted himself through this whole issue then it looks like a major mismatch, but it will all come down to what Justice Toogood gets out of the evidence and the credibility of witnesses.

It’s difficult to gauge how a case like this is going based on media reports, which tend to cherry pick bits of general interest or what’s good for headlines rather than legal arguments that can often be tedious.

One part of the trial I would have been interested in was a reported one hour questioning of Cameron Slater by Justice Toogood, but that got just a short paragraph in media coverage.

Something that may not be relevant to the defamation but I think would be of interest that I haven’t seen anything about is the timeline of Jordan Williams’ relationship with MacGregor, and what influence he had on what transpired. This is from the judgment on Williams v Craig:

[8] On 19 November 2014, two months after her resignation, Ms MacGregor told Mr Williams, an acquaintance of hers, that Mr Craig had sexually harassed her. She showed Mr Williams the letters and cards that Mr Craig had sent to her. Mr Williams assured Ms MacGregor and her lawyer that he would keep this information as confidential as if he were her lawyer.

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Loki

     /  May 26, 2017

    “As if he were her lawyer”
    So she broke the confidentiality of her case, Williams then blabbed to the lunatic and here they all are..
    A pack of promise breakers trying to ruin the Mr Bean of nz politics.
    Her keeping all the letters and correspondence is not quite a jizz splattered dress but was very convenient for her ultimate shakedown of Craig.

    • Mungo Jerry

       /  May 26, 2017

      Actually it was Colin who kept all the copies of letters and correspondence.

      • Loki

         /  May 26, 2017

        Nope.
        Read the post again.
        McGregor SHOWED them to Williams.

    • Bill Brown

       /  May 26, 2017

      @loki “trying to ruin the Mr Bean of NZ politics” …… aaahhh hummm I think he did that all by himself

      No matter how much anyone hates Slater, Williams etc it’s all been Colin Craig’s own doing – he paid 2 x for the HRC and for this he only has himself to blame

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 26, 2017

      I think you’re missing the point that the the confidentiality clause was put in place in May 2015:

      “Colin Craig and his former press secretary settled their pay dispute and her sexual
      harassment claim with a confidential agreement in May 2015.”

      RM’s conversations with Williams were in November 2014 – prior to the confidentiality agreement being put in place:

      “On 19 November 2014, two months after her resignation, Ms MacGregor told Mr
      Williams, an acquaintance of hers, that Mr Craig had sexually harassed her”

      Since May 15 she has not broken the agreement, while CC has broken it several times, and in a misleading way each time:

      “Mr Craig’s breaches started in early June 2015 during the now infamous sauna interview with TV3’s David Farrier, when he was asked whether he’d had an affair with Ms MacGregor.

      He resigned the Conservative Party leadership ten days later, breaking the agreement again when he told media the suggestion he’d paid Ms MacGregor off over a complaint of sexual harassment was scurrilous and false.

      More breaches followed three days later on June 22 when Craig held a media conference that he said was to address “wild speculations and allegations” about his dealings with Ms MacGregor.

      He added: “Ms MacGregor however went into default on the payment of this loan and was unable to make payment. Subsequently she requested that the loan be forgiven on compassionate grounds.”

      However, Mr Craig failed to mention that the loan was interest free only for six months, after which he charged 4 percent. When Ms MacGregor filed her sexual harassment claim, the interest rocketed up to 29 percent.

      The $18,990 loan was wiped as part of the sexual harassment and pay complaint that Ms MacGregor filed with the Human Rights Commission after quitting.

      She had not been paid regularly in the four months leading up to her resignation as his press secretary because the pair disagreed over her contract rates.

      The complaints were resolved in tandem, with Craig agreeing to “forgive” the loan and pay $16,000 to Ms MacGregor to settle both matters. As part of the confidential settlement she agreed to drop her sexual harassment complaint.

      Mr Craig went on to breach the confidentiality yet again when he sent a newsletter to 8,000 people on the Conservative Party mailing list. In it he said the sexual harassment allegations were wrong and had been withdrawn.

      The following month, Mr Craig called another press conference, this time with his wife Helen to launch a booklet he said was aimed at combatting so-called dirty politics.

      In the booklet, the former Conservative Party leader again said the sexual harassment claim was false. That breach of confidentiality went far and wide, with at least 1.2 million copies sent around the country.

      Colin Craig has always denied any claim of sexual harassment and the allegations were outside the scope of the Human Rights Tribunal’s ruling.”

      Not sure what you’re trying to portray, but at least get the facts straight.

  2. Bill Brown

     /  May 26, 2017

    Craig will have been up all night [deleted] about today

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 26, 2017

      Pass the mind-bleach please…

      • Bill Brown

         /  May 26, 2017

        You just see it …..

        His Mrs saying cmon Colin it’s 845pm, it’s late and time for bed ….

        And him saying Rachel tomorrow, Rachel tomorrow, Rachel tomorrow…. over & over

  3. Tipene

     /  May 26, 2017

    Ummmm, yes, any sane person would indeed realise that this was a blackmail attempt:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/93021893/colin-craigs-tactics-against-rachel-macgregor-revealed

    • Albert

       /  May 26, 2017

      Except the HRRT didn’t see it that way. I bet his advice to smear was from that awful fellow Taylor.

      Slater might be an arsehole, but these sorts of revelations don’t look good for Colin.

      The evidence appears to have been completed with just submissions left. So it looks like there won’t be any damning allegations against Slater. Such a shame as I was really hoping he would get his beans in this case I haven’t seen any revelations in the media about Slater…except perhaps the second woman one, but I think that one looked bad for Colin too.

      • Tipene

         /  May 26, 2017

        @Albert: “I was really hoping he (Slater) would get his beans….”

        Have you not been paying attention? Slater’s become the new front man for Watties, so many beans he has got so far.

        The HRRT jurisdiction and the High Court jurisdiction are about as far away from each other as chalk and bloody cheese – how is this comparison even relevant?

        The “second woman” never existed – exactly how does this look bad for Craig?

        Any comment to make on dozens of reciprocal texts MacGregor sent to Craig?

        Still think she was sexually harassed?

        Not in the market for a bridge, are you?

    • MaureenW

       /  May 26, 2017

      I think you’re probably right