‘Key plank’ of prosecution case falls in Greenstein trial – and further farce ensues

Prosecutor forced to accept her blue badge claim was wrong – but accuses pro-Palestinian activist of making mobile call while he was locked up with no phone and causes fury after bypassing proper cross-examination

An apparently key plank in the prosecution’s case against Jewish activist Tony Greenstein – one of five people on trial for planning a protest against Israeli weapons firm Elbit in the West Midlands – fell today when the prosecution was forced to accept that a claim its lead barrister had insisted on repeatedly yesterday was false.

The proceedings at Wolverhampton Crown Court lapsed into farce on Tuesday when, after the prosecutor had repeatedly insisted that Greenstein’s blue disabled parking badge had been found in the rear of the van he was driving to the Elbit factory in Shenstone – apparently to imply that he was more involved in the planned action than simply driving – photographic evidence taken by the police themselves showed it was on the dashboard where Greenstein had said it was.

Despite the evidence, the prosecuting barrister then tried to discredit the photograph, claiming that it was not a blue badge on the dashboard, to groans around the court, in what appeared to indicate that the prosecution considered the location of the badge to be crucial its attempt to incriminate him.

However, today both the police and the prosecution were forced to accept that the claim was unfounded and Greenstein had been right all along.

But that was not the end of the farce. While questioning another of the accused, the prosecutor claimed that Greenstein had made a phone call – at a time when Greenstein had been in police detention with his phone taken away from him, triggering shouts of ‘That’s a lie!’ from Greenstein in the glass-walled dock.

And the lawyer appeared to infuriate Greenstein and his defence team when she cross-examined the co-defendant on issues of Greenstein’s actions on the night of the arrests – without having put those questions to Greenstein first, as would be normal practice. The prosecution, sadly, was allowed considerable latitude.

The trial is expected to last as much two more weeks.

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