Tommy Sheridan has sacked his legal team and is planning to represent himself in his trial for perjury at Glasgow. A strange sense of deja vu now hangs over the case as Sheridan looks to take on his own defence in the trial. When Tommy Sheridan sacked his legal team in the previous defamation case in order to represent himself it seemed an incredibly high risk strategy - but it was a strategy that paid off handsomely.
He won his defamation case and was awarded a sizable sum of damages against the News of the World in that trial. It can only be speculation of course but his strategy of defending himself in the defamation trial may well have earned him much sympathy from the jury in that case. Whether the tactic will have any influence on the jury in this case remains to be seen.
Sheridan was being represented by Maggie Scott QC in the current perjury trial. The first week of the trial saw a succession of witnesses testifying to Sheridan having made admissions to colleagues in the SSP, individually and at meetings, about his sexual conduct. The court also heard a 40 minute tape which allegedly contained audio of Sheridan substantially admitting the allegations made by the News of the World.
Tommy Sheridan has now asked the court for an adjournment of the trial so that he can prepare his own defence. This move would seem to indicate that Sheridan has either not been happy with the way his legal team have tackled the evidence which has been presented to the court so far or suggests a disagreement about the broader tactics of the defence approach.
As expected the Sheridan perjury trial is taking fascinating twists and turns. The trial was already expected to be the longest case of its kind in Scottish legal history and this further development now makes that almost a certainty.