In the aftermath of skypegate, the defense legal team — ie Sayedee-Ghulam Azam-Nizami et al’s lawyers — have demanded a retrial. They argue that the current trials should be declared mistrial. Some analysts such as Asif Nazrul publicly concur. On the other hand, almost all self-proclaimed pro-trial people say that anyone calling for a mistrial/retrial is really a closet razakar-sympathiser.
I couldn’t think of any episode of LA Law or The Practice where this kind of thing has happened. So I did the next best thing, and asked a JD friend of mine. Short answer:
1. Just because the judge resigned doesn’t automatically result in mistrial. It depends on why the judge resigns.
2. If you believe that skypegate was a gross violation of professional conduct etc, and the judge resigned because he seriously screwed up, then you shouldd also call for a mistrial/retrial.
3. But if you believe that the judge did nothing wrong (ie if you believe that it’s all explicable as innocent conversation), and resigned to defend the trial from unnecessary controversy, then there is no ground for mistrial.
The full conversation with my friend is over the fold.
(Slightly updated: 17 Dec 224am North Europe time).
I am not sure whether this post is in violation of court orders. Dear reader, if you find the blog hasn’t been updated for a while, it may be because we have succumbed to ‘forced disappearance’ (or, more likely, we are busy with Christmas shopping and preparing for a trip home).
I thought it might be useful to jot down various theories of who hacked the judge’s conversation, and how.
One possibility we can rule out is Lisbeth Salander. But beyond that, it gets a bit murky.