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THE LEGAL LIBEL SUIT.

WELLINGTON, Septembkb 5. At the afternoon hearing of the case Bell v. Jellicoe, John Duthie (mayor), James Lockie, and W. H. Levin also gave evidence to the effect that the impression on their minds was that the words referred to Mr Bell. Hon. Thomas Hislop was called. Sir B. Stout did not examine him, but tendered him for cross-examination. Immense amusement was caused by Mr Jellicoe's first question, which was: " Are you a Minister of the Crown ?" Mr Hislop: "Yes." Mr Jellicoe: "What!" Mr Hislop (hesitating): " Yes." Mr Jellicoe : " You seem in doubt about it. Are you not a Minister?" Mr Hislop: "Well, I really could not say just now whether I am or not."—(Laughter.) The other questions were not important. This closed the case for plaintiff. Mr Jellicoe reserved his address till later, and called Hon. J. N. Wilson, M.L.C., barrister and solicitor, who said he understood the alleged libel to refer to the police. A rather amusing dialogue took place between witness and Sir R. Scout as to the duties of the Crown Prosecutor, the public appearing to take great relish in this questioning of one lawyer by another about legal matters. Witness did not think Mr Bell was the sort of man to keep back evidence, and besides knew there was a general impression that the police in their conduct of the Chemis affair, had bungled it. Hon. K. Pharazyn, M.L.C., said his own opinion was that the police were meant by the words in the libel. He thought that the general public also took them in that sense, and limited it to them. The Hon. P. Buckley said if there had been no action he should have applied the words to the police, but he admitted now thev were capable of being applied to Mr Bell. i nomas Kennedy M'Donald, auctioneer, said the impression left on his mind was that the words in the article referred to the police. Frederick Franklyn, broker, and R. Sidey (of Wellington, fourteen years) gave similar testimony. W. B. Barclay, clerk in the Native Office, who had edited a newspaper for three years, said he believed the words referred to the police, because the case was conducted by the police. He was led to that belief by the words " those conducting ihe prosecution," as meaning more than one person. Witness was hard pressed by Sir E. Stout to explain why the words could not refer to counsel as well as the police, but failed to extract anything further. Lieutenant-colonel M'Donald understood that the words meant that the police had collected certain evidence which had been withheld from Mr Bell both in the Resident Magistrate's and Supreme Court In cross-examination he said that the word "those" might possibly be taken as referring to counsel if more than one was engaged in the prosecution. At 4.20 the Court adjourned until next day.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890906.2.3

Bibliographic details

THE LEGAL LIBEL SUIT., Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

Word Count
483

THE LEGAL LIBEL SUIT. Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

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