Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

The Mystery Ketch Theory Is Not Dead Yet

Scoop's Fraser Rolfe attends a days proceedings at the Scott Watson trial and finds the defence is still pushing the "mystery ketch" theory.

A dozen weary journalists are packed shoulder to shoulder along the press benches. A dozen jurors peer over growing piles of folders, documents and photographs as the trial of Scott Watson moves through its third month.

As the court resumed yesterday, lawyers, media, jurors and staff took up their accustomed posts.

The elegant, wood panelling of Room One at the Wellington High Court is strangled with cables and leads. Small cameras are duct-taped above the public gallery.

The legal counsel is bedded in amid trolley-loads of well-ordered paperwork. Two weeks of this vigil remain.

Watson has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Ben Smart, 21, and Olivia Hope, 17, on or about 1 January 1998. Detective Bruce McLachlan entered his second day giving evidence about the movements of yachts in and around the Marlborough Sounds during this period.

Yesterday the court sitting resumed at 2.15pm after a day and a half of hearing legal submissions over disputed evidence in chambers.

Resuming his cross examination of McLachlan Defence lawyer Mike Antunovic asked, "Is it possible that you may not have been able to identify every single vessel arriving from dusk until dawn?" Mr McLachlan answered, "If a boat had arrived late, anchored alone 300m [off shore] and used their own tender to get ashore - yes."

But he said there was only a small chance of it's not being noticed by one of the 370 people in the area. Mr McLachlan said he believed police had accounted for every boat in the area at the time.

Where witnesses' statements about movements of boats conflict with police findings, Mr McLachlan said witnesses "may have been mistaken as to times".

Mr Antunovic asked if it might be police who were mistaken. "I guess that may be a possibility", Mr McLachlan said.

Crown Prosecutor Paul Davidson, QC, asked Mr McLachlan about their enquiries regarding vessels at which Ben and Olivia could have been dropped. Mr McLachlan said, "All of them with the exception of the yacht, Blade, were eliminated."

Mr Davidson asked that a video be played showing a re-enactment of the movements of the water taxi which is said to have delivered Ben and Olivia to the Mystery Vessel.

Justice Heron allowed the tape in spite of Mr Antunovic's protest. The trial is set to continue for another two weeks.


Fraser Rolfe is a student at the Wellington Polytechnic Journalism School assigned to Scoop on work experience.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reactionary Politics Of Fear

What do you call a situation where the state tries to create panic among its own people for party political gain? As practiced by Theresa May and her faction of the Conservative Party, this has become a well-honed form of state terrorism… More>>

Viva Scoop 3.0! Rounding Up 2018 And Looking Ahead

2018 has been quite a year for Scoop. We are so thrilled to have successfully met the funding target for the first stage of the ‘Scoop 3.0’ plan raising $36,000. This means we can now proceed with the planning phase for the delivery of this bold vision for a community-owned, participatory, independent newsroom... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog