We’ve just been looking at the narrative and the timings of each event within the overall sequence of it. These are, of course, details that we’ve been told rather than discovered for ourselves. Although it’s harder to try and verify the timings, we can prove the narrative by our own observations – and the way that we can do that is through two things – looking at video footage and photographic evidence, and reading witness testimony; collectively this is our case evidence.
We also need to understand that there are two sets of case evidence that have a relationship with each other represented by the Venn diagram below.
What the diagram is saying is that there is a universal set of information relating to the Woolwich incident – represented as being everything in the rectangular box surrounding the diagram – but lots of it is not relevant, or duplicates other material. This area sounds like the repository for redundant information, and so it may surprise us that some of the most crucial information surrounding the Lee Rigby murder trial belongs in this category. This data includes any footage of the Tigra crashing into the sign post, or footage of Adebolajo and Adebowale getting out of the car to attack Rigby. We do know that this is footage that should exist because it undoubtedly would have been filmed by CCTV cameras that produced other known about material.
The oval on the left represents the “worthwhile” evidence that is available to us to evaluate. As the diagram shows, this overlaps with evidence presented to court – but there is lots of it that wasn’t. This relationship always has the potential to affect the outcome of any trial – and there are always questions as to why certain evidence is not considered and other evidence is permitted. In our case, those questions are big ones.
Be that as it may, where there is this overlap, then we can consider that evidence and hopefully come to a conclusion as to why a court reached a decision. And in effect there are two things that we are doing with the evidence available to us – we are asking if the court reached the right decision based on that same evidence, and then if we don’t think the court reached the right decision, we can ask why did it leave out material that could have prevented that mistake?
The reader will have also noticed that there is a part of the right-most oval that represents evidence that the public does not get to see. What we understand this to signify in this case is material which was felt by the authorities to be too sensitive to release to the public – in other words, it would be too unfeeling with regards the family of the victim. Unfortunately, this affects us because it leaves blind spots and spoils our understanding of how the court made the decision. We cannot help but notice that the declaration of some material as being unfit for public consumption would be too convenient for anyone who wanted external researchers not to understand the court’s decision. Of the footage that was shown exclusively to the court, and not to the public – that we know about – one of the most crucial pieces belongs in this category: the moment of impact of the Tigra with Lee Rigby.
In Chapter Six, the video and photographic evidence used in the trial will be detailed so as to let the reader know where it, or more relevantly, choice portions of it sat in the spectrum shown in the diagram. Much, if not all of the physical evidence was presented to court through a photographic or computer graphic representation – i.e. it seems images of knives were shown and not the knives themselves – and some of these images were made available to the public while others were not. As for the witness testimony, that is a different matter. This general statement covers it all: in court, most witness testimony was presented in the form of a statement. This meant that the witness was not in court to be cross-examined, and it should be noted that this meant that the defence teams must have allowed all such statements into the record as facts of the case; they did not contend them. There was some witness testimony that was delivered in person – only three of these people were neither expert witnesses, police, or ambulance service – i.e. they were members of the public. However, please note that not all of this material was accessible to the public – it was filtered through the corporate-media, and this is the subject of Chapter Five.
On top of the court-based witness material, we will be examining witness accounts that appeared in the corporate-media outside the confines of the trial. We can’t use this to evaluate the outcome of the trial; but it does help us build a picture in the greater scheme of things, as will become apparent. It should be noted that very few eye-witnesses who had an account of events conveyed through corporate-media at the time of the incident were admitted as trial witnesses. In fact, there were only three – and one of these was Adebolajo. Three more spoke to the media, at any length, at a much later date and around the time of the trial.
In a related matter, the diagram reminds that, in this first volume of the book at least, there must be a certain way to treat a named witness, whether they gave an official account, or whether they just gave a few words to corporate-media. They must be treated, while we are judging the incident without any prejudice, entirely at their word, and free from suspicion of having anything to do with a conspiracy. Unfortunately, there are times in the examination of the witness material where it suggests that a person is lying. In a court of law, a barrister with more resources to bring to bear might try to make a case that a witness is lying, and will try to discredit the character of that witness. That can’t be done here because those resources mentioned are not at hand – we don’t have the same leeway, and there are obvious legal hazards. However, we can point out that, almost universally, the defence teams of Adebowale and Adebolajo did not attempt to call testimony into question. Moreover, we can judge the quality of the evidence based on certain merits of the witness to do with their ability to observe based on their engagement with the crime scene. When a witness tells us something that couldn’t possibly be the case, or that directly contradicts something that goes against the grain of other testimony, we are not going to accuse them of lying. We are going to take the attitude that they are mistaken; witnesses who are found to be consistently or spectacularly wrong are grossly mistaken to the point of being permanently befuddled. Of course, this should not prevent the reader who might want to call a spade a spade.
However, we should be clear that there are several explanations for why innocent observers produce flawed information. When witnesses talk about what they have observed they often demonstrate that there is something wrong with the average cognitive processes, and it has something to do with the modern era, that suggests a lack of discipline by rational thought and authoritative education. The result is not being able to process the external experience accurately into memory. Then there is the consequence of a kind of manipulation – an appeal to authority which takes advantage of the doubt that arises from this disability. Recently there was a study in the United States where the test subjects were shown video footage of an event that they had also witnessed in person [citation required]. The video version had been altered so that it didn’t conform with the personal experience. However, many of the subjects, after watching the video, supposed that their initial observations must have been faulty, and that the video must have been telling the truth. These subjects overrode their version of reality with one that a supposedly trusted source had told them had happened instead. Had they been able to store crucial information confidently, they would have had a resistance to this manipulation, and presumably would have questioned the veracity of the film.