Today’s court proceedings of the Trial of the Plant opened with a judgment on the broadcasting of the trial. It was announced that 24.com – A division of News24.com – has made an application to stream the Trial of the Plant and that they will be allowed to stream, providing they stick to the same conditions.
With this announcement, Judge Ranchod delivered new conditions for streaming which apply to SABC / 24.com / AntFarm; that AntFarm are to provide a secure and direct link with full recording and that FOGFA can not derive financial gain from broadcasters for the feed. They also can’t display their logo on the feed.
The rushed petition from the state for stopping the stream has fallen on the way side after an agreement has been made that the SABC will be streaming with Antfarm under certain conditions.
After the streaming dispute was settled and agreed upon, the state legal troopers showed their grievances for the volume of evidence that has been presented by the FOGFA Legal Team. Judge Ranchod took on the state for launching an application for leave to appeal on Friday and brought in new documents to the trial on Monday.
The state is querying the validity of the FOGFA expert witnesses and is contesting the way the expert witnesses summaries are compiled, arguing that they are not valid in this court. The state troopers are suggesting that the evidence presented can not be used in this court. Could it be because they don’t understand that level of science?
Their argument is clear, with the end goal of having the substantial amount of evidence struck off the roll and to shorten the Trial of the Plant’s court days.
Judge Ranchod telling the state that the witnesses need to be examined to determine if the expert witness summaries are valid and can be used as evidence to assist the trial to determine an outcome. The state asked repeatedly through various iterations to have evidence struck off the roll, which they believe does not belong in this court or may be a constitutional issue.
The state argued unconvincingly that medical use has been dealt with through the medical innovation bill and that personal use has been dealt with in the Cape Town High Court (which is set to go to the constitutional court on Nov 7) and that the industrial hemp aspect is currently before Parliament. The state argued that this Trial of the Plant is to determine cannabis trade by adults and that none of the other categories of evidence and expert witnesses are needed for the Trial of the Plant.
The Fields of Green For All’s legal team is set to respond after lunch.