• 10 Aug - 16 Aug, 2019
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Stephen requested the court, “I’d like to call the club’s security guard Winston on the witness stand.”

The judge paused for a moment, then said, “Permission granted, but Mr. Stephen, please make it brief.”

“Okay, your honour.”

“And relevant.”

“Sure,” Stephen answered bending a little, as a gesture of respect.

The guard from the club walked to the witness stand.

“So Mr. Winston, could you describe your occupation to the court?” Stephen asked walking towards him.

“I object my lord,” Roald interrupted, “Mr. Winston’s profession is not relevant in this case.”

“It is, your honour,” Stephen said, “his profession will prove that he witnessed what I saw the other day.”

“Objection overruled,” the judge declared. “You may describe your profession.”

“I am a security guard of the club,” Winston said. “The timings of my shift are 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. My job is to make sure that the visitors and customers of our club are not carrying any prohibited stuff inside the club.”

“What would that be?” Stephen asked.

“Well, there are plenty of things. Should I name all?”

“No, just tell us, are video cameras allowed in your club?”

“No, no one is allowed to bring the video cameras or smart phones and if anyone does so secretly, we simply ask them to leave.”

“Okay, perfect. Now Mr. Winston tell us, did you or did you not see Mr. William and his son entering your club a few days ago?”

“I did, yes.”

“And what was the time when they came into your club?”

“Around nine o’clock.”

“Okay, now answer my question very clearly,” Stephen instructed. “When you asked Simeon to hand over his phone, how did he react?”

“Well he reacted like everyone else.”

“Like everyone else?” Stephen repeated the words quite clearly.


“Could you please elaborate?”

“Well, what happened exactly was that first I asked Mr. William to hand over his phone. He inquired a bit and then handed it over. And as I asked Simeon, he handed it over immediately.”

“So you mean to say that there was no resistance of any kind?”

“From Simeon? No there wasn’t any. Not that I can remember.”

“Good. Thank you.”

Simeon turned towards the judge.

“Point to be noted your honour. Simeon who is suffering from autism, when asked to hand over his phone, handed it over quite immediately with no reluctance of any sort. Now I don’t think that any psychologist or doctor would disagree with me here that when a person suffering from autism is asked to hand over something that belongs to him, they react in a rebellious tone. The patient doesn’t even hand over what belongs to him to a person he completely trusts. Then my question here is that how come Simeon handed over his phone like a normal person to the person who was a complete stranger? Thank you.”

Stephen went back and sat on his chair.

The judge of honour turned to Roald.

“Your witness, Roald. Do you have any questions?”

“No your honour,” Roald stood up and replied.

Stephen stood up and requested the court once again.

“I’d like to call Mr. Lear, the waiter of the club on the witness stand.”

“Permission granted,” the judge announced.

“Thank you.”

Seconds later, Lear the waiter was standing on the witness stand.

“So Mr. Lear, tell us what happened at the club the other night?” Stephen asked.

“Well, Mr. William and his son were seated on a table for four. They were watching the video of the song that was being displayed on the screen.”

“Okay, so what was the song about?”

“I object your honour,” Roald spoke up. “This is totally irrelevant to the case.”

Stephen was silent for a moment so the judge said:

“Objection sustained.”

“Alright…” Stephen continued, “so anyways Mr. Lear what happened next?”

“I went to their table and took their order. So they…”

“…Hold on here,” Stephen interrupted, “tell us did you take the order from Simeon directly?”

“Yes I did.”

“Okay so tell us how was he behaving? Please describe his attitude.”

“Well to be honest, he wasn’t behaving in a friendly manner.”

“You mean he was hostile?”

“Yes, he was kind of rude and somewhat aggressive.”

Roald looked at William’s face as they both were seated together. William was a bit embarrassed as he was guilty of this stupidity.

“Tell us, regardless of his hostile behavior, did he appear insane or mentally retarded in any way?” Stephen asked.

“No he didn’t. Not to me.”

“Great, thank you. You may go back.”

Stephen walked towards the jury and as he stood, he turned towards the judge.

“Your honour, I have presented two witnesses. And they both have testified that the defendant is not insane. So when he is not insane, I want to clarify that a normal person is perfectly capable of driving and hitting someone in the middle of the road. And lastly I would like to conclude by asking that if Simeon was insane, then why didn’t he get startled and panicked when he saw an injured woman lying on the ground after he stepped out of the vehicle to see her? That’s all,” Stephen ended.

As he went back, Roald stood up.

“Before cross questioning the witness, I would like to add that Stephen’s last statement regarding Simeon stepping out of the car and watching the injured woman is completely fictitious. And if it’s true then Stephen must prove it through some solid evidence,” Roald said.

He then walked towards the witness stand.

“Anyway, so I have just two questions for Mr. Lear. Mr. Lear, first of all tell us that did you or did you not meet Stephen in his room privately?”

“I don’t think I understand the question.”

“Okay, let me rephrase. Before this session, did you two meet somewhere privately?”

Lear looked at Stephen. Stephen nodded his head.

“Yes, we met at his office,” Lear answered.

“You did? So what happened? What did you two talk about?”

“He asked me about Simeon and his father. And how Simeon was behaving the other night.”

“I see. What else?”

“Well that’s it.”

“Alright and the second question is…” Roald said changing his standing position, “tell us do you or do you not think otherwise about Simeon.”

“Sorry?” Lear didn’t understand him.

“Objection, your honour,” Stephen said in between. “Lear’s second opinion is not quite relevant here.”

“Overruled,” the judge announced. “You may answer the question.”

“Honestly I don’t understand the question,” Lear responded.

“I’m just asking…” Roald said to Lear, “that do you think that there is a possibility that you might be wrong about Simeon? I mean is there a chance that he is actually insane and you haven’t quite realised it?”

“Anything is possible. Anyone can be wrong.”

“Perfect. Thank you,” Roald turned towards the judge, “no further questions your honour.”

Roald however walked towards the judge.

“Your honour, I just want to remind this court that Stephen has not yet proven that the guy who stepped out of the vehicle was Simeon. He presented two witnesses the other day and I proved both of them to be testifying falsely. My request is that if Stephen wants to prove it to the court that Simeon was the one who was driving the vehicle and he was the one who hit Evelyn then he must prove it. That’s all, thank you.”

He went back and sat on his seat.

The judge of honour looked at Stephen.

“Do you want to present your evidence or should we take a short recess?”

“If it’s a choice then I’d go for a recess,” Stephen answered after a moment of thinking

“Very well then.”

Five minutes later outside the court room, Stephen was drinking water while he was walking. Mr. Schimberg appeared right in front of him.

“So what are you going to do?” He asked.

Stephen didn’t reply and took another sip of water.

“Are you going to show the video?” Mr. Schimberg asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not saying I won’t. I’m just not sure.”

“What are you confused about?” Mr. Schimberg demanded an answer.

“I’m not sure as to whether they will consider the evidence or not.”

“Why? Do you think it’s not good enough?”

“…Well yes,” Stephen said after a pause, “that’s the only reason I can think of.”

“Listen Stephen, I’ll pay

you extra if you show this video today.”

“Even if the court rejects it?”

“Yes even if the court rejects it.”

Stephen thought for a while but then realising the intensity in his client’s eyes, he thought this would be a good time to ask the question he had been thinking about for a while.

“Mr. Schimberg, you do know that Evelyn’s was an accident?”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well I better tell you that if we win this case, the punishment imposed to the defendant might not be quite severe. That’s because I won’t be able to prove his intent. If you really want him to get death penalty, then we must prove that he deliberately murdered her. But in this case it’s just an accident.”

“Okay fine, I’m fine with the minimum punishment. But you better win the case,” Mr. Schimberg said, after thinking for a second.

Meanwhile at the other corner of the same building, Roald and William were talking. William seemed a bit tensed and worried. Roald on the other hand was quite relaxed.

“Don’t worry my friend. Two witnesses are not enough,” he reassured his client.

But then he stood up straight and got a little serious.

“But what you have done was completely stupid,” he said.

“I know, can we not talk about it here please?”

“You know you are very lucky that you were in a club where movie cameras were not allowed. Otherwise you and your son would have…”

“…Just listen to me please,” William said, “what happened was a mistake. And now there’s no time to cry over the spilt milk. We need to think right now that what is the evidence Stephen is about to show in court.”

Roald thought about it for

a while.

“Do you have any clue?” William asked.

“Well I have a feeling that he’ll come up with something really good.”


“I’m sorry but you’re the one who has made it easy for him!”

William was enraged raising his voice and his finger.

“You are my lawyer. I am paying you per day here. And you know I’m paying really well. Your job is not to make me feel guilty. Do you understand that?”

“What do you want me to do? Lie to you?”

“I’m not saying…”

“…The recess is over,” Roald interrupted. “Let’s go back inside.”

Inside the court room, five minutes later, the judge of honour looked at Stephan.

“Do you want to share your evidence with the court?”

Stephen thought for a while until the judge of honour repeated himself.

“Mr. Stephen, are you or are you not willing to share your evidence with the court?”

“Yes your honour. I’d request you to show the video clip in the projector’s screen,” Stephen replied after few seconds.

“Very well then,” the judge declared, “turn off the lights please.”

William was tensed now. Roald threw away the pen he was holding angrily as if accepting defeat.

The lights were turned off.

After thirty seconds, the projector’s screen came to life. And after another whole minute, the video began to play, and the footage was very unclear.

The video was being shot from above in a 45 degree angle from the road. A couple was walking and a vehicle came from behind that hit them. It was visible that the woman was the one hurt, who after rolling from the car fell on the road. The deep shade of blood was also visible that started to flow out of her body. Furthermore, the guy who stepped out of the driver’s seat had long hair and his face was not quite visible.

While watching the video, Simeon was very much afraid wondering if he would get caught. His father was also tensed.

“I think I’ll get caught today,” Simeon said to his father.

William kept his finger on his lips as if telling him to keep quite.

In the video:

Simeon was standing by the injured woman, Evelyn, but his face was not visible as the video was shot from above and his long hair was covering his face.

The video was paused here and zoomed into his face. The picture got even more unclear. The judge looked at the picture closely and then waved at Stephen indicating that he had seen what he wanted to see and now he should turn off the video.

After a moment, the video was switched off by Stephen and the lights were also turned on.

Everyone in the court room was now waiting for the judge to speak.

The judge finally said:

to be continued...