Jani Allan jury asked to identify 'enemy of truth'

THE JANI ALLAN jury was yesterday asked to identify 'the enemy of truth' in her High Court libel action against Channel 4.

In his closing speech, George Carman QC, for Channel 4, told the six men and six women who have listened to 10 days of evidence: 'You, and you alone, will decide which witnesses deserve from you a seal of approval for truthfulness . . . You will decide where sits the enemy of truth in this courtroom.'

Miss Allan, 40, a South African journalist who now lives at Hampton Court, south-west London, is suing for damages over the film The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife, which she claims falsely portrayed her as a 'lady of easy virtue' who had an affair with Eugene Terre-Blanche, the leader of the AWB, the South African far-right party.

Channel 4 said the programme did not suggest an affair, but even if it had the allegation would be justified. During the trial, Mr Justice Potts and the jury have heard defence witness Linda Shaw, Miss Allan's former flatmate, say she looked through a keyhole and saw Miss Allan and Mr Terre-Blanche having sex.

Mr Carman asked the jury: 'Is this woman, Miss Allan . . . an innocent woman, as she would claim, unjustly wronged by a TV programme?' It was Channel 4's submission that Miss Allan's case was 'so seriously flawed in so many respects' that on analysis it was 'really unworthy of belief'.

The documents and tape recordings produced to support the defence case cast 'a flood of light' on where the truth really lay. 'They really portray Miss Allan as having been, sadly, gravely untruthful in the witness box,' Mr Carman said.

The jury should consider the 'compelling weight' of evidence from six defence witnesses, five of whom had spoken out in front of them. 'The case may have proved an entertainment for others, but not for the witnesses involved - and above all, not for Miss Linda Shaw.'

In his closing speech for Miss Allan, Charles Gray QC said: 'On the one hand we have Jani Allan saying adamantly and repeatedly to you that she never had any kind of sexual relationship with Terre-Blanche. On the other hand we have a band, a planeload, of witnesses from South Africa, each of whom when they came into the witness box grabbed every opportunity to assert or imply sex had taken place between Terre- Blanche and Jani Allan.'

He reminded the jury they did not decide these things by adding up the witnesses on each side. He asked whether they really believed that if, as Channel 4 asserted, Jani Allan had had a passionate fling with Mr Terre-Blanche, she would have had the 'gall' to start the action 'founded upon a lie'.

Mr Gray said Channel 4 had to prove Miss Allan had sexual intercourse with Mr Terre-Blanche. Her sexual conduct, which would normally be a private matter, had become an issue for public debate because Channel 4 chose to drag her into the film 'quite unnecessarily and quite gratuitously'.

Of Miss Shaw's 'keyhole' evidence, Mr Gray said: 'I don't know what the female equivalent of a Peeping Tom is, but it must be a fair description of Miss Shaw.'

Miss Shaw's evidence was 'wildly unlikely'. She could never have seen through the keyhole what she said she had seen. Her field of vision was not big enough.

Mr Gray said the jury should award Miss Allan a substantial sum in damages. It should reflect the damage to her reputation; her indignation and upset; her anxiety awaiting the trial; her embarrassment; the harrowing ordeal she had undergone in court; and the physical effect of the case.

The hearing was adjourned until today when the judge will sum up. The jury is expected to retire to consider a verdict tomorrow.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Factory Manager - Food

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Environmental Account Manager - Remote Working

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Support / IT Sales / Graduate Sales / Trainee

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has now arisen for a Sale...

Recruitment Genius: Administration Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued growth an exce...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable