3:26 PM We’re back from a break, and Faisal Joseph is announcing … they aren’t going to call any more witnesses! They’re not going to call their third and last expert witness, as it would merely repeat previous evidence, he says, and they’re not going to call Naiyer Habib, one of the complainants!
Julian Porter is furious. Then I’m calling Habib! This is contemptuous of the process, he says, and disgraceful. He should be here to answer having laid the complaint. I was told I’d get a chance to cross-examine him. “I cannot believe” – he’s practically growling – “that they would have the audacity not to expose either one (meaning Elmasry, the other complainant) to cross-examination!”
Joseph: Talk about audacity. Steyn’s here, and he’s not testifying. I’m upset that I don’t get a crack at him.
Steyn snorts in laughter. (Possible reason: He was supposed to be in a radio debate with Joseph some time ago, but Joseph never showed.) Joseph expresses displeasure at this.
Porter (to the tribunal, quietly): “Do you have any idea how bad this looks?” He asks for five minutes to prepare, and then, I presume, he’s going to call Habib as … a hostile witness. Stay tuned!
4:04 PM We’re going to adjourn for the day! We don’t even know whether we’re calling any more witnesses. If so, we’re back at 10 tomorrow. Otherwise, we hear final arguments on Friday.
Talk about a cliffhanger! Will Porter get to call Habib? Will Joseph cross-examine? Tune in tomorrow… same kangaroo-time, same kangaroo-channel…
Wait! Porter in on his feet: “If Habib and Elmasry are afraid to testify, I don’t want them as my witnesses. They’re a pair of scaredy-pants, and…” I swear to God that’s what he said. The proceedings dissolve in even more confusion than usual…
CODA: Okay here’s the deal. Maclean’s is definitely — as of this writing — not going to call Habib. The only question is whether the other side, ie Habib’s lawyers, do: apparently they may change their mind.
If they don’t, then we will have gone through an entire hearing about Muslims exposed to hatred in British Columbia without hearing from one single, solitary outraged British Columbian Muslim (though Habib, unlike Elmasry, at least had the decency to show up). We heard from an outraged Muslim — Joseph’s articling student, Kurrum Awan — but he’s from Ontario. And we’ve heard from a British Columbian, the Islamic scholar Andrew Rippin, but he’s neither particularly outraged nor, it seems, Muslim. Even the lawyers were from Ontario, except McConchie.
And if they do call him? Then Porter gets his wish. See you tomorrow. (Source)