"Are you itching for a beating as well?" The Judge was irked by all the time Daniel was taking to build the context and trying to make it sound all mysterious.
"Certainly not, Your Honour," Daniel was quick to clarify and put forth a sheepish smile. The Judge had such a short temper that he really might throw anything he could get a hold of at him.
"Then hurry up," The Judge ordered.
"Yes, Your Honor!" Daniel nodded
"Your Honour, we have evidence to prove the defence's claims against the victim," Daniel said, "With your permission, I would like to present them before the court."
"Should I stamp it for you now?" Hearing Daniel, the Judge sarcastically replied, "Hurry up, and show us".
Daniel nodded and looked toward Alex. Alex then played the video on the screen, "Your Honor! The footage of all the CCTVs across the street was missing from the exact time of the incident. Thanks to the prosecution. The police had taken it all away, and to prove that you have the written statements from the shop owners and residents from that area along with their signatures. There was no conclusive evidence to prove that my client was innocent. This can't all be a coincidence," Daniel paused for a while and then looked towards Alex, "But due to our meticulous efforts, we were able to obtain a vital piece of evidence".
Daniel said as he pointed at the screen, "This is the dashcam video taken from the car which has been parked across the street for a long time."
"The car had been parked there for so long that it was covered all over in the dirt. Maybe because of that, the police didn't pay much head to it, and we got ourselves something to prove that my client is innocent," Daniel said and gestured for Alex to play the video.
As the video played, everyone in the audience had their eyes glued to the screen playing the video. The fingers of the reporters were itching to write what was going to happen as soon as possible.
In the video, one can see a man standing across the street, pacing around to and fro. The video was not very clear, but one could easily make out the figures if concentrated enough. Daniel fast-forwarded the video, and it was like the man continued to pace around there for more than half an hour before he finally got a call. The man talked on the phone for a while before hanging up. It was after the call that he started to look left and right as if waiting for someone.
Everyone in the audience continued to stare intently at the screen, holding their breaths. And in front of their very eyes, out of nowhere, the man suddenly walked in front of a car before he was sent flying in the air.
The audience was left in shock with their mouth wide open. This was not some secret trick. Many people jump in front of vehicles and then blackmail the vehicle owners into a large sum of money. So this case was a total sham as well? Not just Abir but Suzie has also been implicated in a false case, and the prosecution didn't even investigate it properly. Or maybe, they have a hand in this as well.
"Your Honour, this side road here is very narrow without much traffic. Large vehicles like cars, rarely use this road. " After the video ended, Daniel continued with his argument, "For this man to know that my client Suzie was going to use this road and the call he received points out to the fact that this was not a single man rodeo. There is another party involved here with this man."
"The presumed victim of this Hit and Run can't be here because he is admitted to the hospital, but I would request the honourable Judge to order a probe in this matter as well." Daniel now used the term presumed victim to imply that in reality, it was Suzie who was the victim in this case.
Hearing the arguments from Daniel, the Judge was left pondering. While the Judge was thinking it over, the courtroom was enveloped in a buzz of chatter again. Reports were being sent to their respective newsrooms providing the netizens with details of every minute of proceedings.
"Objection, Your Honour," the prosecutor intervened. He was expecting another hammer to fly his way and was ready with his evasive manoeuvres. But his preparation came in vain when the guards behind him grabbed him by his shoulder and pushed him back into his chair.
The prosecutor was ready for the worst, but the Judge didn't lash out at him this time. He looked around to find himself a hammer, but he had none left. With no other choice, he grabbed the paperweight and banged it on his table, "Silence..." The Judge called out for everyone in the audience to keep it quiet.
After the buzz dwindled, the Judge turned towards the prosecution, "Go on."
"Your honour, the video is not very clear. Even the face of the person in the video can't be discerned properly. How can the defence claim that the person in the video is the victim?" The prosecutor asked.
But before the Judge could say anything, Daniel intervened, "Because of the time stamp, Your honour," Daniel said and pointed towards the screen. The timestamp clearly shows that the video is from the day of the incident, and going through the police records, there was no other accident report that was registered from that area on that day." Daniel clarified.
The Judge nodded and turned towards the prosecutor, "Anything else?"
Shaking his head, the prosecutor denied, "No, Your Honour. But the prosecution would like to have the video go through necessary screening at the National Forensic Service to make sure that it's not fabricated." The prosecutor put forth a demand.
The Judge took note of it and wrote it down as he ordered the same. Then he turned his attention back at Daniel, and fidgeting with his pen, asked, "You know. I have this question lurking in my head after seeing that video of yours." The Judge began to ask about the doubt he had for some time.
"You started off by saying that the car was parked there for some time, covered in dust. And as I watched that video, the windshield was really covered in dust. Except for that straight patch right in front of the dashcam, which captured the man who you think is the victim who is currently lying in the hospital, and this matter is subject to further investigation. But like I said, except for that patch. Where do you think that clean patch some from? Could it be the man himself set it all up?" The Judge put forward his doubt.
"Your Honour, the prosecution would like to ask the same," the prosecutor jumped in before Daniel could reply. He had nothing more to ask, but hearing the Judge, he found that it was pretty reasonable doubt. But he made sure not to stand up this time around. The guards behind him looked vicious.
"Bastard... I am doing his work here, and he had the gall to take fight me for credit?" The Judge could not help but mutter under his breath. He very much wanted to thrash him, but he had already been violent enough for today. Any more, and he would end up making it to prime time.
The Judge smiled, "Since the prosecutor wants to ask the same, then let the defence council respond to it. And stop interrupting me," Gritting his teeth, the Judge said, but he had this stiff smile plastered on his face.
"It's far from being that convenient, Your Honour," Daniel replied when the Judge and prosecutor were done, "It does not make sense for him to do so. If someone else were to get hold of it, this can be used against the man himself. So why would he want to chop his own leg off?" Daniel told the Judge.
"It was like nature was on our side," Daniel said and looked at Alex. As soon as Alex got the cue, he rolled back the video to a certain position from the same day. The windshield was all covered in dust, and nothing could be seen.
"That's what I was talking about," the Judge said, but as soon as he spoke, a weird sound reverberated in the courtroom and a trail formed on the windshield.
Soon the same sound was heard once again, and the trail on the windshield cleaned even more. The same thing happened a few more times before they could see some brown fur on the screen. They could not make out what it was until they saw that thing staring right at them with its innocent eyes. It was a cat. The cat being a playful animal in itself, was using the car as its own slide. Seeing the cat, everyone in the courtroom laughed at the funny turn of events.
"Silence", the Judge hammered gavel on his desk, "We will be taking a half-hour break. After that, the court will convene again." The Judge announced and then looked at the prosecutor. This asshole was outdone by a cat. A cat, for god's sake.
"And you," The Judge pointed to the prosecutor, "In my office," the Judge ordered the prosecutor and stormed off from the courtroom.
"All rise!" the bailiff asked the audience to rise in honour of the Judge.
After the Judge left, the audience in the courtroom also dispersed slowly, and only the prosecutor was left there by the end, other than Daniel and Alex.
The prosecutor walked up to Daniel, and placing his arms on the table, leaned towards him, "You must be feeling pompous thinking that you beat me, aren't you?" He said with a smile. But it was evident from his tone that he was not in the least happy.
Daniel, on the other hand, continued to pack his stuff, ignoring the cutting remarks from the prosecutor.
Even though he was getting ignored, the prosecutor didn't give up, "Ignoring me, are you? Don't be like that. We go way back, don't we," the prosecutor said once again.
"You should go see the Judge. If not, I will break your teeth before he does. Stay away from me if you want to get home with all your teeth intact," Daniel said, without even looking at the man.
"Let's go, Alex." And Daniel walked out of the courtroom without even sparing the prosecutor a second glance, followed by Alex, leaving the prosecutor fuming in anger.
* * * * *