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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Sheridan judge in case complaint
Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan dismissed his legal team and went on to win
A formal complaint against Tommy Sheridan's legal team has been launched by the judge in the Glasgow MSP's defamation case, it has emerged.

Lord Turnbull voiced concerns after allegations were put to a witness that she had a conviction for credit card fraud and had served a prison sentence.

These turned out to be false and Mr Sheridan sacked his legal team.

The jury found in favour of the former SSP leader and awarded 200,000 in damages against the News of the World.

It also emerged that lawyers representing witness Ann Colvin had lodged complaints with the Faculty of Advocates about the allegations made by junior counsel Graeme Henderson.

Complaint's committee

She has also complained to the firm of solicitors which instructed counsel on Mr Sheridan's defence team.

Mr Henderson had claimed she had served 18 months in prison for credit card fraud, but was later forced to apologise.

Lord Turnbull warned the junior counsel at the time that he had broken the Faculty of Advocates code of conduct, which states that an advocate cannot put questions to a witness suggesting they are guilty of a crime, unless they had evidence.

Lord Turnbull has now written to the Faculty of Advocates about the matter.

Mr Sheridan said he was "incandescent with rage" about the incident at the time and denied it came from him.

Mrs Colvin cannot sue for defamation, as the comments were made in court where privilege applies.

The faculty's complaints committee has the power to order advocates to pay 5,000 in compensation to the complainer or even suspend them.

A Faculty of Advocates spokesman said Mr Henderson did not want to comment on the matter.


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