A Canine Interlude

Murder Trial Calls Dog As Witness

By Sky News SkyNews – Thursday, September 11 02:59 pm

A courtroom observing a French murder trial could be excused for thinking the presiding judge has gone barking mad.

In what is believed to be a world first, the investigating magistrate has invited a dog to take the stand as a witness.

Scooby will give evidence as he is believed to have been with his 59-year-old owner when she was found hanging from the ceiling of her Paris flat.

Police believe the death was suicide, but her family cry murder – and the only witness to see the alleged crime is on four legs.

It is hoped Scooby can collar the potential perpetrator, having already played a leading role during a preliminary court hearing in Nanteree, a Paris suburb.

He is said to have hounded a suspect, “barking furiously” after being taken out of the kennel and into the witness box by a vet.

French judge Thomas Cassuto praised the mongrel for his “exemplary behaviour and invaluable assistance”.

But lawyers barked back – insisting the bizarre spectacle “proved nothing”.

One said: “Human evidence is unreliable enough, let alone canine evidence.

“Besides, the victim died two and half years ago, which is seventeen dog years! How is the animal supposed to remember that far back?”

A spokesman for the Palais de Justice in Paris confirmed that the appearance was the first time a dog had appeared as a witness in criminal proceedings in France.

He said: “It was a preliminary hearing. The judge will now decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

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Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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