© 2010 Ross Richdale

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Hundreds of spectators, reporters and law students crowded the public gallery of the courtroom but silence reigned. It was the nineteenth day of the trial that was expected to take two weeks.

Doctor Aari Marshall stood behind the ornate defendant's desk and, in spite of her effort to remain impassive, felt a tightening in her throat as the High Court Clerk rose.

The clerk was dressed in the traditional cream gown to signify the triumph of truth over adversity and held a golden rod in her hand. It was carved with the, again symbolic head of wheat. This looked ominous. The rod was only displayed when the evidence had all been heard and the summing up was about to commence.

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