Closing arguments were heard Friday in the trial of SplotchWatch web site owner Raimundo Zorro and the verdict of Mr. Justice Augustus Dindon will likely come down this month, experts say.
Zorro faces two counts of “inciting hate” and one count of “inciting discord.” The former charges refer to the intent of his web site; the latter refers to its effects.
Zorro, whom some have described as a disgruntled former journalist, was represented in court by his lawyer, Pernilla Varghund. Varghund is a junior partner in The Park’s oldest law firm, Terrier, Terrier, Wolfhound and Shepherd.
During the trial and in closing, Varghund argued vehemently that Zorro’s only intent in running the web site was to encourage “openness and honesty” and to let Park Animals know who among them had removed their stripes or spots.
The issue became of major concern this year when The Park’s major grooming houses reported that stripe removal had become their most sought-after service. This is likely due to both social and financial concerns, as numerous reports and studies have indicated that striped and spotted Animals do not receive equal treatment in The Park.
After almost six months of police surveillance, Zorro’s web site was shut down last March and he was subsequently charged. The original trial date was set for June 25, but it was held over until July 13 due to the temporary absence from The Park of several key witnesses.
A spokesAnimal for The Park’s court system confirmed that, in the interest of openness, the transcripts of the trial will be made public in October.