“Hmm, I see… then let us hear the defense’s opinion.”
The judge pierced into me with an awfully sharp look. If I said anything wrong, I felt it would go right through me.
Let’s bring an end to this case. And protect the defendant, my client. For that, I either need to prove the defendant didn’t kill anyone, or indict a true culprit.
The confession, the evidence, and the eyewitness testimony together, at a glance, this situation was a dead end. But if you thought about it, there was a hole. It was…
“In the previous trial, a problem was presented. There were contradictions in the surveillance footage taken at the crime scene.”
“Ah, that again?”
Prosecutor Schaefer let out a deep sigh. From the sheer exaggeration of her motion, it made me feel she was actually giving a hint.
As I thought, was she leading me on?
“Wasn’t that already resolved? And at this point, it feels like a trivial problem with little relevance to this case. Bringing it up at this point means it must hold the key to resolve this case, right?”
She was clearly leading me on. But I thought I’d jump on anyways.
“The contradiction in the footage is a trivial problem? Perish the thought. More than that, this is the focal point of the case.”
I put up a bluff, wringing out a voice to roar through the courtroom.
“Are you listening? Remember what this demon lord… this witness just stated. The witness definitely said it. The one the defendant attacked wasn’t the witness- Hal Anderson- but the other guard, the hero Andre McHirsh.”
The female prosecutor showed doubt.
“But that would be strange. The prosecution has asserted this photo was taken on November the 11th. If the defendant attacked the victim at the hotel on November 11th, the victim would not have been Andre McHirsh. By the shift table, the one who was on duty should have been Hal Anderson.”
The gallery started to grow noisy. “Come to think of it, he’s right.”
But the prosecution wasn’t particularly perturbed, objecting as if it were natural.
“In that case, wouldn’t that just have to mean she came to the scene on the 10th?”
When she would never recognize it to that point, the prosecutor suddenly changed her hand, easily admitting it.
“What are you surprised about? The one who presented the possibility that the surveillance footage was taken on the 10th rather than the 11th was none other than the defense, right?”
“No, you’re right, but…”
“Right. Come to think of it, that sounds right. I’m sure the defendant came on the 10th. Oh? But how strange. By the shift table, the one on service on November 10th was a certain Andre McHirsh.”
I felt a cold sweat.
“She came to the hotel on November 10th. In that case, it wouldn’t really be a contradiction if she attacked Andre McHirsh, right?”
I accidentally let that out.
Claudia sent a worried look at me.
Was it a mistake after all? Was it pointless to pursue the truth any further?
… No, that’s wrong. It’s true I’ve been placed at a disadvantageous standing, but I should be growing nearer to the truth.
The problem is how to tie the demon lord to the true culprit. That was the beginning.
After a deep breath, I cooled my head and thought. There, a single doubt was born.
“Then why would such a problem have arisen?”
The female prosecutor’s eyebrow twitched in response, forming a dubious face.
“Fabricating evidence is a crime. Of course, with the numerous contraptions set up with the camera footage, they were goods even the police would never be able to fabricate.”
That was proven in the previous trial. The camera footage had a special defensive magic on it, so you couldn’t alter any of its contents. Aside from the date.
“Once the camera stores to a CD, its contents can never be changed. However, the date is an exception, and if it just goes by the date written on the case, all sorts of fabrications are possible. Then just who had done such a thing?”
“We didn’t do anything of the sort.”
Prosecutor Schaefer objected without a moment’s delay.
“I know. But there’s something I must ask. How did the police obtain these CDs in the first place?”
On my assertion, the court went silent for a moment.
“The security camera footage was stored on the monitoring room above the guard room. To enter this monitoring room, you have to clear its biometric systems. The only one who can enter the room is the security guard on duty for the day, and on their off days, they’re set so even registered guards can’t get in.”
“Hmm, they were guarded that heavily?”
The judge’s eyes blinked as he responded.
“But no matter how complicated the system is, as long as the security company disarms it, then can’t just about anyone enter?”
“Yes. As m’lud has stated, no matter how sturdy the lock is, if the one in charge of managing it disarms it, it holds no meaning. With the police’s level of authority, getting a security company to disarm its system would be no trouble at all. But was there really any need for you to go through that troublesome paperwork?”
I looked at the female prosecutor, and glared at the demon lord.
“After the incident came to light, the police arrested the defendant in barely any time at all. As if all the investigators already knew her face. No matter how much authority they have, I get the feeling their movements are a bit too quick. So how did it really go down, Ms. Prosecutor? How did you obtain the defendant’s face, no her footage?”
“… Authority, authority, how noisy. It’s as if you’re treating us as some evil secret society. Very well, it’s not as if we were hiding it, so I’ll tell you. The police cooperated with the security guard on the site, and confiscated the CD.”
“I see. And that guard on the side would naturally mean you, wouldn’t it Mr. Demon Lord?”
The demon lord’s cold expression turned to a boorish grin for a moment before, “Yeah, that’s right,” he answered.