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French court summons dogs as witnesses

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 9:35pm IST | Place: London | Agency: IANS
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A French court has sought help from man's best friend in a murder trial, media reported Friday.

A nine-year-old labrador named Tango has testified as a star witness in the murder case of its master, who was killed in a fight in the city of Tours in Central France, the Daily Express reported Friday.

Tango was called to the witness stand to identify the suspect.

It was summoned to bark at the alleged suspect waving a bat in the courtroom.

Also during preliminary hearing of the case, earlier this month, a second labrador called Norman was summoned for the same test.

However, neither Tango nor Norman showed any interest in the suspect with the bat, or in the rest of the court proceedings.

Meanwhile, raising serious doubts over the entire proceedings, the defendant's lawyer protested the move to summon pets to the courtroom.

The lawyer slammed the judge for defying logic and surrounding himself with experts who are unreasonable.

"So, if Tango lifted his right paw, moved his mouth or his tail, is he recognising my client or not," the lawyer said.

It is not the first time a dog has been called as a court witness in the country.

Six years ago, a dog named Scooby became the first canine in France to give evidence in court.

The animal's 59-year-old owner had been found hanging from the ceiling of her Paris flat.

Although a French judge lauded the dog for its "exemplary behaviour and invaluable assistance", yet the dog's evidence did not prove conclusive in the case.


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