A Deputy High Court judge has been asked to decide whether details of mobile phone calls made by a Birmingham Labour councillor accused of election fraud should be made public.
Petitioners who claim last year's council elections were riddled by postal vote rigging are trying to prove that Aston councillor Mohammad Afzal took part in a midnight rendezvous at a warehouse on an industrial estate where postal ballots were allegedly filled in to support Labour candidates.
Coun Afzal denies the claim, insisting that he went to bed at 10.30pm after consuming a "warm drink".
But the petitioners believe they can prove Coun Afzal was at the industrial estate, claiming that he made several mobile phone calls from the scene.
Police were called to the incident on June 9, the day before the election, by Liberal Democrat supporters who claimed to have followed a car containing bundles of postal ballot papers driven by Coun Afzal. Several people were questioned but no further action was taken by police.
Deputy High Court judge Richard Mawrey QC was due to rule today on whether Birmingham City Council should be required to hand over records of Coun Afzal's mobile phone calls. Mr Mawrey said the council should be given an opportunity to object if it wished to do so.
Ravi Sukul, representing the petitioners, told an election court yesterday that the credibility of Coun Afzal's story was being called into question.
"In his witness statement Mr Afzal makes the point that on the night of the warehouse incident the police attended he was not present. The petitioners, of course, argue that he was," Mr Sukul said.
The petitioners believed Coun Afzal was "wide awake and in communication with other people" at the time.
When the alleged incident took place Coun Afzal was the cabinet member for equalities and human resources and had a mobile phone provided by the council.