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his account of the proceedings

Could you replace the words "account" and "proceeding" with simpler words?

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Only 123 of the defendants were present. The rest were either released, out on bail or on the run.

"When the trial starts on Saturday and it is just a procedural hearing, and the judge doesn't listen to any lawyers or witnesses and doesn't even call the defendants, you are before a group of thugs and not the judiciary," Walid, a relative of one of the defendants, said by phone.

It was not possible to confirm his account of the proceedings independently.

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2 Answers 2

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In this context, "His account of the proceedings" means "What he said happened in court", as StoneyB explains.

The phrase is also used more loosely to mean "What he said happened" in more general contexts. Although "proceedings" refers properly to a session of a court or some other formal meeting with a definite agenda, it can also be used to talk about any event, such as a sports match. In such cases, there might be a light-hearted suggestion that the event happened as if it had been formally planned.

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Account means a narrative, a telling of what happened—a story, but the word does not imply as story often does a fictional account. It is often used to contrast different versions of what happened:

His account of the quarrel differed from Henry's: he claimed it started when Henry deliberately spilled his drink.

Proceedings means the actions of a body such as a court of law or a learned society during a formal session—an official 'sitting' or meeting.

His account of the proceedings thus means His version of what happened in court while it was in session.

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