August 2002: Craig Murray is appointed British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, a US ally in the “war on terror”.
October 2002: In a speech to “Freedom House”, Craig Murray details grave concerns over the human rights situation in Uzbekistan.
November 2002: In a secret telegram to London, Craig Murray first criticises the receipt by the CIA and MI6 of intelligence extracted through torture.
November 2002 – March 2003: Craig Murray continues to speak out about human rights abuse in Uzbekistan, and support local human rights activists.
8th March 2003: Craig Murray is summoned to London and told formally of Jack Straw’s decision that intelligence material obtained under torture is both legal and useful.
March 2003 – August 2003: Craig Murray continues to speak out about human rights abuse in Uzbekistan.
August 2003: The Foreign Office presents Craig Murray with 18 disciplinary charges, including an allegation that he gave out British visas to Uzbek girls in exchange for sex. He is suspended and given a week to resign. He denounces the charges, and refuses to resign. The charges are not made public.
October 2003: The Guardian newspaper discovers that Craig Murray has been suspended, and reports details of the charges against him. A senior unnamed Foreign Office source talks of a “campaign of systematic undermining” against Craig Murray to pressure him to stop criticising the Uzbek government. The source suggests that the pressure was partly “exercised on the orders of No 10”. The Foreign Office refuses to make any official comment.
January 2004: All 18 disciplinary charges are disproved, and Craig Murray returns to his post – though he is disciplined for speaking to colleagues about the charges.
January 2004 – July 2004: Craig Murray continues to speak out about human rights abuse in Uzbekistan, and support local human rights activists.
July 2004: In a strongly-worded secret memo, Craig Murray criticises the British and US policy of accepting information extracted through torture by the Uzbek government. “We are selling our souls for dross”, he says.
October 11th 2004: Craig Murray’s secret memo is published in the Financial Times, following a leak by an unknown official.
October 15th 2004: Craig Murray is sacked from his Ambassadorial post “for operational reasons”, but remains on the Foreign Office payroll.
October 16th 2004: In a Radio 4 interview, Craig Murray speaks out against his sacking, claiming that he is a “victim of conscience”. He goes on to give other media interviews, in which he is critical of the Foreign Office.
February 2005: Craig Murray resigns from the Foreign Office, and announces his intention to stand as an Independent candidate against Jack Straw in Blackburn.