FCO Finally Admits I Was Innocent 33



(You need to click on fcomurray1, and then on the lower smallcase fcomurray1 that will appear again, and then repeat the process with fcomurray2. Hopefully I might find a more elegant way later.)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has, for the first time, admitted I was cleared on all 19 charges they laid against me, except for the Kafkaesque charge of talking about the charges against me in order to prepare a defence.

However the letter from Lord Howell claims – falsely, as far as I am aware – “that the disciplinary allegations taken by the FCO in Craig Murray’s case related first to complaints made about him by members of his staff”. In the course of a four month investigation under suspension, I was only ever shown a single complaint about me by members of my staff. This consisted of a signed statement by a small group of staff in the visa saction, to the effect that on a named morning I had told them I had a hangover.

This statement was not the source of the allegation, but rather obtained after the allegation that I was an alcoholic had been made by the FCO. Every single member of my staff was called in and asked if they had ever seen me drunk. That statement, that I once said that I had a hangover, was the sole result of this fishing expedition. I was never shown any staff statement on any other allegation, including the astounding allegation of sex for visas, and as these were all dropped for lack of evidence I presume there were no such statements. Lord Howell is telling an untruth, though I fully expect as a result of being lied to by his civil servants.

On the other disciplinary count – that of unauthorised disclosure to the media – relates to my appearance on the Today programme etc AFTER I had told the FCO I was leaving the service, so is hardly germane. Jack Straw added that line to parliament in order to say I had not resolved all charges against me. Straw had fudged this to appear still to refer to the sexual charges.

Of course, what Lord Howell fails completely to mention is, that these eighteen disciplinary charges miraculously appeared from nowhere immediately after I became the only UK civil servant to enter a written objection to our complicity in torture in the War on Terror.

What sickens me most about this in Lord Howell’s letter is the FCO’s claim to have cleared itself in its own investigation of having made the allegations against me “maliciously or in bad faith”.

Do they really expect anybody to believe that you can make eighteen serious allegations against somebody, every one of which turns out to be untrue, in good faith?

I am very grateful indeed to Nigel Jones for his persistence in winning at least this much acknowledgement of my innocence from the FCO, after eight years in which they have systematically blackened my name. I am sorry that Lord Howell can’t tell Nigel Jones from Digby Jones!

33 thoughts on “FCO Finally Admits I Was Innocent

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  • Stephen Gradwick

    About time too!

    It is cowardly and despicble that they would target and falsely accuse someone for speaking out about the atrocities and torture in which they were complicit in direct contravention of international law.

    The world would be a much darker place without people like you with the integrity to be willing to risk everything by speaking out and standing up for right and justice!

  • mary

    Yes I echo Mark’s words.

    Here we go on the terrrrr war. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-13294132
    5 May 2011 Last updated at 13:19
    Nottingham University expert ‘suspended’ in terror row The university has described Dr Thornton’s article as defamatory
    A lecturer has claimed he was suspended after criticising Nottingham University’s treatment of a pupil who downloaded an al-Qaeda training manual.

    Terrorism expert Dr Rod Thornton wrote a paper claiming the university “attempted to discredit” Rizwaan Sabir, after his arrest in 2008.

    Mr Sabir was released without charge after six days.

    The university said Dr Thornton’s article was “highly defamatory of a number of his colleagues”.

    On 14 May 2008, counter-terrorism officers arrested the student along with university administrator Hicham Yezza.

    ‘Baseless accusations’

    Police found that Mr Sabir had downloaded the 1,500-page manual as part of research for a dissertation, and had passed it to Mr Yezza to print.

    Both were released on 20 May and cleared of any involvement in terrorist activity.

  • Jon

    Good news Craig, though not nearly as embarrassing to the Establishment as it ought to have been. I suppose because it rests on the minutiae of official procedure and interminable bureaucracy, it doesn’t have the necessary simplicity or immediacy to become a media story. It certainly should, of course: the only British civil servant to properly object to the hidden policy of supporting torture faced trumped-up charges that gently melt into the ether several years later, and no-one has to carry the can.

  • mark_golding

    Having read the files I find this statement particularly disturbing:

    “Craig had said that his understanding was that it was also an offence under the Convention to receive or possess information obtained under torture. I said that I did not believe that this was the case, but undertook to re-read the Convention.

    2. I have done so. There is nothing in the Convention to this effect. The nearest thing is article 15 which provides:

    “Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made”.

    3. This does not create any offence. I woud expect that under UK law any statement established to have been made as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence.

    Signed M C Wood

    Legal Adviser”

    The British public need a greater assurance other than a statement by MI6 Head Sir John Sawers that torture is illegal.

    I for one need to witness an attempt by the British parliament to enact further legislation especially in light of this evidence(names have changed but policies remain):

    “After my protests at our obtaining intelligence under torture, I was astonished to be called back to London for a
    meeting on 8 March 2003 at which I was told that torture intelligence was legal, and that Jack Straw and Sir
    Richard Dearlove, Head of MI6, had decided that in the “War on Terror” we should, as a matter of policy, obtain
    intelligence got by torture by foreign intelligence services.

    At the meeting it was agreed that Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign Office’s chief legal adviser, would put in writing his
    view that we were committing no offence by obtaining torture intelligence. This minute is that legal assurance.
    Craig Murray
    May 2006″

  • deep green puddock

    Well I will offer congratulations, but also sympathy because being dragged through this kind of process is deeply wearing, as these organisations well know. It is part of the process to erode self confidence and sow self doubt. I have seen many similar processes, although not at the exalted level of the FCO and an Ambassador.
    Sometimes, (not often enough) however it all works out to advantage. A friend who was malignantly defamed at his work by a grudge-settling colleague, has been through a year and a half of scandalously vindictive legal and quasi-legal process. (at great cost to the public, I should add. (In fact process has been grossly abused). Having been exonerated, he now has the employer by the proverbial balls, as their behaviour has been so palpably and demonstrably dishonest, improper, costly.
    I had the pleasure of being able to write an email to the (main) instigator of the proceedings, and ‘en passant’ had the pleasure of telling how happy I was at the outcome, and would he be kind enough to pass on my best wishes etc etc (which in my mind’s eye, has him choking over his morning coffee). Certainly, I am sure he found the innocent, good-hearted comment difficult to swallow.

    I am of the impression that this kind of tactic has become a standard part of the institutional repertoire in the last twenty years or so, have been in remission.

    anyway best wishes. and enjoy the feeling of transcending adversity. As they say, If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

  • Herbie

    It’s very clear to anyone with an ounce of sense that the British FCO sought to fit you up for voicing humanitarian concerns that everyone now knows to be true.

    It’s to their even greater shame and that of their current and past political masters that even now they cowardly hide behind heavily parsed linguistics in a vain attempt to shield their complete and utter immorality from view.

    “The two countries (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) ranked in the bottom 10 for the freedom of the press in this year’s index by Freedom House, the US government funded pro-democracy website, alongside North Korea, Belarus, Burma and Eritrea.

    Freedom House said that in these countries, “independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, citizens’ access to unbiased information is severely limited, and dissent is crushed through imprisonment, torture and other forms of repression.””


  • Tom Welsh

    “Do they really expect anybody to believe that you can make eighteen serious allegations against somebody, every one of which turns out to be untrue, in good faith?”

    Do they really expect anyone to believe that you can launch an unprovoked war of aggression, based on allegations about WMD all of which turn out to be untrue, and cause the unnecessary deaths of over 1 million people, in good faith?

    Do they really expect anyone to believe that you can shoot an innocent, defenceless civilian quietly going about his lawful business in the head seven times at point-blank range, in good faith?

    Do they really expect anyone to believe them about anything – including the time of day or the weather?

    I shouldn’t think so.

  • Robbie

    This is a long but interesting and related read on the kind of things that happen in the Kafkaesque Britain that Blair and his gang of thugs created:

    “How a student’s use of a library book became a “major Islamist plot””

    In May 2008, on the campus of the University of Nottingham, two men of ethnic minority background – a student and an administrator – were arrested and held forsix days under the Terrorism Act 2000. Their crime was to have in their possession threedocuments
    all of which were, in fact, available from their own university‟s library.
    Thepolice had made their arrests based on erroneous evidence provided by two men: theRegistrar of the University of Nottingham and an academic within the institution.Subsequently, despite being made aware of the mistakes it had made, the university notonly refused to apologise to the two arrested men but it also began to resort to defensivemeasures that attempted to discredit the names both of the two accused and of innocentuniversity employees. Untruth piled on untruth until a point was reached where the HomeOffice itself farcically came to advertise the case as „a major Islamist plot‟.
    Many lessonscan be learnt from what happened at the University of Nottingham. This incident is anindication of the way in which, in the United Kingdom of today, young Muslim men can become so easily tarred with the brush of being „terrorists‟


  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig -this is off topic – and again I congratulate you ( to remain on topic) – but – would be happy to have your take on a post in response this analysis:-


    It seems to me logical – simple – and perfectly credible an explanation. Why should the Africans rise – or be allowed to – I ask myself – and with gold Dinars to boot.

    Bring on the “humanitarian intervention” ….HURRY!

  • dreoilin

    Congratulations Craig. Eight years is a long time to wait for that admission. As for, “FCO’s claim to have cleared itself in its own investigation”, I thought, “Israel and the Mavi Marmara” … What a joke.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Well done, mate. Congratulations. Interesting that having a hangover constitutes evidence that someone is an alcoholic. I’m in trouble – i’m almost certainly going to have one tomorrow.

  • mark_golding


    Agree and I thought of the initial whitewash inquiry of Bloody Sunday when loose army talk described ‘shooting protesters’ in Derry. Some 38 years later in 2010 we learn the truth and history is rewritten. A number of tape recordings including a recording taken from security forces telephone conversations bugged by the IRA hours after British soldiers opened fire, provided crucial evidence.
    The security forces learned a valuable lesson thus it is clear to me that the CCTV images released during the 7/7 trial failed to provide conclusive proof, beyond reasonable doubt, of the guilt of the four Muslim men accused of perpetrating the attacks.
    Perhaps in 30 odd years from now some crucial evidence will emerge that tells us exactly how 56 people died and over 700 injured on the tube and the No 30 bus and why former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, shamefully dismissed the early calls for a public inquiry as a “ludicrous diversion”.

  • nextus

    I well recognise the tone here. I endured a roughly analogous experience (albeit of not international significance). I was repeatedly threatened not to reveal how I was being treated. Even when I was ultimately vindicated, I was clearly warned that if I made the affair public it would taint my name by association, so I would be effectively unemployable. Naively wishing to protect my employment prospects and therefore gain more credibility, I chose not to pursue the matter legally – I hoped that the emphatic nature of my vindication would counterbalance any doubts. But it didn’t; in the end I was effectively ruined anyway. I’ve contacted many people asking for assistance, and while some of them sympathised, nobody had an incentive to speak up for me in an official capacity. This silence enabled the establishment to whitewash their own motives and absolve themselves of guilt. So in the end, they got off scot-free while I suffered the same fate that awaited me if I had lost. Ultimately the victory was purely moral, not material. Sometimes that’s all there is to cling to.

    These stories are important in the grand scheme; they influence attitudes.

  • Sam

    Great news, Craig, and so good that you managed to prevail during times that must have been harrowing.

    We need to hear more such vindications.

    Mostly we never hear about the multifarious ways ‘the system’ endeavours to kill off its critics – and I do mean kill.

    There was all too much of this during the last dictatorship. Our current regime does seem to be righting some wrongs – most of which the public will never get to hear about. You’ll only know if it applies to you or a member of your family.

    For anyone else who’s suffering in imposed silence, remember ‘Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.’

  • glenn_uk

    Hmm, read it this afternoon, and the general message seemed to be, “Nobody to blame. Everything was done in good faith. Furthermore, CM wasn’t _really_ to blame for anything either, but the fellow wanted to quit anyway, so everybody should be happy now.”

    Time to move on, draw lines under, put behind, and so forth – why am I reminded of Mendez, Hutton, “Death on the Rock”, Matrix-Churchill and 1000 other investigations, small and large, which always conclude with a gentle reminder to The Establishment that perhaps it could make more effort in its presentation, just to put itself beyond suspicion?

  • Strategist

    Congratulations, Craig. It must feel great to be officially exonerated.

    Can you now sue them?

  • anno

    I once heard Stephen Dorrell interviewed on Radio 4, stating that nobody could have predicted that feeding sheep’s brains to cows would cause a trillion pound catastrophe to the UK meat industry.
    Except a 3 year old child possibly?

    What is this nonsense about Blair inventing lying? New Labour just used lying more routinely and comprehensively than their predecessors, otherwize they wouldn’t have got into power.
    The liars and the lied to are in the same net, if they condone the lie without objecting.

    You can’t hang the entire UK establishment. They will be tried by a higher court on the day of judgement. The court of world opinion has now placed UK plc and all its contents in the recycle bin, including the objectors. Did we take our objections to the streets and get locked up for it like protesters in the Arab spring?

    We have far more justification to rebel against our rulers, and we are really taxed into poverty and debt on a far greater scale than any Arab dictators have done, unless we had taken out interest loans to survive, for basic needs like transport, housing, food and health.

    I would like to pick off the establishment one by one, like they are doing to the Taliban, until they get it into their silly heads that they are the enemy to human civilisation, not Islam.

  • ingo

    We all knew time was on your side Craig, congratulations. You have three options, at least.
    First is the worst, to sue and engage in lenghty arduous and incredibly stressing argy bargy, not to speak of long drawn out court case scenario’s, angry men behind the scenes, etc. etc.
    Secondly, ask them to credit your job, experience and knowledge and have you back in a similar position, call their bluff, if they do not torture as they say and you are exonerated, what the heck was all that about then?

    Those sticklebacks should re-employ you according to your expertise. I’ll drink to that and 89 voters who had faith in an Independent me.
    Third is to accept an undisclosed sum and pensioning off as you deserve, the goldwatch admittance in any case.

  • catherine podojil

    A hangover! Well, for god’s sake, I am appalled that you are still allowed out of the house without an ankle bracelet!

    Seriously, I second, third, and fourth, however many posts there are, that you sue the asses off these twits.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Mark,

    Thanks for the reference to http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-global-plans-to-replace-the-dollar/

    Quite clear and logical.

    I can’t see the dollar holding on, even if a life line and life raft were quickly dispatched – it cannot float as global reserve currency forever. The other nations are establishing their own reserve currencies, and the dollar and dollar funded militarism through reliance on global demand for dollars, will see stark changes in coming years and the US defence budget will then be compelled to contract. But – we will see.

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