I Go to Stand My Trial 597

I leave Edinburgh this afternoon for London, to stand trial at the High Court for libel. To answer a question frequently asked, the reason I have accepted English jurisdiction is that the event was a Sky News broadcast, an English broadcaster. If it had been over my blog I would not have accepted jurisdiction as I do not accept the English claim to universal jurisdiction over internet content.

I do hope that this trial will help bring into further disrepute the immoral and draconian English libel laws. If I lose, the total costs and damages I would have to pay will potentially amount to some £350,000 – a ridiculously disproportionate result for the alleged civil offence. It would ruin me and blight the lives of my young family. Whether this can possibly be an appropriate reaction to something I said in response in a live debate, you might judge for yourselves by reading the court documents .

Thanks to the astonishing generosity of the readers of this blog, at least I am in a position to defend myself robustly. Over 5,000 readers of this blog have, with incredible generosity, contributed a total of £100,323 towards my defence to date. The libel laws are so oppressive because the sums of money involved are so astonishing. The entire massive English libel industry – courts, judges, barristers, solicitors – is taken together a major financial interest in itself, well represented in parliament. It is in all their collective financial interest that this system of oppression rolls on, which of course requires a good chance of people being found guilty to encourage more plaintiffs into the industry. I often feel this analysis from unconscious institutional self-interest is often neglected in favour of the equally valid and important argument that the libel laws are an essential tool of the wealthy and powerful to discourage free speech by the poor. Robert Maxwell, Alisher Usmanov and Jimmy Savile are three examples of people who kept their true nature hidden by constantly and aggressively threatening people with the disastrous consequences of an English libel suit.

Finally the trial starts on Tuesday 7 November at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, High Court Queen’s Bench. It will last probably two and up to three days. It is open to the public. I would very much welcome anyone with the capacity to report any of what happens on social media. I am not aware of any restrictions on this, but will try to publish them here if I learn of any.

This is probably my last blogpost until after the trial, as I must concentrate now. By the time I come back online the Tories will have appointed their next Disgraced Former Defence Secretary in Waiting.

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597 thoughts on “I Go to Stand My Trial

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  • John Goss

    I sincerely hope that Sir David Eady lives up to his reputation as a private man who dislikes hypocrites and bullies.


    Craig Murray, like all of us, has made mistakes, said things on the spur of the moment which with a little reflection we might have bitten our tongues. I sincerely hope that Sir David sees this as a cynical attempt to ruin a good man by people with overzealous passions for their cause. I use ’cause’ in the singular because certainly in the case of Mark Lewis his passion for a country some two thousand miles away (estimate) clearly surpasses any love for this country or its integrity.

    I trust Sir David will take a look at the case and throw it out for the timewasting nonsense it is.

    • freddy

      I heard it the other day and again this morning.
      It has been suggested that she had talks about funding the Israeli military for humanitarian projects in
      The Golan.

      The Golan is Internationally recognized as been part of Syria.

      • freddy

        Israeli military says ready to protect Druze village in Syria
        A suicide auto bomb attack killed nine people in a government-held village in Syria’s Golan Heights on November 3, state media said, reporting clashes between government forces and rebels afterwards.

        A statement released by the Spokesperson Unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that “IDF is ready and prepared to assist the residents of the village and would prevent Hader from being harmed or occupied”. State news agency SANA said the auto bomb hit the outskirts of the village of Hader, which lies near the disengagement line that divides the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan from that occupied by Israel.

        Al-Nusra Front is a now-changed name for a jihadist group that was formerly Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and is now known as the Fateh al-Sham Front.

        After the incident, dozens of Israeli Druze protested at the Syrian border against the escalating violence in Hader.
        Israel occupied part of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it later, in a move never recognized by the global community. “The hour of truth has come, our brothers in the village are surrounded, we have to protect our brothers”, Maadi urged his followers.

        Syrian state television broadcast footage it said was of residents of Israeli-held areas of the Golan Heights attempting to cross the border to assist people in Hader.

        Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that due to the fighting in Hader, police forces were deployed at major intersections in the Golan Heights.

        The statement reflects ongoing pressure on Israeli leaders from the Druze communities in the Galilee and on the Golan to help their coreligionists across the border who are often caught in the crossfire between Sunni rebels and Alawite and Shiite pro-government forces.

        Al-Nusra Front warned Druze residents not to fight alongside the regime and warned them against the consequences of such support.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Her contacts overlap intriguingly with Blair’s. Milken, Pearson, Africa, telecoms. No financial interests registered, but was her intense ‘holiday’ itinerary paid for out of her own pocket? Only a cynic would suggest otherwise.

      • fred

        Of course it was, I thought so as soon as I read the press release on my computer which isn’t stolen. My friend, who never drinks and drives, thought so too as well as his wife who is always 100% honest when filling in her tax returns. Did I tell you my computer definitely didn’t fall off the back of a lorry?

          • fred

            Not entirely true, it was the part of Scotland north of the Great Glen which collided with the rest of Scotland. I’m on the Baltic plate but by less than a mile.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            It’s just an interpretation site (at Knockan Rock, Sutherland), but if you’re going to be pedantic…that’s my job.
            The Laurentia-Baltica (425-400Ma)collision slightly predates the Avalonia-Laurentia (complete ~390Ma) one. I’d assume that a geologist being funny about about Scotland colliding with England was referring to the latter. You are near a thrust on which major movement occurred during the former, yes. But all but the S. edge of what is now Scotland is Laurentia-Baltica while to the S of a suture line probably somewhere near the Cheviots is Avalonia.
            The rocks N and S of the Great Glen Fault probably originated on the same plate (Baltica), and it is suggested that what’s visible now in the Southern Uplands of Scotland was developed during the approach of Avalonia and may involve an exotic terrane.

            All of this is as usual infinitely debatable but there seems to be grudging agreement on the outline.

      • freddy

        Priti Patel, said that she bumped into Lord Polak.
        Later it is said, they accompanied each other on all but one meeting.
        That is some bumping into?

        I expect her family were somewhat pissed off by her having so many meetings, she’d barely have time for frollicks with them in The Sea of Galilee

    • nevermind

      Whats a development minister got to do with raising funds for a foreign armed services charity, semi official and behind Boris back.
      When she said that Boris knew all about her trip and the ‘opportunities’ ( planned?) to meet many influential people, she was lying, alledgedly.

      Is Priti Patel being groomed to become the next PM? How come that this kind of smearing is even possible and if the latter was true, what would this do to UK foreign policy?

    • fwl

      Wow that is some FO release. It is as the FO is asking why is she still here? Difficult to know how conduct like this, which is bang on about the job itself is ok, but touching journalists knees etc is not?

  • Paul Barbara

    Does anybody know what time Craig’s trial begins? I have tried to find out, but without success.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      The court notes said not until 11:00am Court 11 …

      Someone posted earlier this evening, the details, but it maybe liable to change.

      The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is a court building in London which houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Wikipedia
      Address: Strand, London WC2A 2LL
      Construction started: 1866
      Hours: Open today · 10am–4:30pm
      Phone: 020 7947 6000
      Architectural style: Gothic Revival architecture

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tony_0pmoc November 7, 2017 at 00:55
        Cheers, Tony. I’ll try to make it.

        Notice the two !!’s: I’m not really into ‘numbers’, but I certainly have an open mind on it.
        It won’t be easy for me, a hideously ”late sleeper”, but 11 am ain’t that bad.
        I’d like to add my ‘power’ to Craig’s case.

        God bless.

          • glenn_nl

            Eady… think he’s been mentioned in Private Eye before now. A notorious plaintiff’s lawyer in libel cases, an Establishment stooge. These cases don’t get handed out at random. Damn.

          • John Goss

            Glenn_nl I don’t think we should pre-judge the judge. He apparently found for George Galloway against the Telegraph. But of course every case is different. I can’t see him coming to any other conclusion that this case is a cynical attempt by Mark Lewis to extort money using the lawcourts and ruin a good man.

            On another topic I too left a message that due to comment deletions by mods on the 9/11 thread I would not be commenting further two days ago. It got deleted. 😀

        • Paul Barbara

          Should have read ‘Notice the two 11’s’. In my cups, as usual, but hitting the sack now, in order to try to be on station tomorrow.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Hear, hear. Victorian Gothic was rightly disparaged as pretentious, inauthentic, vulgar and tasteless until the 1980s or so. Then – possibly because there’s so much of it – it started being Heritage, and sacred. But Scott had his moments. Norwich Catholic cathedral is fun, and nods at the Norman-based, Tudor-expanded tradition of older local churches, inside, while going rather Euro-OTT outside. Pity he didn’t specify better stone.

  • nevermind

    Can we please refrain from using twitter, its limited expressionism is the equivalent of spitting, the phlegm has to come out in a hurry, everyone wants to be first with saying as little as possible.

    • N_

      Craig has encouraged attendance in court by those “with the capacity to report (…) what happens on social media”, so the horribleness of Twitter shouldn’t discourage anyone who supports the defence from doing so. It could be a help. Craig is under organised attack and there could be surprises in court.

  • frankywiggles

    Surely Craig’s tormentors will be too embarrassed, as grown men, to actually show up and proceed with this farce in real life. The lawyer Lewis, in particular, must know that any judge with professional pride will laugh such a blatant politically-motivated fit-up out of court. Expect a summary dismissal.

    • Ian

      It’s very hard to believe there is anything of substance in this case, and that the motive for the application has nothing to do with libel. There is scant evidence, if any, of libel or repetitional damage, apart from a risible attempt to prolong the ‘libel’ by the applicants themselves, and thus provide the ruse for a political attack on a blogger’s reputation and resources. Craig ought to be awarded damages and the case thrown out on the grounds of the misuse of the legal system for political and personally vindictive reasons.

  • nevermind

    Another victim to the right of self determination has died of the appalling prison conditions in Egypt, he was imprisoned for peacefully demonstrating to be returned to their homelands.
    This little side note in the I paper yesterday did not even mentioned his age, journalism gone the same way twatter is.

  • Sharp Ears

    The RCJ is a dump as I said before. This is one of the reviews on Google maps.

    ‘David Dewhurst
    ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Possibly the inspiration for Gormenghast, or for younger readers, it’s tougher to find your way around if you’re actually trying to do anything than for a muggle at Hogwarts. To get from room A to room Beta (there’s around 1000) you need a directions list similar to Google maps for Eden to Gretna.
    The building itself is a great metaphor for the grandiloquence of the law. If you are thinking of getting to grips with a legal issue a walk around here might prepare or dissuade you.’

    Most of the other 131 commenters, some rather naïve, have been taken in by its size and its (faded) grandeur.

    Click on the place name for the red pin.

  • N_

    It’s quite funny that Boris Johnson tried to get sacked on his own terms before the party conference, but clearly his opponents in MI6 have told him listen, you arsehole, we’ll decide when you get sacked and what for, okay?

    How is Johnson managing “convincing US senators to keep the Iran nuclear deal”? Unfortunately he’s unlikely to blab about who’s got him by the goolies, because he still thinks he can be prime minister. And he won’t do it later either, I don’t reckon, unlike Robin Cook who mentioned the failure to enforce UNSCR 242 in his resignation speech – by which time he’d been moved out of the FCO to another cabinet job, whereas Johnson will get chucked out from the FCO straight onto the pavement.

    Johnson nash, Patel a Zionist asset, Fallon out on his earhole. Retaliation against Leadsom. What next?

    Of course arms deals are a big feature here. I didn’t have to wait for the press release to work that one out.

    • Sharp Ears

      Golly! Gosh! The water’s getting much too hot in the Tory (communal) bath!

      Now they’re saying he should go. He is going to have a word with his Iranian counterpart. Treeza has asked Heywood to look at the ministerial code ref Priti Patel’s visit to the ‘only democracy in the ME’ and her meetings.

      Johnson to speak to Iran over jailed Zaghari-Ratcliffe

    • glenn_nl

      I’ve been up in front of “the beak” for speeding on my motorbike before now. Not nice, but a few pints before bedtime helps. Explained my absence at work as being down to a public speaking engagement I was obliged to attend.

  • freddy

    If a person were to use native intelligence,
    that person “might” understand that Priti and the lord had agreed this “family” visit before they set foot in The Middle East.

    It is almost like it was planned?
    Bare in mind, you don’t normally meet a Prime Minister “by accident” and hold talks with him on an unplanned visit, do you?

    • N_

      Britgov spent our money yesterday on explaining that when Patel met Naziyahu they discussed how her parents fled Uganda (how doleful that must have been, eh?), and that when she met the Zionists’ “public security” minister they talked about “growing anti-Semitism” in Britain (ditto).

      The British cabinet is a nest of crooks, all of whom are on the payroll of big business interests and many of whom are connected with foreign powers (Israel, Saudi, US, Russia), and they don’t always tell each other what they’re up to, is the long and short of it. Meanwhile the media editors who meet at 10 Downing Street pull the most innocent faces when they frame the most glaring evidence that central government is as corrupt as fuck as if it were anything but.

  • freddy

    Houthis threaten to torpedo Saudi warships with new ‘underwater missiles’

    Yes, it is hotting up again in
    The Middle East

    • freddy

      In September, Houthi rebels said Saudi oil tankers were within reach of their ballistic missiles, according to Reuters. Yemeni rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said in a televised speech that his group’s missiles were also capable of reaching the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi and any place in Saudi Arabia.

      Now that would upset
      The Saudis

      • N_

        What’s your take on the arrests in Saudi shortly after Kushner visited? Alwaleed bin Talal is the largest shareholder in Citibank.

        Business opportunities in what could be an imminent financial crash could be the reason why government ministers seem to be scrabbling like rats in a sack.

  • Linda mcmahon

    They’ve been out to get craig Murray for years, since he broke ranks and revealed the truth. I hope all goes well at the trial.

  • N_

    The body count in the current round of scandals has started: Carl Sargeant, former Labour chief whip in the Welsh Assembly and minister in the Welsh Government, has been found dead, aged 49, after being suspended from the party on sexual abuse allegations.

    • Republicofscotland

      So the staunch Brexiteer advises investors to avoid Britain, what happened to the,Britain will do well, outside the EU nonsense he and his fellow Brexiteers spouted pre-Brexit.

      “Prominent Brexiteer John Redwood advised investors to avoid Britain this weekend as the country’s economy “hits the brakes”.

      Before the vote Redwood advised that the “economic gains of leaving the EU will be considerable”.

      “But as the economy hits stormy waters this weekend he advised investors to look elsewhere – namely the European Central Bank in an article he penned titled “Look further afield as the UK hits the brakes.”


  • Republicofscotland

    A look at the not so Priti Patel’s outrageous and frankly sackable conduct from a Middle East point of view.

    “Imagine the outcry had Patel arranged a series of private meetings with Russian businessmen and a senior Russian politician, when on a private trip to Moscow without informing the Foreign Office. There would have been all hell to pay – and Patel would surely have been forced to resign.”

    Apparently Patel was accompanied by a Lord who is also the director of the Conservative Friends of Israel.

    “An organisation which was once described by Conservative historian and Tory MP Robert Rhodes James in 1995 as “the largest organisation in Western Europe dedicated to the cause of the people of Israel”.

    Of course the Westminster government showed no signs of investigating prior claims of Israeli activity around Westminster politicians by men such as Shia Masot.

    The anything but Priti Patel should resign immediately.


    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Why don’t you keep on subject, since it is being heard only by a judge, and the media is paying apparently no attention to it?

      Worse than former communist state sedition trials

    • Republicofscotland

      “The former Welsh government minister Carl Sargeant has been found dead days after it emerged that a number of women had made allegations of improper personal conduct against him.”

      “Sargeant was sacked on Friday from his post as Wales’s cabinet secretary for communities and children, after the allegations came to light, which the Welsh first minister later confirmed were in relation to a number of incidents with women.”

      “It is understood that Sargeant killed himself. North Wales police said on Tuesday that the death is not being treated as suspicious.”


    • freddy

      Scottish and Southern Energy
      to merge with

      I doubt there will be any benefit to the public.

      When will Nicola declare UDI
      like Carles did?

  • Republicofscotland

    I wonder how the British taxpayer feels about funding the Israeli army in the internationally agreed illegal occupation, of the Golan Heights by the Israeli’s.

    The UK does not recognise Israel’s permanent presence in the Golan Heights, either which was seized from Syria in the 1967 war, and so providing aid to the Israeli army in this or other occupied territories would be likely to contravene UK policy.

    According to this report Patel wanted to send international aid money to the Israeli army in the Golan Heights, under the guise of humanitarian aid.


    • Ian

      WE can read the newspapers ourselves, you know. You are clogging up a thread about a very important topic.

      • Shatnersrug

        I disagree Ian, the sharing of articles on her is one of the things that make the site great, I don’t think we should be talking too much about Craig’s case before he fills us in anyway.

        • glenn_nl

          Maybe, but there are some self-appointed news gatherers here who apparently think we are incapable of getting information anywhere else. Or more to the point, what’s apparently important to them ought to be brought to our immediate attention, no matter what the topic might be.

          If it were once in a while, fair enough. If it’s 20 times a day, I for one think they’re clogging the blog with their self-interested items we could all find if we were actually interested.

  • Neil

    I attended the court this morning. Other side made an offer, and the parties have negotiated an agreement, without the case coming to trial. Seems like a reasonable deal to me. Wouldn’t be right for me to give details (too likely to get something wrong), so I’ll leave it to Craig to give details when he’s ready.

      • Neil


        Well in my opinion, there was never a valid case for Craig to answer. But that’s just my opinion, and I’m not a lawyer…

        • nevermind

          Thanks for that update Neil. If there was no trial did both sides agree not to speak about it?

          • Ian

            Excellent news.. I think it became obvious there was never a genuine case here, other than a vexatious claim, so I hope Craig is happy and relieved and it is settled in his favour, although the details may be kept confidential. But at least the agony of not knowing is over.

        • John Goss

          I thought the same Neil. The one worry in my mind was that the judge might be ‘old school’ and allow permit a travesty. I had in my mind Julian Assange having nowhere to go after Lord Justice Phillips and his cohorts made an illegal ruling. This was later overturned but it was too late for Julian who is still wrongly cooped up in the Embassy of Ecuador.

          The legal profession does not always get it right.

          • Shatnersrug

            I’m not sure if this is a win for Craig, though I’m glad the scare is over. The point of the trial was always to bankrupt craig, the idea that they just take money from him is very sad to me, after all he did nothing. I also wonder if this Lawyer bloke got cold feet what with the Priti Patel thing blowing up, Netinyahu’s disgusting lying on the Marr show – a show he should never have been on in the first place which did a lot of damage to Isr**l’s image in this country.

          • Peter Beswick

            “The legal profession does not always get it right.”

            Depends which side of the Establishment you are on John.

            Britain’s part in the illegal invasions Afghanistan and Iraq was “Right”

            Britain’s part in the illegal destruction of Libya and Syria was “Right”

            Blair lying to Parliament was “Right”

            Denying Dr Kelly an Inquest was “Right”

            In this sense the Legal profession’s definition of “Right” actually means murderously wrong, a Travesty of Justice and a mockery of their Oath. But if their Oath means fuck all to them is it any wonder that public confidence in the profession getting it right was in the gutter, it was washed out to sea some time ago.

            I am very pleased for Craig but predict a very different blog in the future if any at all.

            Well done Craig!

          • John Goss

            “Depends which side of the Establishment you are on John.”

            I think over the years I’ve made it quite plain on which side of the establishment I stand. Of course the elites have interests to protect. Tony Blair appointed Lord Hutton to preside over an Inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly before the pathologist had arrived on the scene. At the time he did so what he did was illegal (though it is not any longer), It cannot be compared with Craig’s case.

            I was very fond of the series Judge John Deed. Although fictional it captured something of the nature of justice before the new iron laws were introduced as a result of the ‘war on terror’ itself a bi-product of 9/11. Who knows, the scriptwriters might have based Deed on Sir David Eady (in-Deedy, get it?). 😀

            Anyway let’s all enjoy the moment.

      • Neil


        I said why not.

        I don’t trust my own memory.

        Especially not on legal matters, where precision is important.

        Plus it keeps you all in suspense, waiting for Craig’s next blog.

    • Neil


      If that were the case, it wouldn’t have been a “reasonable deal” in my opinion.

    • Ian

      Well, costs will have to be paid, so the agreement probably attributes some kind of proportionality to each side for costs, unless they folded completely. Whatever it is, it has got to be far better than the potential ruination that faced him.

  • freddy

    Highlands MSP Maree Todd has been named as the Scottish Government’s new minister for childcare and early years.
    Ms Todd replaces Mark McDonald, who resigned over previous actions he said were considered “inappropriate”.
    He is one of two SNP members currently being investigated by the party over possible misconduct.


    what does “inappropriate” mean?

  • Squonk

    Brief word from Craig is that he is “Very happy”. He’s relaxing, you might say now, so may not be online for a bit 🙂

  • N_

    That’s excellent news from the court. This is assuming that the settlement doesn’t require that Craig pays “only” half the attackers’ costs, but it doesn’t sound that way. The main thing is that by the sound of it Craig hasn’t been ruined by these guys, and he will live to fight another day and no doubt soon be back in good form.


    • N_

      I’ve just read the news that Craig is “very happy”. So he won’t have to pay half their costs then!

      This is an example of when courage by the good guys wins. Many other good guys might have folded under the pressure.

  • Bourneforlife

    Adding the word “Israel” to the beginning of the quote, when the subject of the sentence was Israel’s “aggressive theocratic overlay”, was a distortion that completely changed its meaning. It is therefore not unreasonable that you didn’t recognize it. It is you who should have been pursuing him for libel and when you clear your name, I hope you do.

  • lysias

    The intimidation directed against criticism of a certain country exhibited in this case is now on view in a different context. It emerges that, in order to pressure victims against making accusations against him, Harvey Weinstein employed the dubious services of the Black Cube firm made up of retired Mossad officers.

  • freddy

    Lebanon – next for toppling
    The Saudis went into Yemen to counter alleged Iranian influence, but the campaign has proved a quagmire for the Saudi forces.
    Iran is in the ascendant in Iraq, where it is a close ally of the Shia-dominated government. And it is “winning” in Syria too, helping to stabilise and consolidate the Assad regime. Saudi support for Syrian rebel factions has achieved nothing.
    Now the Saudis seem to be focusing on another country where Iran’s allies – in this case, Hezbollah – are well entrenched – Lebanon. But tinkering with that country’s fragile stability has huge risks – not least the danger of prompting a crisis that could lead to a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah.

    • freddy

      Saudi crown prince’s purge extends into Lebanon

      MbS’s intervention could pave the way to war against Hizbollah

      Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.

      Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi Gulf affairs minister who forecast “astonishing” developments on Lebanon six days before the Hariri broadcast, says Riyadh will “confront the Party of Satan” — as he calls Hizbollah, which means Party of God — which had hijacked Lebanon and turned it into a platform for war against the kingdom. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, claimed that a ballistic missile launched from Yemen at Riyadh airport at the weekend was supplied by Iran and fired by Hizbollah.

      • freddy

        It would seem the Saudi Regime are a bit disgruntled that their plan to crash Syria
        has not panned out, quite how they wanted.

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