The Alex Salmond Fit-Up 671


This new report is from a friend of impeccable credentials with whom I am collaborating; it reveals stunning new facts on the Alex Salmond affair:

Begins

I am an investigative journalist who has been researching the Alex Salmond case. I am not alone as there are to my knowledge at least three television programmes doing the same thing. I make no claim to be impartial, partially because of my sympathy towards the independence movement and partially because my previous work has dealt substantially with failings in the criminal justice system. As far as the criminal case against Alex Salmond is concerned I will not be able to publish or comment until it is over. However the expenses settlement last week of Alex Salmond’s successful civil action allows me , without any prejudice, to relate just a few the dramatic and deeply troubling things I have already discovered about the civil case.

This same opportunity for comment was taken up with gusto last week by the mainstream media in Scotland. Their coverage centred on the scale of the legal expenses agreed to be paid by the Scottish Government to Alex Salmond. This was followed up by the Sunday Mail and the Sunday Post last weekend with stories suggesting that Salmond’s lawyers might have been overcharging and blaming the Scottish Government for not having them independently audited.

True to form the unionist press have gloriously and entirely missed the point. The reason that the expenses were an eye watering £512,000 and change is that they were awarded by the Court largely on an “agent and client” basis. “Agent and client” is a punitive award used by the courts when the losing party to litigation has been causing the other unnecessary expense. It means that the victorious party (ie Salmond) is entitled to full expenses as opposed to the normal 60 per cent or so which accompanies victory. Having the expenses audited (or “taxed” in the legal parlance) is a complete red herring. No such process could set aside the decision of the court for that element of expenses which were awarded on an “agent and client” basis.

And so to the real story which is why the expenses were awarded by Lord Pentland in the Court of Session in this punitive manner. The likely reason lies in three equally devastating parts.

First Salmond won the action. The court found on the admission of the Government that the process against him was “unlawful” and “unfair” in that it had been “tainted by apparent bias”. Despite the attempted spin of Scottish Government Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans, that all the mistakes had been an innocent and inadvertent error of process (a “muddle not a fiddle” as someone else famously said in another context) the statements in open court do not point to that nor does the complete collapse of the Government case. We should look rather to Salmond’s senior counsel Ronnie Clancy QC and his comments in open court that the behaviour of the Government’s Investigating Officer, was “bordering on encouragement”. In lay person’s terms it looks like Salmond was being fitted up by officials in the Government he once led with such distinction.

Second, we know that Lord Pentland in mid December 2018 granted a “Commission and Diligence”. This is a relatively unusual legal process for forcing the recovery of key documents in a case. Pentland did this having previously warned the Government from the bench that as a public authority it would be expected that they would freely produce all relevant documents. That such a Commission was necessary to secure key documents should be a clear warning to the upcoming Scottish parliamentary investigative committee, already concerned with suggestions that e mails may have been deleted. We have no way of knowing what came out of these hearings except that top civil servants were compelled to appear under oath and be questioned. I do know that Evans appeared before the Commission as did Investigating Officer Judith Mackinnon. I also know that Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff, a Ms Elizabeth Lloyd, was due to appear when the Scottish Government suddenly decided to collapse the case on January 3rd 2019. Finally we know that when Ronnie Clancy QC appeared in the Court of Session he had a large folder of killer documents to underline his case. Incidentally all of the expenses for this Commission and all other court hearings are part of the Salmond expenses award.

Thirdly and finally my researches point to a group within the Scottish Government who had been been established to defend the Judicial Review. I know that it either met with, or conferenced called, external legal counsel a minimum of seventeen times between August 2017 and January 2018. It featured key civil servants familiar with the case. It was this group who likely decided to prolong the legal action when they , by definition, must have known that they would lose spectacularly once the compromising information and revealing documents were forced into disclosure through the Commission process. I believe that the aforesaid Elizabeth Lloyd was a member of this group, an absolutely key issue which , when confirmed, will open a range of pointed questions, the most fundamental of which is what on earth a political appointee was doing on a civil service group charged with the defence of a legal action? The further interesting and devastating question will be what exactly did this group, or others taking the key decisions, possibly hope to gain by prolonging a legal action and running up the clock at such gigantic public expense?

Perhaps the full answer to these questions will have to await developments but answers there will have to be. For the moment let us content ourselves with this observation. Regardless of anything else, how on earth can a Permanent Secretary who, by her own admission and a Court of Session judgement , presided over an “unlawful” process still be in her position and who exactly is to be held accountable for the unnecessary loss to the public purse thus far of a minimum of £600,000?

All of my journalistic life I have campaigned for justice and equality including across race class and gender. However, without proper process there can be no justice. And from what I already know, some of which can print, and a lot more I can’t reveal as yet, this entire process against Salmond, already judged unlawful in the highest court in the land, stinks to high heaven.

Ends

The Salmond Affair indeed stinks to high heaven and no aspect of it stinks more than the role in steering the affair, throughout, of Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff. Lloyd is also known to be personally friendly with David Clegg of the Daily Record who published what were claimed to be leaked details of one of the “allegations” against Salmond.

I am not amongst those who has faith in the fairness of the police and prosecutorial system in Scotland. In my view, the centralisation of Police Scotland made it highly susceptible to political influence. I recall the case of my friend the estimable Michelle Thomson, who was announced by the Police as under investigation for mortgage fraud, which “under investigation” status lasted for over two years, until Thomson was obliged to stand down at the 2017 general election. Yet the facts of the case were extremely simple, and would have taken two days, maximum, to clear up if the investigation had been genuine. After two years of being “under investigation”, in which entire time she was never even interviewed, Police Scotland announced there was no case to answer. By then the job was done and she was out of parliament.

Police Scotland put 22 officers full time into trying to dig up historic dirt on Salmond. I have personally seen a statement from a woman who was astonished to be interviewed by Police Scotland after having been seen, years ago, to have a greeting peck on the cheek from her friend Alex at a public function. This has been the biggest, and most maliciously motivated, fishing expedition in Scottish police history.

The Salmond case aside (phrase inserted on legal advice!), it ought to be a public scandal that the procurator fiscal can arraign and parade a person in public and charge them with grievous offences, then delay matters for months and years while attempting to somehow cobble together the pile of mince they have as “evidence” into some sort of case. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Meantime the parties behind the Salmond case can hide indefinitely from investigation on the pretext that it would prejudice a so-called independent criminal process.

There is one question to the Scottish government which from my own certain knowledge (which I cannot publish pending the never-never trial) would bust the entire Salmond affair wide open:
Could you please detail every contact between Liz Lloyd and Police Scotland anent Alex Salmond?
They will refuse to answer the question so long as the so-called “criminal case” is pending. Expect it to be pending for a very long time.

Meantime, as the above account makes crystal clear, we have a judicial ruling that the Scottish Government engaged in a process that was unlawful and had every appearance of bias. They persisted recklessly in that unlawful course of action and eventually cost the Scottish taxpayer over £600,000. Yet none of those responsible for these unlawful actions – Leslie Evans, Judith Mackinnon and Liz Lloyd – has been sacked. That fact is indicative of monumental arrogance right at the heart of Holyrood.


671 thoughts on “The Alex Salmond Fit-Up

1 4 5 6
  • N_

    Many independence supporters are saying that they’ve seen it all before and that false allegations of sexual abuse have been made against Julian Assange and others. But actually the making of false allegations that lead to the jailing of man who was until recently a senior politician for a crime as serious as attempted rape is very rare. I cannot think of an example in Britain. I can, however, name several politicians (in one case a “neutral” figure) who were guilty of sex crimes over long periods of time who never served a day in prison and were never successfully prosecuted. These include Cyril Smith, George Thomas, and Greville Janner.

    Those were before the days of the “Non-Disclosure Agreements” as used by Boris Johnson to keep Danielle Fleet’s gob well and truly shut.

    • kathy

      According to reports, one of the women involved was surprised to be approached by the police as the “assault” was so trivial and they had made it up afterwards. I think you can forget “Attempted rape” and bear in mind that Alex could crowd fund a case of defamation of character at the drop of a hat.

      • N_

        That woman doesn’t sound as though she’s one of the people accusing him of attempted rape.

        He has always maintained his innocence and the best place for him to clear his name is in court. He hasn’t been remanded in custody, he’s not facing possible extradition and execution, and he’s not under house arrest, so if his case relies at least partly on discrediting all the witnesses against him then what’s the problem with him making it in a criminal court when he’s in the dock? After all, a criminal prosecution would have to meet a higher standard of proof than a civil suit for defamation, so he should be on strong ground, no? The witnesses too deserve their day in court. Everyone knows perjury is a serious offence that, like attempted rape, carries a long prison sentence. Are they lying? Well let them say what they’ve got to say to a jury. This is nothing like the Julian Assange case.

        • N_

          After all, a big criminal trial in which his accusers will be bound to be proven liars would increase the size of the advance he could get for his memoirs, because the name and face of this former politician will be in many potential readers’ minds. Win-win: vindication and lots of money. What’s not to like?

        • Hatuey

          “a criminal prosecution would have to meet a higher standard of proof than a civil suit for defamation, so he should be on strong ground, no? ”

          No. Arguably the opposite is true.

  • Brianfujisan

    A good read here.. a guest post by Jason Baird of the IndyApp ‘ Wee Ginger Kittens ‘ – over At weegingerdug
    A great take on Indy grass roots divisions / non divisions more like –

    ” So, with all that in mind, let’s imagine our own alternative kittens GIF … One with all the kittens doing their own thing – some on the floor, some on the table, some under the couch, some on top of the couch – all doing what interests them most. Then, instead of
    disembodied hands trying to place them all in a line, we have a large bowl of milk placed on the ground. Soon, mysteriously (not), you see every kitten in the room happily and intently engaged in the same thing, lapping away at the edge of the bowl. No need for guidance, persuasion or even disembodied hands.”

    The Kittens are indeed Cute..I like commenter Bob Lamont’s new fangled word –

    ” In the midst of catastrophe you find a kitastrophe to enthuse about… Bravo..”

    https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/wee-ginger-kittens/?

    • Hatuey

      Yes, good analogy, I suppose. The big problem is that the kittens, as far as I can see, aren’t getting any milk. They’re totally starving and neglected. And the hands aren’t trying to get them to stand in line, they’re shoving the kittens away into a cupboard where nobody sees or hears them.

      That Verve song springs to mind…

  • Dave

    If NS aim is devolution in EU, then opposing Brexit rather than using it as an opportunity for Independence makes sense, as this shows her ‘progressive’ as opposed to ‘deplorable’ credentials and has resulted in Labour agreeing to another non-independence vote. So really her strategy is working, its just not intended to secure independence.

    Both Boris and Farage are in No Deal meltdown (both would like a compromise deal but have boxed themselves in fearful of their voters) and will suffer at the polls if Corbyn can make it to the General Election and offer a popular Brext compromise.

    His position has always been clear, honour the manifesto promise to honour the referendum result whilst protecting jobs and growth aka leave political institutions and single market, but remain in customs union. The ‘confused’ picture is due to the Remainiacs and their revoke Remain tactics.

    The calculation in the promise to SNP is a 2nd non-independence vote in Scotland will lose if Labour win the General Election and deliver the compromise Brexit.

    The Lib Dems gained in the European Elections due to Change UK lacking the wit to call themselves the Remain Party, but will only act as a spoiler in the General Election, now that Corbyn has by chance ended up promising a 2nd referendum with an option between compromise and Remain, which will result in a landslide victory for Labour.

    • Xavi

      “His position has always been clear, honour the manifesto promise to honour the referendum result whilst protecting jobs and growth”

      Yes, a sensible compromise has been his position from day one, something consistently misrepresented as confused, cowardly and ignoble by the media and political establishment. In last autumn’s indicative votes a parliamentary majority for such a compromise fell short by 2 votes , with the ‘sensible’ Lib Dems, Greens and Tingers all voting against it or abstaining. If a no deal Brexit does occur it should be hung around the necks of those extremist charlatans and their media as well as the Tories.

      • Sharp Ears

        JC4PM. Right on. He survived the fraud AS attacks from the Hodge brigade. Good on him.

        • nevermind

          Do you think this is the end of the backstabbing? Or will it be replaced by rightwing thuggery coming out of the pub, supermarket and or meeting somewhere.

          And what will be the publics response whence Snolly G. Johnson prorogues Parliament?

          • Sharp Ears

            You are right, especially if a General Election follows Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament and his ‘government’ falls.

          • Dave

            The irony of the AS campaign, and its stable mate at the last election, “Corbyn is a terrorist”, is it may alarm the professional classes fearful for their jobs, but it actually wins votes for Labour, because its so over the top, that when Uncle Jeremy ambles on, during the window of an election campaign and says “For the many not the few, spend on public services and peace not war”, its such standard, dare say moderate, fare it can’t fail to win votes. And ironically again if the establishment hate him, you can’t help warming to him in sympathy as the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  • Stephen Gash

    If Salmond, the SNP and Scottish supporters truly want Scottish independence then they would back calls for a referendum in England for English independence because English folk would vote for it. Any calls for English independence are thwarted and censored in the British (there are no English) media.

    English independence would mean England’s immediate expulsion with no exit bill to pay and no Irish border for England to be concerned with. Scotland and Northern Ireland could stay in the EU as they voted and Wales could choose with whom to stay.

    I have written this scenario to several British national newspapers and some local papers, to no avail. The BBC studiously avoids the topic of English independence.

    After the way odious Alex Salmond disrespected the English flag, I hope he’s thrown under the bus.

    • Stephen Gash

      England’s immediate expulsion from the EU, I should have said. Remember this was threatened for Scotland in 2014 if it had voted to secede from the UK.

    • Republicofscotland

      Why would England really want independence they’ve got the best of it right now. English MP’s outnumber any other UK nations in the HoC.

      The second chamber the HoL has what appears to be endless benefits in a non elected chamber at the expense of the “British ” taxpayer.

      Your nukes are conveniently housed outside England, for decades North sea revenue has flowed in the coffers of the Treasury, cannon fodder for many Westminster wars bas been procured from the Home nations.

      You have control of broadcasting and immigration on these islands. Though London and the South East create a fair bit of wealth the London centric attitudes at Westminster means the wealth flows back from all four corners of Britain.

      This is just a glimpse as to why Westminster will never propose English independence, they have the best of both worlds as it is now.

      • Dave

        Yes in reality Westminster is the English parliament because English MPs vastly outnumber the rest. This doesn’t mean the English MPs act in the English interest, but it means calls for a separate English parliament to represent England is superfluous. The secret for better representation is voting reform rather than changing the name on the door of institutions.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Oh well, hard Brexit it is then. Hope Ruth Davidson has plenty of canned goods and toilet paper stashed in her bunker. Expect to get used to the English tones of Alister Jack.

    • michael norton

      Canned corn beef can last for up to twenty years, as long as you don’t bash the tins about, so a very long siege can be endured.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Dont be too sure. Just getting my pitchfork down from the eaves and giving it a shine up.

      • michael norton

        Prime minister Boris Johnson is today visiting Queen Elizabeth in Balmoral Castle,
        some are speculating that it is about thwarting the Remainer Parties plan to stop Brexit.

    • Ishmael

      “Oh well, hard Brexit it is then”

      Seem quite a cynical attitude, or subservient?

      I don’t know myself, we’ll see how this plays out.

  • Ishmael

    Morning.

    Just been looking back at Nicola’s positions on currency (and one assumes that reflects the general SNP position)…

    To me this issue in typical how politics plays out, like the opposition, generalisation & sugar coating. WHY? why not be honest? & All she seems to care about (& this in a classic Tory way of acting) is the “perception” of what it will really means. It’s just as reckless & disingenuous as the Tories.

    I would not trust her or the SNP to deliver, they obviously can’t be honest. Saying brexit will be worse is again, ignoring what indy would mean, it’s a very negative stance/campaign.

    I think it depends what from brexit takes, But sure, it sure will have issues to contend with, though I don’t see how it would be entirely escapable even with ones “own” currency (the stats currency) markets & the economy (as is) don’t work like that, …& how prey-tell has all the SNP, This fantastic capable bunch with nothing to do but focus on this not worked any of this out, & presented it to the electorate. ?

    Why, what’s the excuse ROS? i’m looking back at some debates and just seeing the public being played. Maybe if they understood some of the issues & benefits etc ? But that’s not really the focus is it? It’s winning people to your side.

    Politicians are a dangerous class of people. They act like they understand everything & everything is in hand. Just listen to them & follow them. …Needless to say, this perception management is not healthy, not grounded in reality. How about, what are the facts, what are the complexities. ?

    I assume some are really not motived to try. It changes you, moving in those circles. All their needs are being met as people, & some.

  • Jonathan

    Salmond is guilty of protecting paedophiles (see Holly Greig case) and I have no sympathy for him.
    Let all these corrupt politicians – and they are ALL corrupt – destroy each other.

  • John Aspray

    Nothing to do with pulling a dead man’s switch on the Hollie Greig case I suppose.

  • RICK

    As an Englishman with Scottish ancestry it is my earnest hope that Scotland gains independence and escapes the buffoonery and two faced behaviour of the English Parliament- likewise Wales and hopefully the reunification of Ireland too … The UK head of state is basically decided by who had sex with whom and in what order – pathetic and laughable in the twenty first century – the last vestiges of a crumbling, dying Empire – hopefully a no brexit will see the Americans move in and asset strip Queen and country , (they are no friends of the British Isles despite appearances) – yes we live in interesting times

  • Mac

    multiple strands of truths overlapping – multiple versions. the possibility that the government f**ked up in their investigations because they didn’t want the damage of salmond’s allegations coming out/they wanted to be sure/some wanted to brush it away/shock realising what they had tolerated/don’t care it just means sh*t loads of paperwork. In amongst all this. We know power corrupts, Salmond surely by now is nothing for anyone to aspire to, is he? let alone chat vast assertions about? he’s deep in shallow waters.

    • kathy

      “Salmond surely by now is nothing for anyone to aspire to, is he?”

      Well, that is just your opinion. On the contrary, I would say that any up and coming politician could do worse than following Alex’s example.

      • Marga

        Strange parallels with Catalonia, when the self-styled highly-principled father of Catalanism and latter-day convert to independence, declared himself a tax evader and confessed to having a huge fortune abroad undeclared, but apparently inherited from his father during the Spanish civil war, offering no evidence but his word. This was 5 years ago.

        For 5 years, the Spanish police and justice agencies have been fishing for evidence of a background of corruption and misuse of public funds to justify the fortune, but in 5 years, they have only managed to nail one of his sons, a black money operator, and (possibly) framed another son with traffic of influences.

        This was the first in a series of blows seemingly by the state secret services to demoralise and discredit the Catalan independence movement. Parallels with the Salmond case? Whether in the end there is nothing there doesn’t matter – it will have had its intended effect. And people say the Catalan indy situation is totally different. That depends where you look.

  • Susan Will

    This is exactly what most thinking people have been expecting to be the outcome. It stank from the very beginning. Heads should roll, in the government the legal domain and police force. Utter contempt for all involved. Scotland needs better than this. It will make a very interesting documentary series,the sooner the better.
    .

  • Dougie Blackwood

    It has always been my view that the trumped up case against Alex Salmond will come to court when the second independence referendum is launched. It is seen as a political timebomb that will be detonated to blow up the campaign. It will provide the unionist press with untold opportunities to create slanted stories that suggest the SNP and all parts of the independence movement are suspect and untrustworthy.

  • Iain Lawson

    I fear for real trouble from this. I have frOm two very trusted sources also been told who is directly involved in the allegations and while I cannot publicly name them For legal reasons I also am of the view that skullduggery is afoot.

    I am also aware that the information I am aware of is known by at least one editor of a Unionist paper so this is going to be very damaging irrespective of any judgement about Alex Salmond.

1 4 5 6

Comments are closed.