In a Strange Limbo 123

My efforts to accredit to cover the Alex Salmond trial continue to be stonewalled. I therefore cannot gain access to the court which is closed to the public while the anonymous accusers give their evidence. Media only are able to watch via CCTV from a media room, which is where I am trying to get. The established media are of course overwhelmingly hostile to Alex Salmond.

You will recall the media behaviour at the coverage of the Julian Assange hearing. They turned up in force on day one and gave major coverage to the prosecution opening statement. The headlines screamed that Julian Assange had “put lives at risk”, and was just an “ordinary criminal”. They then almost entirely left, and gave virtually zero coverage to the defence’s comprehensive refutation of these arguments.

I suspect we are going to see a similar dynamic at play here. The prosecution led yesterday with its key witness and the most serious accusations. The media have used screaming headlines – today’s Times has five separate articles on the trial – and Ms H’s accusations are given in enormous, salacious detail. I am willing to wager very large sums of money that the defence are not given nearly the same level of coverage. Which is why I need to be in there to record what really happens.

I have established firmly that I am not being kept out for reasons of space. I have been passed around various officials, but the lady from “judicial communications” in charge of the court is willing to admit me provided the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) is willing to accredit me with their media card. I filled in the forms for that and sent in the photo last week. So far no response from SCTS, except that they yesterday referred me to “judicial communications”, who referred me straight back to SCTS again. The old runaround.

I am extremely frustrated by this as this is the key witness (I know who Ms H is, incidentally) and key evidence I am missing. There are a number of other subjects on which I might be blogging, but the annoyance is knocking my concentration at present, for which I apologise.

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123 thoughts on “In a Strange Limbo

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  • Janice Moreland

    It’s a complete fantasy if they had all this dirt on him it would have been exposed during the referendum The British establishment at work here for sure.

  • Nelson

    It is a trial by jury, not by bloggers. All the papers have been doing is reporting on an ongoing trial. It’s a criminal trial, not politics – they are not allowed to make things up. And no, it’s not a democratic process for anyone except for the jury. If Murray want’s go to trials that are closed to the public, he should get accredited as a journalist. If he isn’t accredited he’s just a member of the public.

    As for him knowing the identity of one of the accusers – I know where Craig Murray lives.

    • craig Post author

      Everyone knows where I live. I am openly in the phone book and the open electoral register. My address is in Who’s Who.

      I know who all ten of the accusers are as, I imagine, does every other journalist in Scotland. That’s the job of a journalist.

      • IrishU

        Wait, the job of a journalist is to learn the names of women in a rape and sex assault case, really?

        • terence callachan

          Of course if they are attending court , do you think they should be anonymous to all ?

          • Kempe

            Apart from the court itself and the legal teams, yes. What business is it of any journalist?

        • craig Post author

          Of course it is. Do not confuse the job of a journalist with the job of the jury.
          The job of the jury is to reach a verdict based solely on the facts as presented in court, filtered by the judge as to what is admissible and what is not admissible.
          The job of the journalist is to find out what is really happening, including all the facts that have been excluded from the trial for whatever reason.

    • Marmite

      ‘All the papers have been doing is reporting on an ongoing trial.’

      Yep, because there has never been anything such as ‘fake news’, and journalists are always objective, neutral and balanced.

      ‘It’s a criminal trial, not politics – they are not allowed to make things up.’

      It’s very obvious you’ve never been in a court room, and don’t know much about the way barristers work. You might want to do some reading.

      P.S. Everything is political, and some things more than others.

    • Marsel

      “It is a trial by jury, not by bloggers.”

      Absolutely. Opinions should be held until the verdict has been reached. Some of the comments on these pages could easily constitute contempt and may well implicate CM given the Crown Office’s advisory note. Haud yer wheesh.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Opinions should be held until the verdict has been reached”.

        And sometimes – maybe quite often – afterwards.

        Otherwise miscarriages of justice would never be set right.

    • Giyane


      It seems more like trial by journalist than jury.
      If what you say is true, about making things up, how is it possible for an adversarial court system to exist?
      The function of a barrister is to present the facts in a particular light. One light is being publicised and the other is not.
      Therefore the particular light recorded by the media and then seen by the jury in their spare time will be more significant than the arguments that are being suppressed.

      Justice had to be seen to be done or it isn’t justice is it?
      By rights , a journalist should be as free to report on US and UK cimes in Iraq, as the US and UK to present their version of events. Last week that was prevented from happening.
      If truth is suppressed you get a festering sore like Northern Ireland or Palestine, Neither the US nor UK nor Israel have the brains to see that nothing will ever be resolved without truth.

    • terence callachan

      Don’t be stupid , of course it’s political .Trials are not normally closed to the public this one is for a reason , it’s so that nobody can see what is going on in there same as with Julian Assange,s trial.
      The british newspapers and the BBC both of which regularly are shown to lie to the public are reporting from a separate room with CCTV their reports will be checked before given the go ahead by Westminster for release .

  • Robert Graham

    After all the planning sorting this and that out ,all boxes ticked , Judge * – Jury * – Venue * – every eventuality covered ,then BAM a wee bug in the shape of this variant of the flu virus buggers up all the planning oh dear how sad eh , I believe this whole exercise has taken years in the planning , the collecting of bits of information and all in a dossier Stasi style to be used at the right moment , the moment being independence is starting to look unstoppable now , what better time to go for the Nuclear Option and destroy the SNP and indy movement in one strike , then the unforeseen intervenes a wee bug well and truly buggers up the whole show, it would bring tears to the eyes Ha Ha .
    Will the accused receive a fair trial ,aye in yer dreams , the verdict has been agreed on now it’s only a question of Weasel words used to present it , this will make interesting reading after the media feeding frenzy is over .

    • Goose

      The Independence movement isn’t built on the fortunes of one ex-leader.

      This regardless of any eventual outcome. I don’t seek to prejudge.

      From what’s been reported in the MSM press today, the alleged conduct wasn’t raised at the time. The SNP can’t be accused of not acting on that which they didn’t know about.

    • Billy Brexit !

      Are you assuming the Jury will be fixed as well as the trial? Reading this blog, I’m led to the believe that most here think the whole thing is a fix, the prosecution, the judge, the media and so obviously the Jury have been bussed in to deliver the result required. Maybe even the defence team are in on it too, all been paid off by unseen actors to put Alex Salmond behind bars and somehow scuttle the SNP’s bid for Scottish independence. There is no smoke without fire but I will not judge Alex as that is for the jury to assess the evidence provided.

  • nevermind

    Slightly off topic but an important issue, especially in Scotland. A law that has been in place for near enough a thousand years is about to be overturned by some right wing Tory outfit at Westminster.
    The right to trespass will be made illegal under the Tory’s, its in their manifesto.
    Please sign the petition, its ridiculous to criminalise peaceful trespass just because you want to go to war with the traveling community.

    Thanks in advance and pass it on.

    PS I hope Craig, and the public, will get legitimate access to the court room,. shutting the public out when the women involved already giving evidence behind a screen sounds like they have got something to hide.

    • Harvey

      The whole courtroom set-up gives the impression that the accused is guilty from the outset. Sat in a secure dock between two security guards. The complainers (victims) ‘having’ to give their evidence behind a screen to avoid the glare of the accused (presumed guilty party). At least the Yanks have got something right: in the States the accused sits with their legal team. Salmond had plenty of time to sort out these ‘injustices’ when he was in office. He can’t really squeal now that he knows what it feels like to be accused of a crime in Scotland. And yes, the verdict will already be decided. It is all a sham.

    • Tom Welsh

      I think I can see how it will work.

      The poor will not be allowed to trespass on the rich.

      The rich will still be allowed to trespass on the poor.

      The state will be able to trespass on everyone.

    • Brianfujisan

      Thanks for that link nevermind.. I tried to sign it but so far haven’t received the email to sign..usually it comes instantly.

      And yes, very important for Scotland, we call it ‘ Scotland’s ‘right to roam,’ came in handy for me on a few mountain climbs.

      • Cubby

        Brian Fujisan

        I signed it hours ago and my email hasn’t come through either to confirm it.

  • Spencer Eagle

    The idea that there can be a balanced trial on the evidence of anonymous accusers is obscene. The biggest issue by far is that anonymity of the accusers greatly reduces the chance of any exculpatory evidence coming to light in Salmond’s favor. What if there’s someone out there that could say ‘Miss H was with me that evening’ or, ‘Miss H did the same thing to me’ or even, ‘Miss H told me she had it in for Salmon’. Anonymity of any accuser or witness has to be detrimental to justice.

    • Windy

      But that is the way the law works though. Salmond is given publicity in the hope that other complainers will come forward. Of course we don’t know who the complainers are as they could easily have made false complaints against someone else. It is surprising that the Crown aren’t using Kafkaesque pre-recorded ‘evidence’ in Salmond’s trial to ‘protect his vulnerable victims’. A measure instituted by the SNP administration.

    • Marmite

      I have no knowledge of this matter, and have not been following any of it.

      But what I do know, and what we should probably all know, is that the state takes a highly selective approach to trying and punishing sexual assault, and happily turns a blind eye to most of it. I find this to be a 1000 times more revolting than anything that has been said about Salmond so far. If there was anything genuine about the desire for justice, the state wouldn’t be so selective and political about such crimes.

      Unfortunately, those ‘political’ cases that are forcibly brought into court (no doubt with financial incentives) provide good spectacle for the lynch mobs, who echo the same hysterical nonsense over and again in their little social media bubbles, without realising how duped they are by the state.

    • Kempe

      ” What if there’s someone out there that could say ‘Miss H was with me that evening’ or, ‘Miss H did the same thing to me’ or even, ‘Miss H told me she had it in for Salmon’. ”

      It would be the job of Salmond’s defence team to track these people down and bring them to court as witnesses and lawyers have never been slow to find ways to smear the (alleged) victim’s character in such cases. Making the victim out to be a slut is a standard defence tactic in rape trials and one reason why victims are reluctant to come forward.

  • MBC

    There is a report on Grousebeater about the trial. Don’t know where he is getting it from. Ms H was cross examined today by Salmond’s defence.

  • Doug Scorgie

    From Microsoft media about Salmond’s accuser Woman H.

    “The woman had previously told the court that she felt “hunted” by Salmond moments before an alleged attempted rape in Bute House.
    It is alleged the incident took place after a dinner at the first minister’s official residence.
    She told the court on Monday that Salmond had been touching her legs and her shirt and trying to kiss her, then blocked her path when she tried to leave.”

    Presumably there were others in attendance at the dinner. Who were they?


    “The court heard she agreed but on the condition they stayed in separate rooms, which she described as being “a bit of an escape plan”.
    When she entered her room it was heard Salmond followed her in with a bottle of red wine, then “pounced” on her, stripped himself naked, took her clothes off and pushed her on to the bed.”
    What did she agree to?
    Again, presumably, Salmond invited her to stay the night. Why did she agree to that after what she alleged took place during the dinner?
    I find it difficult to believe that Salmond took all his clothes off and she just stood there saying nothing while Salmond removed all her clothes. Did she not object at any time; did she not shout at him; did she not hit out at him?

    She added: “I felt like I was hunted. I remember feeling him on top of me. He was aroused, his private parts on top of me.”
    The court was then told the complainer waited for Salmond to fall asleep before she went to the bathroom.
    What happened before Salmond fell asleep? Did they have sex?

    “She told the court she did not give him any indication that she would welcome such contact.”

    Apart from agreeing to stay the night after Salmond had allegedly been touching her thigh under the table.

    “The woman added: “Why would I want to go out with him? He’s a much older man who didn’t look after himself.”
    Evidence was also given about an alleged sexual assault in Bute House beforehand in May 2014.”
    It was heard the same complainer had stayed behind to do work with Salmond when they began doing shots of a Chinese white spirit, which she described as an unusual incident.”
    “The complainer described Salmond as being “half-cut” and that he was in a “good mood”.
    The court heard he sat on the floor and asked her to sit next to him.”
    Why did she sit next to him?
    “She said: “He was putting his hand down my top and kissing my face and neck and touching my legs. He was laughing.”
    Why did she allow this to happen without objection or struggle?

    “It was heard she then managed to make her excuses and leave.”
    Very strange me thinks.

  • Republicofscotland

    Another intriguing snippet from Phil Sim’s courtroom commentary.

    “Shelagh McCall notes Woman H’s email calling off from football event the next day said “dinner went well anyway” – why would she say that if Alex Salmond had tried to rape her? “I was in total shock and I didn’t want anyone to know it had happened…I was scared of this guy.”

  • Brian Powell

    That they were covering only the accusation side of the trial but not the defence, was my impression today when there was no running coverage from the BBC reporters.

  • Rory Winter

    If the British state had nothing to hide why is it stopping Craig Murray from reporting? Craig is the only journalist we can trust and when they shut him out in this way it’s as good as the state admitting to all the world its own guilt and corruption. We are today hardly very different from any totalitarian state. Forty years ago, if the state behaved like this there would be a huge outcry. Today the vast majority of us behave like zombies controlled by an internal microchip, also known as the mainstream media.

    Rise up and rebel! And if you’re afraid of the consequences when you do, at least rebel within and find ways of refusing to cooperate and undermining this totalitarian state

  • Blissex

    «zero coverage to the defence’s comprehensive refutation of these arguments.»

    The trial is basically over: my reading of the reports from the FT is that the main defence is the claim that the acts were consensual, which is not so good, because in contemporary culture only the “victims” can decide (and retroactively) whether there was consent (#metoo, #webelieveyou).

  • nevermind

    A bit of a test, but it would also be scratching ego’s at sarcasm central.
    How about chiming at the door of a well connected private eye and see wether rhey are intetested ‘hosting’ a cultural phenomena, a truth indicator general?

    Worth an email, just put a peg in your nose….:)

  • Kenneth G Coutts

    Thanks Craig, you’re the main man.
    I listened to BBC Scotland yesterday , Alex Salmond going to court and the charges read out, on the hour every hour by different BBC Scotland stenographers topped off later by ( my dad could have been PM, Smith).
    Today, accuser H, I have watched many films involving court cases, where the defence throw up objections, when the prosecution or accuser gives personal opinions and suppositions even innuendoes to embellish.
    I get the impression the accusers have been well versed.
    Once again , today , the media are all over it with repetition, repetition.
    Let’s not forget how all this came about and the Westminster female lackey in Scotland who set it in motion.
    Onwards and upwards.
    I find it hard to take. Especially with the wider inferences dragging SNP department into it.
    In addition to the inferences relating to the Weinstein case.
    The scatter gun approach.
    Onwards and upwards
    Independence Aye!

  • Paul Barbara

    Craig, would it perhaps be worthwhile to approach the UK Column, Morning Star or even RT to request they accredit you to cover the case for them?

  • Brianfujisan

    Aint Pleasant being in limbo, being given the runaround. I hope you make it into the court Eventually Craig.. Looks like the are deliberately targeting you though.

    I,m a wee bit shocked that the Herald are not getting charged with contempt, after Sunday morning’s disgusting article. by Neil Mackay.. Imagine the screeching if Scotland’s Only Pro Indy paper ( The National ) had printed a comparable piece on any of the Britnat favourite figures.

    Still.. There’s this Must See Gem from the wonderful Maria Zakharova ..telling the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg to his face,
    that he is ” A Piece of Propaganda ” Very Well Said Maria.

    • Cubby


      Or even a piece on Sir Cyril, Lord David and Wee Willie.

      The Libdems very own child molestor Sir Cyril Smith and his accomplices in covering up the scandal Lord David Steel, followed by current British Lib dem branch office leader in Scotland Willie Rennie doing a cover up of the cover up of the paedophile Smith who Steel recommended for his knighthood AFTER knowing what he had been doing and knowing he would continue his criminal activities.

      It’s no wonder Rennie is not standing for reelection next year and Steel has said he won’t be returning to the H of Lords. Steel should be in prison and Rennie should be hanging his head in shame.

      • Brianfujisan


        yeah, that vile episode made me feel Nauseous.. Rennie offered to Quit if Steel was kicked out.. That Rennie wasn’t forced out over that stance should tell us how corrupt they are. monstrous bunch..

  • Cubby

    I have read a few accounts of this afternoons cross examination of claimant H. It is very frustrating and annoying – some include words other exclude. Some include points/questions/answers others exclude them.

    The BBC account is not so unfavourable to H as other accounts – not surprising I suppose.

    It really is a pity Craig is not there.

  • Tom74

    Into this strange limbo, let me say something off topic then:
    Isn’t it odd how the three countries worst affected by the coronavirus are all targets of US power. China (main world economic rival, holder of US debt, taker of jobs); Iran (Middle East antagonist, chief foe of US chief ally Israel); and Italy (long-standing euro currency ‘weak link’ and major recipient of Chinese ‘Belt and Road’ funds).
    Also interesting/possibly not coincidental are the implications of the US stock market crash for the Trump presidency – a man the ‘deep state’ has spent three years trying and failing to undermine, and whose major calling card has been the strength of the economy.
    Then, finally, what about the desperation of the British elite for that election in December as opposed to this year, given that a spring election would have been thoroughly overshadowed by this crisis?
    Possibly I am joining too many dots in thinking the whole coronavirus crisis had been somehow expected but there are certainly some very strange aspects to it all.

  • David Reid

    Keep trying Craig I hope you get in to record although I’m reading conflicting accounts re open to public or not good luck

  • Giyane

    I have read the report on yesterday’s day in court given by Grousebeater. We all have wives girlfriends that work, but I won’t at present let my wife work in a shop that is run by males because of this hidden understanding of the droit de signer, the Figaro figleaf that accepts the risk of male female proximity in work leading to adultery.

    Instead my wife works in a shop where even though she is not a manager, she as a woman is in charge. For less than half the minimum wage. When the British were in India, they acted as gods, selecting women and encarcerating men at will.
    It does seem as though Our society is at a turning point after Me Too. If taking advantage of working women who do not want or consent to sex is not found as rape, because it is normal, we as a society are continuing in our old colonial ways.

    A very clear message that proximity working is founded on non consent would be transformative. Obviously it’s not rape at the moment if society accepts that proximity working will inevitably lead to sdultery. But society needs to change the ground rules so that it automatically becomes rape when a colleague imposes their sexual desires on another colleague..

    Divorce is expensive, great deal more expensive than the pitiful minimum remunerable. If society won’t clarify the ground rules, that means either that chaste women are excluded from the workplace, or that employment takes massively more from the pockets of workers than what it reimbursed. Women don’t go to work to flatter men’s libidos.

  • Niall McDevitt

    Blogging is a recognised form of modern journalism – but some are ‘accredited’ while others aren’t. Craig Murray should be allowed attend the Alex Salmond trial, whether his blog is accredited or not. Everyone knows he is an outstanding Scottish journalist. I wonder if the trial has included or excluded other bloggers from the rather Orwellian sounding ‘Media Room’ where the party journalists watch proceedings on CCTV?

  • Dungroanin


    If we aren’t allowed to watch
    Lets watch the watchers who are!

    Is a full list of journalists and their reporting available? We can try and figure out their ‘independence’.

    Given the Al Magrahi miscarriage of justice finally admitted today – the Scottish judiciary ought to have at least one eye on a possibility of independence. They may need a reputation to uphold.

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