A Very Political Prosecution 356

CORRECTION I published in error that 73% of those who know identities of Salmond’s accusers learnt them from mainstream media. The correct figure is 66%. I aggregated broadcast and newspapers but these were not exclusive questions. In fact the percentage of those in the know who cited broadcast, newspapers or both as their source was 66%.

We are looking for potential witnesses who would be willing to give a sworn statement, and if necessary swear on oath in court in my trial for contempt, that they followed my reporting of the Alex Salmond trial and were unable to work out any of the identities of the accusers from my reports. It is particularly helpful if you can say more than this in one of two ways:

Firstly, if you can say you were unable to work out who the accusers were from my accounts, despite yourself possessing some specialist knowledge, that would be helpful. Such specialist knowledge might include having held office in the SNP, having dealings with Alex Salmond and his staff, or having been a relevant civil servant.

And/or secondly, if you can say that you were unable to work out any of the identities from my reporting, but were able to do so from other reporting, and name the source.

I hope it goes without saying that I only want people to come forward who can genuinely do so in truth, and be prepared if necessary to swear to that.

I was very careful in my reporting not to “out” any of the identities, and I am happy to say that I can now prove that I had no significant effect on popular knowledge of the identities of the failed accusers. I took the unusual decision to commission an opinion poll on the subject from Panelbase, one of the UK’s leading pollsters. This was made possible using funds you provided with the defence fund, and I hope you will agree it is money well spent. We will seek to submit the poll as evidence in court.

You should realise this was at risk. I was committed to publishing the poll, whatever its results. If it came out saying that only a few people knew the identities, and they all learnt them from Craig Murray, I would have had to admit to that. But in fact, this is not what the poll shows at all.

It is important to note that my questions were an add-on to a Panelbase poll using their absolutely normal methods for sampling Scottish public opinion. They surveyed 1086 people and applied their standard weightings to the results.

The finding is stunning. 8% of the adult population of Scotland believe they know the identity of one or more of the failed accusers. That means over 350,000 people know, or believe they know, identities.

Of these, 74% learnt the identities from TV and newspapers. 29% learnt from independent websites or blogs. 19% learnt from friends or contacts. (You could of course learn from more than one source so this adds to more than 100).

We then asked an open question, giving people the opportunity to name the specific media from which they learnt the identities. There were a limited number of responses, so I give here the number of people who named each source rather than dress it up as a percentage:

Can you name a specific broadcast, newspaper or website source from which you learnt or deduced the identities? (there were no prompts, an open answer)

Scotland on Sunday 3

Sun 3

Guardian 2

Daily Record 2


Scotsman 2

Times 2

Herald 1

Telegraph 1

John James blog 1

Channel 4 1


Craig Murray blog 1

Press and Journal 1

National 1

Financial Times 1

Daily Mail 1

Can you name the specific journalist or blogger you had learnt or deduced identities from? (There were no prompts, an open answer):

Dani Garavelli 4

Severin Carrell 2

Magnus Linklater 1

Paul Hutcheon 1

Kenny Farquharson 1

Kieran Andrews 1

David Mackay 1

Mure Dickie 1

(Nobody actually replied Craig Murray or John James to this question, but given each had his blog mentioned once as a source it would probably be fair to add both with 1 each).

Dani Garavelli tops both lists, because her article on the case was published in Scotland on Sunday. As that is the Sunday edition of the Scotsman, that unionist rag is well ahead as the prime source of knowledge, with the Murdoch stable of the Times and Sun combined not far behind.

Plainly, it is unsatisfactory from the point of view of the law that 350,000 people know identities. Something which 350,000 people know in Scotland is not a secret, and has achieved the critical mass required for anybody who actually wants to know to be able to find out just by asking around. I strongly suspect that the large majority of those who do not know, do not wish to anyway.

But equally plainly, it is not my fault that 350,000 people know. It is overwhelmingly down to the mainstream media, as the poll shows. The simple truth is that, in a trial where a number of very politically powerful figures conspired together to bring false charges against one of the most famous people in Scotland, anonymity was always going to be extremely hard to protect. You can’t expect it to work as it rightly would in protecting the identity of a worker in Dundee attacked by a stranger. The poll shows that it did not work; and it proves that is not my fault.

I assume the single individual who mentioned me as the source was acting in good faith – though it is worth noting that the polling was carried out after every newspaper in Scotland had run the story that I am being prosecuted for contempt of court for revealing identities.  In that circumstance, that I am not more prominent is remarkable and must reflect a truth.

The charge of “jigsaw identification” is very difficult to refute. As soon as you publish anything at all about the evidence in a case, there is of course the chance that is the last piece of information that an individual with particular knowledge needed to work out an identity. Let me put if this way. If the jigsaw is a face in 1,000 pieces, if your information contributes 12 pieces out of 1,000 you may think you revealed nothing. But you cannot guard against the person sitting at home who already has 800 pieces and can make a guess now your 12 filled in an area.

My lawyers advise that for me to say others were guilty of jigsaw identification is not a defence, any more than if I were to rob a bank it would be a defence to say somebody else did it too. But what this poll shows conclusively is that in practice anyone who reported on the trial could be accused of jigsaw identification.

Nobody can look at the above data and say that the obvious course of justice is to prosecute Craig Murray and nobody else. Is there a single person who honestly believes that it is a coincidence that they are prosecuting the only journalist who fairly reported the defence case against this government led fit-up? That they have chosen to prosecute the political dissident and whistleblower and not the mainstream media who were collectively responsible for far more identification? The selectivity of this prosecution represents an Article 6 abuse of the European Convention on Human Rights.

There are of course two strands to the indictment against me, insofar as anything can be deduced from that incoherent document. One is jigsaw identification. The other is reporting likely to influence the trial. I have just demolished the first strand; you cannot possibly prosecute me and not the mainstream media. I refuse to take the second strand seriously. If they genuinely believed my reporting could influence the trial, they had a public duty to take action before or during the trial, not months afterwards. This is very plainly a political persecution.

A final note. With over 5,000 people having contributed to my defence fund, I do hope you will forgive the lack of personal replies to thank you. I am really quite overwhelmed and humbled by your kindness.

You should also know that, as it was never my intention to identify anyone, I have pending the outcome of my trial temporarily censored those sentences in my articles complained of by the prosecution as causing jigsaw identification, even though I strongly deny that they do. Prior to receiving the indictment, I had no idea precisely what the complaint referred to.  I have also censored the indictment of its references to the same material. I do not believe there was any problem with the originals; but it is a very few sentences and my lawyers rather insisted. I hope you will not feel I am too cowardly in this.

I have refused to censor those larger passages the Crown complain of where I state that the charges were a fit-up and a state sponsored conspiracy. I believe here there is a vital argument of freedom of speech, and I will not bend.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.


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356 thoughts on “A Very Political Prosecution

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  • Kris Murray Browne

    I’m a former staffer and I don’t have scooby who any of them are. Find whole thing ludicrous that they can continue to remain behind this veil giving them cart blanche to stir the pot while side proved innocent still besmirched

  • Dominic Berry

    Just a thought, but if one person is found guilty of indentification by jigsaw, would this not immediately imply that the other journalists who provided the rest of the jigsaw are likewise guilty?

    And also, would it not be a matter of discernible chronology which articles were isolated parts of a jigsaw, and which articles actually meaningfully put the pieces together?

    And if a journalist can be convicted for any part of the jigsaw, can anybody report on any trial requiring confidentiality at all?

  • Ros+Thorpe

    This is such a ludicrous so called ‘crime’ that almost anyone who writes or reports on trials could be charged with it and the defence is almost impossible to demonstrate. How can you argue against a charge that people might make inferences from your article when read with other information?

    • The Mad Hatter

      It is very strange indeed. What the Crown is effectivley contending is that someone who read something on this blog and read something someplace else could piece together Alex Prentice’s ‘jigsaw’. Or would the Crown then contend that it was ‘absurb’ to assume that someone would read only the Craig Murray blog as their sole source of information? It is like Alice in Wonderland on steroids!

    • bj

      Your defense amounts to proving a negative. Which can’t be done.

      You can never prove there’s no Rhinoceros in your room.
      However, the first Rhino found in your room, dismisses the assertion that there’s no Rhinoceros in your room.
      Danger lurks here; not from the Rhino, but from assertions about it.

      • Alastair McP

        … amounts to proving a negative. Which can’t be done.

        No, bj, I can’t let that go unchallenged; precisely the opposite of that statement [those statements? – I’ll forgo a critique of your doubtfully-useful stylistics founded on pointless “journalese”] is the very foundation of a logical analysis of any validity.

        Certainly from the reductio ad absurdum mathematics of Euclid to Karl Popper and on only disproof of a theory is of valuable “scientific¹” value. I’m not about to provide any links for your further erudition, there are too many. Maybe Googling “proof disproof logic” will get the ball rolling.

        Bollocks, and low-hanging fruit at that… but just a bit too intolerable for my delicate disposition.

        ¹almost as loose as I’m prepared to go, semantically speaking, and as loose as a post Chongqing hotpot spatter… fnaar fnaar! ffs

        • bj

          What’s with all the name dropping and appeal to authority?
          You are clearly confused.

          • Alastair McP

            Què? I’m certainly not confused; the evening is young and the Dimple™ untouched.

            I don’t know what you imagine the usefulness of a comment which states, broadly, that you cannot disprove a negative might be. I apologise if my response has pissed you off (not the intention), but your 4pm contribution is literally-speaking total nonsense.

            To my sensibilities, your comment is analogous to stating the moon is made of green cheese; it is, figuratively-speaking, claptrap, horseshit, bollocks. Take your pick; it is just wrong.

            If Euclid and Popper are your idea of “name dropping” [sic], then I think you should get out more. Obviously within the limits of the current guidelines. As I suggested, online research about proof/did proof would perhaps be a good starting point – unless you have access to a university Philosophy faculty library.

            Just to spell it out again, bj, it is only proving a negative (aka disproof) which has any logical (and for the purposes of this thread, therefore, legal) value. Your statement, perhaps made in an excited state eager to make a pithy contribution) was in fact the opposite of the “truth” and therefore unhelpful. Your nonsense offended me; that’s my problem.

            I’ll now actuallydrop another name
            (but only for the benefit of others): W O Quine. I’m not an academic, by the way, but I recognise BS when I see it, bj, and that’s what your comment looks like to me.

            No offence to you pal… but to reiterate: your comment was unhelpful, wrong-headed, and silly. Any further defenestration by yourself will be met with silence from me. I did not mean or expect to provoke a (rapier) riposte, I’m not “on” for an argument and have no wish to transgress the eminently sensible moderation rules around argumenta ad hominem on this blog. Just re-read my initial comment, try to avoid taking offence, and look before you leap.


      • SA

        I have devised a simple way of proving that there is no Rhino in the room. I secure all doors and windows with rhino- proof tape and make sure there is no food source or water in the room. After a suitable period of time a ny self respecting rhino would come out of hiding to find some food or die of hunger and dehydration. If that does not happen I have proved that there is no rhino in the room. It does not however apply to the elephant and I am working on that.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        I,ve just looked around my room and I can’t see a rhino, so there’s no rhino in the room.

        • Shatnersrug

          Al Rhinos live in my room. So the won’t be on yours. Honestly!? The absolute RIFF RAFF that come to this comments section!

  • Lorna Campbell

    Although I did not agree with everything you said about this case,Mr Murray, neither do I believe for one moment that you actually tried to identify anyone. Indeed, you went out of your way not to identify any of the witnesses. I don’t believe either, incidentally, that Ms Garavelli tried to identify anyone. For those in the Holyrood and party bubbles, and the media, it might have been easy to do so, but, for the vast majority of people, not so.

  • michael norton

    In a few days time England and Wales will be resuming trials by jury.
    Will Scotland do the same?

  • Mary

    The news channels keep putting a video of Sturgeon on in which she strongly defends the lockdown as opposed to many other politicians from all parties. It is bad for my BP to keep seeing her and hearing her..

  • Dafydd

    If woman H had not been in the group of 9 women who had collectively managed to negotiate anonymity and had negotiated anonymity on an individual basis, could this anonymity be revoked because of her perjury?

    Did the court specify any circumstances that would allow anonymity to be removed?
    Were there any restrictions placed on the women post trial as far as abusing their anonymous status, eg giving interviews to the press, if not, why not?

    • Freya

      Well, a false rape accuser has their identity exposed. So, yes, Woman H’s identity should be exposed if she goes on trial for perjury.

  • Doug

    The so-called united kingdom continues to disintegrate and it’s the English/British nationalists who are doing the most damage. A joy to watch.

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    There’s a massive yellow idol;
    .To the North of Kathmandu
    Whose name is whispered in the bazaar
    As being Shree Winnie the Pooh
    They seek mad Carew here
    They Sikkhim there
    His search for bats
    Took him everywhere (EJ Thrib 11 1/2)
    Hope he’ll turn up okay soon and stay away from Darkest Surrey

    • Giyane


      Or , that may be a total red herring to quash objections to the US extraditing Julian Assange. No doubt they will find her after his trial, but it sounds good if Johnson is jousting with Trump. Nothing worse than bad PR, except spin.

    • Giyane


      How could you say that, when he has graciously conceded to a pre-arranged challenge of his authority.
      I ask this rude question in parliament about devolved powers being outside your remit ….and you pretend to be such a hero and not get flummoxed and angry .

      And, he single handedly defeated the devil in the form of covid 19. Fairy stories.

  • Cubby

    Bloody Bonking Britnat Brexiteer Boris alternated between Bullshit and Bluster during his H.of Commons replies to questions on the pandemic. What an embarrassment. Meanwhile the UK trundles on to a no deal Brexit to top up the pandemic recession. Absolute madness.

    Lies lies and more lies from Westminster – no wonder they are not allowed to use the word. What sort of place stops you calling someone a liar when they clearly are a deliberate liar. Certainly not a bastion of free speech.

    Thank goodness that is not the case on this site – is it?

    • Giyane


      Today I took back control of my freedom. I took a load of rubbish 2 miles to the council tip. When the Tories have been locked down under fiscal and human rights restrictions by the EU for 40 years, blowing a few billion on covi and managing a pandemic IS freedom for Tories.

  • Gregor

    Julian Assange and Craig Murray are key witnesses in the ‘Trump/RussiaGate’ saga (yet Mueller didn’t want to know).

    It is my view that ‘Trump/RussiaGate’ will prove the greatest state corruption (& state collusion) scandal in modern history…

  • Colin Alexander

    It’s not for Mr Murray to prove he is innocent. It is for the prosecution to prove he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    Well, that’s the theory anyway.

    • N_

      If a defendant offers a defence under s3(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, the burden of proof is on him.

    • Hitchcock

      Not at all. The onus is on the accused to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are innocent.

    • Tatyana

      Colin Alexander, it is correct theory. The need to prove the absence of something is absurd and has long been the subject of jokes in my country. The most popular saying on this subject is “докажи что не верблюд” *prove to me that you are not a camel*
      It came from a joke:
      The Hare and the Stallion meet.
      Hare: “I heard that people are castrating all camels!”
      Stallion: “Oh, I ran away from here …”
      Hare: “Why? It doesn’t concern you.”
      Stallion: “First they would catch and castrate me, and then I will have to prove that I am not a camel … “

  • Republicofscotland

    A closer look at Scots law.

    “Scotland is unique in that under Scots law you are effectively guilty until proven innocent. This is because of the presence of a third verdict at the end of a criminal trial – as well as ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty’, there is also ‘not proven’. If found ‘not proven’ the jury believe you to be guilty, but didn’t have enough evidence to convict. So you managed to get away with it. A bid to abolish the ‘not proven’ verdict was rejected by MSPs in 2016.”


    • N_

      That comment you quote is poorly informed. Scots law does have the presumption of innocence. “Not proven” and “not guilty” have exactly the same legal effect.

      Originally the two verdicts were “proven” and “not proven”. Anybody who thinks “not proven” was the most recently introduced of the three verdicts is mistaken. Having “proven” and “not proven” is fine insofar as it underlines that for a defendant to be found guilty a prosecution must prove its case, so the question (in fact the only question) the jury must consider is whether the prosecution has done that or not. “Not proven” equals innocent, because that was the presumption and “nothing has changed”.

      “Not guilty” came in a few centuries ago NOT because of a new statute but because JURIES in some cases wanted to emphasise that the defendant was not guilty. It was actually jury self-activity (egged on by defence counsel) that introduced the “third verdict”.

      I agree there should only be two possible verdicts. The only real question is what to call them. “Proven” would be fine for one of them, but the problem is that it goes together (logically) with “not proven”, and if you abolish “not guilty” then many people aren’t going to like that, for obvious reasons. Saying somebody is “not not guilty” is saying they’re guilty. It’s basically saying every defendant committed the crime they’re accused of and the question is whether or not they’re going to get away with it. So it is really a bad idea, all things considered, to go back to to having only “proven” and “not proven”, even though in terms of intellectual logic it would be fine.

      A better solution would be simply to have “guilty” and “not guilty”. OK that’s the same as they’ve got in England, but so what?

      • Republicofscotland

        “That comment you quote is poorly informed. Scots law does have the presumption of innocence. “Not proven” and “not guilty” have exactly the same legal effect.”

        Yes after a bit of checking, post, my comment above I accept that. As for the above that is true as well, though not proven, leaves a cloud of doubt hanging over the head of the defendant post trial.

        Could you please provide a link to your copied paragraphs

        Thank You.

      • Cubby


        I agree. Guilty and not guilty is the best option. Next best option would be proven and not proven. Any mix of the guilty/ proven verdicts as at present is sub optimal.

        The best option should be chosen and if should have nothing to do with being different from England.

        In summary, a rarity – I agree with N and disagree with Republic of Scotland

  • N_

    Town hall witch goes crackers: “Nicola Sturgeon warns people could be arrested if they travel to Scotland for non-essential reasons”.

    This one won’t half scream on its way to prison where it belongs. At least she will probably get tried by jury, a right she tried to rob from the rest of us.

    By the way, those who know the public administration in Scotland will be aware that enormous scams will be underway, “justified” by “Covid-19”. For example in some areas of Scotland bus services have stopped even for residents who need them to travel to buy food, which was one of the stated reasons that the government made £400 million available. Millions will be being pocketed by officials and their friends in business – a case of “free money for the lads”.

    • N_

      The reasons why Sturgeon is saying keep lockdown restrictions longer than in England are as follows:

      1. It plays to “Scotland vs England” which is the worldview of many moronic SNP voters. Think of what London was like in the 1950s, where many white people had never been further than Kent and couldn’t decide what they thought about what a black person was saying without having as one of their major considerations “this guy is black”. Yes, folks, blaming the English is a distraction for cretins – a distraction from all the thieving by the rich. Which takes us to the second reason…

      2. A huge amount of money is being corruptly pocketed in Scotland in relation to Covid-19 scams. Some are doing “very nicely thank you” out of all the government money that has been made available (which by the way is borrowed from the banks, because that’s how big finance works – guess who will have to pay it back).

      Unfortunately Sturgeon can ratchet up the xenophobia several more notches before something breaks. That’s my feeling anyway.

      • Cubby


        I disagree with your feeling. It didn’t take long for me to read a post of yours that I disagreed with.
        I feel better now.?????

        1920 – 100 years ago only 26% of Scotlands revenues were spent in Scotland. Only the percentage has changed since then but It is always well below 100%. That is colonialism not xenophobia.

        • Cubby


          Dear chap, I really do not think you have a good grasp of how devolution works in the UK or you would would not ask that question. Hopefully you will not find that answer offensive if you do I am sorry but I did find your question a tad bit offensive as it wrongly implies that Scotland is supported by the rest of the UK which of course is wrong.

  • Mrs Pau!

    I am English and I live in southern England. I have no connections to Scottish politics. I followed your excellent and Informative account of your attempts to get into court because I have long taken a keen interest in issues if civil liberties. I had not idea at all of who any if the unnamed women were at the start of your account and was none the wiser at the end. I imagine to even hazard a guess you must have some inside knowledge of the personalities in this case and in Scottish politics. I had none before and frankly not much more now. As I said earlier. It was the principles I was interested in following you. Not the personalities. Is this any use.? I can swear to it if it helps

  • 458932

    The state has assumed ownership of you. It has assumed you agree to the rules and regulations. Tell them you are not the property of the state and its rules and regulations do not therefore apply. When you register something that means your rights are transferred.

  • Jennifer Allan

    “Law chief demands prosecutors are handed details of virus fatalities – paving way for inquiry and potential legal action”
    “THE death of every care home resident in Scotland who fell victim to coronavirus will be investigated by prosecutors.
    A dedicated unit has been set up by the Crown Office, Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, confirmed yesterday.
    The team will also examine the Covid-19 deaths of NHS and care home staff, emergency crews and public transport workers.
    The unit will determine whether to hold fatal accident inquiries – and the possibility of criminal prosecutions was not ruled out.
    Care home chiefs say any inquiries must also look at how national policy on personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing affected the death toll.”
    Well-this should keep theLord Advocate James Wolffe busy for the next few months, and Nicola Sturgeon even busier, in her attempts to shift the blame onto the care homes themselves, and her long suffering Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman. It wasn’t Ms Freeman who legislated to chuck elderly demented patients out of hospitals(and into care homes) without proper testing. Ms Freeman attempted to claim the dangerous hospital discharges to care homes guidelines published in the Scottish Government’s own website, was a ‘mistake’ . New safer guidelines have apparently still to be published.
    “Chaos after care homes test advice is published ‘by mistake’”
    ‘Care home guidance taken down two days after update due to ‘error’
    It was a bit rich of Nicola Sturgeon to claim yesterday the care home death rates in England, (nearly half the rates in Scotland), were inaccurate and probably higher than recorded. Considering the Scottish rate of Covid-19 testing is Scotland is currently less than half that in England, the ‘probability’ is more likely the Scottish stats are under recording the care home deaths in Scotland.
    Sturgeon has always previously managed to be ‘teflon coated’, when it came to accountability for previous SNP administration failures. We all know Teflon wears off our coated pots and pans, leaving a shiny metal surface which EVERYTHING sticks to!

    I imagine all this should leave little time or energy to pursue vendettas in the Courts. We shall see.

  • Cubby

    A. A much lower overall covid 19 death rate.

    B. A much higher overall covid 19 death rate with a lower care home covid death rate.

    What is worse?

    Britnats in Scotland choose A because they have to find something to say Scotland is doing worse than England. Britnats in Scotland love nothing more than saying Scotland is rubbish it helps justify in their minds their decision to identify as a Britnat.

    • Jennifer Allan

      You are missing the point Cubby, accidently or deliberately. This is about possible criminality and prosecutions relating to care home deaths. My advice to care home managers is to KEEP ALL PATIENT DOCUMENTATION and keep it safe, particularly about patient transfers from hospitals. Were they tested for Covid-19 before discharge to the care home? If so were they +ve? or -ve? If positive, was this result recorded BEFORE or AFTER transfer to the care home?
      Official advice recommended isolating patients transferred from hospitals to care homes. This is all very well, but patients with dementia often wander about. It is forbidden for care home staff to restrain or otherwise restrict these patients. For this reason alone, demented patients should NEVER have been transferred to care homes from hospitals without at least one negative Covid-19 test.

      My advice to Ms Freeman is to get a copy of the Scottish Government’s Web Page Guidance BEFORE that May 3rd so called ‘mistake’. You will struggle to avoid any accountability, unless you can prove you were under the impression, the safe care home transfer guidelines and testing regime you referred to when interviewed, had been recommended to and properly actioned by the SNP Administration.

      • Cubby

        Jennifer Allan

        With all respect my above post was not a comment on your post. It was a general comment that I feel is valid.

        With regards to your points above I couldn’t agree more. If mistakes/ wrongdoing has happened people need to be held accountable. That applies to all politicians/ service providers in the UK not just Scotland. So sorry I am not missing the point.

        Your posts would have more credibility if you had owned up and accepted you were wrong in previous posts to state that Scotland has a higher fatality rate than England due to the virus. You then doubled down on this ( Trump style) by saying Sturgeon confirmed this in a briefing. So was your mistake an accident or deliberate?

        • Jennifer Allan

          @ Cubby I plead guilty to being a bit naughty over that ridiculous R number, used as an excuse to prolongue the lockdown, but you did ‘rise to the bait’. The truth is no one yet knows what the real rate of transmission is on either side of the border. The latest research seems to indicate a significant percentage of UK persons, have already either been infected with Covid-19 and recovered, or are infected but show no symptoms. These persons do not show up in official stats, nor can their cases be used for modelling calculations. A new test for antibodies should help to identify those persons who have immunity, particularly helpful for hospital and care home staff.
          There’s no question the death rates in all parts of the UK are higher than elsewhere in Europe. The death rates in care homes are a tragedy. I too welcome an investigation into this and hope lessons will be learned, rather than an inquiry used to ‘scapegoat’ hardworking care staff, or cover up official mistakes.

          • Cubby

            Jennifer Allan

            I do not need information broadcasts about the virus from you just an admission you were inaccurate abot the comparative overall death rates between Scotland and England but no you state “the death rates in all parts of the UK are higher than elsewhere in Europe.” Wrong again.

            Now you may think posting lies is posting bait I just think they are lies. It is hard to take you seriously.

        • Jennifer Allan

          I do not post ‘lies’ . Care home death rates in Scotland are considerably higher than those in England and Wales. ( Sources-Official National Statistics for England & Wales and Public Health Scotland). The R number was a convenient distraction, but Nicola Sturgeon has now promised to use REAL Covid-19 death stats, when making decisions rather than rely on theoretical ‘modelling’. That’s as it should be.
          With infection rates coming down in all parts of the UK, I hope Ms Sturgeon understands it is time to begin ending the lockdown in Scotland. This can be done gradually. Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of deaths in all parts of the UK are in the 65+ age range, (around 90%). The numbers of deaths registered to persons under the age of 44, is miniscule in comparison.

  • Mary

    Ex-Sputnik editor charged over ‘menacing’ Salmond accuser clip
    Two men have now been charged with offences related to the Alex Salmond trial

    Thursday May 14 2020

    A former UK editor-in-chief of the Kremlin propaganda outlet Sputnik has been arrested in connection with the Alex Salmond trial.

    Mark Hirst, 50, is the second person to face charges since Mr Salmond was cleared in March of 13 charges of sex offences against nine women. The journalist, film-maker and former SNP official was arrested and questioned after he released a video saying that the women who complained about Mr Salmond would “reap a whirlwind”.


  • Prasad

    I wrote to my MSP Michael Russell about the information or lack of revealed by the Wings article The Appearance of Justice

    The first reply was shocking and you can read them in full from the Wings links but to summarise:
    I wrote about the Procurator Fiscal treating independence journalists (who are charged with Contempt of Court) differently to unionists (who are apparently untouchable) plus the lack of explanation of this from the Fiscal, all of which stank.
    His answer was ‘If we want independence we have to work together, not cast aspersions on others and I would give that advice to anyone who asked me’.
    That is quite a revealing answer if you think about it. It not only avoids the subject completely but jumps straight from the subject of contempt of court and Fiscal bias to ‘working together’.
    It seems to be implying consciously or not that Craig deserves it.


  • Ian McGeechan

    I’ve never made any attempt to identify the women concerned although I think they will ultimately be identified because of the backlash which will come with Alex Salmond’s book.
    I don’t need any note of thanks or whatever for a donation.
    Keep up the great work you do and we’ll see if there’s any further funding necessary, depending on the bloody mindedness of the prosecution.

  • Kenneth+G+Coutts

    Hi Craig.
    I am a retired construction electrician
    Worked at home and abroad.
    The only paper I read is the National.
    My first contact with you was having read your book
    Murder in Samarkand.
    I read your limited blogs on the AS case.
    Reading them, they never ever gave me any indication
    As to who these complainers were.
    I am a member of the SNP since 2013, I am not an SNP geek, nor do I have any idea of the internal workings of The SNP party or these people involved.
    I would be happy to put my name forwards in the name of justice for you.
    If it helps.
    Kenneth G Coutts
    4 lowrie Place Chapelton
    By Strathaven
    South Lanarkshire
    ML 10 6RJ

  • John Monro

    I haven’t read all the comments here, but your solicitor or barrister suggesting the argument about being charged with bank robbery that it’s no defence to say “I wasn’t the only one” is missing the point. To progress the comparison it might well be a defence, or at the least a spanner in the works of the prosecution, if you can prove that the prosecuting authorities have the names, addresses and dates of birth of the other perpetrators, and have the same video surveillance footage of you all clearly robbing the bank, and finger prints on the money, (not being very good robbers and forgetting to put your masks and gloves on), as to why only you are being prosecuted and the others are not even being interviewed. . But of course your case is nothing like a bank robbery: There’s no missing money or frightened bank tellers, indeed most people would hardly understand if any crime, or the nature of it, had been committed at all.

    Of course, this all misses the main point in that these complainants should never have been given anonymity in the first place. We’re not talking about some teenager or child being allegedly assaulted, who need protection, but grown up women whose evidence could put a presumably innocent man into prison for a long time, and totally destroy his reputation, his career and family life. That they were allowed basically to hide behind some sort of brick wall and shoot an unarmed defendant down like some sniper was appalling. Being unidentified gives the prosecution immense advantage, a bit like when prosecutions resort to gaol snitches who are also given anonymity. First there is no come back on them whatever happens, whereas if they were lying or distorting the truth, they should have to face the consequences. (My family, all five of them women, strongly disagree, and I have been forced not to even argue the point as it brings real strife and unpleasantness – there’s a very powerful and emotional gender issue here that in my family at least is insoluble. I am convinced I have the moral argument, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? In fact, I have to be careful not to even raise this issue now and just keep my counsel) Justice is then very unbalanced indeed. Secondly, the defence is hampered because they cannot find any negative evidence from their colleagues or associates or family. The police will have interviewed everyone in any way associated with these women, and obviously found no-one (Not following the trial closely, maybe they did, but obviously not that effectively) to corroborate their story or they would have used them. But to the defence it would be very useful if those who you might well think should know something about the matter can confirm these women never confided any doubts or issues with Alex Salmond – or indeed that any of the complainants had some prior history which makes them unreliable witnesses. The police can make fishing expeditions, but that’s not something any defence is allowed. (I make these remarks without that much knowledge of the case, as I live in NZ, but we have had some serious miscarriages of justice at least in part related to witness anonymity) The fact that the Jury found Salmond not guilty or all the charges in this situation is remarkable, and reveals just how flimsy the case must have been in the first place.

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