Authoritarianism is Shoddy 394


Well, it is really happening. It is something of a shock to see yourself listed as a criminal for writing the truth. I have a tiny extra glimpse now into the way my friend Julian has been feeling.

Three appeal court judges even at the procedural hearing – though not unheard of, that is not normal. The state is sparing no resources on this; in a sense I am flattered.

There will be no jury at the eventual trial, and this worries me. Not least because the indictment (called a “petition”) contains within itself evidence that this process is a stitch up. Please help me here, and read paras 49 to 56 of the indictment after reading this explanation.

Para 49 of the indictment is an utter garble. It states that I sent a twitter message beginning “It is respectfully submitted…”.

I sent no such twitter message. Para 50 is missing. This is not a misnumbering, para 50 really is missing. I assume my twitter message, intended to be quoted at para 49, and whatever led in to the Crown’s argument beginning “it is respectively submitted” were in the missing section.

At para 53 the same thing happens again. It explicitly states that I published another tweet starting: “it is respectfully submitted that”.

I published no such tweet. Again the indictment does not give the actual text of the tweet complained of, even though it claims to do so. This time two paragraphs are clearly missing, and again this is not just a misnumbering, because of the missing material. It jumps from 53 to 56.

In short, the indictment from paras 49 to 56 is an inoperable jumble, with three paras missing from two different locations and which does not even contain – though it states it does – the very tweets which form part of the alleged offence with which I am charged.

You may argue this does not matter, and clerical errors are easily corrected. But that is to miss the point. I used to prepare official documents in my 20 year diplomatic career, from ministerial replies to members of the public to fully fledged international treaties.

A Diplomatic Note to a foreign government, which has a legal status, might be the best comparator from my work to this indictment or petition. I always scrupulously proof read every one I sent before signing. It is unthinkable that a Diplomatic Note would be sent containing not one but a series of major, material errors.

Is this document any less solemn? It is an indictment on which they are attempting to brand me a criminal and potentially send me to prison for up to two years. It is signed by Alex Prentice, Depute Advocate General on behalf of the Lord Advocate, and by the senior judge, Lord Turnbull.

But one thing is abundantly clear. Neither Alex Prentice nor Lord Turnbull can have carefully read through the document before they signed it. I do not believe for one moment that they would knowingly sign off a document containing such major errors. The judge, in particular, is meant to weigh carefully the matter to see if there really is a case to answer before he signs the Crown’s “petition”. But, I say it again, plainly Lord Turnbull has not actually read through it; or he would never have signed this garbled mess.

I am advised that it may be “contempt of court” for me to point out that Lord Turnbull signed this without reading it. But when a law makes it illegal to point out a blindingly obvious fact, then the law is an ass.

If Lord Turnbull does not wish to be criticised, he should try doing his job properly and actually paying attention to what he signs.

Contempt is the right word. I have a great deal of contempt for anybody who would send me such a portentous legal document rotten through with utterly careless error which would have been spotted by even a cursory reading of the document.

They did not read it. The judge who approved it did not read it.

Neither of them bothered to read the indictment or petition because it had already been decided to “get” Craig Murray and it therefore did not matter what the document actually said. The content of the charges is immaterial to them. Otherwise, they would have read them before signing. There can only be two reasons for that failure. The first is incompetence. The second is corruption. In a sense, it does not matter which it is in this case.

A state which is turning to authoritarianism to crush dissent does not need to be very careful about matters of process.

The failure of both Prentice and Turnbull to read before signing is not important for the mistakes in the document, which can be remedied by a new document. It is important because of the clear indication of attitude. This prosecution is abuse of process, a clear Article Six violation under the European Convention on Human Rights.

A series of facts make this abundantly plain. The abuse of process lies in this combined with the extraordinary selectivity in prosecuting me, when others who can be objectively proven to have much more effectively produced “jigsaw identification” are not prosecuted. There is a very clear political motivation behind the selection of who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.

When you put together the facts that there is overwhelming evidence that mainstream media journalists were more guilty of “jigsaw identification” than I, that systematic police action is being taken to harass only supporters of Alex Salmond, and that they don’t even care what the indictment to be used against me actually says, the overall picture becomes very, very clear.

Authoritarianism doesn’t have to worry about mistakes in the indictment, because it can just smash you in the face with the jackboot. That is what is happening here.

My own view is that they were so keen to “get” Craig Murray they just signed without any proper scrutiny whatsoever. I don’t see any other conclusion. Do you?

They do not have the excuse that this is routine. Major prosecutions for contempt in Scotland are extremely rare – the last one was Aamer Anwar about a decade ago (it failed).

So why could the state be so keen to prosecute Craig Murray, that is doesn’t even care what is in the indictment, or even if it is drawn up with the most basic level of competence? Well, I refer you to this excellent letter setting out the fact that the state is only acting against those who defended the innocent Alex Salmond, even though his detractors were much more in contempt of court. And I refer you to the Panelbase opinion poll which showed that very substantially more people who know the identities of the accusers, learnt them from the mainstream media.

I remain clear that I identified nobody. If I had wanted to, I would have done so openly. I have never been noted for cowardice.

The other accusation, that I wrote articles stating that the prosecution of Alex Salmond was a fit-up, is something I state again here. It is a proper exercise of my freedom of speech under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Actually, you don’t have to go past the very first sentence of the indictment to understand what is happening here. It reads “On 23 January 2019, Alexander Elliott Anderson Salmond was arrested by police officers in relation to a number of incidents that had taken place in Scotland.”

“That had taken place”.
Not “alleged to have taken place”.
“That had taken place”.
And Prentice wrote this, and Turnbull signed it off, after the acquittal.

After independent witnesses gave eye witness accounts that several of the incidents had not taken place at all. After it was demonstrated in court that the accuser of the most serious offence was not even present when she claimed the offence took place.

After the jury threw out the pile of ordure that the very same Alex Prentice as prosecuting counsel presented to them.

“That had taken place”. No, most of the incidents had not taken place at all, and none in the form alleged.

Right at the start, this wording gives away the motivation. The conspirators have still not psychologically processed the fact their attack on Alex Salmond was foiled by the jury. The Crown is now coming at Mark Hirst and at me in an effort to get some kind of victory from this massive waste of public resources. The conspirators seek to assuage their massive humiliation in the failure of a prosecution that stank and quite obviously ought never to have been brought.

I am not going to pipe down under this abuse of process and attack on freedom of speech. On the contrary, this will be a reasoned, forceful and very public resistance.

TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP

The hearing on 10 June is supposed to be public, but it will be virtual because of coronavirus. While it is a case management hearing, I shall nevertheless be grateful if you are able to “attend” virtually, as I am very keen indeed that I am not stitched up out of the public eye. Please send an email requesting access to the virtual hearing on 10 June to [email protected] I am very keen as many people do this as possible. Journalists please in addition copy in [email protected] for accreditation.

Secondly, many people come to this blog through social media and I am currently suffering a very high level of suppression, on Facebook and especially on Twitter. Rather than just retweet and share any soical media post that brought you here, (which may appear on the face to have worked but the dissemination will be suppressed), I would be very grateful if you could also write your own new posting and put a link. If you have your own blog or access to one, a commendation of this post with a link would be very welcome, even if it is not your normal policy. And finally of course, the entire post is free as always to copy, republish and translate as you wish.

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394 thoughts on “Authoritarianism is Shoddy

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  • U Watt

    Another politically-motivated fit-up and criminal waste of public funds. Transparently an attempt to try & silence one of Scotand’s & Britain’s very few prominent dissenters & truth tellers.

  • James+Caithness

    I emailed to request access to the virtual hearing. Just had this reply.

    “This inbox is checked during working hours. If you have an urgent, out of hours enquiry, please ring 07818875826 or 0777 393 6363. Thank you”

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this, and won’t hesitate to keep on top of them.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    My interpretation would be that there’s a master document and you have been served with a redacted version due to your habit of publishing Court documents on your site. The master document will be presented to your legal team on the day. No idea whether this is legally “permissible” or whether precedent exists. If my guess is even partially accurate, the summons should have been accompanied by a covering letter explaining the reason for the redacted version.
    The State narrative that offences “had taken place” continues to the the party line across all MSM.

    • paul

      If the offences “had taken place” and the accused was acquitted, are there other any other suspects being investigated?

    • Comment

      Is it possible that the case lies on the fact that the alleged tweet  expose the defendant?  Hence publishing the tweet will violate court order 

  • Republicofscotland

    “But one thing is abundantly clear. Neither Alex Prentice nor Lord Turnbull can have carefully read through the document before they signed it. I do not believe for one moment that they would knowingly sign off a document containing such major errors.”

    Like Assange, this gives the appearance that someone else is setting the agenda, I’d say a Holyrood Westminster collaboration, and the puppet Prentice is dancing to the tune. I’m utterly disgusted by this attempted fit up of you. You won’t even have a jury, something that Salmond had for balance. I just hope your legal representatives are on the ball.

    Meanwhile as Assange clings to life in a maximum security prison, in poor health during this terrible pandemic, and held without charge in England. Iran you know the non- democratic country, has extended Nadine Zaghari- Radcliffe’s temporary release from prison for another month.

    The bastards take great joy from the stress this puts on you and your family Craig, it’s all part of their plan to destroy you and yours mentally and physically. I really hope that you’re is a tight knit family unit and you all get through this. I’m sure you will.

    • Bob

      It was funny how Prentice took centre stage in the BBC Scotland documentary screened on Monday: Appeal Court: End of the Line.

    • James MacLean

      Like Assange, this gives the appearance that someone else is setting the agenda, I’d say a Holyrood Westminster collaboration, and the puppet Prentice is dancing to the tune. I’m utterly disgusted by this attempted fit up of you. You won’t even have a jury, something that Salmond had for balance. I just hope your legal representatives are on the ball.

      I agree, but I don’t think Prentice and Turnbull are dancing to that tune willingly.

  • nevermind

    If something is unclear or not present in an indictment, can it be added at the last minute by the judge/s?
    this whole case is an utter shambles from the start, and if you legal beagle is worth his/her salt it should be thrown out due to the blunders they have presented you with.
    I shall apply to be there virtually.

    • AlexT

      In any “decent” jurisdiction I’d say no… but UK law is sometimes rather weird so I’d love to hear a professional opinion 🙂

    • Shug

      Indictments are not public documents. The courts give the press access though in order to trawl through them for any ‘juicy’ cases.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The weird, disingenuous cult that controls the SNP has the stated aim of taking an independent Scotland into the European Union. How’s that application for EU membership going to go?
    Police Scotland have a self declared “Salmond squad” tasked to hunt down and persecute critics of Sturgeon using convoluted, false means. Viktor Orban would blush at this shite.

    • Greg Park

      I agree and if Orban did have such a police unit the British media would rightly make great play of it. The question is why even fiercely anti-independence Scottish media ihas not fixed on this “Salmond Squad” as a means of discrediting and destroying the current figurehead of the Scottish independence movement and leader of the Scottish government.

      Something stinks and if I was a supporter of the SNP I would want to know why its bitterest enemies are ispurning a wide open goal to destroy its leader.

    • Penguin

      Scotland, “We want to join”
      EU, You’re in”
      Scotland, “Thanks”

      10 seconds max and all done.

      Try harder with your next pathetic Yoon wankery

      • J Galt

        Well the wonderful EU at the moment resembles nothing so much as a collection of ferrets fighting in a sack.

        There are plenty of Independence supporters and SNP voters who are suspicious of what the EU has become.

        “Yoon wankery”?

        Grow up.

        Back to the topic – as an SNP member I am ashamed of the Scottish Government – if that is enough to get me expelled, and the name attached is my real name – at the moment I would look upon that as a badge of honour.

        • Laguerre

          “Well the wonderful EU at the moment resembles nothing so much as a collection of ferrets fighting in a sack.”

          A Brexiter like you would say that under any circumstances. Brexiters aren’t known for their understanding of European politics. It’s that, or the EU is an authoritarian dictator. They switch from the one to the opposite with no hesitation.

          • J Galt

            I actually voted to remain.

            If the development of what the EU has become had essentially stopped in the late 70s ie. the Common Market then I would probably still be a supporter.

            So you can kindly send your cartoon “Brexiteer” caricatures elsewhere, thanks.

          • Laguerre

            The cartoon caricature comes from you yourself, as I quoted. The history of the EU is indeed complicated, and much of what there is to dislike was led by Britain under Blair. Overall it’s a great institution, which has brought a prosperity to most of Europe which did not exist before.

            I can understand why Britain with its sea-facing tradition might not want to participate, as many others don’t. The problem, as Garton Ash re-emphasised today in the Graun,
            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/21/britains-pride-past-not-matched-vision-future
            is that none of the Brexiteers in power have any idea of where Britain is going to go, other than insisting on free access to what the EU has created. Barnier is going to shut the doors, I think.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Well the wonderful EU at the moment resembles nothing so much as a collection of ferrets fighting in a sack.”

          “There are plenty of Independence supporters and SNP voters who are suspicious of what the EU has become.”

          First point J.Galt, you mean independent EU countries don’t you, anyway surely you must have noticed by now that Scotland is the lone ferret in this sack being kicked by Westminster from the outside.

          Point two there’s plenty of indy supporters who are suspicious of the SNP and rightly so. I should add that after independence do you think Westminster will be less hostile towards Scotland than it is now? Like Ireland during Brexit we’ll need EU protection post independence.

          • J Galt

            I noticed the first point around 1973 at the age of twelve or thereabouts.

      • Kempe

        Best laugh I’ve had all week. The EU does nothing quickly. It was ten years between Croatia’s application and the country joining in 2013, it took two years before the negotiations even started.

        • Tony+Little

          Completely different circumstances. The EU is an extremely practical organisation. They have indicated clearly that an iScotland request for membership would be smooth and quick. The difficulty prospective members have is aligning their domestic legislation with the aquis communautaire – something which does indeed take years in some cases. Scotland already complies as part of the UK.

          • Kempe

            Not so different. Whilst the request for membership might be smooth and quick the actual negotiations leading up to accession can be anything but.

          • Republicofscotland

            Kempe.

            Who cares as long as we’re out of this shitty union for good that’s what really matters to those seeking independence.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            I agree with your general point. ‘Till relatively recently I would have thought Scotland’s admission to the EU to be a quickly processed formality. My point being; with the Police and Judiciary persecuting political critics of the Government, admission to the EU becomes a whole degree more problematic. Admission to the EU would of course progress smoothly with the current, Stalinist clique heading the SNP and Scottish Government safely out of the way.

          • Laguerre

            I have no doubt that an independent Scotland’s request for admission to the EU would be treated quickly and easily. The French would support it strongly. Kempe’s sniping with whataboutery about Croatia is irrelevant.

            Nevertheless, the act of independence is Scotland’s business, and won’t be helped by the EU. It is not their business, and they will stay out. If Sturgeon and her lot don’t really want independence, as often said here, the EU isn’t going to help. Their commitment is to member states, as in the case of Catalonia. They could as Britain is no longer a member state, but they won’t.

        • Coldish

          Reply to Laguerre (21 May, 20.51): EU’s commitment has not always been only to member states. The organisation, led by Germany, took an active role in the violent dismemberment of Yugoslavia on behalf of the separatist republics of Slovenia and Croatia, both of whom are now EU members.

    • Republicofscotland

      Vivian.

      How do think we’ve been trapped in this one-sided godforsaken union for 313 years, by collusion from within, think of McRae, McLean, Baird, Hardie, Muir, now Salmond the Rev and Craig all persecuted or attempted by the collusion within Scotland.

    • andic

      Scotland would have very little trouble getting in to the EU, they are well aligned already through UK membership, they do have a lot of resources particularly fishing, it’s politicians are mostly careerist gargoyles so they wont cause much trouble and it would be a nice big poke in the eye to rUK.

      Rules about human rights and dignity are just window dressing. It may be used as a stick to beat Orban but not much was said about Catalonia or the maiming of yellow vest protesters

      • Coldish

        andic (09.13): the fishing rights would indeed be a big attraction in support of a Scottish application to join the EU. That’s if Johnson doesn’t do another of his usual tricks by selling his supporters in the UK’s fishing industry down the river and agreeing to the EU’s continued free access to UK waters. Sorry if this is O/T.

    • Willie+B

      That’s a joke, and the reason they gave was shit, ie to replace it with something that the international community would prefer, I would say that the Wokus Dei have infected all of these places of brain washing, whoops I mean education

    • Republicofscotland

      Robert.

      I commented on this over on Wings, as Chomsky would say, those who educate more often than not serve power.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      All reference to Alex Salmond has been expunged from the history section of the SNP website. Photoshop has removed all the skill and artistry out of “airbrushing” individuals from history. Stalin would be envious.

  • Willie+B

    sorry to tell you Craig, but you are being fitted up and shat on from a gravest height by the Civil Service you worked for in the past, I wonder if they are still after you over the whistle blowing Re the rendition flights as well as the Salmond and Assange cases, could you word a copy for those interested in attending the virtual fit up I mean court case for those of us who aren’t gifted with a way of words,

  • Eva Smagacz

    Meanwhile,

    The attacks on Alex Salmond’s good name continue:
    University is to remove and put in storage Alex Salmond’s tuition fees stone.

    The implied message is – free tuition fees are obviously good – but the whole thing is tainted by connection with Alex Salmond (” we know something you don’t”).

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-52748722

    I am waiting for a ( smear) story about mothers “concerned” about letting children play in Alex Salmond’s neighbourhood……

  • Penguin

    The thought had occurred that if you are found guilty of partially identifying the perjurers and sent to prison then what punishment could you be served for then actually publishing their names?
    If every reader of you and the Rev Stu then published those names would the COPFS try to arrest several hundred thousand people?

    It is long since time for NS to give up and admit her part in the abuse of our fundamental rights and resign. Given her assumed proclivities she’d probably enjoy women’s prison. In line with her GRA reforms she should really be placed in a male establishment. Fair’s fair after all.

    In other news. It is worth reminding everyone that dozens of defence witnesses were not called due to the virus outbreak.

    This morning I pondered whether AS has a case for assault against the civil servant who attacked him in the lift in China? The man admitted slapping Salmond on the arm. If pushing a woman in the back is sexual assault according to the COPFS then his voluntary confession of serious physical contact should carry some sanction.

    • Robert

      Let’s not even contemplate revealing names. Future witnesses need to be able to believe that their identities will be kept secret if a Court offers them that protection.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        I think yo make a fair point but somehow we need to find a way of distinguishing ‘serious’ cases from spurious or flimsy or invented allegations. I think it should be made clear that allegations found to be false will be severely punished and/or subject to damages and that anonymity is not guaranteed after a finding of ‘fabrication’.
        On the other hand it is important that victims are not inhibited from making allegations, by having their identity revealed in the , mainly gutter, press operations
        It is a fairly thorny problem which requires considerable thinking and development of ideas to find the optimum conditions.
        I also wondered about the allegations against AS based in England. Are these extant?Anyone know?

    • MrSoft

      It’s not like a criminal offence where you can’t be convicted and sentenced twice for the same crime. If somebody repeats their contempt of court they can be sent back to prison.

  • Rob

    Craig, I would suggest that those missing sections have been redacted and replaced by those “it is respectfully submitted” passages.
    However, as they specified the exact tweets published, it’s unclear why they are bothering with the redaction.

    As for the Prentice’s “had taken place” assertion… If he has new evidence that these events did actually take place then he should take it to the police. (I suspect he doesn’t actually have evidence, and is merely claiming that the events did happen for political reasons, as many of these journalists appear to be doing. Is that legal?)

  • Peter

    “A state which is turning to authoritarianism to crush dissent … ”

    Just to be clear, it is the Scottish state we are talking about here isn’t it, not the British one?

    Or is it?

    Have applied for virtual access and received the same automated reply (to my spam box) referred to by James Caithness at 10:25.

    What are their “working hours” exactly?

    • paul

      “The office will be open from 2-3am 11 june 2020, all communications will be responded to by the end of financial year 20/21”

    • Peter

      Ps.

      “This prosecution is abuse of process, a clear Article Six violation under the European Convention on Human Rights.”

      If Craig is convicted on 10th June, which is by no means certain, what are his rights of appeal? Could he appeal all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights?

      • craig Post author

        Peter, yes, and I fully expect this to wind up in the ECHR. Unfortunately by the time it gets there I will have served any prison sentence.

        • Peter

          Thank you for your reply Craig.

          “The future is not written.”

          Who knows what will happen on the 10th?

          There must be a furious power struggle going on at the top of the SNP and the Scottish ‘state’, what will emerge from it is yet to be seen – as the saying goes “give them enough rope and they will … “.

          Whatever transpires in the fullness of time it will make for a great film or TV drama series.

          As I’m sure you are aware there are many, many people here with you and rooting for you.

          Stay strong, keep well.

          • FlakBlag

            I suspect the power struggle you mention concluded some time ago and it is becoming clear which faction won. IMO we need a Scottish Sinn Féin, or better still: entirely reject concepts such as “faction”, “power struggle”, “top” and “state”.

            There’s a scene in the movie “The Big Short” in which the Michael Burry character says in a revelatory moment: “It’s possible that we are in a completely fraudulent system.” This realization applies as much to politics as it does to finance.

            [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpiuAqKDU_8]

            Good luck Craig Murray, I’ll be rooting for you.

    • douglas clark

      Perhaps they have been inundated with requests for virtual access? Or…?

      ———————-

      I find it a tad amazing that the juries decisions on the Alec Salmond trial are, essentially, overlooked in this ‘petition’. Describing what didn’t happen – according to the jury – as though it did in fact happen is disingenuous, to say the least.

    • Denis Doherty

      Excellent article Craig. Clearly, a stitch up is being attempted here. I would imagine it is more a case of corruption than incompetence. Happy to sign up for the hearing on the 10th of June.

  • Antonym

    Go’s to show that also Scottish fish can rot from the head down. English big fish were already quite notorious for this.

    • douglas clark

      In the US some of the documents released in high profile trials have any ‘controversial’ text blanked out. At least from the general public. Perhaps the Scottish Courts could adopt a similar process?

      As the defence lawyers need time to look at the full inditement, I hope that they have already been provided with an unredacted version.

  • Steve+Hayes

    Craig, so you are opposed to authoritarianism, but are in favour of the “lockdown” measures, which have resulted in the suspension of juries, the cancellation of elections, the suppression of the right to freedom of expression, the denial of the right to assembly, the violation of the right to protest, the removal of the right to receive or refuse medical attention, the limitation of the right to freedom of movement within the country, limited the right to practise religion, violated the right to family life, instituted a police state by giving the police and others the right to detain on mere suspicion, removed the right to privacy, undermined the rule of law; and if all that were on enough the Coronavirus Act 2020 Part 2 Section 90 gives a minister of the Crown the power to extend these powers indefinitely and to change any power by mere fiat. And none of this was subjected to parliamentary scrutiny; indeed parliament passed the act and associated regulations without scrutiny or division, sent itself on holiday and decided to reconvene on a digital basis, ie turned itself into a pretend parliament. The Coronavirus Act 2020 is our Enabling Act 1933.

      • AlexT

        Any sensible conclusion could only be drawn once the pandemic is over. It is to be expected that at this point they will have higher numbers – but ultimately (6-12 months from now) they might actually end up with much better results than other “locked down” countries, notwithstanding the major economic damages which are apparently completely irrelevant in the discussion.

        And in any case stll very close to the UK numbers.

        Let’s wait and see…

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Brian c May 21, 2020 at 12:04
        You seem to have missed something in the article:
        ‘…However, Sweden has only had the highest death rate over the past week, with Belgium, Spain, Italy, the UK and France, still ahead over the entire course of the pandemic.
        State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the spokesman for Sweden’s outlier coronavirus strategy, dismissed the figures on Tuesday night, arguing that it was misleading to focus on the death toll over a single week….’

  • ET

    Do the tweet times stated come from a different timezone? As in, some agency provided the evidence of the tweets being posted and used their timezone? GMT-7

  • Leftworks

    More than likely, substantial parts of the indictment were prepared prior to the acquittals, and nobody had the sense to update them.

    • michael norton

      agree.

      You would have thought as Mr.Salmond has been found not guilty,
      that the women who were encouraged to maliciously give evidence against Salmond,
      would now be the ones being indicted.
      Not somebody who had written about a courtcase where the accused was found innocent.

      This seems against natural justice.

      Why have not the women accusers been indicted?

  • John Dalrymple

    Hi Craig,

    I have a close friend who is a senior criminal lawyer and we were discussing all of this recently. For what it is worth, she tells me that in Scottish legal circles, following the Salmond case and others that he has ‘misjudged/mishandled’, Prentice is regarded s a ‘joke’ and a man now with no credibility, and is regarded as a ‘prick’ by leading advocates – as is is mate Turnbull.

    Turnbull is deeply political – as was indicated by his pursuit of Tommy Sheridan on behalf of Murdoch. He is ‘an embarrassment’ to the bench.

    She is of the view that this whole charade is simply to get at you and ‘teach you a lesson’ – well we knew that; but also that their Lordships would be ‘mad’ to blow this to go much further – and that the whole thing is ‘ruining’ what is left of the reputation of the Scottish legals system. It has already – and will even more so if they proceed -‘backfire on them big time’

    She reckons Prentice is ‘finished’ – and that leading advocates relish having him prosecute – think it gives them a ‘three goal lead’. “Juries aren’t stupid – ‘they know who he is’, and that his being a ‘joke’, means his appeals to juries are laden with suspicion of his motives and competence.

    This question of competence – and the accompanying contempt of process – is at the heart of an attitude that is corroding public trust in the system. All that is left is unaccountable power – the hallmark of the dictatorship and the banana republic.

    There is also widespread concern at continued efforts to abolish jury trials in Scotland. Deep concern that Sturgeon is attempting this at every opportunity – the most recent an advisory committee on the place of juries in Scotland, which had in its membership the Chair of Rape Crisis Scotland – but NOT ONE criminal defence lawyer – deeply concerning.

    The fact that Scots lawyers are thinking along these lines does not bode well for the health of the criminal justice system.

    Let’s hope they see sense in your case – to will be deeply embarrassing if an when your remedy has to come from the UK Supreme Court, or the European Court of Justice.

    The Scottish legal system really needs to sort itself out and start by getting rid of cranks, incompetents, corruption and the utter eejits that they have recently shown themselves to be.

    • willyrobinson

      Respectfully I think this comment, while interesting, should be removed by moderators.

      Likewise I think Craig ought to edit his post comprehensively to remove all of the conclusions drawn from the errors in the petition. Leave the errors, but remove the conclusions, even if that means cutting half the post. There’s no point being innocent and then posting stuff that leaves you properly in contempt. Speak your later mind when you are no longer sub judice.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Know wqhat you mean but it’s a tricky issue.I cant see anything wrong with the John Dalrymple comment, which is self-evident. It cant be a secret that people and lawyers gossip and speculate.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      All you say has gone through my mind already and must go through the minds of anyone with a couple of spare brain cells.
      A discredited legal system could be a major factor in civil disturbance and problems with the prison system(if say already convicted individuals were able to present a case against prosecutors or judges seen to be biased or corrupt.
      Potentially very serious problems, and one wonders how Prentice can maintain his position much longer.

      • David G

        I should hope so!

        To repeat a comment I posted a few weeks ago: from my perspective overseas, any illusions I may have had about the friendly London bobby died with Jean Charles Menezes, but to see a British (if you’ll pardon the expression) police force engage in a political takedown like that against Salmond is still really shocking.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    I feel like a kindred spirit.

    We, persons as ordinary citizens who stand for what we honestly believe to be right, can be made into ‘children of a lesser God’. I shall explain.

    Many years ago when I was a young lawyer, along with a legal colleague, we filed petitions in a British colony for the removal of a Chief Justice for stated reasons of his misbehaviour and incompetence while sitting as a Judge. For such an action, there is express protection under the Bill of Rights 1688. Also, within the colony there is a written Constitution, expressly providing for a Judge’s removal from office for reasons of his misbehaviour and/or his incompetence. One would have thought that we had good legal cover.

    Instead, the authorities cited us for ‘contempt of court’ for reason of having ‘scandalised the court’. Now that is an old law last used in England in the 1930s. My view was that it was, and still is, an obsolete law. In any event we were tried and convicted and I was sentenced to 2 years probation and he was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment. Well, my friend’s sentence was no longer a sorry joke. So I rallied legal colleagues across the Caribbean and got the attention of Amnesty International. Amnesty informed the British Government that unless my friend was released forthwith and unconditionally he would be declared internationally – a prisoner of conscience. Well, the authorities did place him in hospital and shackled him to his hospital bed, then released him. I sued on his behalf and we had a trial before Judge and Jury and we won and secured a tidy sum in damages.

    When I started reading your post, all of this came flooding back into mind.

    I believe that the Judge(s) will have a hard time with you in securing a credible conviction. Now, I did not say that they most definitely will not convict – but, for reasons you are already are outlining it will be most difficult to have much more than a show trial and conviction.

    Wishing you all the best in your struggle.

    Courtenay

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Lysias,

        Because we live in a totally corrupted world.

        Well – not totally – for to the extent that they did it for my friend – I suspect that the stakes at play in that game were nowhere near that of what is in play with the Assange case.

        So – conclusion – we live in a corrupted and compromised world.

        Sorry to have to deliver this true but somber news.

        Kind regards,

        Courtenay

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I have had a few brushes with petty authority(local authorities :Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, East Dunbartonshire. Highland. In each case they blundered wildly to the point that they self-discredited. It was embarrassing and breathtaking to observe at times.The EDC case was an egregious flouting of the laws around Data Protection.The ‘officer’ concerned was utterly incompetent and despite being their specialist DP and Information Officer he made the most blatant errors and lied repeatedly in writing (too thick to realise he was incriminating himself) and abusing the legal process around freedom of information. The matter was eventually adjudicated on by the ICO who ‘reprimanded’ and warned the authority. A similar abuse occurred with Highland in relation to releasing information they had been mandated to release.Obviously they didn’t want to release because it was so revealingly embarrassingly stupid for some of their senior ‘officers’
    The Aberdeen city blunders were justa combination of plain lying and compounded errors of grammar chronology and fact, so stupid, one wondered if they had employed semi-literate Primary five children to work for them.The whole process was a ludicrous travestyconducted by members of the education department who I think had come to believe they were excused the normal constraints or obligations regarding facts and biased opinion, by their seniority.Senior officials were lcking the most basic skills (such as proof reading and fact checking).
    These authorities are invested with considerable powers and they are largely unaccountable through the elected representatives who mainly develop a strange defensive attitude to ‘their’ council becoming apologists and self appointed defenders. This is a part of our democracy that has also become unfit for purpose. We seriously need a genuine revolution in this country.
    I was never sure how much was malice and how much was incompetence .I concluded that the two elements go hand in hand.Malice begets incompetence and incompetence begets malice.
    However let us be thankful that the operators of these processes are so often ‘hoist by their own petard’ a sight which is a fine satisfying sport for those with an interest in justice and fair play.
    I wonder if you should have dropped your observations of incompetence/malice at the trial. You have now warned them so they will now be alerted and have a chance to remedy the errors.

    • craig Post author

      Deepgreenpuddock

      My lawyers advised that the court would simply “remedy” by telling the Crown it had to provide a clean copy.

      • jake

        I trust they’ll be gracious enough to acknowledge your assistance in bringing the errors of the original draft to their attention.

  • James Boag

    Should we ask that “Lord Turnbull” be questioned on the documents that he has ““alleged to have read” ?

  • pete

    Kafka has nothing compared to the Scottish legal establishment.

    Craig, re the parts of the documents sent to you that refer to tweets, if this is being presented as evidence would they not have to prove that the tweets came from a device of yours, to preserve the chain of evidence. If your twitter account was hacked you could not be responsible for anything published that appeared from anywhere other than a device that was demonstrably yours and never left your possession.
    A technical expert could demonstrate how such an attack could occur. The balance of evidence would appear to be in your favour, given how easy it could be shown that twitter accounts can be hacked. The internet was not created with security in mind, it assumed that people were going to be reasonable. Short of end to end encryption and the ability to prevent man in the middle attacks security on the internet is impossible, as I am sure the alphabet sisters would agree.

    • Ort

      I certainly don’t presume to speak for Craig, but if he actually wrote (tweeted?) the tweets in question, I wouldn’t expect him (and his legal team) to effectively disavow them by disputing their authenticity.

      I am aware of the general defense principle that the State needs to prove the elements of its own case, and that, all things being equal, defendants should avoid either actively or passively conceding any prosecutorial points.

      But if Craig wrote the tweets, I am certain that he would stand by them on principle rather than make a legal attack amounting to, “I don’t admit to making the tweets, and you can’t prove otherwise.”

  • Easily Confused

    Craig,

    I am sick to my stomach for you. What a mess. Who knows if we will ever get to the bottom of how this came to be. Never discount the effect of lowly civil servants doing their job. No matter how lowly, they have processes to follow that make them strong and before you know it what started from nothing can be turned into something, civil servants excel at this.

    I can only imagine how painful the thought is, even putting it into words, of going to prison.

    I will email now and ask for virtual attendance, I have contributed to your fund, it is all we can do and I hope the support from the people on here helps you in some way too.

    All the best!

  • Phil Williams

    Just as the US Second Amendment represents the greatest power-levelling piece of legislation the world has yet seen (hence the relentless campaigns waged against it by “Leftist progressives” and liberals in the meretricious “name” of “all the poor children”, and the delicious irony that it is most vocally supported – in public at least – by those on the political “Right”, often in the name of anti-Communism!!!), so the Internet represents the greatest information-levelling technology the world has yet seen.

    Information really is power. The railing of the ‘traditional’ and corporate social media against accusations of promulgating “fake news” and instituting censorship, once the preserve of “weirdos” and “political cranks” like Noam Chomsky and Armand Mattelart but now a mainstream sport, illustrates just how sensitive they are to the novel 24/7 scrutiny of their “narratives”. But this scrutiny is also increasingly being directed towards the State’s repressive apparatuses – the armed forces, the police, the law – and, as the cases of Julian Assange, Craig Murray and many others are showing, these bureaucracies, just like the corporate media, are not backing off.

    How long will it be before their brazen corruption provokes widespread revolt? Millions marched against the Gulf War and yet it still went ahead. “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” – Mao. Whether you “like” the idea or slogan or not, it is the truth: you cannot change things from within, whether that is a corrupt institution (a political party) or the exploitative principles upon which a whole society is run. Until large sections of the population are willing to sacrifice their present conditions of existence (as they are doing in a relatively minor way in order to fight the coronavirus) and act, nothing will change. Let’s see how long the dead-weight of liberal, quasi-religious “be patient and all will be yours” ideology can continue to hold back the flood.

  • Stewart

    Craig, what are your lawyers saying about all this? Surely they should be all over it.
    You are absolutely correct to point out apparent mistakes in the petition but isn’t this something your lawyers could easily resolve?

    • James

      Ummm …. why should Craig Murray’s lawyers help to resolve this? If the petition is absolute bollox, then he has a greater chance of acquittal (unless, of course, the judge is the sister of Vanessa Baraitser).

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