Preparing for my Trial 326

The Crown Office is objecting to the appearance of, and trying to block from court, ALL of my witnesses and ALL of our proposed evidence for my defence at my trial for Contempt of Court. Today I have to complete the first draft of my own witness statement. We understand the Lord Advocate may object to the hearing of my own evidence also.

I shall write more on this tomorrow. Today is very busy.

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326 thoughts on “Preparing for my Trial

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  • Alex Cox

    Good luck Craig! Not surprising you are being treated with discourtesy by a politically appointed judge. If a jury were involved they would not dare to bring this case against you.

  • M.J.

    This trial could make history, if the meaning of the word “likely” is tested in court – does it mean “more likely than not” (as I am inclined to think) or (as I am not inclined to think) the presence of an appreciable but small risk? If Craig’s evidence from his surveys indicates that the actual risk is small, i.e. well below 50%, the law might be on his side. If I were a prosecutor, I might be nervous at the thought. No wonder London may have thought that bringing this case was not a good idea – because the FCO would have picked Craig for his brain more than anything, and therefore know that he would not miss a trick, like a very strong chess player who will win given any handicap, however small.

    • M.J.

      Correction, it seems to have been Alex Salmond’s trial that London thought was a bad idea. Replace “may” with “might” , as a hypothetical possibility, and it should be OK.

  • giyane

    Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland – [image]

    Sentence first, verdict afterwards. off with his head.
    The only reason why the court will not allow a single squeak of evidence about the Salmond’s accusers is because of the charge of rape, which has in fact been categorically proved Not to have happened in the highest court of law in Scotland.

    Are we seeing a version of feminism in Scotland similar to the hypocrisy of Victorian England?
    The only way to deal with such outrageous contempt of justice is to allow it to show itself in its full enormity.
    Then let the court of public opinion despatch the duchess at the ballot box in due course.

  • J

    Surely the petition, defacto, renders the prosecution case ridiculous, by the same measure, since they are building a hypothetical case of contempt, on the issue of identification of witnesses? Am I missing something?

  • Fleur

    Just before the first four days of Julian Assange’s hearing (22 Feb 2020) Kristinn Hrafnsson gave an impassioned speech about “the Dark Force” that was out to get Assange:
    Clearly the same “Dark Force” is out to get Craig Murray too. As well as providing whatever practical support we can ($$, info, useful suggestions, extensive social media support) I think we should all send daily prayers (positive visualisation, or whatever people do in the spiritual realm) for Craig and his family. Long may the light of truth protect him.

  • Frank Hovis

    Mr Murray,
    Do you think it was a wise move to leave your home address unredacted on the above document? After all, you wouldnt want “Harry Johnson” turning up at your front door. Reading his twitter account (which now seems to have been closed), he’s obviously one or two sandwiches short of a picnic.

  • Ozman+Dias

    Not sure if I’ve understood the arguments raised by the Crown.

    On the one hand, they say it’s irrelevant if others committed the same offence with which CM is being charged. But how does one determine whether the use of the discretionary power to lay charges was properly exercised if we can’t compare its application upon equivalent offenders? Many factors go into whether a prosecutor will agree to issue an information, including the odds of winning at trial. But if there is a clear pattern of only laying charges against one sub-group of alleged offenders, while ignoring other equally offending groups, then the exercise of the Crown’s discretion can be raised into question for the judge to consider. And in cases like this, where there is a clear pattern of only prosecuting commentators who criticized the Crown’s case, while ignoring equal offenders who supported it, the need for judicial review of the pattern for charging offenders should be self-evident. The question of relevancy is not constrained only to the question of CM’s conduct but to the legitimate exercise of prosecutorial power and serious apprehension of bias.

    Second, the private poll is highly relevant to whether CM’s writings were “likely to disclose the identity” of the complainants. Since there is no evidence of CM directly revealing the implicated identities, the judge has to assess whether his writings would lead the reasonable person to ascertain the protected information. How can the judge do that without some awareness of how the average/reasonable person would interpret CM’s writings related to the complainants? Is the Crown arguing that the judge alone can subjectively decide what the average person would infer from CM’s writings in a vacuum, without any corroborating evidence or support? If CM’s defence cannot provide evidence that is directly related to the question of disclosure, then what evidence would be ‘relevant’ enough to be permissible?

    The Crown is arguing absurdities, using the logic that the defence evidence is irrelevant because the Crown says so. There is no acknowledgement of counterarguments, or of how evidence works in such hearings, or with any reliance on precedent to support the petitioner’s request. It’s remarkable that a prosecutor’s office would submit a supplementary petition without any caselaw or other authorities cited to support its position. This was written by someone using the subjective logic of a 2 year old, rather than by someone with any evident legal training or experience. If I were the reviewing judge, I’d be insulted to receive such an unprofessional and lazy motion.

    The word churlish comes to mind. The Crown is clearly going to drag out the proceedings and continue to throw out red herrings to avoid a speedy resolution to this matter. The plan is to cause as much delay and incur as much expense as possible to the respondents. Now I understand what perverse prosecution means. Such an abuse of power would be criticized in any Third World country but appears to be par for the course in the home of the Common Law system. Sad.

    • Joe Mellon

      It is simply the usual “Court of Star Chamber” or Banana Republic Dictator level of ‘justice’.
      Shocking that it is taking place in the highest courts in Scotland: what happened to the jusiprudence of Cockburn and Hume?

      • Iain Stewart

        To avoid prosecution, Hume was cautious or prudent enough to avoid publishing his essays on suicide and religion until he was dead.

  • Kuhnberg

    The degree to which Craig’s blog made identification possible depends very largely on what knowledge the reader has of Scottish politics. If are a political insider, merely to report that complaints have been made would be enough to identify the complainants. So only the government’s case Is only 100% watertight if is reduced to absurdity. Conversely, if the test of contempt is the entirely reasonable one that identification must be made (or not) by the man on the Edinburgh omnibus, then the government’s case must surely fall.

    • Joe Mellon

      …and of course every journalist, lawyer or New Town resident who is vaguely interested already knows the names.
      Scotland is a small country. It is utterly ridiculous.

  • Loony

    The Contempt of Court Act 1981 operates on under the tenant of strict liability. As I am sure your lawyers have explained to you this serves to limit defense options.

    The state is afforded considerable leeway in so far as they can choose who to prosecute. For example a couple of years ago the then (in)famous Tommy Robinson was summarily jailed under this very act. He was largely reading things aloud which the BBC had previously published. The fact that the state chose not to prosecute the BBC in no way assisted the defense of Mr. Robinson.

    More generally Scotland seems well on the path to its totalitarian destiny. The great and the good (sic) of Scotland will no doubt be proud of their conviction of one Marcus Meechan for the crime of telling a joke which some did not find amusing. Their proposed hate speech law could, it is claimed, serve to criminalize a range of behaviours including reading from the Bible.

    Happy days – or maybe not.

    • Stonky

      “Their proposed hate speech law could, it is claimed, serve to criminalize a range of behaviours including reading from the Bible…”

      That’s already the case Loony. The words that have led to Mark Hirst’s prosecution for “making a statement of a menacing character” are a quote from the Bible (which, as you would expect, has been used hundreds of times in political contexts and thousands of times in general contexts by journalists working for the MSM).

    • schrodingers cat

      The state is afforded considerable leeway in so far as they can choose who to prosecute. For example a couple of years ago the then (in)famous Tommy Robinson was summarily jailed under this very act. He was largely reading things aloud which the BBC had previously published. The fact that the state chose not to prosecute the BBC in no way assisted the defense of Mr. Robinson.

      this has a ring of truth, but an ominous ring none the less

  • 6033624

    I can see the point (section 4) in that just because someone else did it, isn’t a defence. Of course it may seek to draw a line between what is acceptable and what isn’t but for that you would be better using it to make a prosecution, not a defence. Although, if you can get agreement that no other publication breached the order and that you have published only what they have could be admissible.

    But the point made about witnesses, he says that there is no value in a ‘limited number of witnesses’ being asked. Surely then a wider number, such as in a poll or survey as provided by you for your evidence then becomes MORE relevant? Although on rereading I don’t see him actually objecting to the poll information?

    I would have thought that anyone sitting in judgement on a case like this might be more predisposed to actually hear the evidence for themselves and then decide the merits of it. As you have said, this is not a jury trial and so there are fewer worries about ‘confusing a jury’ with irrelevant information.

    I still find this shocking. That the justice system would be so vindictive to bring this in the first place and that it can be brought so that you have no jury of your peers but a single judge at who’s whim you could be imprisoned. This is a kangaroo court for a journalist acting as a journalist should ie reporting facts instead of the paltry diet fed to us in what laughably passes for a ‘free press’ these days..

  • Wade Mansell

    Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights may mean that recourse to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg might be the best hope for justice if all goes wrong at this stage. As one who having followed all these legal events has have been entirely unable to identify any of the original complainants, I find these proceedings both grotesque and bizarre.

  • Castor

    Despite my best endeavours, as an ordinary punter from Gloucestershire, I have been quite unable to ascertain the names of the parties.
    I did try.

  • jake

    Nicely finessed, Craig.
    Hat tip to your good self and your lawyers.
    That tedious and irrelevant defence of yours has indeed provoked a formal objection.
    It’s a double-edged sword. Those who raised the prosecution have now effectively excluded a whole range of matters that might have be used or alluded to in their prosecution of you.

  • ???

    “…any information likely to disclose the identity of the complainers…”. The meaning of this is absolutely not clear.

    What does “likely” mean? “Unlikely” is still possible. Just because someone wins the national lottery doesn´t mean a win is likely.

    Who is the addressee? – i.e. who is the person to whom the identities of the complainers would “likely” be disclosed? How much knowledge does that person have, e.g. about Scottish politics? And are we talking about the average reader of the blog? If yes, who is the average reader? How smart is that person? How do you measure smartness?

    What is the permitted size of the missing link between the information published and the deduction of the identities of the complainers? How much research is permitted? Is this limited to scanning the first page of a google search or is it a deep investigation of every site in the top 100 pages of a google search? (presumably not) And how many other disclosures can be combined in order to bridge the missing link, just one or more than that? If more than one, how many? And what type of additional disclosures can be combined? Only other items on the blog?

    And at the end of the day how do you prove “likely” objectively? Anyone who knows the identity of the complainers and tries to prove “likely” is tainted by hindsight, thereby prejudicing objectivity.

    Given all of the above it seems a pretty tough ask to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the information cited in the indictment “likely” discloses the identity of the complainers. I note the telling use of the word “could” rather than “would” and the omission of the word “likely” in the “respectfully submitted” paragraphs 31, 39, 42, 53 and 64. That says a lot.

    • Giyane


      I like your logic . But I’m not sure the common meaning of likely is the same as the legal meaning. Nicola Sturgeon may just be lying back and thinking of Scotland in all of this while aggressive US lawyers intent on damaging Craig screw the Scottish Judicial System.

      Unlike an algorithm I find it useful to ask the question cui bono? If Gavin Williamson had used his brain he would have seen the PR disaster of private schools benefitting and poor schools losing because of his purchased algorithm .

      The only type of politician to succeed nowadays is the one who who rides the system while it is being controlled by unelected powers. Getting the blame for outrageous government policy is like the risk of getting an STD , extremely likely knowing the company they have to keep to stay in power.

  • Old+Red+Sandstone

    Apologies if this has already been noted: I’ve just been told that the Wark documentary has been pulled from iPlayer this evening and she’s deleted her promo tweets. Trouble heading her way? Or what is she scared of?

    • RogerDodger

      Wings reporting that every single Salmond-related programme has been pulled. Seems like something’s caused a Code Brown all right.

  • Steven

    Good luck Craig, you are the truth and should have nothing to fear. But this is the British justice system after all, I shall say a prayer for you.

    • On the train

      Yes I will too. This has been a dreadful summer and it feels as if only prayer remains.

  • Bernie

    Breaking News…Breaking News…Breaking News…

    The BBC has removed Kirsty Wark’s hatchet job on innocent Alex Salmond from its iplayer and Kirsty has deleted all tweets advertising it.

    • Old+Red+Sandstone

      It was restored to iPlayer at about 11.30 pm. So, what’s been going on? Have Wark’s tweets also been restored?

    • Phil Williamson

      I’ve just downloaded the programme from the iPlayer website ( using the get_iplayer software ( and it comes out bang on 59 minutes, exactly the same length to the second as a version posted on YouTube on 18/8/20 before it “disappeared”.

      However, one interesting feature of get_iplayer is that it reveals which ‘version’ of the programme you are getting: ‘editorial’, ‘technical’, ‘pre-watershed’, etc. In this case, and for the first time that I can remember in 7 years of using the program, it says ‘legal’, which implies that a scrote gave it the once over before transmission/posting, as one would expect. So, a “WTF are you going to do about it” from the BBC, in the same spirit as the Guardian’s lies about Assange, Corbyn, Trump, Scargill and anyone else who threatens the status quo.

      • Los

        Perhaps whilst it is the same length, some of the content may have been changed.

        It might be interesting to perform a comparision of the “before” and “after” versions.

        • Jennifer Allan

          Yes- the BBC has received a lot of complaints about this programme, which is alleged to have ‘outed’ one of the Salmond complainants, a clear contempt of court, never mind the entire programme promoting an assumption of Salmond’s guilt, also contempt of the court and the jury which acquitted him. Apparently Kirsty’s husband owns the outfit that produced the programme, a nice little earner for everyone concerned. It seems the BBC has decided to ‘brazen it out’; after all they have access to the best legal advice courtesy of the licence payers.

          I suppose if Craig finds himself in the invidious position of being prevented from presenting his prepared legal defences to the charges, he can always tell the Court he is very sorry if any of the information reported in his blog caused any of the women complainants to be identified, but he did his best at the time to comply with the Court edict, whilst reporting on the Court proceedings. Since such ‘respected’ media sources as the BBC were reporting the exact same things at the same time, he assumed their legal teams would have previously ensured these items complied with the Court’s demands.This would also flag up the Crown Office’s decision to prosecute Craig, a person known to have limited resources to fight the indictment, rather than take on the BBC and powerful press sources like the Daily Mail.

          In this respect, both the SNP Government and the Crown office got things badly wrong. Alex Salmond effortlessly managed to raise £100,000 in a couple of days to fund his judicial review, which he won. Craig raised £70,000 in less than a week to fund his legal expenses. If his case ends up being appealed I have no doubt most of those who contributed the first time will contribute again.

          • Sergey

            Can you imagine Google or Facebook bringing out such an intuitive God-awful, labyrinth instructions, lacking a GUI (Graphic User Interface), command-line only programme? Don’t think so. Definitely not one for the non-techies!

          • arby

            “I have no doubt most of those who contributed the first time will contribute again.”

            I’d say others will contribute as well.

        • John Nash

          The only way you can really be sure that the programmes are identical is to compare the hash numbers.

  • The Beast in the Cellar

    All of this comes down to a simple question; did he or did he not identify them?

    He didn’t.

    Only by diving head-first into absurdity can they even argue that he made insinuations which may or may not have assisted some people towards making identifications. That may be true or it may not, but establishing that insinuations were made is not the same as establishing guilt in this case as to the primal question above.

    I predict this case will be dropped or scuppered in some way for technical reasons. Underneath everything is the widely held view that nobody really gives a fuck who they are — I certainly don’t care, have never cared, and have never understood why anyone would care.

    Scottish politics, if we are honest, is 99% trivial crap. The 1% of the time that it’s not entirely crap accounts for those fleeting moments in history where a few people show a passing interest in making it less crap. But crap it remains.

    An assembly of flies convened on 4 day old dog shit is of more interest to me than Scottish politics today; and I’d bet the personalities involved there are less amateurish and have more going for them too.

    Wake me up when the nippy bint has resigned.

  • Elmac

    This is an establishment inspired farce designed to suppress free speech unless it fits with their agenda which is to attack any significant individuals of a pro independence leaning who dare to stick their head above the parapet, no doubt pour encourager les autres. We all know it stinks to high heaven and hopefully the actual proceedings will be given as much air time as possible on social media in order that the corruption of the British state can be exposed fully exposed. We need another Craig Murray, willing to risk the wrath of a corrupt establishment by reporting the facts of this show “trial”.

    Good luck to you Craig. We have your back financially and quite likely in physical numbers if these idiots try to take this any further.

    • Giyane


      A man of Jewish extraction is a victim of historical prejudice. Does that cancel out the abuse Craig has received from the British State for speaking against their systematic torture rendition brainwashing of Muslims?

      As victims of ethnic prejudice have suffered greatly, but none so much as Julian Assange and Craig Murray for their opposition to Britain’s inhumane treatment of Israel’s neighbours in the Middle East.

      At the end of the day the Gestapo that brings an innocent man to court for defending an ethic and religious minority is the only benchmark of Wolffe’s “””” tolerance “”””.
      Your link left a nasty taste in my mouth.

  • Stephen Ambartzakis

    good luck, Craig, it would appear that someone, paraphrasing Henry the eighth, said will someone not rid me of this turbulent commentator, in a Scottish accent of course

    • Tom Welsh

      “it would appear that someone, paraphrasing Henry the eighth, said will someone not rid me of this turbulent commentator…”

      That would be Henry II, referring to Thomas Becket. About 400 years earlier.

  • Xavi

    The fact they are putting you on trial is both ridiculous and sinister. It was ruling-class media who were providing broad clues to the plaintiffs’ identities not you, as I’m sure they know. It would consider it another very portentous development if they were to silence your free-thinking voice. I hope you are able to give your best defence to whichever judge they have selected. Very best of luck.

  • Brian

    I wonder what definition of likely they are going to use?
    1: having a high probability of occurring or being true : very probable

    But some use the expression it is as likely as not to be true. This it seems reduces likely to a fifty fifty chance. Some might say a likely outcome has less than a fifty fifty chance but then would that not make it more unlikely than likely. This reduces likely to possible.
    It seems to me a decision of between possible and probable. It is evidently possible that is to say not impossible that if one was to try hard enough one might be able to identify the individuals. But as for probable how would you decide this.
    How could you use the information supplied to search without coming across other information that is more relevant that should not have been available.
    The Court says that it is irrelevant what others have published but if that is the most likely way the cookie crumbs might lead .

    Any defence should include intention. Intention is very important in law , If it was not the intention to break the court order this should be emphasised. This alas does leave you at the mercy of the court.

  • Republicofscotland

    When will Alex Salmond get to tell his side of the story, will it be after he appears at the inquiry, surely he must have information that will blow this whole fiasco wide open.

  • Margaret McGowan

    This trial has nothing to do with truth or logic or reason. It also has nothing to do with justice. It has nothing to do with decency. It is political victimisation and an attack on freedom of the press by a corrupt judicial system in collusion with corruption at government level. I never in my long life thought I’d see Scotland sink to this depth.

  • Robert Graham

    The darling Lord i am very important because my friends say i am seems to be getting above himself ,
    anyway Lord whatever his important position is , seems to have bypassed the whole justice system and it’s a surprise he allows you to actually attend his Court emphasis on HIS , because it looks like the Judge is superfluous in all these proceeding and the courts jurisdiction has been circumvented and pushed aside ,
    The Law is what he says it is in all circumstances .if the Judge has any self respect they would slap down the Darling Lord for having the bloody impertinence impinging on the court by objecting to anything you attempt to do to defend yourself
    Anyway I hope you get a little comfort by the work stuart on Wings is doing by attempting to get right up the establishments noses on your behalf ,the pulling of the Wark hatchet job is just a small movement but it shows persistence pays off ,chin up pal you have more friends than maybe you realise

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