Defence Fund and Contempt Case Update 105


I have transferred £10,000 from my defence fund to Mark Hirst’s defence fund, which needs money immediately. If anybody who donated objects, your donation can be refunded if you use the contact button top right to send a message.

This does not mean that my own defence fund has more money than it needs – quite the opposite, as the Crown seems to be continuing its policy of spinning out the case as long as possible, with multiple procedural hearings, to drain our funds and ability to fight. The Crown has still not produced the new argument on how it proposes to prove “jigsaw identification”, which we strongly deny and have produced considerable evidence to disprove. The Crown was ordered at the last procedural hearing to come up with new substantive argument, and we are yet to see this. The Crown’s only tactic to date has been to argue that all of our witnesses and evidence are inadmissible, even most of my own witness statement, and the Crown refuses to produce any of the documentation requested by my defence.

The requested documentation included the messages from Peter Murrell to Sue Ruddick, Chief Operating Officer of the SNP, stating that “it was a good time to be pressurising the police” to take action against Alex Salmond, and another to get the Metropolitan Police to act because “the more fronts he is having to firefight on the better”. Incredibly, even though these messages are now firmly in the public domain, the Crown Office still refuses to release the original documents to my lawyers for use in my defence.

Those messages are the tip of the iceberg. It is some months since I saw them, but others include a message from one of the SNP’s most senior officials in which they explain that the police were saying they did not have sufficient evidence to act on some of the complaints. There then follows a line that had me springing up from my chair when first I read it. It was to the effect that if the police would only specify what evidence they need, then they could get it for them.

My sworn statement, given to the High Court in August, names that official. I am not permitted to tell you the name before the trial.

There is much more of this that I could tell you. Either the Crown Office will release these documents for my defence, or from the witness box I shall recount them (which is the reason they seek to stop me giving evidence). To prove to you that I really do know this material, here is an extract from my twitter direct messages detailing the famous Murrell one, written two months before it was leaked to Kenny Macaskill and given by him to the press.

The trial keeps slipping backwards due to Crown procrastination. I am in the peculiar position of facing a potential jail sentence yet being impatient for them to bring it on. Currently scheduled for 20 and 21 January in the High Court, Edinburgh. Please put it in your diary.

For those asking how can I stand for President of the SNP while exposing this kind of dirty laundry, the answer is very simple. This is a part of why I am standing. This kind of appalling behaviour by party officials has nothing to do with party members, nothing to do with Independence, and we have to stand up to put a stop to it, before it does still more damage to the party. Hushing it up would eventually explode in the face of the Independence campaign.

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105 thoughts on “Defence Fund and Contempt Case Update

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  • Stuart MacKay

    Craig, are you planning a separate campaign fund for your bid for the presidency? I think it would send a strong message, particularly if the money in it was substantial and publicly well known.

  • John Jones

    I have been accepted as a member of the SNP and will support your nomination although it will be interesting to see if it is overturned following my making my intentions clear here.

    • douglas clark

      I have been a long standing member of the SNP, y’know some dude that believes in independence. I would be more than angry if you were overturned as a prospective member. I kinda doubt that that will happen.

  • Colin Alexander

    The SNP have been devolution gradualists for over twenty years. Long before Mr and Mrs Murrell took control and made the SNP an explicit British-devolution political party.

    With devolution and a large number of MPs at Westminster, the SNP have been assimilated into the British political system just like Labour was before them. Just like Labour, they are now British Establishment across much of the top of the party. Not just Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell.

    Good luck to all those who want the SNP to be a pro-Scottish sovereignty party rather than a collection of political careerists in it for the money, egotists, and activists pushing their own agendas such as: administering British colonialism, trans rights, gay rights, feminism, socialism, nuclear disarmament, anti-racism and other personal agendas (worthy or not).

    I fear any attempts by you and others to rehabilitate the SNP as a party focused on restoring Scotland’s national sovereignty will be like Corbyn trying to make New Labour a socialist party. Doomed to failure.

    It could be your efforts might be better used fighting for Scotland’s sovereignty as a single issue, rather than fighting to save the SNP with its many different priorities that have nothing to do with Scottish independence, even if that means precipitating the demise of the colonial-devolutionist New-SNP.

    • Ian

      That may apply broadly, but the husband and wife team have instigated much more central control over the party, quashing open debate, favouring their loyalists and attacking doubters, and evading scrutiny and accountability. That is the point Craig wishes to make, I think.

    • Anndra

      Agree strongly with this. Would also add the example of Bernie Sanders trying to realign the US Democratic party, twice, unsuccessfully, despite having great momentum.

      History shows us it’s much harder to readjust parties like the SNP once they become established, than to supersede them. For example Irish Parliamentary Party and Sinn Féin during the 1910s.

      Apologies for repeating myself, as I left comments to this effect a few months ago as well.

      Nevertheless, I wish Craig the best of luck in his candidacy and the court case. He’s welcome to use my donation however he sees fit.

      • Anndra

        I would also add that I think it would be a disaster for Scotland’s future to have the current SNP establishment anywhere near the new nation’s constitution. The best way of doing this is by creating a new party that can replace them entirely by offering independence much sooner and begin publishing drafts of the new constitution immediately.

        Seize this stench of corruption Craig and use it against them to replace them!

        • Ian

          This is essential. There is no point in voting for independence unless there has been prior agreement on a robust constitution which would guarantee a system of independent checks and balances, immune to any party interference, separating powers and institutions and giving citizens confidence that an independent judiciary would defend transparency and freedom. The SNP in its current guise does not offer that, apparently believing that a one party state is the way forward, with a dynasty at the top and a cadre of courtiers and allies. Like so many other regimes we hold in contempt. The SNP’s function would be fulfilled on independence and we would have to create replacements. I would like to know how they suggest we would do that before trusting them with anything.

          • Ian

            No other country, then, has ever reformed its constitution or had one which epitomised the separation of powers, ever in the world, which we could learn from. And it is beyond our wit to fashion a modern one. I see, Jeremiah.

          • Photios

            “No other country, then, has ever reformed its constitution…”

            The french did it. Then they did it again. And again. And…

    • douglas clark

      Dear Colin,

      It is worth noting that over the last twenty years the cause of independence was in a minority. We bloody well lost when we asked the electorate to vote for independence.

      If, and it is still an if, the electorate has moved in our favour, then having an electorate that is more aggressive than the vehicle that might achieve that is actually positive rather than negative.

      I am not at all interested in losing another vote, I am invested in winning.

      Whatever that takes.

  • pete

    Craig, I entirely agree with what you have done, it seems eminently sensible to be pragmatic about how to administer the resource you have to hand. Mark Hurst’s remarks seem to me to be fair comment and not suggestive of a criminal threat. It would be absurd for bad actors to enter into the world of malicious prosecution without realizing that those actions have consequences. That’s all that he was saying.

  • Republicofscotland

    They’re desperate to shut you up, so much so that your rights to produce evidence to defend yourself are being quashed, what a bunch of corrupt b*stards they are.

    • U Watt

      He has become a very painful thorn in the sides of some deeply unpleasant people. Hopefully that pain soon becomes unbearable and then remains so.

        • Cubby

          Cynicus,

          He may not be a linesman for very long. The football authorities take a very dim view of football being used for any political messages. The diddy put a picture of himself running the line on one of his Tory leaflets. The same man who previously promised his constituents he would give up his linesman role if elected an MP.

          So yes he is a very silly man for all sorts of reason but his worst crime is being Johnson’s lackey whilst at the same time punting contrived situations to try and convince Scottish voters he is standing up to Johnson. What a Britnat phoney!

          Just thought I would throw in a gratuitous Britnat as I know so many readers love this descriptive term.

  • loftwork

    Government abuse of process is scarcely a new thing, here or elsewhere. Unfortunately the only way to put a dent in it is to take it head on wherever it arises. In a famous case in Canada many years ago (Roncarreli v Duplessis) the Premier of Quebec was personally forced to present himself in court to justify his persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and lost. Not only did he then lose in the Supreme Court, it became settled constitutional law that significantly squashed arbitrary use of government power in Canada. The case has elements very similar to yours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roncarelli_v_Duplessis I can only say that I agree heartily and I wish you a “Roncarelli moment”.

  • Daisy Walker

    I don’t see how legally they could stop you from giving evidence at your own trial,
    but if they suspect you will disclose evidence they have refused to be allowed in the trial,
    they will likely hold your evidence part ‘in camera’.

    For that reason a double edged sword.

    O/T I contacted you via your contacts page yesterday. Can you confirm if you received this communication. I have been having issues. Many thanks.

  • Cubby

    “The police were saying they did not have sufficient evidence to act on the complaints.” Well what a surprise!!

    To then complain that the police were a nuisance for not specifying what they need and they would then get it for them is not just pressurising police to take action but possibly fabricating the evidence and actively participating in a criminal case.

    Power has corrupted some people – assuming they weren’t corrupt already.

    • squirrel

      It is like offering an inchoate instrument, like a blank cheque. If they could get any evidence the police might name, there can be no other interpretation than they were offering to fabricate evidence. How are they meant to know what evidence exists or does not exist?

  • mark golding

    By attacking free speech using the Contempt of Court Act 1982 and the Communications Act of 2003, we have to seriously worry about the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill currently going through the Scottish parliament specifically to limit freedom of speech.

    On the 23rd September 2020 Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf said that a requirement that the perpetrator intended to stir up hatred would be introduced into the Bill. Intention in this context is a legal test, and that the courts can take into account the full facts and circumstances to infer intention. This means that although the person may never have “intended” in the everyday sense of the word, to stir up hatred, the Court might infer from the circumstances that he or she did so intend. This will, therefore, have a chilling effect that has the potential to seriously undermine our democratic and liberal society by dampening Free Speech,

    Disagreement and hatred are miles apart. Thus we have a duty in my opinion to encourage genuine debate and discussion in our society and that will not be achieved by criminalising perceived hatred.

  • Highlander

    Excellent work. I love to read about your daily escapades Life must be interesting and the thought of jail as president of the SNP!

  • M.J.

    I wonder whether the CPS will in the end simply drop the case. They don’t seem too sure of themselves, judging from the way they’re carrying on. After all, they have to prove that something you did would make discovery of some individual “likely”, and that might not be easy in the face of a serious defense (which could include the findings from the survey you organised).

    • Hamish McGlumpha

      That would be no problem were it not for the fact that there will be no jury involved. In this case one advocate will merely have to persuade another advocate(s) (sitting as judge(s) ) that the matter is ‘contempt’.

      Juries are dangerously independently minded and sworn to ‘well and truly’ try a case. No such impediment hinders the Scottish judiciary.

      Incidentally the writ of the CPS does not run in Scotland. We have our very own, very corrupt Crown Office/Procurator Fiscal ‘Service’

      • Photios

        “Juries are dangerously independently minded and sworn to ‘well and truly’
        try a case. No such impediment hinders the Scottish judiciary.”

        The Megrahi case, I think, offers ample evidence of that.

    • Ian

      I think it may well be dropped eventually for lack of solid evidence. However, that doesn’t matter to them if the aim is to bankrupt the defendant and damage his reputation.

      • Ian

        And not to mention wasting huge amounts of valuable time, tying him up in legal knots, sapping energy and not least the demoralising and destabilising effects on your self-esteem. Kafka described it rather well.

        • jake

          Ian,so, you see it as the establishment/system tying Craig up in knots. That’s an interesting idea. I’ve never seen it that way, but an alternative interpretation of events I’ll think more on.
          Craig, just out of interest, hows the business of your NUJ accreditation progressing? And, can you share with us yet who black-balled you?

  • nevermind

    apologiese for being o/t. Today one of the greatest journalists who served truth and justoice for most of his adult lives with his readers, Robert Fisk has died. He will be remembere3d for far longer than his detractors. RIP

      • Wikikettle

        Oh No ! What terrible news. The last I heard he was in Ireland working on another book. Fisk spoke truth to power the last of the few. Would that Craig take his place at The Independent. I am devastated.

        • mark golding

          Fisk recognised the fate of Iraq children during the 2003 US/UK invasion. He made me aware of the words of Karl Rove who once said that “we’re an empire now – we create our own reality”. We create our own reality, A harbinger of truth that must soon manifest as fear turns on itself and reveals the phlegm of inhuman souls. R.I.P.

      • laguerre

        Not that i would want to make objection, but Fisk wasn’t perfect. In his later years he became obsessed by the Armenian question, presumably because he had Armenian friends in Beirut. What happened to the Armenians in the 1WW was something like a genocide, but in part their own fault. if you revolt against the government of the day, you risk being badly treated if your revolt doesn’t succeed, and the Turks tend to be simplistically brutal. That is what happened, and the bellyaches of the Armenians don’t have that much value. They should not have revolted if they wanted good treatment. They thought the Russians were going to free them, but they didn’t..

        • cirsium

          “They should not have revolted if they wanted good treatment. ” They were not going to receive good treatment irrespective of their actions. As a result of the internal and external problems, the Ottoman Empire had orchestrated the slaughter of thousands of Armenians in 1894-96 and 1909. What differentiated the 1915-23 killings from the previous slaughter was the scale of the killing, the method of killing and the actions taken to erase all trace of the Armenian culture and architecture. That was why it was called genocide.

          • laguerre

            There are always Armenian partisans on here. I suppose that you deny that the Armenians rebelled, normally governments of the day don’t like rebellions.

          • laguerre

            After reading 1894-6 in Wiki (an Armenian version), it’s evidently the same problem: rebel against the government of the day and fail, means you don’t get well treated. It’s a risk when you rebel. You don’t get an automatic right to good treatment.

          • lysias

            Bad treatment is one thing, genocide is quite another.

            To say that the Armenians had it coming is like saying the Jews had it coming because international Jewish organizations had declared war on Germany.

        • lysias

          Do you think that genocide would have been at least an understandable British reaction to the rebellion of members of my own people, the Irish, in 1916?

          • nevermind

            England is to get an educational drive and book to teach children about the Holocaust.
            If it does not contain the initial progrom of 1411, when Leeds and Norwich framed the blood libel in history, it is not worth its salt.
            it should contain all Holocausts, not only the proto guilt raising 1930’s alone, Armenia and Cabodias Pol pot as well as the Japanese mass murder of the Chinese should deserve a chapter as well.
            Lets not ve choosy with the worst excesses of the human animal, teach our children to learn from mistakes, picking and choosing won’t do, imho.

          • Squeeth

            It was used for centuries before but in 1916, Britain needed to appease US public opinion, a new factor in international politics. During the Tan War, Montgomery said that either the army should be allowed to use tactics that were effective or a political solution should be sought.

          • Jeff

            Nevermind – No doubt the little English children will also not be taught the fact that it was their very own King Henry III that invented the yellow star badge which had to be worn by all Jews…..

        • Ian

          This place is bizarre. So if you are persecuted by a government, it is your fault if you are killed by them for trying to stand up for your rights, and it isn’t the Turks’ fault that it is in their nature to be brutal. Despots of the world rejoice, you are excused and justified by laguerre, Israelis, carry on persecuting and dispossessing Palestinians because they are too weak to succeed in rebelling. What impeccable logic.

  • Piotr+Berman

    “Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.”

    Is there an easy way to donate to your defense fund? Perhaps you could add a link to “support this blog” page?

  • Contrary

    Of course, tell Mark to knock himself out ,,, metaphorically speaking. I wish him luck.

    I’ve donated by bank transfer to your own funds, I hope you get your fighting fund topped up again. Lawyers and legal action are costly things – there is something wrong with our justice system when an allegation like this can cost so much time, energy, stress and money to an individual.

    Maybe you could sue for damages, and then put the proceeds towards an independence-fighting-fund. We could do with one, seeing as how the SNP spent the last one we contributed too.

    I personally think the SNP are a lost cause, but good luck with that too.

  • pete m

    All good with my small donation Craig, fully intend to add more when finances allow . Am also intending to buy a signed copy of one of your books to assist if that’s not too much to ask of you.
    (Hoping to score a hat trick of signed books after recently getting one off Gilad Atzmon and Steve Ignorant ) 🙂

        • Tatyana

          I don’t feel I’m right person to tell Mr.Murray about marketing his books or signes, but I’m just saying there’s some ‘niche demand in the market’ 🙂 *if you prefer clever terms*. Mr. Murray obviously has no expirience in trade, that’s good for him, but that’s bad for me 🙂

  • Craig P

    What will bring the SNP down first? The botched persecution of Alex Salmond, or the financial scandal of the missing indy campaign money?

    Or something else entirely?

  • Chris Clay

    you have my agreement to transfer the money and my commitment to help to again top up your own fund whenever you give the word

    with best wishes and thanks
    chris

  • Penguin

    Good luck repeating the Miracle escape by Alex Salmond. There’s no way they’re going to let another one escape their clutches.

    Judges are bent and always side with women. See the Depp case, where a man can present evidence of physical injuries, recordings of his wife admitting to battering the fuck out of him and hundreds of witness statements in support of his case… and still lost.
    The judge literally ignored ever single piece of evidence and sided with the women because metoo and believeher.

    Fuck the courts. Fuck the COPFS. Fuck Jennifer, Shirley and the whore of Dreghorn.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    What I don’t understand is why the judge does not say to the Crown: ‘Either provide the evidence by xxxxx or I will throw the case out for wasting Court Time’.

    Is the judge also bent?

  • Justin

    I’m just watching the Scottish Parliament enquiry into the Salmond affair, open to all:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-53804923

    The person giving evidence this morning is ‘Paul Cackette’, senior legal adviser to the SG. Talk about nominative determinism! He’s been cacking it the whole time, repeatedly stuttering so much the stenographer would get repetitive strain injury, while giggling nervously though nobody shares his sense of levity. The panel have managed to put him on the spot, but his body language is very disturbing. His testimony seems to put “Ms Mackinnon” in the dock.

    • Robert

      It did seem clear that none of the 10 to 12 lawyers in the team asked the question: “Did you follow your own procedure?”. Or if they did, they were lied to.

      AS’s team had to dig out the documents demonstrating not following procedure.

      There’s some smoke and mirrors as well in concentrating only on the one issue on which the SG conceded. There were other criticisms of the procedure not tested.

      It was also pointed out that there hasn’t been an attempt by SG to finish the internal investigation, by, for instance, appointing a new investigator.

      • Justin

        It’s a live video feed, and I think they’re on a lunch break. The last session, with Director-General Sarah Davidson, ended about 1:15pm. I’m not sure whether video recordings will be made available afterwards.

      • nevermind

        14.13hrs. still no video available at the BiBiCe. I hope someone was at the inquiry and will give a verbatim report later. Thanks in advance

  • Squeeth

    You’re too honest and too clever for the shower of careerists and apparatchiks who are using such underhand methods against you. Standing for President of the SNP is an inspired two fingers at the lot of them. “Like it centurion.” Use my bungs as you see fit.

  • giyane

    ” It was to the effect that if the police would only specify what evidence they need, then they could get it for them. “

    In other words there’s no obvious evidence to the SNP management of any irregularity having occurred, but the police are the driving force in this case. Who then are the driving force behind the police? Presumably either Westminster or an inner circle inside the SNP or a combination of these two, and the senior official was himself in the dark and fishing for clues as to who was the driving force?

    The type of evidence needed would indicate who wants Craig inconvenienced. I’m sure the police have more important things to do than the politics of Scottish Independence, or the politics of the Labour Party’s involvement in the Iraq War and Assange. Which leaves the agenda of the current British Home Secretary. Hhmmm. Is she in charge of Police Scotland? Maybe she will tell the police to tell the SNP to look for anti-semitic evidence because nothing else so far has managed to stick.

  • Hamlet

    Talk about the Crown spinning out cases. Nothing unusual here. It is par for the course. It reminds me of when I had to attend the District Court on ten occasions no less in relation to a single case. The Crown’s contention was that two letters on my car’s number plate were placed too close together. The upshot: the case was abandoned after the 10th calling. 😀 Talk about a complete waste of time and money. But is keeps these useless prosecutor’s in a job. Not long after I saw the procurator fiscal concerned leaving a very swish up-market restaurant and entering a very expensive Audi car. You couldn’t miss the black eye that he was sporting. Wonder who gave him that 😀

  • Carl

    These ruthless lizards want to destroy even the memory of dissent and principle in their partty, very like their Blairite equivalents in England. Unfortunately Scots voters have made them absolutely untouchable.

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