A Time of Trial 150

Just about ready for my trial for contempt of court tomorrow; signing off a final affidavit in a minute. It is really difficult to get my head round the fact that I could very soon be jailed for up to two years for writing about the conspiracy to fit up Alex Salmond and reporting honestly and carefully on his trial, and face an “unlimited” fine.

One feature of the pre-trial hearings and rulings has been the Crown refusing to disclose documentary evidence, and refusing to allow my witnesses. It seems they are trying to get me convicted with no courtroom drama and as little said as possible. I have at this moment very little idea even of what evidence I shall be permitted to give myself from the (virtual) dock. I have, however, sworn on oath two affidavits, and the text of these will be published tomorrow on this blog, (redacted for jigsaw identification) once I adopt my evidence in court.

You can listen live to the court case from 10.30am tomorrow. Access details are here. I shall be very grateful indeed for everyone who does listen in. I am afraid it is a telephone link not an internet link; it is charged as a normal call to London (not a premium number), which may be free depending on your own phone contract. I cannot understand at all why the court uses this phone technology rather than the web, particularly as there is live video feed available to journalists.

Finally, I am afraid I again need money for my defence fund. I want to make very plain that I do not want anybody to give money who cannot afford it. I also do not want anybody to divert money to me that they would have donated to Julian Assange’s defence fund. Julian is facing far longer imprisonment than me, and frankly is a much more important figure with a great deal more to contribute on the major issues facing society. With those caveats, if anybody can donate to help me I will be very grateful.

The Defence Fund has to date raised £112,000. We have paid the legal team £61,500 to date and have a new fee note detailing over £75,000 (feenote). I have to calculate the exact sum but I believe about £25,000 of this is already paid. In addition, we have paid out £5,000 for a separate counsel’s opinion on the public interest in the anonymity of certain of the discredited accusers of Salmond set against the public interest in their pivotal positions in public life, we have paid £3,500 for the opinion poll evidence and we are paying £6,500 for specialist counsel to advice on social media law. Plus we will have the fees for the trial itself.

So I expect final costs will total over £160,000 and possibly substantially so. This is a huge amount to try to raise from my readers. It is a major indictment of our legal system that it is so ruinously expensive – Alex Salmond is an innocent man left with costs of many hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Crown has dragged out the case over a series of preliminary hearings – classic state lawfare tactics. And my lawyers have kindly capped or reduced their fees. If I did not genuinely believe that important issues of freedom of speech are at stake, I would not ask you to contribute. I would also point out that in these circumstances everything helps – the large bulk of the fund has been raised from many thousands of small contributions.

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150 thoughts on “A Time of Trial

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  • Sikunder Smoulders

    Any outcome other than your acquittal suggests Scotland has degenerated into a failed state
    Wife & me more than ready to put ex-Labour Party subscriptions to support your fight .100% solidarity.

  • Dr John O'Dowd

    Donation made. This is a disgraceful political prosecution (pour encourager les autres) – as well as direct revenge on you for daring to report the defence case. Nor do I imagine your activism on behalf of Assange and others has been forgotten in all of this. It is is normal in dysfunctional authoritarian states to try to tie their real opponents down; those who, unlike the supine political opposition, are complicit in the states aims and methodologies.

    This provides telling evidence as to the levels of corruption and depravity on the Scottish branch of the British State – and the complicity of the SNP in this – at the highest levels.

    It is deeply shaming for Scotland and those of us who want Scotland to be free and independent. It augers ill for our future – unless and until the majority of our decent people are fully informed and made aware of what is at stake.

    I only hope the judges see fit to untangle the state from this disastrous course of events.

    Past experience of their bourgeoise complicity does not fill me with hope.

    I really hope they see sense.

  • Bridget

    Can you put a link to your crowdfunder? Not even sure you still have one, or should one just donate to the usual place?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Somewhat ironic that a passionate supporter of independence is being politically prosecuted at just the time that Her Holiness Pope Nicola is claiming that ‘the Scottish People shall speak’.

    It does make one wonder how many people would see your (hopefully never to be endured) two years as ‘acceptable collateral damage’ in securing Indyref2

    If I were Scottish and living in Scotland, I certainly wouldn’t be voting for Sturgeon next time around….

  • Tom Welsh

    Well, there is no doubt about The Times’ editorial line on the Salmond affair. While scanning it briefly (I got a free copy with my shopping at Waitrose – obviously I wouldn’t pay for the frightful rag) I could not fail to notice the cartoon. It shows an extremely ugly man – apparently meant to be Mr Salmond tucking in to a haggis with the face of (again, I suppose) Nicola Sturgeon. The caption reads:

    “Great chieftain o’ the plottin’ race
    Ta hell wi’ independence!
    I willnae get off your case
    Until I have my vengeance!”

    It’s hard to tot up the number of implicit lies and libels in that short piece of doggerel.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Yeh, PayPal moving like tectonic plates today. Eventually got through by abandoning the usual Microsoft supported device.
    While Wolffe and the high heid yins the COPFS may be looking for a scalp “pour encourager les autres”, perhaps Judges at “the coal face” will see the benefit of avoiding an escalating tit-for-tat confrontation with a sizeable proportion of the guid Scots folk.

  • Brian c

    Ever since they issued the charge, you have stayed on the front foot, taking the fight back to them, keeping the big picture of the Salmond conspiracy foregrounded and highlighting their complete lack of interest in genuine jigsaw identification by MSM. So courageous and admirable to see. Donation made.

  • M.J.

    I’ve made a small donation in the interests of freedom of speech, and all that sort of thing. I hope you stay out of jail. Good luck.

  • Jm

    Multiple attempts to access Scots Courts website…no joy…redirect mesaage that doesnt redirect after much waiting…

    Anyone else’s able to access?

  • Goose

    ‘Regrettably Chaplin’s words are as relevant today as they were in 1940’. Indeed .Snippet below.


    Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world – millions of despairing men, women, and little children – victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

    To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

    Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

    • Goose

      British intelligence spied on Charlie Chaplin after FBI asked for help to banish him from US.

      MI5 opened a file on Charlie Chaplin while he was being hounded by J Edgar Hoover’s FBI for alleged communist sympathies.

      Plus ça change… today it’s baseless accusations of being a Putin bot.

  • Robert graham

    Long since lost any and all trust in this current SNP Government , I simply don’t recognise this particular version of a party I once had faith in , the Justice system in this country stinks and seems to be out of control and even more secretive than the despicable Westminster system , what happened to the once trusted SNP who hand on heart and from Nicola Sturgeons own mouth she said all requested information would be given to the Inquiry into the Alex Salmond stitch up , what a fool a lot of people have been ,page after page of useless tripe to confuse the members of the committee while the real information is either so heavily redacted or simply not supplied even after numerous requests , a very disturbing and sad legacy Mrs Murrell has given us because as we all know political figures come and go , some leave a lasting imprint on a lot of people , others remind us of the need to keep our political actors honest and by leaving the stage they do indeed educate a lot of people to keep a closer eye on their kind and what they are getting up to out of sight.
    I hope the Judge in your case Craig has a moment of enlightenment and throws the case against you out as serving no purpose in a Legal or moral sense and is just pure vindictive spite from people that should be watched closely as they appear to be on some kind of power trip and out of control.

    • Tom Welsh

      I suppose that, in the current scheme of things, legal representation is *meant* to be a luxury – for the peons.

      The law and the police were instituted to protect property and those who have lots of it. If hoi polloi were able to contend in the courts without extreme sacrifice, there would be no respect for authority at all.

      It’s not that you don’t have rights, or that you can’t seek to have them respected. Oh no. Just as, if you wisely choose not to be vaccinated, they won’t compel you. They’ll just prevent you from doing most of the things that make life worth living.


  • Douglas Stewart

    Kangaroo courts, suppression of the truth, next up camps with showers upon arrival. SS-GB is unfolding in front of our very eyes.

  • Grouser

    Donation made. The thoughts of a lot of people will be with you tomorrow, so I hope that knowledge helps you at this disgraceful and shocking time.

  • 6033624

    Hope all goes well tomorrow. I still find it hard to believe they are actually doing this. But I think this is being done in order to push a chilling effect on you and other journalists who are, unlike the majority, doing their jobs.

    Good luck!

  • Runner77

    If the court convicts you, then contempt will indeed be the appropriate attitude towards Scottish ‘justice’. I can’t help feeling that if that happens, then the Scottish judiciary will have deepened the hole it has dug itself, and your integrity and courage will be widely recognised when you are finally vindicated.

    Donation made. More will follow if necessary . . .

  • Deb O'Nair

    I’d be gobsmacked if Craig is jailed as he’s already doing the punishment via the stress put upon him (presumably they are aware of Craig’s heart issues) along with the time and money spent. The trial will also give the press an opportunity to brandish Craig’s blog as a ‘conspiracy website’, thereby suggesting to the masses that he is in the crazy hinterlands of the internet along with the likes of Alex Jones and David Ike. The rest of us are supposed to cower at their impunity when it comes to despotic totalitarianism I presume.

  • Dungroanin

    Pony on way on payday.

    Please try and stay sanguine, as I’m sure you can, being a professional diplomat and Ambassador.

    I wish Salmond would call for the forthcoming Census to ask a question of all over 16 year olds – Independent Scotland NOW. Yes or No?
    If there is a qualified majority for yes, then a instant UDI and new Parliament and new independent judicial appointees – get rid of the obscene English Aristo yoke. Let’s see if they would send an army to stop you.

    If anyone can put a transcript together as the kangaroo court convenes I would be grateful as am busy during the day, thanks.

  • nevermind

    tried the tel. and acces code twice.

    ‘ your access code is not valid as the meeting has not started yet’.

    So if you are a journalist you very.likely can book and put your phone number in. For us ,so I fear, its the last minute access tommorrow morning.
    Once again Viel Glueck from a Hamburger Jong.

  • Dr. Andreas Philipp

    Just sent a small donation from good old germany (Friedrichshafen, Lake of Constance).
    I wish You all the best! Take care. With these unbelievable high fees “Your” Justice System should be sent to hell.

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