An Incredible Omission 143


Astonishingly, the unprecedented Order from the Scottish Parliament to the Crown Office to hand over documents does not include the text messages between Peter Murrell and Sue Ruddick, which Murrell lied to parliament did not exist. In fact Peter Murrell does not feature in the request at all.

Those who hail the Committee’s Order to the Crown Office as a great breakthrough are not reading carefully enough. It is designed to fail. The orchestration of the plot is revealed very substantially in texts between Ruddick and Murrell. The Committee is only asking for texts between Ruddick and various categories of Scottish Government employee. Murrell and the other concerned SNP employee Ian McCann are not Scottish Government employees, but SNP employees. The Committee has deliberately excluded them.

This means, for example, the Committee will not see the exchanges between Murrell and Ruddick over the occasion when McCann was sent to firm up Woman H and make sure she would go through with it – woman being the accuser of the most serious accusation, and the woman who was not even at the small dinner where she claimed the incident occurred, as shown by eye-witnesses and the kitchen records.

The Committee also specifically excludes the Crown Office from providing any messages which identify an accuser. That makes the Order totally useless, as the only people, to my recollection, who fall into the Scottish government employee category requested, and who were in incriminating correspondence with Ruddick, are indeed false accusers. So the Committee won’t get those texts either. Ruddick’s “evidence generating” expeditions were in collaboration with somebody who, at a very late stage, became an accuser specifically so their tracks would be hidden by a court anonymity order.

It is important to remember that right from the outset of the plot, the accusers were knowingly planning to exploit the court granted anonymity routinely accorded to alleged victims of sexual assault, in order to facilitate their plan. As evidenced by the text from the Woman who Wasn’t There to another accuser-to-be that read:

I have a plan and means we can be anonymous but see strong repercussions

That message was read out to the jury in the Salmond trial.

The evidence of Geoff Aberdein is the most important single piece of evidence in the current Sturgeon Inquiry at Holyrood. Geoff Aberdein’s evidence is the most important single document in Scottish political history since 2014. It proves that Nicola Sturgeon lied to parliament about when she first was involved in the allegations about Salmond. It is not just that she held a meeting with him on the subject four days before she claimed she first knew – and has subsequently lied to parliament that this meeting was a chance encounter. It is that a full month before Sturgeon claimed she knew, Aberdein was contacted by a very senior member of Sturgeon’s staff and asked to have a meeting with Sturgeon on this subject. Subsequently, as four independent witnesses have testified to Sky News , that senior member of Sturgeon’s staff asked Aberdein to falsify a statement to remove their prior knowledge of the allegations against Salmond. Yet all of this, the most important evidence of the entire inquiry, has been excluded from publication and from consideration by the committee because it involves inextricably one of the anonymous accusers.

It is of course the case that Sturgeon knew of allegations long before even showed by Aberdein’s evidence, when she initiated the process to investigate ex-ministers. But it is not necessary to prove that in order to show that Nicola lied to Parliament – Aberdein’s evidence is sufficient for that.

We do have, of course, the bones of Geoff Aberdein’s evidence because he testified under oath in open court at the Alex Salmond trial as to these events, and I was there and heard him – although the attempt to get him to lie about what happened was not in the Salmond evidence as not relevant, and had not been public before being revealed by Sky.

The Inquiry Committee has now gotten itself into the ridiculous position of refusing to take into account sworn evidence that was given openly and on oath in the High Court of Edinburgh, because their legal advisers tell them it is inadmissible.

There is a hideous circularity to all of this. The Inquiry has been told it must reject Geoff Aberdein’s evidence on legal grounds, by the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament. The Inquiry has been similarly told by the Solicitor to Parliament it must not question, on anything in Aberdein’s testimony, the official from Nicola Sturgeon’s office who organised the meeting with Aberdein and asked him to lie about it. The Committee has been told by the Solicitor to Parliament that it must not ask for any of the documents the Crown Office is hiding which name accusers. And I have not yet stood this up, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it is the office of the Solicitor to Parliament which is responsible for Peter Murrell being excluded from the Order for documents.

The Lord Advocate is a member of Sturgeon’s cabinet, is the prosecutor who prosecuted Salmond (and Mark Hirst and me), is in charge of the Crown Office which is hiding the evidence, and we have the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament telling the Parliamentary Inquiry it cannot ask for key evidence or reveal key truth.

I must say, I have always been distressed by the calibre of Members of the Scottish Parliament, but their meek acceptance of the bent official advice that they must conduct the inquiry with their eyes closed, ears stopped, hands bound behind their back and one foot firmly secured into their mouth, is frankly pathetic beyond all expectation.

Please do read this excellent article by Iain MacWhirter.

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143 thoughts on “An Incredible Omission

1 2
  • Willie

    Thank you for the update Craig.

    Your blogs together with others have been absolutely invaluable in bringing to light the absolute criminal corruption that lurks at the heart of the Scottish Government,it senior civil servants, Police Scotland , the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service and the Lord Advocate.

    Scotland truly is a rotten Burgh now. That is clear and it is good that many people now know. Whether the SNP will change leaders and policy between now and May remains to be seen. But the wind of electoral change is here. A second list party will now arise and in relation to the constituency vote, I think it fair to say that without the removal of Sturgeon her toxicity will destroy any chance of a majority. So maybe strong independents to stand against faile£ or failing existing SNP candidates.

    Whatever way it goes, we are going to see huge changes in May.

    SNP 1 ( well maybe, depending ) and ISP 2 ( yes very definitely )

    • Ian Foulds

      agreed

      I think I really need to vote SNP and hold my breath but I want an a.n.other for list vote, to keep a possible SNP in line and get us Independence

  • Muscleguy

    Agreed Craig, the refusal to consider Aberdein’s evidence when it is central to the whole affair of Sturgeon lying to parliament then covering it up is astonishing. He can speak to what was discussed at that fateful meeting.

    The will he, won’t he farce over Hutting’s Enquiry on that matter is also ridiculous. It is so frustrating that there are no ISP MSPs in the parliament to protest about all this.

    It is also beyond me that you are seemingly still an SNP member. Comments switched off to party members who paid £6 to attend the National Convention discussion on Plan B because they were screaming at them and objecting to the shenanigans going on. The SNP has ceased to be a democratic party. Who will campaign for them building up to May after that?

    The ISP gains members every time things like this happen.

    • Nell G

      Muscleguy, I’m no expert in this but if Sturgeon continues on as leader we know for sure that the game’s a bogey for the SNP in the short- medium term. Is it too late for the ISP to register as a constituency party and stand against the SNP in wokeists and careerists seats? I feel this could gain traction very quickly the way things are going.

      • Liz

        Nell, ISP is a registered party – it doesn’t need to be seperately registered to stand in the constituency. However I would think there is too little time now for the party to build up candidates, and money to stand them in constituencies this time around.

    • Punkpuffin

      To be fair Muscleguy, the comments in the conversation sessions were flowing and I get the impression that the Sturgeon leadership will not be entirely comfortable with what was mostly being said. The membership as a whole are waking up…

  • Mary

    On a previous thread here dated 21st January I said:

    ‘Today’s Times piece might be of interest on here.

    Geoff Aberdein, who was Alex Salmond’s chief of staff when he was first minister, had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon at Holyrood on March 29, 2018

    Kieran Andrews
    Thursday January 21 2021
    Vital evidence about whether Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament will never be made public after it was withdrawn from a Holyrood inquiry.

    The first minister has been accused of failing to tell the truth to parliament about when she became aware of a Scottish government investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/alex-salmond-inquiry-committee-wont-get-nicola-sturgeon-key-evidence-t0r9frphz

    Includes a photo of Aberdein.’

  • James Cook

    “I fear there is a culture of collusion and cover up, and I believe there is an ethical void at the prosecution service. This is intolerable in a democracy. There is ample evidence that the Crown Office is not fit for purpose and it’s time for the legal establishment and Holyrood to wake up and act to arrest this decay before it becomes irreversible. “

    Intolerable in a democracy????? Irreversible???????

    Once you have power, one is not inclined to give it up. What has transpired in the USA has not gone un-noticed elsewhere. Forgetting the theatre full of odd actors in the USA and Britain, look at the PROCESS, the LIES, the VENGEANCE the absolute quest for POWER.

    Distraction with promises of another referendum to keep eyes focused on other issues for the time being, they are showing that they have invested too much capital and have too much to lose if they back down now. Errors will NOT be acknowledged.

    The prosecution of adversaries will be accelerated. If they show weakness now, there will be vengeance. They CANNOT loose power and control. There is NO going backward. Too many have too much to lose! Making this IRREVERSIBLE is now the goal.

    COVID lockdowns, very much favour government power …………to remain in power.

    Unfortunately, Craig – none of this bodes well for the cause of fact and the bright light of truth.

    Sadly, it is much easier for a political judge to look into a remote camera, far from any close public view, and sentence a political adversary to a life sentence.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      James Cook,

      Brilliant post.

      Sad isn’t it

      As Craig linked to “The Fish Rots From The Head”

      It’s not just Scotland. It’s endemic across much of the world.

      Now some of the new leaders of African and South American Nations, are in comparisson, displaying high levels of integrity, and support for the people who elected them.

      The West is a Corrupt Cesspit.

      Tony

      • James Cook

        As an aside – but relevant to Craig and the topic of digital communications.

        A few years ago I was involved in a civil case in a commonwealth country which in part involved corruption of City Officials. Under a FOIA (freedom of information act) I petitioned the jurisdiction for all relevant communication, written, digital and hand written notes regarding the issue at hand.

        The response was predictable (in hindsight) in that they delayed responding unit the last day legally required – then citing the fact that the information was related to an ongoing matter before the courts and under the legislation they were not required to provide it. The court matter was eventually settled by mediation, but the issue of the FOI request was still outstanding after the court case was officially settled. Again, on the last day legally required, they wrote to say that there “were no communications in their possession”.

        Knowing this was patently false, I appealed to the provincial body which the FOIA was enacted under and was responsible for its implementation citing digital communication in my possession which clearly included the corrupt officials. The Provincial body assigned an Investigator and the Investigator spent 8 months attempting to get the information from the civic officials – all to no avail. Finally, the Provincial Commissioner wrote to the city that their lack of cooperation on the matter meant that the Investigation would be extended until they provided the information to the Commissioners Office.

        The city in question then responded to the Commissioner that the “information was no longer in their possession” as it was destroyed on the last day they were legally bound to process the original FOI Request. In addition, they cited the official reason for this destruction – the fact that they had “insufficient data storage available to keep all the information in their possession”.

        In the end the Provincial Commissioners Office was neutered. They communicated to me verbally, that they were clearly stonewalled and the the corruption at hand was not sufficiently grievous enough for the Commissioners Office to spend the political and financial resources that would be required to assert their authority and force the disclosure of the information.

        Corruption starts at the bottom and is condoned all the way up the chain, because to expose it would be to expose too many powerful people and a corrupt system to the light of day.

        Craig, those digital communications you seek can just as easily be destroyed in the end if you indeed manage to get some powerful force on your side to push the release.

        They will always be more powerful and they will always protect their position of power. They cannot afford to show any weakness!

        • Tom Welsh

          “The Provincial body assigned an Investigator and the Investigator spent 8 months attempting to get the information from the civic officials – all to no avail”.

          That is where the Chinese system has its strengths. Such officials tend to be shot – or at least sent away to do hard labour on a farm for a few years.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          “Corruption starts at the bottom and is condoned all the way up the chain, because to expose it would be to expose too many powerful people and a corrupt system to the light of day.”

          So bit by bit they would be driven the cumulative needs of each moment until they all end up in one big conspiracy.

  • Joe Mellon

    Scotland may be saved – astonishingly – by the UK press. In particular Andrew Neill is making noises about the appaling developments in the Scottish Legal System and the suppression of information and free speech. No doubt his motivation to dish Sturgeon and the SNP would be to further a Unionist agenda… but if he publishes, the cat is out the bag and will not go back in.
    Would Wolffe attempt to arraign Andrew Neill? Perhaps a number to big for the wee man?

      • Tom Welsh

        “The last sighting of Andrew Neil was in the South of France”.

        And?

        The South of France is a grand place to be at this time of year. Certainly beats Edinburgh hands down.

        • Piotr Berman

          The South of France is a grand place to be at this time of the year.
          ——-
          Drizzles and chilly weather, few centigrades warmer than Edinburgh. Perhaps food can be better…

  • vronsky

    Is it as simple as the inquiry not wanting to bring down Nicola because it would clear the path to independence? It’s awfully hard to find another interpretation of their behaviour.

  • George Dixon

    Andrew Marr has referred to the Murrell messages with Sturgeon this morning. At approximately 54.30 in she states that it’s her understanding these messages were sent in an excitable atmosphere “the day after Alex Salmond was charged”. This must create some leverage unless she is actually correct.

  • Hamish McGlumpha

    This is now at Watergate proportions – and beyond.

    I have been a supporter of Independence all of my adult life (I’m in my late 60s) and a member of the SNP for over 30 years.

    I have to say here and now that on this evidence Scotland is NOT YET FIT to be an independent country. This is banana republic levels of corruption, and God help us if these people entrench themselves in power in an Independent country.

    I am going to remain in the SNP and I am going to do my damnedest to get rid of these disgraceful, disgusting people.

    Were it not for the present emergency, we would be marching on the Scottish Parliament/Bute house to demand that these people stand aside. They are Scotland’s disgrace.

    I have never been so miserable in my life.

    If this has been engineered to any extent by the Brit secret state – well they have lost none of their expertise in the dark arts.

    But we should be under no illusions – this scandal is home-made and sits right at the top of the SNP and its nexus with the Brit state.

    • Colin Smith

      I have no confidence whatsoever that Independence would not be used by these characters to loot the public for their own benefit and simultaneously sell out the country to any international organisation or competitor that offered them the greatest advancement and adulation.

  • Robert Graham

    At least when Westminster stymies any Inquiry they have the good sense and politeness to bury the findings after the event , not this Scottish Government , the Remit and Scope of the Inquiry are so narrow any findings will be irrelevant , was it a bomb that destroyed the building ? ,answer well yes and no we didn’t actually look for evidence of a Bomb just that the building isn’t there anymore bad workmanship could have been the cause,
    The flurry of irrelevant documents showered on this committee is and was meant to confuse matters the sheer scale was meant to be a smoke screen to divert attention from the object of the excercise the uncovering of a plot to totally ruin Alex Salmond by the management of the current leadership of the SNP , it wasn’t the original crime that brought down tricky dickey Richard Nixon it was the coverup , Nicola Sturgeon is in the same position as Nixon you would have thought a seasoned politician would have avoided this Trap

  • Sarge

    The Committee knows that the figures dictating what can and cannot be accessed are placemen of the Murrell cabal, brazenly compromised individuals. By meekly adhering to their dictat the Committee is openly colluding in suppression of the truth, content to leave itself open to justified suspicion, derision and contempt.

    The question then is why.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Inquiry Committee has now gotten itself into the ridiculous position of refusing to take into account sworn evidence that was given openly and on oath in the High Court of Edinburgh, because their legal advisers tell them it is inadmissible.”

    “The Inquiry has been told it must reject Geoff Aberdein’s evidence on legal grounds, by the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament. The Inquiry has been similarly told by the Solicitor to Parliament it must not question, on anything in Aberdein’s testimony”

    So the inquiry will just meekly follow the advice without questioning it, and the inquiry will also abide by the solicitors of the Scottish government as well. I take it then the whole inquiry is then turned into just a box ticking exercise for the public.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Perhaps Mr Murray would like to explain to non-specialists what the legal position is with regard to statements from the Solicitor to Parliament’s office to the Holyrood Assembly and groupings formed under its jurisdiction:

    1. Are such statements advice or are they legally binding?

    In other words, do MSPs have any legal leeway to ‘disregard advice’ if they wish, or are they risking legal prosecution for disregarding the statements of that office?

    2. In the hierarchy of legal jurisdictions, where does the Solicitor to Parliament’s office stand in comparison to the Procurator Fiscal’s office, the Advocate General’s office and whatever the highest court of the land is in Scotland’s Legal System?

    In other words, can MSPs seek alternative legal advice from offices deemed to be of higher power, or are they basically stuck with whatever the Solicitor to Parliament hands down to them?

    3. Would the Solicitor to Parliament’s advice, had it been given under oath to a Scottish Court Proceeding, been deemed to be blocking disclosure of the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’, i.e. conspiring to pervert the course of natural justice through seeking to cover up key evidence likely to be pivotal in the outcome of legal matters of the highest importance?

    Or is evidence blocking merely regarded as normal tactics of every ‘ambitious’ legal professional wishing to climb the greasy legal pole to the land of fiscal plenty??

    • craig Post author

      Elected members of any public body generally bow to the legal advice of the professionals as to courses of action they undertake. They are almost certainly not obliged to in this case.

  • Mist001

    Having followed this blog for a while and read about all the misdeeds (for want of a better phrase) of the Scottish Government, the First Minister and her acolytes and all the rest, then what are we actually saying here?

    Is Scotland a rogue state?

    No ‘It’s near enough’ or ‘It might as well be’, I’m asking a direct, unambiguous question. Is Scotland a rogue state? Yes or no?

    • Republicofscotland

      I don’t know about a rogue state, its certainly got a rogue government though.

        • James B

          Explain what you mean by `rogue state’ and you’ll get an answer.

          The answer is probably `no’, because it is too insignificant to be a `rogue state’ and doesn’t have sufficient powers. I take it that a `rogue state’ is one that starts illegal wars against countries such as Iraq and provides Saudi Arabia with weapons for their illegal war against the Yemen and things like that.

        • Ian

          No, it’s a completely misleading and hence irrelevant question, designed for a purpose of course.

          • Mist001

            It’s only a misleading and irrelevant question to you because like the previous responses, none have said that Scotland is a rogue state or not. You’re all afraid to answer the question.

            If this is the way their judicial system operates, then it certainly is a rogue state.

            You can’t argue otherwise. I don’t know why you’re so afraid to accept that.

            I’ll predict what happens next.

            A rogue state is ripe for a coup d’etat.

            That coup d’etat will come from the UK government and because it’s clearly demonstrable that it’s judicial system is incpmpetent, the UK government will introduce direct rule.

            And that’s the end of Holyrood and the end of any hopes for independence. There’ll be no further pretence of colonial rule, it’ll be out there in the open.

            That’s why you’re afraid to entertain the notion that Scotland is a rogue state. You’re afraid to face the future.

          • jake

            No, Scotland is not a rogue state.
            It’s not actually a state.
            Some reckon that’s the problem and needs to change.
            As for rogues…you’ve been quiet recently, keeping OK?

          • Ian

            Well done for inventing a logic that is unique to you, alongside a mind reading ability that you could deploy in the bookies to great effect. No-one is ‘afraid’ of anything, just not playing your daft game which you demand, with assertions of opinion, others agree with. But carry on, if it pleases you, with your lonely crusade.

        • James B

          Mist001 – by your definition, England is a rogue state – the Assange trial and the fact that he has been banged up in Belmarsh demonstrates this completely even if they do ultimately free him.

          So ….. should we expect the EU to impose direct rule on the UK? Or should we expect someone to impose direct rule on the USA (which is clearly a rogue state)?

          Sorry – I got lost a little trying to follow your line of argumentation ……

    • Willie Jay

      If Scotland is not a rogue state, it will certainly fit that description until another one comes along.

    • Hamish McGlumpha

      Runner77
      January 24, 2021 at 16:29
      “I see that Nicola, facing political disaster should her machinations be revealed, has suddenly rediscovered her enthusiasm for independence”

      This has been completely demolished as utterly bogus by Wings Over Scotland.

      See

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/attack-of-the-giant-squirrels/

      and

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/polls-dont-mean-prizes/

      A total diversion (Look! there’s a squirrel)

      The SNP is now run by the “Gradualist” – otherwise known as the Glacial wing of the party: those who are quite happy being Westminster’s goffers in Scotland – very attached to their ministerial cars, salaries, residences and the trappings of (empty) power.

      Completely corrupted by office!

    • Mighty Drunken

      Advisory referendum. Sounds like, “Vote for us and we can kick the can down the road for a few years.”

      It’s a pity that Craig has demolished my excitement over the order to release the messages. Here I was thinking that MSPs had some bite to them. I see now they are either easily led or are career politicians only. Probably both.

  • Stephen

    Is the furore over a date really the smoking gun? If NS had confirmed the earlier date as the one on which she first knew, would there be no smoking gun? It is customary in Scotland to allow people to give their evidence before casting judgement. When does NS appear before the Committee? It would be nice if people could discuss this without hyperbole (as big as Watergate?) and without resorting to personal abuse.

    • James B

      Stephen – it is customary absolutely everywhere on the planet to assume that someone is up to something shifty and underhand if they conceal evidence and make blatant attempts to avoid having to tell the whole truth. That is the issue here. If the date is irrelevant, then why is NS making such a major effort to conceal it?

      • Stephen

        James. Your final sentence is the point I am puzzled by. If the actual date in itself has no bearing beyond establishing when NS first knew, why would she deliberately lie about it. I think they poster just below us, Al is similarly puzzled by that. And thanks for non abusive/polite reply. Its a refreshing change from some of the vitriol we seem to see.

        • James B

          Stephen – well, I can’t answer you on that one, because I know much less than you. But from the few gobbets I picked up on this blog and elsewhere, I think the experts are interested in timings, because the question of when the legislation and procedures they were using to get Salmond were cooked up. Were they cooked up before, or after? Were all the procedures cooked up simply to try and `get Samond?’ It is entirely possible (of course) that Nicola Sturgeon was entirely ignorant and that it came as a complete surprise to her that these new procedures could be used against Salmond …..

    • Al

      To me this is the question I can’t work out.

      Is this all about not recording the meeting on the 2nd April as gov business – which she should have done if she knew that was what the discussion was about?

      Therefore why didn’t they just record as gov business? I don’t get that aspect?

      • Prasad

        Murrell and Sturgeon saying opposite things. Doesn’t sound like they talk to each other. If it was SNP meeting why wasn’t he there or rather why is he saying he wasn’t?
        What’s the bet Murrell changes his story because if it was Gov meeting then there should have been minutes. There wasn’t.
        My bet is NS will try and make out it was an informal chat. She seems to be quite accomplished at that task. That is why we need Aberdein’s evidence.
        Might be wrong, i am only now just having the confidence to put the whole picture together after hearing and reading Gordon Dangerfield and Robin McAlpine, i realised i have all the pieces.
        I just wrote the whole thing as i understand it. My summary came to 39 points and that was without going into much detail. The amazing thing is the only thing i am not 100% sure about is the identity of the woman who has no name but amazingly it doesn’t matter because we know she was close to NS whoever it is. The rest is public knowledge.
        This whole cover up this week got me down for the first time. The corruption seems to be so deep. One sliver of hope is that Stu Campbell is sure that NS will have to resign i think he said in the comments BTL that they can’t hide all this evidence.
        Craig could you give us your opinion. Will the evidence that they are trying to hide come out in the near future?

    • Penguin

      If Mrs Murrell admitted to meeting on the earlier date then it proved that she was involved in the conspiracy from the very start. Which we already know, but some people still think they can deny when the facts are smashing their teeth in.

      Why has Liz Lloyd not been imprisoned for leaking confidential information to her Ulster Unionist Boyfriend? Why is Ulster Unionist Bigot and all round scumboy D Clegg not in prison for publishing it?

      • Al

        But why does her admitting to the earlier meeting imply she was in it from the start?

        Yes we could then question why she met Salmond when it clearly involved Gov business.

        I don’t doubt what Craig and others have shown – but am yet to understand why they didn’t just be open about that first meeting?

        • Stephen

          This is the point I do not understand either Al. People are putting so much emphasis on the date discrepancy but in itself it seems to have no significance beyond being just that. A date discrepancy, and at most a minor breach of the code relating to keeping records of Govt business. If it has significance beyond that I wish someone could explain it to me.

          • Al

            I mean I’ve seen it said that if she knew prior to the April meeting it proves there was a conspiracy? But if she only found out at the end of March – then despite fact next meeting should have been recorded – how does that prove she was aware from the start?

    • Cubby

      Stephen

      Nicola Sturgeon has given her evidence. It is in a written statement she prepared for the Committee and is published on the website.

      She had previously stated in person in the Parliament that the meeting at her house on 2nd April was the first time she became aware of the Salmond complaints raised with the Scotgov through the new procedure. In her written submission she backtracked and said she had forgotten about the earlier March meeting with Aberdein in her office – calling it a casual meeting after Aberdein had called in to see an “old colleague. ” Aberdein testified in the criminal case that it was a formal meeting arranged by Sturgeons office. You will see in Sturgeons written submission she does not name the “old colleague” – who presumably could back up her comment. Is it plausible people just pop in to the Scotgov offices to see old colleagues and just pop in to see the FM😂😂😂😂😂. There are no written records held of either of the two meetings.

      In the 2nd April meeting Sturgeon says in her written submission it was a meeting with Salmond at her house but her husband who said in his written submission that he was not there when the meeting took place then had to concede during his Inquiry attendance he had returned home when the meeting was still ongoing and in addition to Salmond in his house was THREE other people. Sturgeon did not mention the three people in her submission – strange is it not. Aberdein also testified at the criminal case he was in attendance at Sturgeons home on 2nd April and named the other two attendees.

      Murrell also testified the 2nd April meeting at his house was Scotgov business but his wife says it was an SNP meeting. If it was Scotgov business the details should have been recorded. No details were recorded. Similarly, if the earlier meeting in March 27 was Scotgov business ( as Aberdein claims) the details of this should also be recorded. No details were recorded. Apart from this as a matter of course any meeting in the FMs office are supposed to be recorded. So Sturgeon is trying to both claim this meeting happened but it didnt really happen – in parliament she called it a fleeting and opportunistic meeting.

      Aberdein’s written submission to the Inquiry has been kept private – is that a surprise? Has the Committee even been allowed to see it?

      There are more holes in the Sturgeon/Murrell testimonies and their revised testimonies than Swiss cheese.

      • Al

        Hi Cubby,

        Like Stephen I suspect, I understand all of that. I just don’t understand why Sturgeon never alluded to the first meeting with Abedein way back at the beginning? Was it just because she wouldn’t have been able to justify not recording the meeting 4 days later as a Gov meeting? Because if that is the case – surely admitting that error and a possible ministerial code investigation regarding it – would not have been as bad as what has followed?

        • Stephen

          Cubby has given a detailed summary and I appreciate that but I still do not see a smoking gun. If there has been a breach of the ministerial code by failing to record govt business that seems to me a minor breach. I still do not understand what NS gains by claiming that she first knew of allegations against AS in early April, just 3 or 4 days after the date it is claimed she first knew. I thought NS had still to appear before the Inquiry Committee. I did not think the written submissions were to constitute her only submission to the Inquiry. If that is they case that seems to me not appropriate.

          • craig Post author

            Stephen,

            It is not three or 4 days. Her chief of staff telephoned Geoff Aberdein in early March – a month before, not three or four days – to arrange the meeting with Sturgeon about the allegations about Salmond.
            In fact, she had known long before that, at least from the end of November when her Principal Private Secretary held two meetings two days with one of the complainants. The very next day Sturgeon instructed Evans to go ahead with a policy to investigate complaints against former ministers – the only such policy in the world. We are asked to believe that is a coincidence.

      • craig Post author

        Four members of the committee were allowed to see Aberdein’s evidence individually in a sealed room. Then this arrangement was stopped, the evidence was returned to Aberdein and no further members were allowed to see it.

        • Stephen

          Thanks for the info Craig. I had based my comments on Cubby’s summary which spoke of meetings on 27th March and 2nd April. That was my basis for meetings being 3 or 4 days apart. Beyond that I cannot comment on the further detail in your post as I do not know the legal grounds upon which the evidence put before 4 members of the committee individually in private was then withdrawn from further examination and presumably also from the inquiry. I would have expected the committee to have expressed publicly their disquiet about this specifically.

          • Cubby

            Stephen

            I never mentioned the earlier contact because where do you stop in this matter. A Netflix series could be made about it. There is no doubt in my mind Sturgeon knew all about the complaints right from the beginning. My post was mainly to highlight the inconsistencies in statements made by Sturgeon and Murrell. This was par for the course for many of the people who attended the Inquiry sessions. Lies challenged in the Inquiry meeting and then revised written submissions sent to the Committee.

            The written submissions are supposed to be like a witness statement – the whole truth and nothing but the truth but they have proven to be nothing of the sort.

            If Aberdein is correct and he was invited to discuss the matter – the question is how did Sturgeons office know about the complaints to issue the invite as they were not supposed to have this info. That is why Sturgeon paints it as Salmond wanting to speak to her but Aberdein says otherwise.

            Finally, the correspondence/fact about Sturgeons PPS meeting a complainer twice in Nov 2017 had been kept hidden from the Judicial Review and the criminal case until the Inquiry recently uncovered them. As Salmond has stated this could be an offence to have kept these and other papers hidden from these two trials.

            In fact in Peter Murrell’s attendance he farcically managed to state he was not at home when the meeting took place (as per his written submission) and then later at the same Inquiry session then change to say he was there.

          • Stephen

            Noted Cubby. NS is due to give evidence on 9th Feb. I will wait to see what she has to say and then form a judgement. Thanks for the input to all, including Craig himself.

  • Jm

    It stinks,it stinks to high heaven.

    Extremely damaging to the reputation of law and justice in Scotland.

    Almost impossible to get that reputation back once its been so utterly tarnished.

    Looks like the people involved dont care a fig about that-or anything bar their own selves.

    Shameful.

    • Tom Welsh

      As John Maynard Keynes may have said – and certainly should have – capitalism is “the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds”.

      That applies to government, too.

  • Auld Glass

    Having read this and Iain Macwhirter’s article in the Herald, there shouldn’t just be calls for the Lord Advocate to resign. It would appear that he has (a) infringed the integrity of the judicial system, (b) undermined the authority of the courts, and (c) frustrated the right to a fair trial (make that three trials – Alex Salmond, Mark Hirst and Craig Murray), all in direct contravention of the Contempt of Court Act. Could Craig’s legal team counter with a Contempt of Court Action against the Lord Advocate? Crowdfunder anyone?

  • James B

    `…. a relational post-colonial approach …’

    Is this why Nicola Sturgeon comes across as a Scottish female version of Idi Amin and takes the same approach to Scotland as Idi Amin took to Uganda? Is this what we are to expect in a former English colony?

    It explains a great deal.

    • CameronB Brodie

      This is only my speculation, but since the fleg we gave the British state in 2014, ‘our’ legal Establishment are showing where their true loyalties lie. And it’s not with the people of Scotland, that’s for sure. The FM simply appears to be unprepared to resist the institutional British nationalism that corrupts our justice system.

      • James B

        CameronB Brodie – Nicola Sturgeon is part of the British establishment. She is a career politician who has never done anything other than politics (precisely the sort of person we do not need in politics) and she joined the SNP only because she didn’t like the way one of her school teachers was trying to coerce her into joining Labour – nothing to do with wanting independence for Scotland.

  • Jim Sinclare

    Can we see the advice from the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament to the Committee? Presumably the Committee have no objection, nor would the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament, if his advice is sound.

  • cavery

    Im starting to lose the will to live with all of this nonsense.

    The Unionist parties clearly have more than enough to destroy Sturgeon and Murrell but seek not to do so. Does the SNP have a mechanism for getting rid of a leader we no longer believe in?

    Why? oh Why?

  • John Monro

    I find it interesting, Craig, that you have repeatedly made serious claims of lying and corrupt behaviours against certain named individuals, and you continue you to do so, which if not true, might well be considered libellous. In which case I wonder why you have not been threatened by legal action if you don’t withdraw these claims? To me that’s a pretty good affirmation that the charges you make are true, or at least true enough in general, that in any court case anyone claiming libel would be forced to reveal all those matters they have so far successfully hidden, to their own great embarrassment and political damage. The charges against you that you are facing in court would then appear to the powerful’s way of dealing to you without this risk.

    • craig Post author

      John,

      I think that is precisely right. In fact, it’s one of the things I hope we will be saying in court.

      • amanfromMars

        I imagine all posting regularly here, Craig, are relying on and hoping for more than just hope delivering in court, and in mainstream media, what everybody needs/wants to hear revealed as true and nothing less than a plot to deny common justice in favour of a further and deeper embedding of corrupt two-faced and perverse double-dealing administrations and support infrastructures.

        It is not as if such abominations are not exploding into the human consciousness and crashing out of their bubbles and revealing the abiding problems to be dealt with.

        Here’s a post commenting initially on the detention of Julian Assange before moving quickly onto the perilous and parlous state of fiat economies and the rigged markets which reward outrageously a few and condemn and imprison the many to server them their wishes in blind ignorance of their remote conditioning and situation …… Whenever Time is of the Essence, Defeat Awaits All Hesitating to Lose

        However, as that blind ignorance of monumental facts starts to disappear at an exponential rate, with the simple sharing of information which is impossible to plausibly deny is not accurate and true, and never before were there so many relatively freely available tools and platforms to assist in that noble task, suddenly, without any great warning, does the whole false edifice collapse and create a chaos which will not protect those worthy of mob attention for their past actions which were designed and wilfully carried out to disadvantage the masses.

  • Goose

    Quote : I have a plan and means we can be anonymous but see strong repercussions

    Always thought lifelong anonymity for complainants regardless of legal outcome could be at profound risk of being abused to make vexatious or malicious allegations.

    Hard to understand why lifelong anonymity is thought necessary for those who’ve alleged only inappropriate cuddles and what others would view as unwelcome touchy-feely behaviour.
    Surely those accused should similarly remain anonymous until conviction and for only the most serious offence cases eg. rape, should lifelong anonymity be available, exceptional circumstances.

    And it’s strange how so many high-profile thorns in the establishment’s side like Alex Salmond, Julian Assange(Sweden); Craig Murray; Jacob Appelbaum; fmr Iraq weapons inspector turned whistleblower Scott Ritter, Joshua Schulte (alleged Vault 7 CIA tools leaker) and various others seem to face reputation shredding sexual allegations?

    Others were even less fortunate; like whistleblower and anti-SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act) campaigner Aaron Swartz. Kim Dotcom’s case shows how seriously copyright is defended. And longtime critic of the U.S. drone program and surveillance; Newsweek war correspondent (Iraq and Afghanistan), journalist and author Michael Hastings, who died in a bizarre high speed car crash of which, no less than former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke said that what is known about the crash is “consistent with a car cyber attack.”

    We criticise the way Russian authorities behave.

    • arby

      It would be strange were it otherwise When the tiger’s tail gets twisted it reacts viscerally.
      The more egregious its response, the more it’s a mark of how threatened it feels.

      Onward and upward!

      • Goose

        WikiLeaks have posted a tweet highlighting the nightmare Joshua Schulte (alleged Vault 7 CIA hacking toolset leaker) is currently enduring. I understand hacking tools are incredibly valuable, and they wish to dissuade others by imposing draconian punishments. But we are meant to be civilised in the west. These conditions, if accurately reported, are worse than the dreadful conditions Assange is experiencing. Piece WikiLeaks linked to:

        https://www.pix11.com/news/national-news/ex-cia-engineer-in-wikileaks-case-says-hes-incarcerated-like-an-animal

        • arby

          Indeed, vindictiveness seems to have become an end in itself over here in the west. And our comrades-in-arms demonstrate that we’re not the worst by chopping up their adversaries in supposedly safe embassies and tidying it all away in bin bags.

          I think the scales have been falling away for a while and these black theatres are designed to discourage the flock and target those few with the temerity to threaten the new status quo.

  • Tom

    I’m assuming the Harassment Committee knows what it wants, and turns to civil servants to implement its wishes. So if anything goes wrong, it’s probably there, protecting their ‘own’, in which case the corruption is even more extensive than I thought possible. It seems difficult to believe the members of the committee, from five different parties, and with a non-SNP majority, would conspire against full disclosure. But their civil-servants might ..

  • Contrary

    I was going to say that strictly, the committee’s purview isn’t to investigate the conspiracy or whether the FM broke the ministerial code – but that flags up a whole host of problematic questions, that I need some clarity on. I’ll reserve judgement, as I have been anyway, about the request for evidence. They haven’t got very far with squeezing the legal advice out of the Scottish Government, so I’m not holding out hope that this will result in anything interesting.

    All Leslie Evans says is ‘I was following legal advice’ (at all times) – well, bully for her, it doesn’t actually matter if we can’t see any of the legal advice to verify it was reasonable or that she was actually doing so,,, that is, it isn’t an excuse if we can’t see it, it’s irrelevant to her testimony because she has to take full responsibility for each and every decision she took – unless it can be shown she was misled by the advice she purports to be following.

    I’m looking at things based on exact dates – and I wanted, merely for context, not in relation to the harassment procedure in itself, an exact date of when McCann from SNP HQ sent the text saying that he’d sit on complaints and hoped he wouldn’t need to deploy them. I have it that text exchanges took place ‘late 2017’ – was the exact date of his message ever published anywhere? I’d be very interested to know.

    Obviously this has absolutely nothing to do with government handling of harassment complaints, because civil servants in government offices can’t have a political affiliation and would not have been involved in making complaints to a political party’s HQ, otherwise they’d be breaching their employment contract I’d assume.

    So, it’s entirely a side issue, of what was going on at the time around the #MeToo stuff, what other institutions were doing in response kind of thing – for instance, it was interesting to note that the Scottish Parliament set up a hotline for people to use very quickly (6th Nov 2017), which sounds like a reasonable response.

    Can anyone remember if the exact date was given ever for that McCann text message? I only want it if it’s been in the public domain though.

  • Whistleblower

    Two Scottish Public Bodies commit very serious human rights abuses against a victim. When the victim complains the Public Bodies decide it will be separate complaint investigations. Public Body complaint A; Public Body complaint B. The complaint investigations are rigged by their respective public body managements. Two whitewashes. Two cover-ups.

    The victim investigates their own complaints. When the victim asks Public Body B for a witness statement about the conduct of Public Body A it is refused. The Public Bodies insist the complaint investigations remain separate. But the Public bodies warn each other that the victim is seeking information. One Public Body instructs the other Public Body to withhold evidence that would provide documentary proof of a complaint process tainted by bias.

    It takes years for the victim to obtain enough evidence to take some of the abuses to court. The victim is denied a solicitor, having been refused publicly-funded legal aid by another Public Body. In stark contrast, Public Body A has a solicitor and an advocate representing them, paid for from public funds.

    The victim cited an official from Public Body B as a (hostile) witness. Only when put under oath and examined in the witness box does that official from Public Body B finally admit from the witness box that they witnessed an official from Public Body A commit serious human rights abuse against the victim. It took over three years for the victim to establish the truth and receive any redress.

    None of the officials involved are subjected to any disciplinary action by the Public Bodies, as both public bodies conducted cover-ups that involved the top officials of their respective organisations. The Chief Executive of Public Body A is also found to have victimised the victim when the victim complained about a whitewash complaint process. The Chief Executive remains in their role.

    The Scottish Government were contacted about the abuses. Several Government ministers were asked to help the victim. The responses can be summarised as: blah blah blah; we don’t want to know. Similar responses came from the professional regulator bodies.

    To some people, it may seem far fetched, that in Scotland, Public Bodies and public officials can be allowed to commit serious abuses and Public Bodies will conduct deliberate cover-ups. But, what Craig Murray has described in his articles, are in many ways, similar to the victim’s own experiences here in Scotland.

    • Tom Welsh

      This is one of the many good reasons why government should be kept as minimal as possible. When it becomes as vast and complex as it is today – even in Scotland – the swamps and jungles permit this kind of game playing. All on the taxpayer’s money, of course.

      Just as one board denizen recommends another for a plum job, in return for a similar favour at another place and time, they use the rat’s nest of laws, regulations, guidelines, etc. to obfuscate, delay, and frustrate legitimate inquiry.

      Unfortunately I have forgotten who explained that any bureaucracy is like an ineradicable weed. Once thriving, it cannot be got rid of, or even limited in size. Instead it continually spreads, using up more and more valuable resource, choking administration, and eventually making civilised life virtually impossible. The writer in question mentioned that only the very most stringent methods could get rid of a bureaucracy, and that such methods had been employed only by the Mongols.

      They consist of killing every single bureaucrat, as well as all their families – especially children – and burning every last file and paper.

  • Tom Welsh

    I suppose this is what eventually happens once the courts accept the improper principle that an accuser may remain anonymous. It seems to begin all very innocuously – to spare the feelings of an accuser who might be a victim. But until the trial is over, no one can know whether a particular complainant was indeed a victim, or (just possibly) a false accuser.

    The old principles are best, and cannot be abandoned or even whittled away without absurd and unjust consequences following sooner or later. Edmund Burke told us that, and his wisdom remains unimpeachable today.

    • bevin

      This is the key point: “..the courts accept(ance of] the improper principle that an accuser may remain anonymous. ”
      It is unconscionable that the accusers be allowed to remain anonymous. The notion that the victim of their false witness could or would take revenge on them is an admission by the state that it will not take the responsibility of protecting its citizens from gangsterism.
      I cannot understand why some website well beyond the reach of Scots law does not publish the list of complainants and their complaints in full detail.

  • giyane

    There is a simpler explanation to all of this. Her Majesty the Queen feels threatened by anybody who actually believes in Scottish Independence, partly because she would lose her position in Scotland, and partly because she genuinely does believe that whatever ANY Prime Minister does is always rightand Craig has a very real grievance against the government that sacked him but she takes a unique stance in politics that she can’t take sides, so whatever government does must be right.

    What I mean is that it could be nothing to do with Sturgeon or Murrell or Lord Wolffe. If She has decided that Craig Murray is an honest man who genuinely believes in Scottish Independence, she might have told her Queen’s Counsel and First Minister to do whatever it takes to frustrate Craig, or any other genuine seeker of Independence.

    Obviously Craig has no grievance at all against the Queen. He might be motivated by a desire to hurt the institution of government that tried to kill him and sacked him to conceal their own criminal , illegal , warmongering violence. But the Queen might be against him, and everybody else is just saying yes Ma’am. The whole case is completely arbitrary imho. But she knows the SNP love devolved government. In that case the weirdness of the proceedings is nothing to do with Westminster, or Bute House. Deus ex Machina has descended and said ‘ Is this a dagger I see before me? Chorp orff his head.’ Yes Ma’am.. . The chivalry, the tights, the medieval feasance, the Anglo- Saxon defenders of their liege lady.
    And Justice goes in the bin once the Queen has indicated her distaste.

    • giyane

      I’ve gone this far , so I might as well say it. I spent a long time trying to read that Lord Advocate’s face, amenable, relaxed, slightly podgy , a determined but deferential face with the little light glasses. I can’t find anything even remotely instinctive or passionate about that face. Just porridge with a pinch of salt. He doesn’t look to me like a man of a vindictive or manipulative character. To me his face says simply: Here to serve, just like Sir Kier Starmer, and that’s the sole reason why I’ve written the above.

      • Liz

        This is the same Lord Advocate that admitted the malicious prosecution of Rangers administrators and cost the tax payer at least £24 million.

        • Giyane

          The same Kier Starmer who kicked out the finest electoral asset to the Labour Party of our generation. They learn the hard way.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        You can’t tell anything from a person’s face.

        John McCain looked like a friendly old uncle; Chris Williamson looks like a scary and devilish thug.

        Their appearances bear no witness to their characters.

        • Giyane

          Mr Shigemitsu

          You’re right. Being inscrutable is a tool for surprise attack. Also, the 24/7 spy industry means that our leaders are furnished with everything we do on the internet, while we can’t get a couple of incriminating texts out of them.

          Spying is a scourge we can’t do anything about. All we can do is to ignore the entire output of their propaganda and false narratives, to balance the power inequality. Spying is absolutely forbidden in Islam. But you can’t tell anything from a face any more than you can tell anything from what somebody calls themself.

          The leaders of any institution who break the fundamental rules of the institution they represent as in the Case of the Lord Advocate, should be banged up. Hypocrisy is brushed off lightly by the elites as a small thing. But in Islam, hypocrisy negates your faith.

    • amanfromMars

      giyane,

      I imagine the Queen and House of Windsor more than anyone/anything else know of the unflinching loyalty of Scottish lairds to services in favour and protection of the crowning heads of imperilled imperious imperial estates.

      The apparent conjecture and disagreeable comment on such matters as now present themselves before the populace is unnecessarily alarmist to an unfortunate degree, although such trials and tribulations do have a tendency to root out and dispense sweet rough justice on systemic fundamental inadequacies and monstrous inequities alike.

      One certainly wouldn’t want to be thought too smart for one’s own good and to be abusing of the feeble-minded and have them believing the institution is threatened by any current or future shenanigans north of the border or in any Highland Gathering akin to a Gaelic Loya Jirga and/or Celtic Ard Fheis.

      That leads the way to the paths of treason, and is gravely to be regarded …. and forever to be avoided.

  • Willie

    For those who may have watched Andrew Marr this morning did anyone notice the First Minister’s face.

    Her eyes were all puffed up and blackened and it looked like she’s been up all night in tears or that Peter had maybe given her a roughing up. She certainly looked extremely discomfited. Most certainly not her usual presentation and one honestly wonders if the exposure after exposure is leading her towards throwing the towel in before she’s booted out, or even prosecuted.

    Not a well looking Nicola Sturgeon her sins may have found her out and she knows it.

    • Goose

      Someone else commented she appeared to be wearing a lot more makeup than usual. As a couple they must be under considerable stress.

      And is it true that Joanna Cherry dropped the, ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave,/ When first we practise to deceive!’, in a v. recent interview, when asked about what’s going on?

      Just saw it mentioned in newspaper’s comment section.

    • giyane

      Willie

      Vote for me because if I win I will have a proposal for a legal hearing, about a section 30, for a referendum which I already know will not be granted, but then we have to wait another 40 years, by which time we will all be dead. it’s not exactly an inspiring message , is it? About as good as the cartoon of two insurance salesmen, one carrying a placard, and the other is saying ” You win some, you lose some ? What kind of insurance sales pitch is that?”

    • Roger Gough

      On the BBC Radio 4 news at 1pm today she said that conspiracy theories were currently circulating (in Scotland) that were distracting from the push for independence

      • Giyane

        Roger Gough

        Sturgeo has the luxury of an msm platform to deny her malicious prosecution of Alex Salmond. The problem is that the evidence has already been seen and read, and the only thing preventing it from reaching the court is the perjury of the Lord Advocate who says they are not relevant.

        Sturgeon is w-a-y out of her depth.

    • Wikikettle

      Willie, as I said before, Craig’s hunters are the hunted. Sleep tight Craig, your persecutors don’t sleep well.

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