Only A Corrupt Lord Advocate Stands Between Peter Murrell and Prison 253


Following Robin McAlpine’s excellent article, some responded by asking where is the hard evidence of a conspiracy against Alex Salmond? Well, here is some of it, not public before.

My trial for contempt of court is now fixed for 27 January. This is an extract from my lawyers’ latest submission requesting disclosure of documents which the Crown Office is hiding, both from my trial and from the Holyrood Inquiry:

QUOTE

4. The information in question is:
(a) A series of written communications involving Peter Murrell, Chief Executive Officer
of the SNP, and Sue Ruddick, Chief Operating Officer of the SNP. They discussed
inter alia a pub lunch or similar occasion between Ian McCann, a SNP staff member
working for them, and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, one of the complainers in the HM Advocate
v Salmond trial. At the lunch, Mr Murrell and Ms Ruddick expected xxxxxxxxx to firm
up her commitment to giving evidence against Alex Salmond, and to discuss
progress on bringing in others to make complaints. They expressed dissatisfaction at
Mr McCann for his performance in achieving these objectives and expressed doubt as
to his commitment to the cause.

(b) A communication from Ms Ruddick to Mr Murrell in which she explained to
Mr Murrell that progress on the case was being delayed by Police Scotland and/or
the COPFS’s saying there was insufficient evidence, and in which communication
she expressed the sentiment that, if the police/Crown would specify the precise
evidence needed, she would get it for them.

(c) Text messages from Mr Murrell to Ms Ruddick stating that it was a good time to
pressure the police, and that the more fronts Alex Salmond had to fight on the better.

(d) Communications from Ms Ruddick about her visits to a number of locations,
including the Glenrothes area, and including in conjunction or discussion with
xxxxxxxxxxxxx. These communications detail their unsuccessful attempts to find
witnesses who would corroborate allegations of inappropriate behaviour against
Alex Salmond. They include a report of a meeting with young people who were
small children at the time of the incident they were seeking to allege, who did not
provide the corroboration sought.

(e) A message from xxxxxxxxxxxx stating that she would not attend a meeting if
xxxxxxxxxxx were also present as she felt pressured to make a complaint rather than
supported.

(f) Messages in the WhatsApp group of SNP Special Advisers, particularly one saying
that they would “destroy” Alex Salmond and one referring to Scotland’s ‘Harvey
Weinstein moment’, employing the #MeToo hashtag.

5. The respondent saw this information before he published the articles and tweets that
are the subject of these proceedings. The respondent considers that the information
in question would materially weaken the Lord Advocate‘s case and materially
strengthen his case because: (i) it materially strengthens the respondent’s case on
Article 10; and (ii) it materially weakens the Lord Advocate’s case, and materially
strengthens the respondent’s case, on the alleged breach of section 11 of the
Contempt of Court Act 1981

END QUOTE

You can see the full application from my lawyers pub2101131230 DISCLOSURE APPLICATION (1) 

To which the Lord Advocate yesterday replied:

QUOTE

4. In respect of the first question, it is understood that the material referred
to in paragraphs 4a – 4f of the disclosure application are private
communications. As such they can have no bearing on the question of
the degree of likelihood of the disclosure of the complainers’ identities
by the publishing of the articles detailed in the Petition and Complaint
and Submissions for the Petitioner.

5. In respect of the second question, the Respondent asserts in his answers
and submissions that a finding of contempt would be contrary to his
Article 10 rights. The material is not relevant to the court’s consideration
of the Respondent’s Article 10 rights. Further, the disclosure of the
material may constitute a breach of the Article 8 rights of the parties to
those private communications.
Advocate

END QUOTE

You can see the Lord Advocate’s reply in full here 20210114 Answers to Disclosure Request (3). Note the Lord Advocate acknowledges the existence of these messages (which the Crown Office holds) but argues they are private, and irrelevant.

On the face of it, these messages are evidence of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They refer to pressuring the police, to pressuring a witness, to highly improper encouragement of “evidence”. To reveal them would breach Peter Murrell and Sue Ruddick’s right to private communication? If, dear reader, you ever feel the urge to conspire to commit a crime, be sure to do it by text message, then the Lord Advocate will ensure that it is all kept nice and secret.

It is important to state that the woman in para (a) to whom Ian McCann was sent to screw her courage to the sticking point, was Woman H. She was vital as her allegation was the most serious of all. She was the most active perjurer in the Salmond trial, the woman who was not even present on the occasion she claimed to have been the victim of attempted rape. This is my report of the defence evidence about Ms H at the time, not reported in any detail anywhere else but on this blog:

The first witness today was Ms Samantha Barber, a company director. She had known Alex Salmond since 1994 when she was working for the SNP as a research assistant for the Euro elections. She had thereafter been employed by the European Parliament, and in 2007 become the Chief Executive of Scottish Business in the Community, a post she still held in 2014. She is now a director of several companies.

In the seven years Alex Salmond was First Minister she had several times been a guest at Bute House for dinner. She had a positive and respectful relationship with Alex Salmond but they were not personal friends outside of business.

She had been a personal friend of Ms H, the accuser who alleged attempted rape, for some years by 2014. They remain friends. She had been invited to the evening reception of Ms H’s wedding. She testified she is also a friend of Ms H’s current husband.

Ms H had telephoned her to invite her to the dinner at Bute house with the (not to be named) actor on 13 June 2014. Ms H in inviting her had stated she (Ms H) was not able to be there. In fact Ms H had indeed not been at the dinner. Ms Barber had arrived that evening at around 7pm. She had been shown up to the drawing room. The actor was already there and they had chatted together, just the two of them, until about 7.15pm when Alex Salmond had joined them. The three of them had dinner together. It was friendly and conivivial. At first the actor’s career had been discussed and then Scottish independence. Nobody else was there. Asked if any private secretaries had been in and out during dinner, Ms Barber replied not to her recollection. Nobody interrupted them

One bottle of wine was served during dinner. She had left after dinner around 9 and the actor had stayed on as Alex Salmond offered to show him around the Cabinet Room.

Defence Counsel Shelagh McCall QC asked her if Ms H had been there? No. Did you see her at any point during the evening? No.

[Ms H had claimed she was at this dinner and the attempted rape occurred afterwards. Alex Salmond had testified Ms H was not there at all. A video police interview with the actor had tended to support the idea Ms H, or another similar woman, was there and they were four at dinner.]

Prosecution counsel Alex Prentice then cross-examined Ms Barber. He asked whether she had received a message from the police on 29 January. She replied yes she had, and called them back on 3 February. Prentice asked whether they had then told her they wanted a statement, and whether she had replied she needed to take advice first. Ms Barber agreed.

Prentice asked why she would need legal advice to give a statement to police. Ms Barber replied she had never been involved in any judicial matter and wanted to understand the process she was getting into before she did anything. She had not said she wanted legal advice first, just advice.

Prentice asked again “why would you need legal advice before talking to the police”? Ms Barber again replied she wanted to understand the process she was getting into.

Prentice asked again, twice more, “why would you need legal advice before talking to the police?”. He got the same answer each time. You will recognise from yesterday’s report of his cross-examination of Alex Salmond, that it is a rhetorical trick of Prentice, to constantly repeat the same question in order to throw an unreasoned suspicion on the veracity of the answer. On this occasion he was stopped by the judge, who had enough.

Lady Dorrian pointedly asked him “Is a citizen not entitled to take advice, Mr Prentice?”, in a Maggie Smith tone of contempt.

Prentice then asked whether Ms Barber had already been at another Bute House dinner in May. Ms Barber replied not that she could recall. Prentice then asserted that the dinner on 13 June was with the actor, Ms H, and Alex Salmond. Ms Barber replied no, she genuinely had no recollection at all of Ms H being there.

The defence counsel Shelagh McCall QC then resumed questions. She asked if the police had put to Ms Barber that Ms H was there. Ms Barber replied that they had, and she had told them exactly what she had told the defence and now told the court, that Ms H had not been there.

The next witness was Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, who swore on the Koran. She had joined the SNP in 2000 and been appointed national Women and Equalities Convenor in 2011. From 2015 to 2017 she was MP for the Ochil Hills.

Shelagh McCall QC asked if she knew Ms H. She replied for some years, and more frequently from 2012. Ms H had been involved in the Yes campaign. They had a good relationship, and in 2014 Ms H had asked her advice on standing for the SNP national executive committee.

McCall asked her if she remembered the date of the 13 June 2014 dinner. Tasmina responded yes, that was the day her father had died. She had received a message he was taken very ill that morning and had set off for London. At Carlisle they learnt he had died. (At this point the witness broke into tears.)

Before leaving Scotland with her husband she had messaged the First Minister’s office to say she would not be able to attend the Scottish women’s international football match the next day. (The point of this evidence is it contradicts Ms H’s evidence of her interaction with Ms Ahmed-Sheikh over the football.)

 

Given the nonsense that was Woman H’s allegation, given the context of a new policy for complaints against ex-ministers which has been shown beyond doubt to be designed from the origin to trap one single man, given the frantic attempts to boost, invent or shore up complaints, given that the complainers were all from a tight coterie at the heart of Scottish government, given that the complaints fell apart when exposed to examination in court, I have no doubt that what we have here amounts to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In addition to which, Peter Murrell very plainly committed perjury when appearing on oath before the parliamentary inquiry into this matter, when he denied the existence of the hoard of text messages detailed above which are the subject of my latest disclosure application. Here is the evidence of his committing, firstly desperate obfuscation, then perjury.

But this is a straight lie. There is a lot more material. There is precisely the material detailed above that I have requested disclosure of for my court case and which the Crown Office refused to release as they are “private messages”. As you can see, it is precisely what Ms Baillie was asking for. The Crown Office has withheld this material from the Holyrood Inquiry. The Crown Office have also written to Alex Salmond – three times – to tell him that he will be prosecuted if he releases this material to the committee or provides any detail of its content.

There can be no doubt whatever that the Lord Advocate is now corruptly protecting Peter Murrell from a charge of perjury by keeping this material secret. I am aware that the Crown Office has received a letter from lawyers pointing out this perjury, and in response the Crown Office have tendentiously focused purely on one single question.

The Crown Office has rejoined that all of the undisclosed text messages in the series to which Jackie Baillie was referring are purely between Sue Ruddick and Peter Murrell. No other party official was involved, so Peter Murrell was not lying in this answer, which was specifically to a question of whether there were messages to any other party official.

But taking the totality of the exchanges, it is crystal clear that Baillie was not referring solely to texts to officials other than to Sue Ruddick. This is plain throughout but crystal clear here:

That is plainly a straight lie by Murrell. There is a great deal more material, as detailed in my application above and admitted by the Crown Office in their reply that these are “private messages”. It is plainly perjury by Murrell to say there is nothing else.

The Crown Office is lying to protect Murrell from perjury charges, and it has lied to protect Murrell before. The  only two texts from the voluminous Murrell/Ruddick exchanges that have been leaked and have been published, to which Jackie Baillie refers, read as follows. They are from Murrell, instructing his junior Ruddick:

“TBH the more fronts he is having to firefront on the better for all complainers. So CPS action would be a good thing.”

“Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions. Report now with the PF on charges which leaves the police twiddling their thumbs. So good time to be pressuring them. Would be good to know Met looking at events in London.”

Yet in correspondence with Kenny Macaskill MP, Lindsey Miller of the Crown Office – who were sitting on these messages – denied the existence of these specific messages before they were leaked. This is an extract from a letter to Macaskill from Ms Miller, deputy Crown Agent – who remember was in possession of the texts listed immediately above.

 

I defy anybody to state that they honestly believe that Murrell’s message to Ruddick instructing her: “Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions. Report now with the PF on charges which leaves the police twiddling their thumbs. So good time to be pressuring them.” can be characterised as “no evidence” that Murrell put pressure on the police, directly or indirectly. Miller was lying. You might say it is not conclusive evidence – though it is pretty damning. But you cannot say it is no evidence. It is strong, prima facie evidence.

Macaskill having next quoted the precise texts she was hiding to her, this was then Ms Miller’s response:

Yet again, the amount of sophistry involved in protecting Peter Murrell, and the care for his private messages, is in sharp contrast to the gung-ho attitude of the Lord Advocate and the Crown Office to the prosecution of anyone who exposes the conspiracy against Alex Salmond, of which the Crown Office is a part.

My friend and colleague Mark Hirst has been triumphantly acquitted last week on the ridiculous charge of threatening behaviour to which he had been subjected for saying that those who conspired against Alex Salmond would “reap the whirlwind”. The Court found, entirely sensibly, that this was plainly in a political context and there was no case to answer. The Crown Office had instituted an obviously ridiculous charge – found “no case to answer” – out of pure political malice.

Readers of this blog will recall they helped substantially, with £10,000 from my own defence fund having been transferred to Mark.

But Mark’s life has been turned upside down. He lost his employment as a journalist as a result of the charge. His life has been wrecked and he is now having to earn a living working very hard, for a lot less money, in a completely different field from that he is qualified in. I trust he will not mind my saying the whole experience hit him very hard. Remember his home was raided by five officers from the Police Scotland “Alex Salmond team” and all his electronic equipment confiscated, while his name was dragged through the mud on both social and mainstream media.

The same “Alex Salmond team” still exist, are working on my prosecution, and are currently still engaged in a painstaking investigation as to who leaked two of the Murrell messages to Kenny Macaskill. Both the Crown Office and Police Scotland effectively now operate as the private enforcement arm of the Murrells, protecting them from consequences of their wrongdoing and persecuting their perceived political enemies .

That is what Scotland has become.

It is also worth noting that the perceived political enemies are not unionists – in my own case, dozens of MSM journalists who much more plainly committed jigsaw identification than I are not being prosecuted – but Independence “fundamentalists”.

There is much more evidence that the Crown Office is hiding, apart from the Murrell/Ruddick messages and the SNP Special Advisers whatsapp group. The Crown has also refused to release for my trial, or to the Holyrood Inquiry, the following documents:

  • The text exchange between two complainants containing the phrase “I have a plan and means we can be anonymous but have strong repercussions…” referred to in the trial proper proceedings.
  • An e mail from SNP official and defence witness Ann Harvie alleging a “witch hunt” and the emails from Sue Ruddick to which she was replying. This was referred to in the trial proper but this evidence was not admitted before the jury after objection from the Advocate Depute.
  •  Scottish Government documents produced as part of the Judicial Review hearings which support Mr Ronnie Clancy QC assertion of conduct on the part of Scottish Government officials “bordering on encouragement”. This was referred to in open court in the Court of Session proceedings of January 8th 2019. This should include the relevant “One Notes” of the Scottish Government Investigating Officer.
  • Documents relevant to the circumstances in which details of a Scottish Government complaint was leaked to the Daily Record newspaper in August 2018.  The matter of the circumstances in which this information appeared in the public domain was referred to in the evidence of Chief Inspector Lesley Boal in the criminal trial.
  • Documents relevant to the circumstances in which the Scottish Government sources briefed the Sunday Post newspaper in August 2018 that matters were referred to the police on the advice of the Lord Advocate and whether there is documentation demonstrating that such advice was also revealed to complainants by Scottish Government officials or others as a means of persuasion

All of which is still only the tip of the iceberg. The extent to which the Crown Office colludes to keep the Holyrood Inquiry in the dark is truly a disgrace to Scotland.

My own trial starts on 27 January, which is now confirmed. It s going to be “virtual” – nobody will be in a courthouse, not even the judges nor me. I shall be sending out information on how you may follow it live shortly. I plead with you to do so – a political persecution is bad enough, I certainly do not want it to operate in the dark. Put 27 and 28 January in your diary!

—————————————————–

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253 thoughts on “Only A Corrupt Lord Advocate Stands Between Peter Murrell and Prison

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  • nevermind

    oops, that was fast mods.
    Im not on twitter but somebody sent me this link which seems to fit into the rubric jigsawidentification.

    [ Mod: Incorrect YouTube link suspended. You don’t give enough information about the video to find it via a search engine. Any time you post a link, kindly specify exactly what you’re trying to link to. ]

  • nevermind

    Craig gets a favourable mention at 40.30min. into UkColumn News, where the whole case is discussed. Presenter and ‘columnists are all in agreement that Scottisch justice is corrupt and that politicians have prosecuted people who have gone to jail for pointing their fingers at this corruption of the judiciary.

    I dare not provide any more links, as they dont seem to be appreciated

    • Out+of+Affric

      @Nevermind

      ‘Scottisch’ (justice) – nice typo, but I would have preferred ‘Scottische’ – a type of dance.

      • nevermind

        OT. I could not feel less secure over the last weekend as the aoirtraffic of war bitds is escalating . Today we had flying all day, its still going on.
        It feels excessive as if something is about to happen. Russia has now banned all overflight in a tit for tat levelling up, but the lack of diplomatic relations and discourse is frightening. Add to that the attacks by Israel on Syria Lebanon and Ghaza, not to speak of the threats to Iran.
        Then there is the increasing pressures on other countries human rights record and Pompeos last.minute flings with Mossad et al are not normal for and administration in free fall.

  • James Michael

    Sadly yes — “[…] So good time to be pressuring them.” _could_ be characterised as “no evidence” that Murrell put pressure on the police, directly or indirectly. It could be so characterised by a legal mind very accustomed to semantic and logic acrobatics. And such a message could, for example, be viewed or presented as merely a suggested course of action or recommended tactical option.

    By simply maintaining that, if authenticated, Murrell’s alleged message is only evidence of (at most) Murrell conspiring to put pressure on the police — which is quite different from evidence that subsequently, moves instigated by him to put the police under pressure, actually took place; evidence of which would most likely have to come from the police themselves. And it seems pretty unlikely that the police would oblige by in any way confirming that they had been pressured into doing the bidding of anyone connected with the case. Besides which we all know that any attempt to exert such influence would usually be ‘nuanced’, verbal, private and unrecorded.

    It appears to me that perhaps Miller was responding to requests and questions that were not tightly enough constructed. Better perhaps something like, “Are you aware of any evidence that might indicate Mr Murrell talked with others about putting pressure on Police Scotland, suggested such an action or sought to influence someone else into pressuring them? Regardless of whether you have evidence that such a tactic was used”

    • Giyane

      James Mitchell

      In a sane world why would the CEO of the SNP want to.out pressure on his old boss and his wife’s mentor?
      It’s a rum old world in Woke House that does want LGBT cuddles but didn’t want heterosexual ones.
      Humans are cognitive and humanity consultative by nature. So what kind of garbage in comes out with garbage out that a senior colleague must be eliminated?

      • James Michael

        Who TF is James Mitchell “Giyane”?
        And you must have missed the inside track on this typical political F mess that exposes the interests and loyalties of citizen voters as secondary. — I’m smiling (sadly/wryly) “Giyane”. Don’t you understand yet that we don’t live in an entirely “sane world”?

  • Stonky

    There is another question that has not really arisen yet, but could become very relevant indeed should Mr Murray manage to get hold of the lengthy conversations that took place between Salmond’s accusers, or should they ever (heaven forbid) be otherwise leaked to the public.

    Only two complaints were filed through the SG complaints procedure, But nine women came forward to accuse AS of criminal misconduct. Isn’t it rather odd that not one of the other seven accusers filed a complaint under the SG procedure – specifically created to deal with such complaints – between December 2017, when it was finalised, and August 2018, when AS filed for judicial review?

    • Easily Confused

      I think that the SG procedure could only be used by SG employees. I have lost track of how many of the women were SG employees. It must surely be the case that the police, after their trawl to find other incidents to use against Alex Salmond, decided to bring charges and not the women themselves. I cannot believe that any woman would make a complaint to the police about having a curl on their hair pinged and be prepared to stand up in court to say that was a sexual attack of some sort. No woman would be so insulting to women who have suffered real sexual abuse.

  • Vronsky

    Maybe I have a higher opinion of criminals than they deserve, but I am surprised by what looks like the complete absence of any sort of risk assessment by Sturgeon and her co-conspirators. The stakes were almost as high for her as for Salmond – this will probably end her political career if there is any justice left in Scotland (moot).

    A talentless high-flyer like Evans, with her CV an unbroken history of publicly-funded sinecures, could become unemployable in the public sector, and the male Murrell would face similar difficulties if he lost his cosy cot in SNP HQ.

    Was there no voice at the back of the room saying ‘I think this could be a bridge too far’? What made them all think it was risk-free, consequence free? I can think of a worrying answer to that question.

    • Brotherhood

      V, Evans is 62 so she’s as close to retirement as makes hee-haw difference. She’s sure to have a good few bob stashed!

      • Vronsky

        Then it’s surprising that she hasn’t resigned but instead had her contract extended by Nicola Sturgeon. She seems an obvious sacrifice to protect those behind her.

    • vin_ot

      I would love to see this ludicrous couple in the dock some day, along with all their cronies and flunkies. Will not happen of course as their Whitehall patrons / handlers know they would go down with them. Britain’s greatest political criminals are rarely ever tried let alone convicted.

  • timfrom

    Sorry to comment off-topic, but today is the deadline for the US to appeal the refusal of their attempted extradition of Julian Assange. I have heard nothing on whether or not they have lodged an appeal (I confess I’m not on social media, so please forgive any ignorance). Have they, can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.

  • VinylFlunkie

    All power to you Craig. The depth of corruption/entitlement that is being displayed is shocking. The image of Nicola Sturgeon as a heroine and democratic figurehead is going to be difficult to reconcile within the minds of the many who look to her as a leader if and when this fucking mess becomes openly discussed in the MSM. My partner unquestionably projects such wonderful qualities upon her and shuts me down if i bring up the alternative view. The conman succeeds in their conning because nobody wants to feel like a fool during the con but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. This exposure and proceedings will surely comeback to bite the hands that has fed this lie to a gullible hopeful nation. Truth to power x

  • Ben

    Don’t mess with English law

    Cromwell disbanded the Monarchy and his thanks was being exhumed, flogged and beheaded by Charles II

    • Astonished

      Thanks for you input Ben – Possibly you think you own Scotland. This trial is under Scots Law.

  • Ciaran Goggins

    Both the SNP and the Murrell’s have the stench of rotting fish about them. They have wasted millions of taxpayers money on failed projects and scams, not forgetting misusing Westminster Aid monies gifted to help businessess and individuals for their own squalid purposes. The SNP need to be disbanded and its leaders arrested for fraud.
    Although I was born in Wales and have no Scottish ancestors I love dressing up in a kilt and and getting off my face on Whisky and eating Haggis and Chips.

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