The World Darkens a Little More: I May Have to Spend Some Time as a Political Prisoner 296

I suspect I should say as little as possible in the next few days. With apologies to The National, I have copied their story out from behind their firewall.


A FORMER diplomat has instructed his lawyers to begin preparations for an appeal to the Supreme Court after learning he had lost a contempt of court case over his reports from the trial of Alex Salmond in March last year.

Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, attended two days of the trial – at which Salmond was found innocent – and sat in the public gallery, later writing about it for his blog.

However, in January he faced a virtual contempt of court hearing before Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk, at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh.

It is now understood that a session for judgement to be delivered will be held at the High Court before Lady Dorrian, Lord Turnbull and Lord Menzies on Thursday – exactly eight weeks after the initial 90-minute hearing.

Sources close to Murray, 62, indicated that he was advised by court staff and his legal team that if he won the case, the judgement would simply be published.

However, if he lost, and particularly if a custodial sentence was probable, there would be a new hearing of the court – which has now been called.

Contempt of court carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and an unlimited fine.

Last month, Clive Thomson, a 52-year-old from Rosyth, was jailed for six months for contempt in the same case.

Murray is expected to stand as a candidate for Action for Independence (AFI) on the Lothians list in May’s Holyrood election.

READ MORE: Craig Murray bids to lead Action For Independence’s list in the Lothians

However, if sentenced to a year or more in jail, he will be disqualified from standing.

Murray was accused of contempt over publications likely to influence the jury and with jigsaw identification of complainants.

His defence argued that if the Crown believed these were likely to influence the jury, then action should have been taken before the trial and not after.

On jigsaw identification, his counsel, John Scott QC, argued that Murray had known the identity of all the complainants for months and had taken care not to give them away.

He argued: “[Murray] was aware of the names of the complainers, even when there was no court order regarding them. But he said it would not be responsible journalism to have named them.

“The Crown appears to say there must be a deliberate campaign to drop enough hints so that the complainers can be identified.

“There is a great deal of evidence showing he was not someone who was fixated on naming the complainers and dropping hints to identify.

“The fact alone is that he knew about the names and if he wanted to name them, he could have done so.”

In the two months between the hearing and judgement, he has said on social media that the delay was taking a toll on his family and on his mental health.

One member of the Murray family told The National: “Objective evidence shows that mainstream media published far more jigsaw identification pieces than Craig and were not prosecuted.”

Asked how Murray felt about the possibility of being jailed, they said: “Well, obviously not happy.

“Nadira and he have a one-month-old son and he’s not in good health nor getting any younger.

“But never underestimate his commitment and principle – he is a lot tougher than he looks.”


I should be grateful if you would now go to the National Website and poke about a bit so they don’t lose any advertising revenue.


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296 thoughts on “The World Darkens a Little More: I May Have to Spend Some Time as a Political Prisoner

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  • Patsy Millar

    Have just sent some money; it’s only a small amount but sent with my very best wishes and hoping that all ends well for you xx

    • james

      i would like to do the same, but only subscription is an option.. would be good if a one time only donation could be made.. it didn’t see that option…. kudos to you patsy… i will do the same…

  • Elizabeth

    So sorry Craig. Can’t really believe it–don’t want to believe this country is so corrupt. So clearly a miscarriage of justice. Who pulls the strings???

    We all know you have boundless courage, so you will be relying on that now, but Is there a crowdfunder for your appeal? I will donate.

    With huge appreciation for all your risk taking, truth telling, and careful analysis, and for fighting for what you believe to be right.

  • Dr John O'Dowd

    What a disgrace the Scottish legal system is. Utterly shaming. I’m sure this will be overturned when some uncorrupt judges examine the facts of this political prosecution.

    Happy to support your crowdfunded.

  • Ruth

    This is a political decision taken by the UK deep state to prevent Craig from leadership in Independence.

    • Shatnersrug

      I don’t think so Ruth – it’s a political decision taken by the corrupt Lord Advocate and his equally corrupt crown office. How can a party member be in charge of the justice system. It’s banana republic stuff.

      This is the (surprisingly) Colonialist SNP in action.

  • Paul Short

    A completely corrupt judgement against you. Clearly – all best wishes for the appeal, and, obviously, sending money now. Right is on your side; you did absolutely the right thing all along the line, so the state, backed up by the SNP leadership, is trying to take you out of the game. But the state doesn’t always get what it wants.

    • Anndra

      Absolutely disgraceful. I would happily donate generously to a go fund me to help support your family over the next period.

  • Astonished

    I am shocked. Best wishes to you and your family. I will contribute to your fundraiser.

    That Scotland has come to this under the SNP frightens and shocks me. I do hope lady dorrian understands that this is not the end of the matter.

    Best I say no more regarding lady dorrian

  • Simon

    “You’ll never take away our Freedo….oh”

    North and South of the border, things are looking very dark indeed.

  • Grouser

    How appalling that it is the Scottish Government and Scottish legal system that put this farce in motion. Where does the buck stop in this case? There is an urgent need for a clear out at the top levels of Scottish Government and Scottish legal system.
    If there is a need for further funding to fight an adverse decision I am sure there will be a positive response.
    Best wishes.

  • Nally Anders

    This is an OUTRAGE, a political decision had been made. The skies darken for us all in Scotland today.
    Thank you for the light you shine into the dark corners across the globe.
    Happy to add to your fighting fund.

  • SA

    Sorry to hear this. An obvious miscarriage of justice. But I am no lawyer. Would it be possible for someone legally minded and conversant with facts to start a petition to highlight this injustice? I am sure that it would be signed by all those who comment here and should raise the profile of this selective prosecution of one person, whereas the same ‘crime’ was also committed by larger news organizations.

    • DunGroanin

      Mass public protest across the whole U.K. with graffiti on motorway bridges and vigils at the prison is the ‘peaceful’ First Response.

      Reaction to the ensuing enforcement to stop such a peaceful decrying of the corruption of justice – is the Second Response.

      That is Judo. And the Hidden State is about to discover that the traps it lays are what they will be so spectacularly and speedily undone by. Once the people make up their mind and hit the streets – it will be game over for the Corrupt.

  • Ian

    Sorry to hear this, Craig. I have no doubt this is exactly what you say – a political trial. You have made very clear that there is no jigsaw identification in your reports. My assumption is that they are working on some kind of flimsy application of disrepute, contempt or other vague claim, since they obviously cannot stomach satire which sailed too close to the bone for them. I am also of the opinion, since the Scot Gov have shown their merciless pursuit of people who merely question them (while ignoring all others, and leaking selectively to the MSM), that they want to silence you and most of all, stop you standing as a candidate in May. This is a measure of how perverted the SNP junta have become – their assumption of power to both collude and frame an innocent man, and then attack all and sundry who expose it, is beyond anything any of us could have imagined coming out of Scotland in this day and age.
    Without you, we would not have known of much of this chicanery and perversion of justice, and for that we must remain eternally grateful. I still retain hope that a higher court will apply justice and not be swayed by the political requirements of the administration. It is contemptible what has happened in this entire case. But rest assured you will have many friends and supporters who will support you, wherever they are on the political spectrum. It is a grotesque farce, worthy of Kafka, and a measure of how desperate they are to cover up what they have done. Their war on truth and the right of voters to know what their elected representatives have done must never succeed.

  • Robert Dyson

    “However, if sentenced to a year or more in jail, he will be disqualified from standing”. That must be the core of it. Would it apply to a suspended sentence?

    • Laszlo

      It’s an extremely good point. Russia’s Navalny has been accused of crime (save the farcical) in order to “be disqualified from standing” (against Putyin). Any resemblance?

  • Roger Gough

    Even folk like me, living well South of the border, can only feel outrage if such a sentence is handed down. I’ll willingly contribute to a defence fund. As a token gesture, my drink of choice will no longer be Scotch whiskey. Do North Korea distil a similar product.

  • Margaret+Eleftheriou

    Dear Mr Murray
    You have been and are a light shining in a very dark place. You are speaking for many of us who for reasons of geography, age, lack of technical knowhow, etc., cannot do much in person. Is there any way that we can help to galvanize support for you?
    Please set up a crowdfunder asap, as that is the least and the first step. I am heartsick.

    • Franc

      Hopefully Alex Salmond can give this an airing on his RT show. Extra funds will be sent by myself in the near future.

  • T

    So opaque allusions on some obscure blog definitely influenced the jury in the Salmond case, yet very open identifications across mass media most definitely did not ….

    What more evidence is needed that you are the victim of a politically-motivated revenge hit and that the Scottish legal system is corrupt to the core? The judgement is indefensible but is another indication of what Scotland is under Murrellism.

  • Martin Kernick

    Much love and respect to you Mr Murray. Corruption seems to be winning at the moment. Keep strong and stick to your principles.

  • Barry Rankin

    All too predictable I’m afraid.
    A glaring travesty that will be recogised for what it is well beyond the shores of Scotland.
    Keep the faith Craig.

  • Graham

    This is insane. I thought they were going for scare tactics, but jail time?! He didn’t do anything wrong, I’ve read the blog, I still don’t know any of the false accusers names. He reported facts plainly and fairly and was stitched up, I have little doubt that it was corruption.

    Time for that civil disobedience after all. Does anyone have ideas on what we can do?

    • Jimmeh

      Ideas on what we can do:

      I finally gave up on parliamentary democracy when they monstered Jeremy Corbyn. So my idea is: tear it all down, and start again. Hang the corrupt politicians from lampposts, as a warning to others. Build new institutions that have broad popular support.

      It’s too bad that the SNP has turned out to be such a nest of snakes. Scotland needs a new independence party (and England needs a new labour party).

      I’m not an instinctive revolutionary; but when your supposed allies attack you, you can either (1) accept the slings and arrows, or (2) you can fight back and try to destroy them. I’m for (2).

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Outrageous but sadly not unexpected. The depth of corruption in Sturgeon’s Stasi state is plainly visible to anyone with eyes to see.
    That which calls itself the press in Scotland is beyond redemption. This terrible development will gain traction on an international level (Consortium, WSWS and the Tory English press (for their own partisan purposes)). Sadly, Sturgeon and her craven cult will ride out the shame that their actions have brought upon our nation.
    Where the legal avenues for justice are closed by our corrupt COPFS time to take to the streets.

  • Jockanese Wind Talker

    Bastards the whole corrupt lot of them!

    I posited on a previous thread that the decision was taking overly long to prevent you standing for election in Holyrood 2021, and if you announced you were intending to seek election that they’d make the decision that you’d committed CoC to prevent you being elected.

    Stay strong Craig and know that an awful lot of people support you.

    If they are stupid enough to jail you they should expect “Free Scotland’s Political Prisoner” demonstrations at Holyrood and Bute House.

    I wonder if The National will cover this outrage with a front page splash like they did when Spain jailed Catalan Independence Supporters or will they continue to ignore Scottish Establishment crimes and corruption?

  • Kenny

    All of our best wishes are with you, Craig, let’s hope the appeal to the Supreme Court is successful.
    I have much more I could offer here, but I’m seething with the anger of injustice and am concerned about being apprehended by a gang of thugs: the Scotland under Sturgeon’s jack-boot.

    One uplifting (for us!) fact; should they send you to prison – with the world watching – you’ll join a long list of heroes and martyrs who instantly yielded more power and influence as a result.
    Keep well, dude.

  • Runner77

    It seems that the Scottish political elite, having invested in corruption so far that they cannot retreat, have decided to go for broke.

    This is absolutely outrageous, and as despicable as any Soviet-era legal corruption. We will support you as far as is necessary to overturn this abominable judgement . . .

  • David G

    The ECHR recently swooped with notable alacrity into the Navalny case, but I don’t think it would be healthy to hold one’s breath waiting for the same here.

  • John

    Open and shut case, you did nothing wrong and I think the powers that be probably just want to make this clear in the current climate where alleged criminal conspiracies are jumping out from under every stone that is lifted in Scotland.

  • yesindyref2

    Wife and kids first.

    Politics including Independence second.

    Nobody can give you better advice than that. Get your head out of the mad bubble.

    • vin_ot

      You encapsulate the distinct character of the Scottish independence movement…. Scorland the brave.

    • Twirlip

      Strange how both of the comments you have posted strike a moralistic tone, and neither of them says a word against this legal decision.

    • Allan

      Very sound advice, yesindyref2.
      I sincerely hope that a custodial sentence is not imposed.
      The conspiracy theory posters on this site (most of whom have no relationship with Scotland) have not been friends to Craig.
      But hey, now add James Hamilton to your list.

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