Craig Murray Documents Abuse of Process, aka Kangaroo Court, via Butchered Indictment

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Yves here. Because we are a tiny website, we concentrate our limited resources on topics where we have or can develop an information advantage. The perverse prosecution of Craig Murray, where the real offense seems to be that Murray is a vocal friend of Julian Assange might normally seem to best covered in Links. However, this case shows how little the officialdom in the UK cares about respecting due process when they want to get their man, even when “their man” has some stature.

Since political keelhauling techniques, like whipping up charges of anti-Semitism, have a funny way of crossing the pond, this situation bears watching. And Craig Murray needs help with his legal defense, so if you could chip in a few bucks, that would help too. You can find instructions on how to do so at the bottom of this page.

By Craig Murray, author, broadcaster, human rights activist, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan and former Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. Originally published at his website

Well, it is really happening. It is something of a shock to see yourself listed as a criminal for writing the truth. I have a tiny extra glimpse now into the way my friend Julian has been feeling.

Three appeal court judges even at the procedural hearing – though not unheard of, that is not normal. The state is sparing no resources on this; in a sense I am flattered.

There will be no jury at the eventual trial, and this worries me. Not least because the indictment (called a “petition”) contains within itself evidence that this process is a stitch up. Please help me here, and read paras 49 to 56 of the indictment after reading this explanation.

Para 49 of the indictment is an utter garble. It states that I sent a twitter message beginning “It is respectfully submitted…”.

I sent no such twitter message. Para 50 is missing. This is not a misnumbering, para 50 really is missing. I assume my twitter message, intended to be quoted at para 49, and whatever led in to the Crown’s argument beginning “it is respectively submitted” were in the missing section.


At para 53 the same thing happens again. It explicitly states that I published another tweet starting: “it is respectfully submitted that”.

I published no such tweet. Again the indictment does not give the actual text of the tweet complained of, even though it claims to do so. This time two paragraphs are clearly missing, and again this is not just a misnumbering, because of the missing material. It jumps from 53 to 56.

In short, the indictment from paras 49 to 56 is an inoperable jumble, with three paras missing from two different locations and which does not even contain – though it states it does – the very tweets which form part of the alleged offence with which I am charged.

You may argue this does not matter, and clerical errors are easily corrected. But that is to miss the point. I used to prepare official documents in my 20 year diplomatic career, from ministerial replies to members of the public to fully fledged international treaties.

A Diplomatic Note to a foreign government, which has a legal status, might be the best comparator from my work to this indictment or petition. I always scrupulously proof read every one I sent before signing. It is unthinkable that a Diplomatic Note would be sent containing not one but a series of major, material errors.

Is this document any less solemn? It is an indictment on which they are attempting to brand me a criminal and potentially send me to prison for up to two years. It is signed by Alex Prentice, Depute Advocate General on behalf of the Lord Advocate, and by the senior judge, Lord Turnbull.

But one thing is abundantly clear. Neither Alex Prentice nor Lord Turnbull can have carefully read through the document before they signed it. I do not believe for one moment that they would knowingly sign off a document containing such major errors. The judge, in particular, is meant to weigh carefully the matter to see if there really is a case to answer before he signs the Crown’s “petition”. But, I say it again, plainly Lord Turnbull has not actually read through it; or he would never have signed this garbled mess.

I am advised that it may be “contempt of court” for me to point out that Lord Turnbull signed this without reading it. But when a law makes it illegal to point out a blindingly obvious fact, then the law is an ass.

If Lord Turnbull does not wish to be criticised, he should try doing his job properly and actually paying attention to what he signs.

Contempt is the right word. I have a great deal of contempt for anybody who would send me such a portentous legal document rotten through with utterly careless error which would have been spotted by even a cursory reading of the document.

They did not read it. The judge who approved it did not read it.

Neither of them bothered to read the indictment or petition because it had already been decided to “get” Craig Murray and it therefore did not matter what the document actually said. The content of the charges is immaterial to them. Otherwise, they would have read them before signing. There can only be two reasons for that failure. The first is incompetence. The second is corruption. In a sense, it does not matter which it is in this case.

A state which is turning to authoritarianism to crush dissent does not need to be very careful about matters of process.

The failure of both Prentice and Turnbull to read before signing is not important for the mistakes in the document, which can be remedied by a new document. It is important because of the clear indication of attitude. This prosecution is abuse of process, a clear Article Six violation under the European Convention on Human Rights.

A series of facts make this abundantly plain. The abuse of process lies in this combined with the extraordinary selectivity in prosecuting me, when others who can be objectively proven to have much more effectively produced “jigsaw identification” are not prosecuted. There is a very clear political motivation behind the selection of who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.

When you put together the facts that there is overwhelming evidence that mainstream media journalists were more guilty of “jigsaw identification” than I, that systematic police action is being taken to harass only supporters of Alex Salmond, and that they don’t even care what the indictment to be used against me actually says, the overall picture becomes very, very clear.

Authoritarianism doesn’t have to worry about mistakes in the indictment, because it can just smash you in the face with the jackboot. That is what is happening here.

My own view is that they were so keen to “get” Craig Murray they just signed without any proper scrutiny whatsoever. I don’t see any other conclusion. Do you?

They do not have the excuse that this is routine. Major prosecutions for contempt in Scotland are extremely rare – the last one was Aamer Anwar about a decade ago (it failed).

So why could the state be so keen to prosecute Craig Murray, that is doesn’t even care what is in the indictment, or even if it is drawn up with the most basic level of competence? Well, I refer you to this excellent letter setting out the fact that the state is only acting against those who defended the innocent Alex Salmond, even though his detractors were much more in contempt of court. And I refer you to the Panelbase opinion poll which showed that very substantially more people who know the identities of the accusers, learnt them from the mainstream media.

I remain clear that I identified nobody. If I had wanted to, I would have done so openly. I have never been noted for cowardice.

The other accusation, that I wrote articles stating that the prosecution of Alex Salmond was a fit-up, is something I state again here. It is a proper exercise of my freedom of speech under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Actually, you don’t have to go past the very first sentence of the indictment to understand what is happening here. It reads “On 23 January 2019, Alexander Elliott Anderson Salmond was arrested by police officers in relation to a number of incidents that had taken place in Scotland.”

“That had taken place”.
Not “alleged to have taken place”.
“That had taken place”.
And Prentice wrote this, and Turnbull signed it off, after the acquittal.

After independent witnesses gave eye witness accounts that several of the incidents had not taken place at all. After it was demonstrated in court that the accuser of the most serious offence was not even present when she claimed the offence took place.

After the jury threw out the pile of ordure that the very same Alex Prentice as prosecuting counsel presented to them.

“That had taken place”. No, most of the incidents had not taken place at all, and none in the form alleged.

Right at the start, this wording gives away the motivation. The conspirators have still not psychologically processed the fact their attack on Alex Salmond was foiled by the jury. The Crown is now coming at Mark Hirst and at me in an effort to get some kind of victory from this massive waste of public resources. The conspirators seek to assuage their massive humiliation in the failure of a prosecution that stank and quite obviously ought never to have been brought.

I am not going to pipe down under this abuse of process and attack on freedom of speech. On the contrary, this will be a reasoned, forceful and very public resistance.

TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP

The hearing on 10 June is supposed to be public, but it will be virtual because of coronavirus. While it is a case management hearing, I shall nevertheless be grateful if you are able to “attend” virtually, as I am very keen indeed that I am not stitched up out of the public eye. Please send an email requesting access to the virtual hearing on 10 June to judicialcomms@scotcourts.gov.uk. I am very keen as many people do this as possible. Journalists please in addition copy in communications@scotcourts.gov.uk for accreditation.

Secondly, many people come to this blog through social media and I am currently suffering a very high level of suppression, on Facebook and especially on Twitter. Rather than just retweet and share any soical media post that brought you here, (which may appear on the face to have worked but the dissemination will be suppressed), I would be very grateful if you could also write your own new posting and put a link. If you have your own blog or access to one, a commendation of this post with a link would be very welcome, even if it is not your normal policy. And finally of course, the entire post is free as always to copy, republish and translate as you wish.

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40 comments

  1. John A

    While Craig Murray is a staunch defender and supporter of Assange, this case in more about crushing the possibility of Scottish independence, of which Murray is a strong advocate.
    The long time leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, Alex Salmond, who also happens to have criticised NATO, the destruction of Yugoslavia, invasion of Iraq and other establishment causes, not to mention appearing on Russia Today, was set up by the establishment on bogus sexual harassment charges. His trial was in the spring. All the mainstream media had basically found him guilty beforehand and their courtroom coverage reflected this. Murray was initially refused accreditation to attend the trial on the spurious grounds that he was not a ‘proper journalist’, but was granted access on appeal. He produced a daily report on events, and was extremely careful to avoid any accusations of contempt of court. It was clear from his reports, that the entire trial was a set up, and the jury duly found Salmond not guilty, much to the disgust of the powers that be. Incidentally, after several daily reports Murray was again excluded from the court, for reasons of providing information, not propaganda.
    The accusers, were a number of women, named A, B, C, D etc. and collectively as the alphabet sisters, to retain their anonymity. It was crystal clear that not only were they lying, but also colluding together. Bottom line is that Murray has been accused of contempt of court on the alleged grounds that people could identify the alphabet sisters from the jigsaw pieces that Murray provided in his blog. Ironically, various mainstream media journalists had provided far more identifying clues than Murray, but nobody but him is being prosecuted.
    Obviously, his support for Assange has put him in the black book as it were, but the main issue here is to crush any pro independence reporting. The whole thing not only stinks to high heaven, but if it goes to trial, it will be in front of a judge, with no jury.
    On a different note, Boris Johnson’s chief advisor, has just been outed as breaking the travel related coronavirus lockdown to visit his parents 250 miles away when he was ill with the virus. Remarkably, his chief defender on twitter is the BBC political correspondent.

    Reply
    1. John Zelnicker

      @John A
      May 23, 2020 at 6:13 am
      ——-

      Thank you for providing the context for this perversion of the judicial process.

      Like me, I suspect many of the commenters here at NC have not been closely following the Alex Salmond case and Murray’s reporting from the court. For obvious reasons, the mainstream media has kept this whole thing under wraps.

      I’m going to request access to the hearing, even though it will be 4:00 am here (if I did the math right). I have learned a lot from reading some of Murray’s posts about Assange and other issues and have a tremendous respect for him and his work.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I think you are confusing pretexts with causes. Scottish independence is going nowhere. It was solidly defeated with very high turnout in 2014. The SNP has dropped it. Scotland with no North Sea oil (and now no tourism) is not viable as an independent state. You will see from Northern Ireland what imposing hard border will do to a not-self-sustaining economy.

      I am sure this is about Assange. The Assange case also features grotesque procedural abuses, like keeping him in cage in court, as if he were Hannibal Lecter, so he can barely hear the trial proceedings and can’t confer with his lawyers. The conditions of his detention were a human rights abuse, as Murray also called out.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        While I agree that Scottish nationalism is going nowhere by now – the SNP has missed every ship leaving port, I would not underestimate the loathing of the Scottish establishment for true believers in Independence. Loyalism, as a cultural identity, is very powerful within the Scottish establishment – a relatively well brought middle class radical like Murray is seen as a traitor in every sense of the word to many.

        When you combine this with the mainstream SNP’s desire to rid itself of those most troublesome of politicians – those who actually mean what they say – then thats a potent brew of personal animosity which will be directed at Salmond and supporters like Murray. It reminds me a little of the early days of Irish independence when there was a truly vicious backlash by ‘mainstream’ nationalists (the ones who joined the parade just in time to declare themselves the winners), against the idealists. It was more than just politics, it was very personal.

        Reply
      2. John A

        Let’s agree to disagree, Yves. Salmond was ousted and replaced by a woman who is far more concerned with social justice issues than independence. There are signficant grounds to consider that the 2014 referendum was ‘helped’ to deliver the establishment result. Craig Murray and others are fighting hard for independence and to get the SNP back to its core goal of independence. (I leave aside the viability or otherwise of Scotland as an independent nation, that is an issue for another day.)
        Yes, the Assange case is disgusting and outrageous, both judicially and from a human rights and human decency perspective. The judge is clearly a tool of the establishment.
        But, for the reasons I gave earlier, this case is very much about crushing independence, not Assange, of which Craig Murray is but one of many voices publicising Assange’s conditions.
        As it is, Johnson has already conceded that the border between N Ireland and the EU will be the Irish Sea, NI, Wales and Scotland increasingly see England as a London centric dictator that they want to be free of. There is a huge amount to play for in the entire Brexit tram smash, not least the unitedness of the British Isles.

        Reply
      3. paul

        Scottish independence is going nowhere.

        Hardly, support for independence has consistently around 50% for at least the last couple of years.
        It’s hard to see that rising without leadership and campaigning, both of which the SNP, as is, recoils from.
        While I don’t think nationhood requires an economic case, far less resourced countries around us seem to do just fine.

        Right now, with this UK government, it doesn’t look very viable within the union.

        I agree with you both, it’s about independence and Assange.
        Assange alone, seeing has he has been chillingly erased from mainstream discussion, does not seem sufficient to me.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          “Far less resourced countries”? Please name. Ireland has gotten by via being a tax haven, tourism, and getting EU agricultural subsidies.

          https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/11/how-ireland-became-an-offshore-financial-center.html

          The reason its GDP per capita didn’t collapse is that emigration rose post crisis:

          Ireland’s experience in the 19th century has implications not only for today, but specifically for modern Ireland. Ireland never really recovered from the great famine. It had net emigration for the rest of the 19th century and most of the 20th century. According to Martin Ruhs of University of Oxford: “In 1996, Ireland reached its migration ‘turning point,’ making it the last EU Member State to become a country of net immigration”. With the onset of the Euro crisis, unemployment in Ireland reached well above 10% and stayed there. As a result, net emigration has returned to Ireland according to the last migration estimates produced by the Central Statistics Office (click to enlarge).

          https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/07/nathan-tankus-marx-on-ireland-then-and-now.html

          Given EU procedures, it would take Scotland years to join the EU. As Chris Grey has written at length, small countries need to be in trading blocs. How does Scotland get by?

          https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en

          Reply
          1. paul

            If you want:
            Denmark
            Sweden
            Iceland
            Faroe Islands (just about completely independent)

            Norway has the same amount of oil, though its nationalised

            Scotland has hydro,wind,water,food,fisheries booze and oil plus a reasonably well organised, if imperfect, civil society.

            It’s a reasonable enough starting point.

            Probably better than most of the 50 odd countries that have left england over the years.
            The 50 odd that decided never to go back.

            As for trading blocs, the devolved governments have tried as hard as it can to be good neighbours. EFTA might be a start.

            The EU, we are already harmonised as a subsidiary member, so it should be simpler than most. Donald Tusk said we would be welcome a few months ago.

            We’ll be out of any trading bloc by this time next year anyway, and on the trading block for the US. So it’s hobson’s choice.

            We have no choice whatsoever if you remain in the union.

            I would prefer to retain an NHS, which does not look likely under a US unibilateral deal the ERG want.

            Are these things ever easy?
            (answer: not usually but at least once, former czechoslovakia)

            Choose your shitstorm, I say.

            Reply
          2. PlutoniumKun

            Just one correction Yves – Ireland actually runs a net deficit in tourism, although the industry is hugely important regionally. Agriculture is very important net of EU subsidies, mostly as the Irish ag industry is very good at adding value to base products (while simultaneously destroying the quality of those products, but thats another story).

            Also, the demographic reversal as mentioned in Nathan Tankus’s article has been comprehensively reversed since then. Those figures are, I think, huge underestimates for a variety of reasons.

            As those articles indicate, the benefits to Ireland of its tax status wasn’t in skimming off the top, as with most tax shelters, but it was to massively improve per person productivity in the ‘imported’ industries. This, along with a demographic boom, was I think the key reason for the Celtic Tiger. While the banking presence is largely ‘nameplate’ presences, the activities in Ireland of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc., are very real, they are massive employers, and generally of more highly paid staff.

            But it is true I think that Scotland has missed the boat to a large extent – the Irish model, such as it is, isn’t really available anymore, either within or outside the EU. But that said, there are other successful models, such as Portugal (a country which has had a remarkable renaissance in the past decade or so), as well as Denmark and Finland, and the more successful Eastern European models such as the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

            The question Scottish people must ask themselves I think is whether the undoubted economic hit that a contentious exit from the UK would cause is all that much greater than the hit of being tied to a UK led by the wise counsel of Johnson and his crew – it seems increasingly likely that they’ll be in charge for many years to come. I don’t think its an enviable choice.

            I’ve often said that Scotland will be independent eventually not because of Scottish nationalism, but because of English nationalism. I’ve not seen much recently to change my mind.

            Reply
            1. paul

              Cheers PK,
              you made my lost in modspace reply far more elegantly.
              As I said, it’s better to choose your own shitstorm, and nothing good comes out of westminster these days.

              Reply
      4. Kurt Sperry

        It looks to me like the attempt was never serious. They dodged the question of what currency an independent Scotland would use with vague hand-waving about continuing using the GBP without UK consent, or fantasies about being warmly being brought into the EZ fold. That suggests nobody had really even thought the process through, even superficially, prior to the referendum.

        Reply
        1. paul

          That was an error.
          It was discussed but the leadership crapped out on that one.
          The scottish government was not blessed with advisors who had updated their economic thinking in the last 100 years.

          Reply
  2. PlutoniumKun

    Two general points – this is one of the reasons why the Tories (and some Labour establishment folks) were so keen to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (which Brexiters continually confused with the EU, despite it being entirely separate). This was the only ‘higher’ set of rights for UK citizens, as the UK lacks a proper written constitution. If ever there was a definitive reason why the UK needs such a constitution, this is it. Written constitutions are not perfect, but they do operate to restrict such blatant examples of judicial/administrative authoritarianism.

    The second is that bad and all as this is – the UK still has a functioning judiciary. There is currently, very slowly, a series of legal battles involving internment in the early 1970’s running through the system. Essentially, thousands of catholics were interned without trial (plus a few loyalists, when London realised that it looked bad internationally that only catholics were being locked up). The problem for the government is that the law on internment stated that every case had to be considered individually. Half a century later, its become apparent that this did not happen, hundreds were just swept up on suspicion and locked up in makeshift concentration camps. But Gerry Adams recently won a court case which established the precedent that all surviving internees can claim compensation if it can’t be demonstrated that the Secretary of State signed off the internment order. So, nearly 50 years later, there is some justice. It would seem to me that the precedent set by Gerry Adams is applicable here – the Scottish Office hasn’t even made an attempt to follow proper procedures. Lets hope it won’t take 50 years for Craig Murray to see justice.

    Reply
  3. paul

    It’s both. Westminster and the Murrells’ Court (Nicola is First Minister, leader of the party and her husband chief executive) have common cause.

    First, the most effective antagonist to the union is hated by the Court and the UK establishment, and the only person to actually document the winning defence case (completely ignored by the press and broadcast media), is a thorn in the side of the latter.

    He’s been tearing everyone,in his gentle way, from the harry dunn conspirators to the new labour counter-reformationists, a new one, as well as supporting Julian Assange.

    The Court is where the trial charges emerged from and the only place Police Scotland’s indulgently resourced investigation found anything to bring proceedings.

    Second, the current SNP leadership is about as keen on independence as westminster and quite content to busy themselves cobbling together terrible, and deeply authoritarian, gender reform and hate crime bills.

    A former SNP insider, Mark Hirst, is also being vindictively prosecuted for a twitter video suggesting there will be consequences for the Court’s actions.

    Took him all of 5 days to raise his defence fund.

    All quite exciting here at the moment, but also terribly depressing.

    Reply
  4. Tom Stone

    If enough people Email the Court to request access to the hearing it could provoke an amusing and revealing response.
    I shall certainly do so.

    Reply
      1. cnchal

        > . . . Please send an email requesting access to the virtual hearing on 10 June to

        judicialcomms at scotcourts.gov.uk.

        Reply
  5. Edward

    If this is the best answer of the British state to the Scottish Independence movement they are in trouble.

    Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    This indictment is so obviously flawed that it would warrant an appeal on the basis of its incompleteness and I am sure that the prosecutors must realize this. I can only conclude then that the whole purpose it to remove Craig Murray from the field of play for a few years and to exhaust his financial resources. Even if he is found innocent eventually and is awarded substantial damages, it is not like the prosecutors are going to have to personally pay him for it nor will they lose their jobs. People like that are always taken care of by the establishment. And this sort of cowboy law system also serves to warn off other people thinking of crossing the establishment as well.

    Reply
  7. Tom

    The US dominated UK establishment is just pulling a page from the American political/legal playbook: cripple political enemies and other unworthiness with endless prosecutions and legal fees. Quite effective. The very effective demonization of the former Labour leader is also another Americanization. Reduce all politics to teenage, in crowd/outcrowd personality contests and ignore policy. Works perfectly in Murica. That retrograde behavior is a sure sign of collapse.

    Reply
    1. dcrane

      Yet Chelsea Manning’s quarter million dollars in accrued contempt fines were easily paid in a few days on a crowdsourcing site. Makes me wonder how long before they ban this route for the ordinary person to interfere with the power of the state to intimidate.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Manning has a huge public “footprint” to increase her effectiveness. What about all the Guantanamo detainees who have languished in ‘durance vile’ for decades now? Who will even know what a ‘Go fund Me’ in one of their names was for, or even care? This ‘privatization’ of the judicial process, (the best law money can buy,) is at root a form of inequality in action.
        All I’ll say about this process is that, if some joker named ‘ambrit’ were to be hauled up before a judge and charged with “disrespect for his betters,” how large of a ‘Go Fund Me’ would there end up being?
        The point here is that the State’s treatment of the small actors is where the real crimes will be committed.
        Bernie Madoff cheated a bunch of rich people out of their money. He went to prison.
        The FIRE sector cheated five million families out of their homes. No one went to jail.

        Reply
  8. Chris Darling

    Note to Craig Murray: Your appeal for help only makes sense after I read the first two comments by readers. Once I did, it became clear that the UK establishment is out to get you. I hope they fail.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      The commentariat has its uses. That’s why Yves and Lambert put up with us. And Jules – Hi, Jules. Thanks for your work.

      Oh, yes: I don’t see an appeal for funds or a place to send them in his text. Is it needed, or am I blind?

      Reply
      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

        I also missed the appeal for funds the first time around. Click on this link at the bottom of the second paragraph of the post: at the bottom of this page.

        Reply
    2. dcrane

      Fwiw, Craig’s website is a running series of posts on this and other topics, which is probably why this essay reads like it lacks context when brought here in isolation. I have been following his blog so the post made sense. John A.’s reply above helps a lot.

      Reply
    1. RBHoughton

      You have the word for it JEHR – decrepid.

      In better days there was Sir Thomas Erskine to uphold the majesty of the common law and mesmerise the entire population with his clear vision of how things should be. Where is he today? The Bar, from whence Judges are sourced in UK, has collapsed under the threat of money. Barristers advertise some practices to suggest how fair they are – the cab rank rule, for example – but the rule is not actually practiced. A rich defendant appears and the entire chambers clamours for the job.

      I used to doubt that French Revolutionary thing “kill all the lawyers” but today, what is transparently apparent is that the confusion of governments in North America and Europe is created by the endless alternatives those lawyers littering the legislature dream up. Throw them away. Fill parliament with engineers, scientists, problem solvers and allow government to steer the ship of state with ease and certainty.

      Reply
  9. timotheus

    Very glad you are disseminating this gross abuse of power. I have been following it at his blog and so was familiar with the details. What is left of the Me Too movement could benefit from seeing how easy it is to railroad someone with this sort of accusation when the courts are complicit, and it will come as no surprise, once the appropriate target is chosen, to see all the Biden defenders immediately switch gears and go back on the woke warpath.

    Reply
  10. dcrane

    I looked up the first of the missing tweets, the 29 March one (the timestamp seems off, but one of the responses matches one cited in the indictment).

    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1244286188523061248

    I can see where the state is coming from. Murray did provide several pieces of information that considerably narrowed down the possibilities for those willing to look through Scottish government, for one accuser at least. The responses to his tweet cited (if we assume they were genuine) help demonstrate this.

    Here’s the thing: Murray provided this information as essential context for criticizing public statements made in support of the trial by a government-funded advocacy group, one funded through the actions of one of the accusers (if I understand his post). In other words, good reporting in the public interest.

    To accept that this cannot be allowed is to argue that political analysis and criticism of a state’s legal action can take place only in front of the jury in that trial, with presumably the further restriction that those jurors are not allowed to speak of the criticism outside the court.

    This is one reason why sex harassment accusers should not be granted anonymity, much as I sympathize with the difficulty of bringing such accusations. (I sent some money for Craig’s defense a couple weeks ago when he first began asking.)

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The other point is the one made in Murray’s post: that other journalists published even more revealing information about the accusers.

      Reply
      1. paul

        Unfortunately, this not an avenue for the defence.

        From Craig:

        my lawyers advise that for me to say others were guilty of jigsaw identification is not a defence, any more than if I were to rob a bank it would be a defence to say somebody else did it too.

        But it does illustrate the extremely selective nature of this jury free prosecution.

        Most people I have seen online who claim to have identified the complainants refer to a guardian article by severin carrell and one, which Craig referred to and has bizarrely become part of his prosecution, by dani garavelli in the well funded ‘new media’ greenwashing startup the tortoise.

        Fortunately, neither of these criticised the prosecutor of the Salmond case in their reporting, so they are unlikely to be troubled by the plod.

        That prosecutor is alex prentice, the same man who signed the indictment Craig faces.

        The form of the case will also please the current SNP bunker, as it reflects their own practice with members and leaders found wanting in their eyes.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please don’t insinuate that I said things I never said. “Mommy, he did it too!” doesn’t work for toddlers either.

          The reason for mentioning it is to provide information that confirms the notion that the prosecution is about getting Murray, and not about getting the parties the allegedly compromised the identity of the witnesses.

          Reply
          1. paul

            I meant no criticism of you.

            I consider unfortunate because

            a: I do not equate armed robbery with freedom of speech.

            b: If this was in front of a jury, I’m sure it could would be considered a reasonable argument to them.

            …and I agreed with you on the importance of it.

            Reply
  11. JTMcPhee

    Maybe the missing indictment paragraphs were obscured under the umbrella spread of the Official Secrets Act which is so officially secret that its effective parts, as applied here, can only be ready by people with the Official Secrets Decoder Ring. “The text is there, but you do not have official clearance to see it.”

    We used to have “umbras” and “penumbras” that “emanated” from the US Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, but those were all in favor of human and personal rights. That stuff has been blown away by the fresh winds of “strict construction originalist” gasbags who’ve managed to get appointed to the Supreme and other high courts in the US.

    Murray’s recitation reminds me of Yossarian’s education on the operation of Catch-22:

    There was only one catch and that was Catch-22. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.”
    Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle….

    ‘That’s some catch, that Catch-22,’ he observed.

    ‘It’s the best there is,’ Doc Daneeka agreed.

    Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness. There was an elliptical precision about its perfect pairs of parts that was graceful and shocking, like good modern art, and at times Yossarian wasn’t quite sure he saw it at all, just the way he was never quite sure about good modern art or about the flies Orr saw in Appleby’s eyes. he had Orr’s word to take for Appleby’s eyes.

    Also reminiscent of a number of Russian authors’ descriptions of “soviet justice.”

    Here’s hoping Murray survives this assault.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Nope. The missing paragraphs include tweets by Murry. They are public information.

      And this is a public trial. All the charges are, or ought to be, public. Otherwise a basic violation of process because the defendant can’t respond to secret charges.

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        Hmmm…There is bad precedent there, the English did have the Star Chamber, and still have a mostly unwritten constitution, if one can refer to the English (British) System as having a constitution in any form.

        I point to Assange’s treatment as an example of Britain’s “due process” and an “Independent Judiciary.”

        or Turing’s treatment by the UK establishment.

        Reply

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