Looking to London for Liberation!

How deeply ironic and disgraceful that a Scottish nationalist blogger needs to appeal to a court in the British capital to delay being put behind bars! Judges at the High Court in Edinburgh today refused leave to appeal the contempt of court finding made against Craig Murray. Thankfully, the UK Supreme Court still allows people to appeal directly to it in these circumstances. Consequently, Lady Dorrian and her colleagues agreed to continue Mr Murray’s bail for a further month for him to make such an application. “We understand that it is the applicant’s intention to seek to apply for leave directly to the UKSC,” she stated in her written decision. “In the circumstances we will suspend the warrant for a further four weeks.” If Mr Murray and his legal team fail in that short timeframe to secure what they need, the former ambassador will be going to jail for eight months for blogs he posted about the Alex Salmond trial. 

In Sturgeon’s Scotland we must all be grateful for small mercies. Mr Murray is a 62-year-old father of two young boys (one of them a three-month-old baby) and suffers from severe health conditions. In an emotional open letter to the High Court judge presiding over the case, his wife Nadira said sending him to prison would be a “deliberate death sentence”.  So it will be a blessed relief to her that his incarceration has been put off to allow him and his legal team leave to apply direct to the Supreme Court to hear an appeal. Basically, the blogger has been granted a further four weeks’ suspension of the warrant for his imprisonment.

When the defence advocate Roddy Dunlop QC first signalled that they wanted to go down this legal route, he was told that any appeal would need to be to the nobile officium, an ad hoc court unique to Scotland which only ever comes into play where no other appeal route could be taken. Mr Dunlop considered such an action completely pointless. In the words of a contributor to his client’s much followed site, “Murray’s legal team effectively decided to break for the border and get the case out of corrupt Edinburgh.” 

Craig Murray has been granted only interim liberation

Lady Dorrian has only granted interim liberation so that the rebel blogger can take his case to the Supreme Court. As I understand it, that forum does not itself have power to grant liberation. Still, at least we have a higher judiciary to which an appeal can be brought.

The entire process over which the Lord Justice Clerk has presided in the case of HMA v Craig Murray has been unbelievably winding and torturous. Lady Dorrian allowed an eight week passage of time post trial before passing judgement, followed by another six weeks before sentencing (just after the outcome of the Holyrood election by total coincidence). The sentence she eventually delivered was widely regarded as disproportionate for the vague offence of “jigsaw identification” of some of Mr Salmond’s accusers. A crime that by its very nature could not possibly have been committed by only one publication (see my post titled Completing the Craig Murray Jigsaw).

The responsibility for the instigation of this whole sorry saga lies not with any High Court judge but with Scotland’s state prosecutors. They are headed up by the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, who is also the Scottish Government’s chief legal adviser and a member of its Cabinet. Given that the Crown Office under his command had to issue another public apology yesterday for undertaking malicious prosecutions – this time to Rangers chief executive Charles Green and finance chief Imran Ahmad – little wonder Mr Wolffe has signalled that he will be exiting office soon.

Today also saw Kenny MacAskill, Alba MP for East Lothian, tabling the following, much-needed, motion in the House of Commons:

That this House believes that the dual role of the Lord Advocate in Scotland, whereby they are both senior government legal adviser and head of the prosecution service, is entirely inconsistent with the needs of a modern democracy; and therefore call on the Government to engage with the Scottish Government as a matter of urgency to allow the relevant changes to be made to the Scotland Act 1998 and ensure that a formal separation of powers is provided.

Hear! Hear! I commend this motion to the House. Once again, though, isn’t it disgraceful that there isn’t a clamour for such a change coming from Holyrood? Och sure, the opposition has quietly called for the aforementioned roles to be split in future to prevent serious conflicts of interest arising. But this polite request hasn’t been supported by a single SNP MSP.

In 2015 the British civil liberties pressure group Liberty announced that it would be putting Scotland more closely under its microscope. Its then director Shami Chakrabarti (now a Labour peer) told an audience of lawyers in Edinburgh that there had been many pleas from its members in Scotland for it to scrutinise the Scottish Parliament over decisions affecting human rights here. “We do intend to be more vigilant and active in Scotland,” she declared – before posing for a publicity photo with the First Minister.

Less than a year in office at that point, Nicola Sturgeon had still to reveal her dark side: she was probably only beginning to figure out at that stage how to replace rule of law with rule by law. She’s now close to doing that to a chilling degree many of us would never have imagined possible in our darkest nightmares. And there doesn’t appear to be anyone at Holyrood, or sadly in the mainstream media, determined to stop her. The only real dissent is to be found in the blogosphere. But many Scottish bloggers now touch their keyboards with trembling fingers. They know that so long as the Murrells remain in Bute House, Craig Murray may not be alone in looking to London for liberation.

Comments on this article will be actively moderated. You are personally, legally responsible for anything you post. Be careful not to name, defame or identify anyone whose anonymity should be protected.

13 thoughts on “Looking to London for Liberation!

  1. A truly chilling state of affairs.
    How in the hell did the people of Scotland fall yet again for this dangerous fraud. She has delivered absolutely nothing to her voters…..NOTHING.
    If independence is your dream then why vote for this nightmare?
    If good governance of Scotland is your desire then why vote for this snake lipped fraud?
    It has been unbelievably blatantly obvious, that sturgeon has one goal and one goal only. To maintain power and status in order to facilitate a job offer from the EU or UN .

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I must confess, I think there is an element of wilful sadism and genuine hatred in Ms. Sturgeon’s prosecuting and persecuting of her political opponents/naysayers. Even if they get off in the end, like Mark Hirst and Alex Salmond, she has still dragged them through the public mud for months or years on end, potentially ruining them financially, causing incredible stress to them, and their families and friends. And even continuing to attack them after they get off! So whatever happens, she always gets her man. And it’s normally a man, though the Marian Millar case has seen her start to get evil and bolshie with women who say things she doesn’t like, too. Deeply, deeply disturbing.

    Off with their heads, indeed.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Sturgeon may want both power and remain while pretending to be pro-independence.

    Power can be a bitch – or the love of it – at any rate.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Utterly despicable scenario – the vendetta against one man who had the audacity to write the only fair and detailed report of a public trial – which is now censored on the speculative hypothesis of a judge dependent of the first minister for career advancement, and the case initiated by a member of the cabinet.
    No room for manipulation there, then. The separation of powers, a vital buttress of liberal democracy, is a fiction in Scotland which has granted absolute power to the would be monarch.
    What is particularly deplorable is the craven, lickspittle nature of MSP’s on all sides, who fail to understand the most basic tenets of our institutions and the guarantees we need that we are governed fairly, with checks and balances in the system. Yet they remain mute when a journalist is put in jail on the speculative hypothesis of a senior judge, who made her personal disdain of Murray clear from the beginning. Are there no senior people in positions of authority who can see the iniquity of this desperate attempt at censorship, and feel compelled to speak out at the damage it is causing to our basic rights, and the power it gives to the administration? Shame on them, shame on Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. From the written judgement

    “[4] The applicant describes himself as a “journalist in new media”. Whatever that may
    involve, it is relevant to distinguish his position from that of the mainstream press, which is
    regulated, and subject to codes of practice and ethics in a way in which those writing as the
    applicant does are not. To the extent that the submissions for the applicant make comparisons with other press contempts, and the role of mainstream journalists, this is a
    factor which should be recognised.”

    So there you have it in writing. The sanctimonious snobbery of the ruling class bought by a private girls school education. One rule for the legacy press, protecting them from prosecution and another rule for bloggers.

    There was an article in the Scotsman the other day about Craig’s appeal which started with the words “Blogger Murray…..” Wouldn’t want to be tainted by association.

    I was listening to Kenny MacAskill the other day when asked about his opinion on the Scottish justiciary. He said that he was aware that like much of our political class it didn’t represent the mainstream and was disproportionately drawn from fee paying schools.

    I note that the President of the SCOTUK attended George Watson’s and his deputy Glenalmond. I hae ma doots whether Craig will get a fair crack of the whip in Englandshire given his previous whistleblowing on the UK state.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She also arrogantly and disdainfully dismissed Craig’s carefully researched evidence that other mainstream outlets had made far more egregious examples of jigsaw identification, as ‘irrelevant’. Well, if they are irrelevant, I would submit that she is merely confirming the selective targeting of Craig Murray for prosecution, as his lawyer implied. And justice which is not equally applied to all without favour is not justice at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s no mystery as to why she (we know who) wants Craig Murray imprisoned: he exposed the terrible attempts to fit up Alex Salmond, attending court and reporting back diligently to us. The more Craig revealed (though not jigsaw identifying) to us the miscarriage of justice that could’ve sent Alex to prison, the more we gasped in astonishment at the collusion and corruption.

    Like Stu Campbell, Mark Hirst and David Llewellyn – all unjustly targeted by Police Scotland on her orders – Craig Murray is a staunch independence blogger, who like many other bloggers have shown us behind the SNP/Scottish Government curtain. It’s not a pretty sight.

    I’m afraid that Craig will now go to prison. Like the body part of William Wallace sent to Scotland to put fear into those who might take up arms, Craig will be the sacrificial lamb. He’ll be held up as a cautionary tale to remind those online bloggers that support Scottish independence, and who delve into finding out the truth about the SNP/Scottish Government. Along along with why there’s not been a second indyref after all that’s happened, or those who probe too deeply into the missing ringfenced indyfunds.

    Yes the jailing of a worldwide respected human rights journalist in Scotland will mark and new low. It will be a watershed moment in Scotland that will bring untold shame upon us as the international community gasps in shock and awe.


  7. Scotland does manifest all the signs of blind respect for «authorities». A symptom of centuries of that noxious colonialism of the mind called Unionism, not to mention the dread influence of Maître Jean Calvin and his protégé Fr John Knox.
    Like the mosquito history will come around and bite you, usually, where you are least protected.
    The English are a nation saved by charming eccentricity and the invention of «fairplay».
    Like the French, the Scots have no known equivalent..


  8. With regard to the administration of justice, it seems that Dorrian has questions to answer.

    Firstly, has she an explanation as to the 14-week delay before sentencing?

    Secondly, does she understand that it was easier for her than for a member of the public to conclude that a “jigsaw” identification could be made, when she already knew the identities of the Alphabet women? Any child would tell her that solving a jigsaw is many many times harder if one does not have the box-lid to hand.

    Anyway, could anyone tell whether Dorrian’s writ extends beyond the border of Scotland?

    I ask because it is clear that should Murray decide to move into England or Wales, he would be fleeing from INJUSTICE

    Liked by 1 person

  9. On planet Covid-19 the «elect» with topographical agnosia are leading the way.
    They see no cliff edge. Dare we warn them, or just allow them the freedom to make their own choices in the matter?
    We are certainly not obliged to follow them.


  10. This being a stitch-up is bad enough. That they don’t even care that it looks like a stitch-up is the worrying bit.


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