Craig Murray watched two days of Alex Salmond’s trial in 2020 from the public gallery at Edinburgh’s High Court and wrote about it on his website
Some time after Judges ruled that Murray, 62, was in contempt of court because it deemed that the publicly available information he had used was capable of being used to identify four of the women who accused the former SNP leader of sexual abuse.
On Monday Craig was sentenced to spend eight months in prison, none of it suspeded. He has lodged an appeal against the conviction which he plans to take all the way to the Supreme Court if he can raise sufficient funds.
The former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, sacked by Jack Straw for blowing the whistle on the country’s president who tortured and murdered citizens. Comedians Mitchell and Webb based much of their comedy series Ambassadors on Craig’s life.
This week in Lady Dorrian, said that Murray had “relished” the potential disclosure of the women’s identities and deliberately risked jigsaw identification which was “abhorrent” she added.
Murray’s offending blog posts and tweets were written over a period of a month and available, uncensored even though Craig had been told they could potentially identify those who complained about Mr Salmond. The 13 charges against Mr Salmond were quickly thrown out.
Lady Dorrian said: “These actions create a real risk that complainers may be reluctant to come forward in future cases, particularly where the case may be high profile or likely to attract significant publicity.
“The actions strike at the heart of the fair administration of justice.
“Notwithstanding the previous character of the respondent and his health issues, we do not think we can dispose of this case other than by way of a sentence of imprisonment.”
Murray was initially given 48 hours to hand himself in to a police station, but after a challenge by his lawyer Roddy Dunlop QC, this was extended to three weeks so he can appeal the sentence.
In his previous mitigation submission, Mr Dunlop said Murray was a man of “impeccable character” and previously “untarnished reputation”, and said it is no exaggeration to say the retired diplomat is already suffering “significant punishment” from the impact of the case.
Mr Dunlop said sending Murray to prison would be “harsh to the point of being disproportionate”, and he urged judges to deal with the matter by way of a fine.
He said: “Allowing that the finding of contempt has been ruled by this court to be justified, the question is whether, given all the circumstances, that justification extends yet further to countenancing imprisonment, to taking a retired diplomat with an exemplary background away from his wife, his 11-year-old son, and his baby.
Murry states in his blog “You should also know that, as it was never my intention to identify anyone, I have pending the outcome of my trial temporarily censored those sentences in my articles complained of by the prosecution as causing jigsaw identification, even though I strongly deny that they do. Prior to receiving the indictment, I had no idea precisely what the complaint referred to. I have also censored the indictment of its references to the same material. I do not believe there was any problem with the originals; but it is a very few sentences and my lawyers rather insisted. I hope you will not feel I am too cowardly in this.
I have refused to censor those larger passages the Crown complain of where I state that the charges were a fit-up and a state sponsored conspiracy. I believe here there is a vital argument of freedom of speech, and I will not bend.” Link
For many it is clear that Murry was singled out. The state has chosen to prosecute the political dissident and whistleblower and not the mainstream media who were collectively responsible for far more identifications of complainants.
It seems justice is to prosecute Craig Murray and nobody else. Is there a single person who honestly believes that it is a coincidence that they have prosecuted the only journalist who fairly reported the defence case against this government led fit-up.
To help Craig Murry appeal his conviction by donating to his fighting fund click here: Appeal For Defence Funds
Source: Labour Heartlands
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