Murray Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison

Craig Murray, the former British diplomat, has been sentenced to 8 months in prison for contempt of court during the 2020 trial of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

Craig Murray. (Vodex/Flickr)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Craig Murray, an ex-British ambassador and blogger, has been sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty in March of contempt of court during the 2020 trial of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.  He was given three weeks to turn himself into police, pending his appeal. Judge Lady Dorrian issued the sentence, she said, despite Murray’s health issues. 

Murray faced up to two years in prison and unlimited fines. 

Murray must surrender his passport making it impossible to travel to Spain on May 20 to testify in the case of UC Global spying on WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuador embassy in London.  The court heard that remote arrangements to testify to the Spanish court would have to be made. 

Murrray was charged with contempt for allegedly revealing the identity of four anonymous accusers indirectly; of writing about the exclusion of two jurors in violation of a court order and of allegedly prejudicing the case in Salmond’s favor.  There was no pronouncement of guilt on the latter two charges. Salmond was acquitted at trial of 13 sex charges in March 2020.

Murray was found to have contravened an order by the Crown prosecutors to stop writing about the matter. Representatives of the Crown say Murray was warned of this in January 2020 and in August 2020. 

Murray was charged in April 2020 with writing two articles on his website that led to the alleged prejudice in the Salmond case and to possible “jig-saw” identification, despite a court order of anonymity, of the women who alleged sexual assault against Salmond. The accusers’ identities were to remain anonymous by order of Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian, who presided over both Salmond’s and Murray’s trials. 

The 1981 Contempt of Court Act applies to “a publication which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings in question will be seriously impeded or prejudiced.”  In the sentencing hearingg on Tuesday, which Consortium News had direct access to online, Dorrian called Murray’s contempt “grave” and on a “substantial” scale.

“Action in clear violation of the court even in a coded way needs to be treated as contempt in a grave way,” she said.

“He knew of jigsaw identification and relished in revealing it, thinking it was in the public interest,” she said. “In this he failed.”

Explosive Testimony

Murray testified in his case that he had evidence of a scheme against Salmond that involved Sturgeon’s chief of staff.

Murray’s sworn testimony outlined the alleged plot to silence himself and to apparently prevent Salmond from reentering politics.   

Murray’s affidavits, if true, exposed deep corruption and collusion between the SNP, Crown prosecutors, Police Scotland and parts of the mainstream media.  

Citing unnamed, insider sources that he says were in a position to know, Murray testified under oath that the sex crimes allegations against Salmond were an orchestrated attempt to destroy Salmond’s political career by rivals inside the Scottish National Party. 

Murray testified that after reading of the allegations against Salmond in August 2018 he “made no attempt to discover the identity of the civil servant involved, but I did make strenuous efforts to discover who had leaked the story to the media.”  After conferring with his contacts he “discovered with a high degree of certainty that the leaker was Liz Lloyd, Chief of Staff to Nicola Sturgeon.” 

Murray testified that he called in an article for the sacking of two civil servants found in Salmond’s judicial review to have abused the process and that “if Nicola Sturgeon failed to act against them, it might indicate that she was herself involved in the campaign of false allegation against Alex Salmond.”  Sturgeon’s spokeswoman accused Salmond of “spinning false conspiracy theories” to deflect attention from the accusations, even after he was acquitted.

Scottish Cabinet in 2007, with Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond in foreground. (Scottish government)

After this article appeared Salmond asked to meet Murray at the George Hotel in Edinburgh. “Here, for the first time, he told me that Nicola Sturgeon had been behind the process designed to generate false accusations against him,” Murray testified.  He said that Salmon won his judicial review case because, “It was on the day that witnesses from Nicola Sturgeon’s private office were due to give evidence as to her own knowledge and involvement, that the Scottish Government suddenly conceded the case rather than have this evidence heard.” 

Murray went on: 

“Mr Salmond further told me that there was a massive police operation underway to try to get accusers to come forward against him. This was going to ludicrous lengths. He showed me an email from one woman to him, in which she stated that she had been called in and interviewed by the police because many years ago Alex Salmond had been said by another person to have been seen kissing her on the cheeks in a theatre foyer. The woman stated she had told them it was a perfectly normal greeting. She wished to warn Alex of the police fishing expedition against him. He understood that over 400 people had been interviewed by the police.”

Murray testified that he asked Salmond what the motive against him could be. “Alex replied that he did not know; perhaps it lay in King Lear. He said that he had genuinely intended to quit politics and had lined up a position as Chairman of Johnstone Press, which had fallen because of these allegations. But he had retired from the party leadership before, and then come back, and perhaps Nicola had concluded he needed a stake through the heart,” Murray said. 

Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) came up one seat short of a majority in last week’s Scottish elections, but with eight Green Party seats will have a majority to call for a second independence referendum. She remains as first minister. Salmond’s Alba Party failed to win any seats. 

In his testimony, Murray said that a source who had been present at a meeting with Sturgeon and some of her ministers told him that multiple charges had been brought against Salmond so that if just one conviction could be won Salmond would be destroyed as a sexual predator.

Armed with this information, Murray testified that he was faced with a dilemma. He wrote:

“To expose that it was Nicola Sturgeon who masterminded the conspiracy against him would be a real blow to the Independence movement. But to watch a plot to imprison an innocent man potentially for the rest of his life unfold before my eyes was also horrifying. Particularly as the most cynical part of the plot, to use the court anonymity granted to accusers of sexual abuse, to disguise who was actually behind the allegations, appeared to be working.”
Murray went on:
“The Crown can release salacious detail about attempted rape while lying naked on top of somebody in bed, and the media can echo this to the heavens. But from that moment, nobody can publish anything to contradict the Crown without being in contempt of court. It seemed to me that, in these circumstances, the Crown ought to have been a great deal more restrained in the amount of salacious detail it was making available. Certainly, there was nothing in what was happening which would contradict the information I had been given of the Crown Office being party to a political plot to destroy Salmond.”
Murray said he became knowledgeable of a meeting in which women were being pressured by SNP leaders to accuse Salmond.
“In or around March 2019, and from time to time over several months thereafter, I became aware of information tending to show that senior members of the SNP had sought improperly to involve themselves in the Salmond case. This included meeting with women to urge them to make or persevere with complaints to the police, coordination of complainers and their stories, liaison with the police over charges and attempts to persuade individuals other than the complainers to come forward as witnesses to allegations, which attempts were unsuccessful.” 

The Trial

High Court building in Edinburgh. (Scottish Courts and Tribunals.)

The Crown alleged in Murray’s one-day trial on Jan. 27, conducted entirely online and observed by Consortium News, that identifying characteristics Murray provided in his articles could be pieced together to reveal the identity of four of Salmond’s nine accusers, all of whom on March 10, 2020 were ordered to remain anonymous.

The prosecutor, Alex Prentice QC, advocate depute for the Crown, told the court Murray’s writings, as well as reader comments on his site, allegedly led to a “risk of prejudice” in the Salmond case, even though he admitted prosecutors never warned the court until after the Salmond trial was over. Murray’s articles in question were published in August 2019 (“The Alex Salmond Fit-Up”) and in January 2020 (“Yes Minister Fan Fiction.”) 

Lady Dorrian, who is leading the tribunal in Murray’s case, asked Prentice why the court was not informed before Slamond’s trial of the possible prejudice by Murray’s writings. “If the Crown was of the view that these articles pose a substantial risk to the proceedings it seems strange that the Crown did not take any action at that time, or even bring it to court?” Dorrian asked.

“I accept that,” Prentice replied. “There were a number of considerations, but the Lady is right and I recognize that is a factor the court can take into account in assessing this.” 

Dorrian replied: “I understand that material written after the order may attract a certain shading in conjunction with an earlier article. My difficulty is that those earlier arguments could breach an order that wasn’t issued until March 10.”

“At the time it didn’t apply, but [the articles] are still available so they can be taken into account,” Prentice argued. 

Lady Dorrian also challenged that putting identifying characteristics of an unnamed accuser in a search engine would bring up different results over time. Prentice maintained that Murray’s writings must be seen together, not in isolation, acting as “magnet” to draw together “needles in a haystack” to identify the anonymous accusers.

Murray’s counsel, John Scott argued before the tribunal that Murray’s response to the Crown’s letter in March was to seek press accreditation to cover the Salmond case, which he was denied. Instead Murray relied on the reporting of other journalists to write analyses of the trial. Murray had redacted the names of the anonymous accusers, Scott argued. 

On the jig-saw matter, Scott said “it is clear that he was aware of the names of the complainers and his sworn evidence is he was aware of them before the court order, but that it would not be responsible journalism to name them. …If he had wanted to do what the Crown says he did he could have done so.”

On the issue of prejudicing the trial, Scott said that if the Crown was “worried about the case they ought to have brought this to the attention of the court. … It is too late after trial. …  They can’t wait to see how it developed and after acquittal then say there was prejudice.”

On the matter of the juror, Scott said Murray’s article only speculated on why the jurors were excluded and did not report the actual reasons. The Crown called Murray’s speculation  “bizarre and unfounded,” while at the same time saying it violated the prohibition on mentioning the actual “issues raised by the Advocate Depute” in support of removing the the jurors.

Accusers’ Identity

Murray’s attorney told the court that mainstream media had reported details of the accusers. The BBC reported, for instance, in April: “The women who made the allegations against Mr Salmond included an SNP politician, a party worker and several current and former Scottish government civil servants and officials.”  In his affidavit, Murray testified:

“If they genuinely thought my article might influence a jury, given they were well aware of the article and wrote to me about it, the Crown Office had an obvious public duty to act before a trial to prevent that evil. I would have happily turned up in court and argued my case. To wait until long after the trial, after it is far too late to avert the evil they purport to be concerned about, and then make that allegation against me, is plainly pointless and vindictive and, again, sinister.”

Murray may have been a Crown target for the contempt conviction because he was among few writers defending Salmond and was vindicated by Salmond’s acquittal. Murray’s writings and his affidavits also revealed the troubling evidence of a conspiracy against Salmond, possibly including Scotland’s top political leader. 

Murray has been a thorn in the Establishment’s side since he blew the whistle on Britain’s acquiescence of torture in Uzbekistan in 2002. He later testified about it to a parliamentary committee.

Since then, Murray has been a fierce advocate for his friend Julian Assange, the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher, whom the United States is trying to extradite from Britain. Murray’s accounts of Assange’s extradition hearing appeared on Consortium News. Murray is also a strong supporter of Scottish independence, which the British establishment vehemently opposes. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

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29 comments for “Murray Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison

  1. incontinent reader
    May 12, 2021 at 12:33

    Dorrian’s ruling stinks to high heaven.

    Indeed, the judicial system in Scotland, and the UK overall, is, and for many years has been, so highjacked, politicized, and corrupted, that, for cases like Craig Murray’s, Julian Assange’s, Chelsea Manning’s, or indeed those of any others (journalists or otherwise) who would turn over a quarry or rock to reveal and publish their findings of governmental or oligarchic crimes, it is an oxymoron to claim the rule of law applies in the UK, notwithstanding its pretense with institutions, rules, formalities, etc.

    And, one asks, should not the ‘rules based order’, which the Anglo-American-EU cabal hypocritically promotes to upset international law, be recognized by the cabal as having been violated at its core?

    Apart from contributing to Murray’s defense fund (and the defense funds of Assange and Manning) which are so needed, we all could use guidance as how otherwise best to help and fight back, because events today are moving too fast.

  2. Peter C
    May 11, 2021 at 21:01

    One suspects that the anonymous accusers were to some extent goaded into participating in Salmond’s attempted political lynching. Perhaps one or two of them will feel guilty enough to come out of hiding and blow the whistle on this compound travesty of justice. Or perhaps there are some women who were approached but refused to participate in the charade that could verify what Salmond and Murray are saying. I’m not holding my breath, though.

    • John Cleary
      May 12, 2021 at 09:53

      Peter that’s exactly what happened. But Lady Doreen decided such testimony was not relevant.

      As an aside, did you know that Lady Doreen attended a private, fee paying school? Now that’s not unknown in England where about seven percent attend such institutions. But Scotland?

      Perhaps Scottish judges have to avoid any contact with ordinary persons in order to be able to do what it is that they do.

  3. David Otness
    May 11, 2021 at 16:32


    “Middle English: from Old French apalir ‘grow pale,’ from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + palir ‘to pale.’ The original sense was ‘grow pale,’ later ‘make pale,’ hence ‘dismay, horrify’(late Middle English).”

    Precisely. If there is anyone out there who cannot draw the connections between Craig Murray’s activism—especially regarding Julian Assange—and his recurring principled honesty and whistleblowing that have caused “Her Majesty’s” government such persistent irritation, this should be your last call for waking TF up!
    The wholesale prosecution, these ‘show trials’ of anyone of consequence who goes against the assorted elected’ regimes of political mediocrity both in the UK and US, anyone not doing the bidding of their respective ‘national security’ states’ directives, can and will find this as the new paradigm, the latest paradigm on the road to techno-totalitarianism.
    There are but 3 ways to view this travesty being inflicted upon this good man, an upstanding civil servant of indisputable good conscience and courage, a hero of the People:
    “It can’t happen here.” “It is happening here.” “It HAS happened here.”
    Utter perversion and corruption of the judicial systems of these presumptuous, venal, and most hypocritical of all the NATO nations, and in history now writ large for the ages.

  4. Jeff Harrison
    May 11, 2021 at 13:59

    The UK has become a smaller, weaker, less powerful version of the US. Sad.

  5. Rob Roy
    May 11, 2021 at 13:11

    If someone is actually sexually abused, s/he should want to step forward and face the accused. Why is there any hesitancy? The idea that the sexually abused should feel shame has been perpetuated for forever. That said, the case against Salmond was obviously a set-up from the beginning. Courts all over the world in “democracies” are no longer, if ever, to be trusted to reach fair outcomes because the most powerful among us are the most corrupt among us.

  6. jaycee
    May 11, 2021 at 12:22

    Using the legal system to adjudicate political disputes is – as others have noted here – corrupt and underhanded.

  7. Carolyn L Zaremba
    May 11, 2021 at 12:18

    This is an outrage! We all know why this has happened. Craig Murray has been one of the staunchest defenders of Julian Assange for the last decade and supplied the best and most detailed accounts of the show trial last year in London. The powers that be are going to use this to prevent Murray from testifying in the court case in Spain against the CIA-controlled spies in the Ecuadorean embassy. The United States is behind this and it is despicable.

  8. Jonny James
    May 11, 2021 at 11:42

    Out-bloody-rageous! British “justice” is yet again shown to be a travesty. The arrogance, corruption and hypocrisy of the UK govt. and so-called justice system is on display for the world to see. Craig Murray’s sentence should be suspended immediately! The reasons are obvious.

    • Gordon Hastie
      May 12, 2021 at 02:08

      This is “Scottish justice”, and Nicola Sturgeon has completely corrupted it, though her blindly loyal followers refuse to see it. To what extent she’s colluded with the British state is moot, as is her actual commitment to independence.

  9. May 11, 2021 at 11:28

    Murray’s appeal for defence funds for appeal:

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      May 11, 2021 at 12:19

      Thank you for the link. I will be contributing.

    • David Otness
      May 11, 2021 at 16:38

      Thank you, sir.

  10. Bhikshuni
    May 11, 2021 at 11:27

    This so called “Crown” is becoming indistinguishable from the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus of Nazareth!

    I hope CN Live will have a special to help us understand this case and its implications. Thanks to Joe Lauria for going beyond reporting to journalism (aka evidence-based reporting) – the standard of Consortium News.

  11. DW Bartoo
    May 11, 2021 at 11:22

    Ah yes, the Brits continue to distinguish themselves.

    The Brit legal system is increasingly revealed as a rule of privilege and coercion, of arbitrary pretense and secretive abuse amounting to torture.

    A society “organized” around royal prerogative requires that its subjects know their place and never offend the priorities of polite society.

    Assange and Murray refused to bow to the dictates of the lords and ladies of peerage, offending the muckety mucks.

    Murray was “warned”.

    Assange has long been “warned”,

    Is the message lost on the many?

    Or are more and more of the “useless eaters” beginning to wonder?

    If they are, then of a certainty, vapulation must continue until morale improves.

    Liff upper stips and all that.

    Murray is a brave and honest soul, his tormentors but pusillanimous pipsqueaks perpetuating pernicious predation.

  12. Anonymot
    May 11, 2021 at 11:00

    So much for free speech in the UK of which Scotland is still vaguely a member. Disgraceful. They will do Anything to justify turning Assange over to America where he’ll be roasted for showing up Hillary Clinton for the incompetent rot she represents.

  13. Antiwar7
    May 11, 2021 at 09:52

    This shows how very corrupt is Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland. A jail sentence for telling the truth and not identifying any accusers who were shown to be liars in Salmond’s trial. A pox on Sturgeon and all her cronies.

    As to “Lady” Dorrian, she’s either deficient in logic or corrupt. Probably both.

    Poor Craig Murray and Julian Assange. Their persecution clearly shows the absolute corruption at the heart of the US Empire (the US and its vassals, including the UK).

    Once enough people see it, these “democracies” (in which majorities are always against new wars and constant wars, yet that’s what they get!) will deservedly lose all legitimacy in the eyes of their subjects. And then hopefully they’ll implode, like the Soviet Union did.

    Thanks to Consortium News for covering this vital story.

    • Piotr Berman
      May 12, 2021 at 06:28

      First, they tortured logic. It remains to be seen if the maiming of judicial logic is total and permanent, as the sentence is appealed. I contributed to the defense (link at Craig Murray website) because it is important to protect voices like Murray, Manning and Assange from silencing, and to show to those that silence and abuse them that the victims are not alone, and their message will not be erased.

      So far, we did not see in UK as vicious as applied to Chelsea Manning, but with Assange it is close. The concern for human rights and freedom of speech in the West has several varieties.

      When happens in adversary countries. Sanctions, sanctions, complains that sanctions have insufficient teeth, sanctions.

      Slicing an inconvenient journalists when he visits consulate. Some statements of concern.

      At home. Showing any concern would make Putin happy, and that is an inexcusable error.

  14. Andrew Thomas
    May 11, 2021 at 09:21

    I thought that I had become sufficiently cynical to have lost the ability to be appalled. Once again, I was wrong. My sincere and horrified sympathy to Craig Murray and his family.

  15. May 11, 2021 at 09:20

    What a complete OUTRAGE against the most established norms of Western jurisprudence and freedom of the press this verdict and sentence represents!! The ruling is nothing less than a signal triumph for judicial opacity, the abusive politicization of the legal system in the service of prejudicial vengeance, the abridgement of the basic rights of defendants, and the promulgation of novel laws which, by outlawing journalistic coverage and commentary, and by introducing the decidedly dangerous notion of convicting upon the basis of the never defined “jigsaw identification” — a mysterious detective-like procedure which, while it has been shown in this case to have actually identified no one, or to have prejudiced the jury in any manner — can yet from this day forward be used by the Crown, as here, to convict and sentence anyone they may wish to dispense with.

    And look at just how precarious and absurd the never explicitly specified, but still harmfully operative, thoroughly subjective, “jigsaw identification” criterion truly is. Never stated is just how much information must be explicitly revealed for the criterion to come into play. Is ANY comment whatsoever upon a legal proceeding a “jigsaw identification,” and hence illegal, simply because some very clever person, already completely cognizant of all the details of the case, might be able to use it, along with a large set of other assorted facts NOT revealed, and also never specified, by way of the nefarious jigsawing operation, to GUESS the identity of someone whom the ever-so-sensitive and benignly-concerned Crown has mercifully proscribed any mention?

    Or must that mere GUESS also at least happen to be a correct guess? Or is it more complicated than that? Is it perhaps that one is guilty of “jigsaw identification” only when someone identified with the Crown and prosecution decides that the defendant has released enough cryptic “clues,”which, when taken with much other unspecified knowledge of the details of the case at hand, for an actual identification of who is being insinuated to be “possible,”; i.e possible for someone who also has the insider’s perspective of the Crown and prosecution, or, more simply, for someone who happens to turn out to be no one at all?

    But what authorizes such an addition pure SPECULATION upon what might or might not “possibly” be determined by potential jurors upon the basis of whatever was allegedly revealed? Surely there is no reason to assume that the Crown will be able to make a more accurate guess about the matter than anyone else, while there is, indeed, much to suggest that its determination will likely be more prejudicial, since it alone is the body whose only interest in the prosecution is to garner a conviction.

    And why, if this ludicrous jigsaw identification criterion is supposed to constitute some new legal principle never before, but only now, suddenly needed, is there no independent body here to step in to determine whether the information revealed by the defendant, — even if, as here, only in the most dispersed and obscure places, — is or is not sufficient to render any commoner in the country who may be called to serve on a jury able to identify accurately some particular person involved, rather than some mere construct of mind, some “possible complainant” in some “possible” office, who may or may not share anything in common with any of the actual ones? Clearly “jigsaw identification” is a completely subjective matter, something which exists, as they say, only in the eye of the beholder, or, in this case, the privileged guesser.

    We have recently all observed, in the arguably still more outrageous hearings of the Assange extradition case, the morass of vile injustice into which the British legal system has now sunk as a result of allowing, even prioritizing, the vindictive punishment of persons troublesome to the political establishment and their increasingly subservient judiciary over the only legitimate practice of adhering meticulously to the relevant laws and established judicial procedures appropriate to the administration of justice.

    The Murray case, then, by serving to institutionalize via precedent the coakamamie “jigsaw identification” criterion, which, as we have seen, is ultimately little more than an arbitrary and subjective device for the Crown to obtain convictions in cases where they possess no traditionally admissible “evidence” that any law has been broken or harm done. As such, it represents but one more step forward in the more general process of the disintegration of British Law in our time, if, indeed, such a thing can still be said to exist at all.

    • May 11, 2021 at 12:49

      Thank-you Dr. William Fusfield.
      Your comment brilliantly captures the absurdity of jigsaw identification as a concept. It ain’t a concept with any rational criteria, oh no, is is a tool to be wielded by those who could give a flip about law. So sad how all the laws are becoming so contaminated. Not a good sign for the legal profession.
      Problem is as you allude to, or maybe it was somebody else, the whole jurisprudence authority in the UK, and Scotland as well for effing sure, is turning into to a pile of dust of ill repute. This doesn’t bode well for the UK’s future. I think in fact that future is short in breath. It is on its last dying breaths. The evidence is overwhelming.
      For all of our sakes, I hope the damage this is creating is limited, but injustice of this nature seems to have a tendency to just flail out more ridiculously because those who are pushing these nefarious agendas I reckon are starting to sense they are being backed into a corner. Still, how many more stupid decisions need to be made before this whole thing gets out of control? Who the hell is running the show over there?
      A pile of dead bodies the injustice of it all is potentially creating. I don’t want that but there is no denying justice.

      • May 11, 2021 at 16:09

        Exactly my thoughts, too, Buffaloman Ken! What both the secretive, patently prejudiced, and non- “disinterested,” — to use a fine old 18th Century word the way it should still be used, but seldom is — Assange and Murray [pseudo]legal proceedings display in spades is a legal system in which it is now evidently considered permissible, even desirable, for prosecutors working in complicity with the state to determine ahead of time what outcome they wish to see, [often employing the most saccharine moralistic casuistry, these days generally of the “political correctness” variety, to do so,] then closing their ears and their minds to any evidence or arguments the defense might legitimately introduce — when they are not actually barred from doing so, as in both of the two cases at hand — to grind out and impose despotically whatever verdict and sentence they have already predetermined to be appropriate to anyone of non-peerage status impudent enough to claim to be innocent of one “Lady” Dorrian’s quite literally, “royally” concocted, ruling class defending, prejudgments upon highly manipulated carefully selected charges.

        As to the “ad hoc” instated, thoroughly risible, “jigsaw identification” procedure used to falsely convict and sentence one of the finest, most upright, honest, not to mention scrupulous, persons in all of Scotland, — admittedly characteristics the value of which Ms. Dorrian and her ilk have shown themselves incapable of comprehending — there is actually much more to be said than I was able to get to in my quickly adumbrated argument here.

        I will not pursue that matter here, except to mention that a few minutes after posting my previous comment it also occurred to me that there is another glaring inconsistency involved in all this inherently deceptive “jigsaw identification” prestidigitation nonsense.

        Now I can’t say for sure whether the laws and requirements in the UK are roughly the same as here in the US, although I certainly suspect they are. In the US, it is still considered essential to the selection of potential jurors in any criminal case that each prospective juror first be interviewed by both the defense and the prosecution teams as well as the judge. The purpose of this process is simple enough, namely to ensure as best as possible that none of the jurors finally selected to deliberate the case has already been influenced by things s/he may have read or seen in other media about the defendant, the alleged crime involved, the sequence of events, the opinions of other persons about the case etc. Thus, what is sought above all else are jurors who know AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE about the matter upon the quite reasonable assumption that the less they already know about the case the less apt they are to be swayed by anything not legitimately thematized in the trial proceedings.

        Unfortunately, this insistence that the jury selection process be used to weed out all prospective jurors who already know a good deal about the case and hence have probably already formed some tentative judgments about the guilt or innocence of the defendant has fatal consequences for the entire spurious jigsaw identification legal innovation. For one of two things must be true.

        Either the jurors have been selected because the juror selection process has determined that they all know little to nothing about the particulars of the case, which must surely include minute details posted in someone’s blog and in a few widely dispersed articles written over the course of many months and published in a variety of different publications. In such a case, — and this does seem in fact to have been the case in the Murray trial, — the probability that any of the jurors could possibly have been “influenced” by such writings, much less worked through all of them with the avidity and perspicacity of a Sherlock Holmes to find the person[s] so indirectly, cryptically, but never explicitly, denominated through these allegedly magically configurable “needles in a haystack,” is precisely ZERO.

        The only other possibility here is, of course, that one or more of the actually selected jurors has been allowed onto the jury despite already knowing a great deal about the case, and probably already having some initial judgment of whether the jigsaw maker on trial is actually guilty or innocent.

        We should first notice here that if this IS the case, as indeed it sometimes is, the only appropriate response of the judge is to immediately declare a mistrial, and then begin the process of finding new jurors who are determined through interrogation to be non-“tainted.” If instead the trial goes forward as planned, the defense will, of course, have good grounds to appeal any verdict produced and to demand that either the entire case be thrown out altogether, or, at the least, that a new trial be initiated from scratch.

        Thus it is that whether any juror does or does not already know anything about, or have some opinions about, the trial they are charged to adjudicate can have no deleterious consequences for the trial itself since if they have such knowledge they must be expelled from deliberating the case, while if they are truly “naive” about the content of the trial they can hardly have any knowledge about something which can only be disclosed through the esoteric tea-leaf reading that passes for “jigsaw identification.”

        It might perhaps be argued in response to this inherent contradiction at the heart of such jigsaw fantasies that although the jurors themselves cannot be affected by what the defendant has revealed in places and times we can be quite certain that none of the jurors could have accessed, it is still possible that other persons among the general public might well have become so obsessed with determining who some of the complaintents might be, — and why would anyone unrelated to the case even care to find out such a thing? –that they have devoted every minute of their free time to attempting to discover who and what exactly have been insinuated by the various little Flaschenzettle tossed into the sea of ignorance by the clever guilty disseminator of diasporated clues in urgent need of assemblage and subsequent incorporation into a conviction and penal term.

        But really, this possibility is ultimately just as innocuous and silly as all the others. Even if we assume that someone might care enough and try hard enough to figure out, at least to their own satisfaction, who one of the complaintents may well have been, — since the original trial has long passed, with no warnings of possible jigsawing ever presented by the prosecutors to the Crown — that too violates no law nor does it do any injury, however slight, to anyone. So Mr. T thinks that, from employment of the Murray treasure map, it is probably Ms. S who brought forward a complaint. SO WHAT? Ms. Z may well happen to believe that it was actually Ms. Q who has been insinuated. Every member of the general public has every right to speculate upon the matter as they wish.

        Nor should there, in my opinion, be any obligation upon the judicial system to “protect” certain persons and not others upon the specious basis that merely being identified as someone who might be the victim, not perpetrator, of a crime entitles one to state-enforced anonymity forever. If someone desires not to be identified as a “victim,” which indeed seems to be a kind of hand-me-down from another age, then one ought not to enter a claim before the court that one has been wronged in the first place.

        In any case such “victims’ rights” to anonymity have, for better or worse, never applied to cases where someone suffers a truly serious injury from another and sensibly seeks to bring that party to justice, and not years after the fact, but at once. It is only in cases such as the one at hand, where the prosecution maliciously seeks artificially to prevent the defense from producing a counterargument to the charges being leveled at its client that suddenly there is a great disingenuous to-do about “protecting the victims” from imaginary harms, when the real intention is, quite transparently, to protect them from being exposed as manipulated LIARS.

        And so we see that the entire judicial system in the UK is what a friend of mine likes to call “un-effing-get-overable,” so mired in mistaken conceptions and spurious procedures which violate even the most basic standards of jurisprudence that it is one of Britain’s most significant accomplishments to have provided, that any reasonable adjudication of justice based upon current legal principles must now be considered nothing more than a felicitous accident.

        And, of course, the situation in the US, Canada and Australia is roughly equally impaired as nothing reveals more graphically than the appallingly ILLEGAL prosecutions/persecutions of both Assange and Murray, along with all too many others!

          May 12, 2021 at 16:39

          There were no jurors in Murray’s trial. It was a tribunal of three High Court judges that found him guilty of contempt of court.

    • Diana
      May 11, 2021 at 15:10

      Well said, Dr. Fusfield. Your comment leads me to think that the verdict in this case is much like being declared guilty of witchcraft…i.e., sending codes that only the evil ones could decipher, codes fashioned to resemble a jigsaw puzzle, and codes that the court itself failed to warn against, until too late. Unbelievable!

    • Litchfield
      May 11, 2021 at 19:17

      Dr. Fusfield, I agree with everything you say, and thank you for putting it clearly.

      I have the distinct impression that the only people who could possible find the needles in the haystack necessary to identify a person according to the “jigsaw” deductive approach are persons who already know who the individuals in question are. They are basically working backwards, kind of solving a maze backwards. Only because they know who these accusers were already were they able to reconstruct how Craig Murray’s reporting might have created a “jigsaw” effect.

      And, the fact that they were shown to be false accusers should mean that they have no further protections, anyhow. Isn’t false accusation a crime? Did they make these accusations while under oath? This ex post facto witch hunt by means of an after-the-fact “fit-up” and novel crime creation (“jigsaw”) of a reporter who was **standing up a falsely accused man** is absolutely terrifying.

      The UK is exposing itself as even worse than the imperial Perfidious Albion of yore because now it is turning on its own children with this travesty of a justice system. What is with these sadistic “ladies” who enjoy meting out British “justice” to those who have the ethics and the b—- to challenge their fiendish legal cat’s cradles?

      My sincerest sympathies go out to Craig Murray and his family, and also to Julian Assange and his family. It is telling that the British state is out to hound to death precisely these two men.

    • Piotr Berman
      May 12, 2021 at 06:44

      Interestingly, one example cited by the court was a prohibition to disclose the name of the accused. Indeed, if it was “a superior” in an undisclosed location in Scotland, the privacy of the accusers would be 100% safe. The pool of potential putative victims would be much larger, and most important, then number of people interested in the case would be vastly smaller. The Crown itself provided the largest piece of the puzzle, or perhaps the office of Sturgeon, as they leaked it way before the trial. The concept of a trial that is both a show trial, and in the same time secret, leads to legal and logical contortions.

      On a lighter note, one of the accusation against Salmond was an attempt, not completed, to touch hair of one of the “victim”. The precedent stemming from the “not guilty” sentence can benefit Biden who was observed doing it, with his lips, on several occasions.

    • John Cleary
      May 12, 2021 at 10:07

      Quite right, Dr Fusfield. Everything you say about “jigsaw identification” is true.

      But the additional horror is that no jury is involved in this abortion. Lady Doreen decided she didn’t like what Craig wrote, and Lady Doreen found him guilty, and Lady Doreen decreed that he must go to prison for eight months for his impertinence before her.

      Incidentally, Lady Doreen is leading the charge to do away with juries in cases of sexual assault or rape.

      Now THAT, combined with what we see can be done with “jigsaw identification”, makes reporting on such cases completely impossible. So NOBODY is safe from these scheming women.

  16. Andrew Peter Nichols
    May 11, 2021 at 07:57

    Assange now Murray…Whos next?

    • Anonymot
      May 11, 2021 at 11:04

      Once they no longer need excuses, we’re all next!

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