Murray’s Last Words Before Prison

The former British diplomat, who is going to prison for contempt of court, has published his last blog post until he is free in eight months.

By Craig Murray

I want to make one or two points for you to ponder while I am in jail. This is the last post until about Christmas; we are not legally able to post anything while I am imprisoned. But the Justice for Craig Murray Campaign website is now up and running and will start to have more content shortly. Fora and comments here are planned to stay open.

I hope that one possible good effect of my imprisonment might be to coalesce opposition to the imminent abolition of jury trials in sexual assault cases by the Scottish Government, a plan for which Lady Dorrian – who wears far too many hats in all this – is front and centre. We will then have a situation where, as established by my imprisonment, no information at all on the defence case may be published in case it contributes to “jigsaw identification”, and where conviction will rest purely on the view of the judge.

That is plainly not “open justice”, it is not justice at all. And it is even worse than that, because the openly stated aim of abolishing juries is to increase conviction rates. So people will have their lives decided not by a jury of their peers, but by a judge who is acting under specific instruction to increase conviction rates.

It is often noted that conviction rates in rape trials are too low, and that is true. But have you ever heard this side of the argument? In Uzbekistan under the Karimov dictatorship, when I served there, conviction rates in rape trials were 100%. In fact very high conviction rates are a standard feature of all highly authoritarian regimes worldwide, because if the state prosecutes you then the state gets what it wants. The wishes of the state in such systems vastly outweigh the liberty of the individual.

My point is simply this. You cannot judge the validity of a system simply by high conviction rates. What we want is a system where the innocent are innocent and the guilty found guilty; not where an arbitrary conviction target is met.

The answer to the low conviction rates in sexual assault trials is not simple. Really serious increases in resources for timely collection of evidence, for police training and specialist units, for medical services, for victim support, all have a part to play. But that needs a lot of money and thought. Just abolishing juries and telling judges you want them to convict is of course free, or even a saving.

The right to have the facts judged in serious crime allegations by a jury of our peers is a glory of our civilisation. It is the product of millennia, not lightly to be thrown away and replaced by a huge increase in arbitrary state power. That movement is of course fueled by current fashionable political dogma which is that the victim must always be believed. That claim has morphed from an initial meaning that police and first responders must take accusations seriously, to a dogma that accusation is proof and it is wrong to even question the evidence, which is of course to deny the very possibility of false accusation.

That is precisely the position which Nicola Sturgeon has taken over the Alex Salmond trial; to be accused is to be guilty, irrespective of the defence evidence. That people are oblivious to the dangers of the dogma that there should be no defence against sexual assault allegations, is to me deeply worrying. Sexual allegation is the most common method that states have used to attack dissidents for centuries, worldwide and again especially in authoritarian regimes. Closer to home, think of history stretching from Roger Casement to Assange and Salmond.

Why would we remove the only barrier – a jury of ordinary citizens – that can stop abuse of state power?

I am worried that this abolition of juries will have been enacted by the Scottish Parliament, even before I am out of jail. I am worried Labour and the Lib Dems will support it out of fashionable political correctness. I am worried an important liberty will disappear.

Since 300 Years 

I want to touch on one other aspect of liberty in my own imprisonment that appears not understood, or perhaps simply neglected, because somehow the very notion of liberty is slipping from our political culture. One point that features plainly in the troll talking points to be used against me, recurring continually on social media, is that I was ordered to take down material from my blog and refused.

There is an extremely important point here. I have always instantly complied with any order of a court to remove material. What I have not done is comply with instructions from the Crown or Procurator Fiscal to remove material. Because it is over 330 years since the Crown had the right of censorship in Scotland without the intervention of a judge.

It sickens me that so many Scottish Government backed trolls are tweeting out that I should have obeyed the instructions of the Crown. That Scotland has a governing party which actively supports the right of the Crown to exercise unrestrained censorship is extremely worrying, and I think a sign both of the lack of respect in modern political culture for liberties which were won by people being tortured to death, and of the sheer intellectual paucity of the current governing class.

But then we now learn that Scotland has a government which was prepared not only to be complicit in exempting the Crown from climate change legislation, but also complicit in hushing up the secret arrangement, so I am not surprised.

What is even more terrifying in my case is that the Court explicitly states that I should have followed the directions of the Crown Office in what I did and did not publish, and my failure to not publish as the Crown ordered is an aggravating factor in my sentencing.

If the Crown thinks something I write is in contempt and I think it is not, the Crown and I should stand as equals in court and argue our cases. There should be no presumption I ought to have obeyed the Crown in the first place. That Scottish “justice” has lost sight of this is disastrous, though perhaps as much from stupidity as malice. 

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

Attack on Alternative Media

My next thought on my trial is to emphasise again the dreadful doctrine Lady Dorrian has now enshrined in law, that bloggers should be held to a different (by implication higher) standard in law than the mainstream media (the judgement uses exactly those terms), because the mainstream media is self-regulated.

This doctrine is used to justify jailing me when mainstream media journalists have not been jailed for media contempt for over half a century, and also to explain why I have been prosecuted where the mainstream media, who were provably responsible for far more jigsaw identification, were not prosecuted.

This is dreadful law, and my entire legal team are frankly astonished that the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on this point. This excellent article by Jonathan Cook explains further the chilling implications.

Those articles which the Court ordered me to take down, have been taken down. But I was not ordered to take down this one, which was found not to be in contempt of court. I was also not ordered to take down my affidavits, which though slightly redacted are still extremely valuable. I swore to the truth of every word and I stick by that. At the time I published these, far less was known about the Salmond affair than is known now, and I believe you will find it well worth reading them again in the light of your current state of wider knowledge – absolutely nothing to do with learning identities, but to do with what really happened on the whole plot to destroy Alex Salmond (something the judgement states I am allowed to say).

Finally I urge you to consider this truly remarkable speech from Kenny MacAskill MP. Scotland’s former Justice Secretary, and consider its quite staggering implications. It tells you everything you want to know about the British Establishment’s capture of the Scottish government, that the mainstream media felt no need to report the main points he was making, which constitute a simply astonishing outline of corrupt abuse of power.

An explanation: this blog is going dark because I cannot by law publish from prison or conduct a business from prison. Access to this blog has always been free and open and subscriptions have always been a voluntary contribution and not a purchase. It is understood that all new and continuing subscriptions from today, until we go live again, are voluntary contributions to the welfare of my family and not in exchange for anything.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Please Support Our
Summer Fund Drive!

Donate securely with PayPal


Or securely by credit card or check by clicking the red button:


10 comments for “Murray’s Last Words Before Prison

  1. Templar
    August 4, 2021 at 00:28

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to accept that certain judicial decisions in the UK, and other common law countries, are not politically motivated.

  2. ignasi orobitg gene
    August 2, 2021 at 14:01

    the closest thing to the judge is a home referee who makes the premises easy and the legal institution that admits the infallibility already shows the very high conceit and confirms that it is automaton of the politicians

    • Kenneth Hausle
      August 3, 2021 at 15:15

      Exactly. So why is the US of A trying to extradite Julian Assange and why does the UK put up with this request and why did Ecuador abandon somebody whom they offered refuge.
      Why I ask?
      I already know that answer.
      I just don’t know what to do about it.
      It seems like a dream quandary.
      I reckon I’ll just sleep on it.
      Very sad. It is all so sad.

  3. Buffalo_Ken
    August 2, 2021 at 13:53

    Without trial by jury, the last vestiges of liberty will be lost permanently.
    I hope the dignified Mr. Murray has an “uneventful” prison stay from the standpoint of….well, let me leave it this way – when you are in prison you want things to be uneventful. I pray for Julian Assange, but I think he must be worn down by now. Probably doesn’t have many days left to life if he remains in Belmarsh. That is just an opinion, a sad one, but a valid one nonetheless.
    What do these Scottish legal folks want to accomplish with all this travesty of justice? It makes no sense.
    It is all very sad and sadly in the worst way it must lead to suffering of innocence – seems to me as so. Seems to me we are regressing.
    It is a sad day and the only thing I want to add is I hope Mr. Murray has some folks who will be watching his prison time close to make sure that he is treated with dignity.

  4. Chris Herz
    August 2, 2021 at 13:22

    Fascism is another term for “corporate state.” Liberty clearly is an outdated concept.

  5. James Simpson
    August 2, 2021 at 06:14

    A well-argued and highly persuasive piece which covers elements of his case that commenters have largely avoided. The first point, that rape conviction rates are not to be a target, is extremely important. Almost the entire media, from left to right, along with the political parties from Green through Labour and the Tories, and of course pretty much every feminist who has a voice are united in their demand for this particular rate of conviction to be increased by some unstated (but presumably large) amount. They also claim that false allegations are rare – though how it would be possible to know this is never shown. It might be that all convictions are safe, none of them, or some figure in between. We cannot know for sure because we have a fallible criminal justice system.

    If anyone cares (and even on this site with its sterling support for Mr Murray and Mr Assange, the wider problems around criminal justice in sexual offences has not been much examined), I recommend this article by Clare McGlynn from the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies on 12 October 2011, abstracted as:

    “Justice for rape victims has become synonymous with punitive state punishment. Taking rape seriously is equated with increasing convictions and prison sentences and consequently most feminist activism has been focused on reforming the conventional criminal justice system to secure these aims. While important reforms have been made, justice continues to elude many victims. Many feel re-victimized by a system which marginalizes their interests and denies them a voice. Restorative justice offers the potential to secure justice for rape victims, but feminist resistance has resulted in few programmes tackling such crimes. In After the Crime, Susan Miller evidences the positive outcomes of a restorative justice programme tackling serious offences including rape and recommends their development. However, her vision is ultimately limited by her recommendation of only post-conviction restorative processes and the implicit endorsement of the conventional criminal justice system. I argue that feminist strategy and activism must rethink its approach to what constitutes justice for rape victims, going beyond punitive state outcomes to encompass broader notions of justice, including an expansive approach to restorative justice.”

  6. PT
    August 2, 2021 at 04:33

    Note by the way that the deadline for appealing to the ECHR does not consider attempts to appeal to the supreme court. It counts from the last court to actually hear it.

  7. TEP
    August 1, 2021 at 20:39

    As Julian Assange discovered, an empire is at its’ most dangerous when it is collapsing. The establishments’ many tentacles are reaching further into the abyss of self-preserving lawlessness, crossing even the most sacred of red lines as it clings to its’ fading power. Thank you Craig for your immense courage and sacrifice in exposing those at the levers of power for what they are and what they do.

  8. michael888
    August 1, 2021 at 17:32

    It’s sad that Government officials are clearly using the power of their offices to address petty grievances against Murray in Scotland and even more egregiously against Assange in the US.

  9. Carolyn L Zaremba
    August 1, 2021 at 12:23

    Hang in there, Craig Murray! We who believe in truth and justice support you and will continue to do so. It is an outrage that you have been brought to this point. But outrageous acts have become the “norm” in increasingly authoritarian governments and are reflected in their idea of jurisprudence.

Comments are closed.