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The Alex Salmond Trial


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On 5/27/2020 at 10:02 AM, thplinth said:

Was Independence taken into consideration when they decided to assassinate AS's character in order to keep him out of politics.

It is over for the foreseeable future. There is zero chance of independence under the current regime. They don't want it.

And once you remove the Independence carrot (cause that is all it is now) what remains is an increasingly horrible little party that has become a vehicle for a raft of uber woke shite that is the leaders personal political hobby horse.

There is a common theme to the SNP's ever increasing authoritarianism and what they attempted to do to Salmond. It is a deep seated arrogance that comes from having no real competition. We know what is best for you attitude the whole time. The house needs burnt down. It is exactly what is needed.

I disagree with that. They do want it, they're just willing to play a longer game than a lot of stalwart supporters (while at the same time pushing their personal careers and agendas, as is the nature of politics).

I often see folk on twatter talk about seeing independence "in their lifetime", like that fucking matters. This is bigger than you.**

Folk** need to not make the same factional mistakes as other indy movements throughout history, and keep the eyes on the prize. For those pissed off with the SNP, at the next elections i'd advocate: constituency vote SNP, list vote any indy party (there will be options).

 

**(that's rhetorical thplinth, i don't mean you personally).

 

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12 hours ago, Dave78 said:

I disagree with that. They do want it, they're just willing to play a longer game than a lot of stalwart supporters (while at the same time pushing their personal careers and agendas, as is the nature of politics).

I often see folk on twatter talk about seeing independence "in their lifetime", like that fucking matters. This is bigger than you.**

Folk** need to not make the same factional mistakes as other indy movements throughout history, and keep the eyes on the prize. For those pissed off with the SNP, at the next elections i'd advocate: constituency vote SNP, list vote any indy party (there will be options).

 

**(that's rhetorical thplinth, i don't mean you personally).

 

At the leadership level I firmly believe they are (very) 'soft' on Independence and I think they have gone about populating the SNP with similar minded people.

I think NS has effectively 'New Laboured the SNP if you get my drift. I see her now as a Tony Blair like figure (minus the war crimes). She has hijacked the purpose of the SNP and used it for her own political hobby horses. This latest proposed Hate Bill is a shocker. With every turn they just get worse and worse. 

Right now I would note vote for anything that puts power into the hands of the current leadership of the SNP. Quite the opposite. Scotland's legal system has descended into disrepute under this Government. And who is it targeting... Alex Salmond and journalists who supported him. This is deeply fucked up stuff. Fuck Nicola Sturgeon and her bullshit at this point. I would not vote for the SNP with her in charge under any circumstances. I am just worried that any new leader would quickly discover a party riddled with the equivalent of Blairites, i.e. Sturgeonites.

edit: that reminds me Craig Murray is in court today.

Edited by thplinth
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  • 2 weeks later...

The first parliamentary inquiry starts to hear evidence this afternoon.   It's online if anyone is interested/bored.

This is into how the handling of the initial complaints about Salmond by the Scottish Government - primarily the civil service function, rather than ministers.   This is a result of Salmond winning his judicial review last year.   I expect this will cover the period before the police becoming involved.

Should be plenty of illuminating evidence coming out of this though.

There's another inquiry by the Standards commissioner into Nicola Sturgeon's conduct after she referred herself to that.  I suspect that won't be a public inquiry but rather the Standards commisioner will publish a report.

There's been some talk about public inquiries into the decisions to prosecute and also internally within the SNP over how it was handled.   

Whether these happen will I guess largely depend on what comes out of this inquiry.

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12 minutes ago, aaid said:

The first parliamentary inquiry starts to hear evidence this afternoon.   It's online if anyone is interested/bored.

This is into how the handling of the initial complaints about Salmond by the Scottish Government - primarily the civil service function, rather than ministers.   This is a result of Salmond winning his judicial review last year.   I expect this will cover the period before the police becoming involved.

Should be plenty of illuminating evidence coming out of this though.

There's another inquiry by the Standards commissioner into Nicola Sturgeon's conduct after she referred herself to that.  I suspect that won't be a public inquiry but rather the Standards commisioner will publish a report.

There's been some talk about public inquiries into the decisions to prosecute and also internally within the SNP over how it was handled.   

Whether these happen will I guess largely depend on what comes out of this inquiry.

I am on a weeks holiday and the weather looks shit so I might have a look . Do you have a link to the website ? 

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Covers the actions of the current FM, SG officials and SPADs in relation to handling of complaints.

Committee's composition is:

Linda Fabiani (SNP) - Convener; Donald Cameron, Margaret Mitchell (Con); Jackie Baillie (Lab); Alasdair Allen, Maureen Watt, Angela Constance (SNP); Alison Johnstone (Greens), Alex Cole Hamilton (Lib Dem)

Okay - so this sounds like a procedural session and they are just setting out the way forwards and how they'll go about it, who they need to call as witnesses and the like.

Doesn't sound like there will be any actual evidence from witnesses until August at the earliest.

Edited by aaid
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-pieces-of-the-jigsaw/

Late last week, Wings finally received a long-overdue full response to the queries we first made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in early April, regarding several matters connected to the failed prosecution of Alex Salmond.

(You’re supposed to get a reply in 20 working days. It’s been nearly four months.)

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9 hours ago, phart said:

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-pieces-of-the-jigsaw/

Late last week, Wings finally received a long-overdue full response to the queries we first made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in early April, regarding several matters connected to the failed prosecution of Alex Salmond.

(You’re supposed to get a reply in 20 working days. It’s been nearly four months.)

 I liked this bit

Quote

 

That paragraph, pictured below but redacted by us, which is still available for the public to read freely online both in the original Tortoise Media piece and the repeat on the Scotsman website – which the COPFS has elected not to bring a prosecution over OR demand the removal of, but which it repeatedly refuses to tell us we can quote – is at the heart of this entire mess.

garapara.jpg

COPFS is caught in a cleft stick. For the reasons noted above, it can neither admit the paragraph is contempt, nor say that it isn’t. The only way COPFS can prosecute Craig Murray but not the Garavelli Six is to keep the paragraph in a state of permanent quantum uncertainty, like Schrodinger’s Cat.

 

 

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20 hours ago, phart said:

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-pieces-of-the-jigsaw/

Late last week, Wings finally received a long-overdue full response to the queries we first made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in early April, regarding several matters connected to the failed prosecution of Alex Salmond.

(You’re supposed to get a reply in 20 working days. It’s been nearly four months.)

 A few comments on that Wings piece.   

I don't think it's correct that the Lord Advocate "reports into" Humza Yousaf as Cabinet Secretary for Justice.  The Lord Advocate is a member of the government -in his own right - although he/she is a "non-political" appointment by the FM.  Constitutionally he is accountable to Parliament as is the entire government.   If you ever do the tour of the Scottish Parliament, they will point out that there are 130 chairs in the main chamber to allow both the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General to participate if and when required.   Outwith elected MSPs they are the only people allowed to take part in official parliamentary proceedings.

The Lord Advocate has a dual role, on one hand he is the Government's lawyer and is the person who will give legal advice to the government and who will take any legal action on behalf of the the government - so you'd have seen him involved in some of the UK Supreme Court cases recently.   On the other hand he's also responsible for COPFS who decide who is subject to criminal prosecutions.  In England and Wales, the two roles have been separated since 1880 with the Attorney General being the government's lawyer and the DPP handling prosecutions.  So this is nothing to do with Holyrood or devolution but I guess goes back to the beginnings of the Scottish Legal system. 

I see that Kenny MacAskill in particular is now suggesting the role is split because of the potential conflict of interest in that dual role that this case has highlighted.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if once the dust settles on all this that this isn't something they look at.

I'm also not aware that COPFS gives detailed explanations on why they decline to prosecute *any* potential cases other than the generic "would not be in the public interest" so it's hardly surprising that they've given him the rubber ear here.   I have to admit, I can kind of see his point as having some insight, any reference to the "meeting" has to be dealt with circumspectly, due to jigsaw ID but I guess we'll have to wait and see what evidence exactly is led in the Murray and Hirst cases to see if there's more to it than initially meets the eye.

Finally, the committee have already stated that they'll redact anything that could potentially breach the court order protecting the complainer's identities so the allegation that they reason behind the prosecution of Murray and Hirst as to somehow stymie the inquiry is total fantasy land.

FWIW, I've no idea what Mark Hirst is supposed to have done or said but I was following Murray pretty closely during the trial and I did think he gave the impression of someone that was looking to get himself arrested, so it was no surprise to me when first of all he was barred from the court and secondly when he was subsequently charged.

 

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Wings iis just going off

"However, the Lord Advocate is constitutionally responsible for the systems of prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland, and is answerable to the Scottish Parliament for the operation of those systems."

If "reports in" is synonmous with "answerable" then it's pretty clear that the Lord Advocate does.

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4 minutes ago, phart said:

Wings iis just going off

"However, the Lord Advocate is constitutionally responsible for the systems of prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland, and is answerable to the Scottish Parliament for the operation of those systems."

If "reports in" is synonmous with "answerable" then it's pretty clear that the Lord Advocate does.

He seems to be getting the hump because Humza Yousaf had said in terms, "the Lord Advocate has nothing to do with me" and he's got the arse over that for some reason.
 

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1 hour ago, aaid said:

He seems to be getting the hump because Humza Yousaf had said in terms, "the Lord Advocate has nothing to do with me" and he's got the arse over that for some reason.
 

Take out the personalities and discuss the claims. So if the Lord Advocate is answerable to parliament then the claim is fine. However it depends what answerable means, if it means just needs to explain their decision when asked then it's not a problem, if it means their decision can be affected by the fact they have to explain and can be held accountable it starts to have merit.

The debate shouldn't be around subjective claims of arseyness or folk getting the hump but at what functional level can the government affect the Lord Advocates decision making and why, if any , contradictions in the two parties assessment of this appear.

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20 minutes ago, phart said:

Take out the personalities and discuss the claims. So if the Lord Advocate is answerable to parliament then the claim is fine. However it depends what answerable means, if it means just needs to explain their decision when asked then it's not a problem, if it means their decision can be affected by the fact they have to explain and can be held accountable it starts to have merit.

The debate shouldn't be around subjective claims of arseyness or folk getting the hump but at what functional level can the government affect the Lord Advocates decision making and why, if any , contradictions in the two parties assessment of this appear.

I agree and he problem lies in the nature of the dual role of the Lord Advocate's responsibilities and that it's taken centuries for a case to come up which brings the potential conflict of those two roles into sight.  That's why I said that I think when the dust settles, I suspect it'll be reviewed at least. 

That's not what Wings is talking about, though.   He's asserting that somehow he's answerable directly to Humza Yousaf, or more precisely that Humza Yousaf is lying when he says that he's not.

All members of the government are constitutionally answerable to parliament.   If parliament doesn't like what the government is doing it can vote to stop it, it can vote to change the goverment.  Hell, the Scottish Parliament even votes to appoint a new First Minister.

Parliament is a very different thing to government.  He knows that but he's deliberately conflating the two.   


 

Edited by aaid
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Jjust yesterday we learned Mi6 had to apologise for interfering in court case, so the thought of outside influences on the legal system was forefront in my mind.

I don't know the answer regarding this case but i read one after the other so was curious to see what was happening,

 

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1 hour ago, phart said:

Jjust yesterday we learned Mi6 had to apologise for interfering in court case, so the thought of outside influences on the legal system was forefront in my mind.

I don't know the answer regarding this case but i read one after the other so was curious to see what was happening,

 

Wasn't a court case, it was a Investigatory Powers tribunal, one of the bodies that has oversight of the security services and they were promptly told to do one, hence the apology.

In this case, the system worked as its supposed to.   Someone overstepped the mark, were put in their place and had to issue a pretty grovelling apologies.

MI5 were also put under special measures last year over its storage of personal data - again, an example of the system working.

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7 hours ago, aaid said:

Wasn't a court case, it was a Investigatory Powers tribunal, one of the bodies that has oversight of the security services and they were promptly told to do one, hence the apology.

In this case, the system worked as its supposed to.   Someone overstepped the mark, were put in their place and had to issue a pretty grovelling apologies.

MI5 were also put under special measures last year over its storage of personal data - again, an example of the system working.

Semantics. If we assume a court case is a dispute between two parties mediated by laws, It involved not showing things to judges, if we have judges to mean "a public officer appointed to decide cases in a law court." Again what naming convention one wants to use for it isn't really the main point.

They were allowed to mischaractise it as a "misunderstanding" and no one was censured for a pretty clear case of attempting to pervert justice/withold evidence. Not sure i'd describe that as a system working as it should. However depends on what you want from the system i guess.

Again not one person was prosecuted for"extraordinary and persistent illegality" by mi5 we didn't get to find out the extent of it either. We'll have to disagree about the system working on that one.

Special measures meant: the security service will have to show its systems are fit for purpose “to a greater degree than usual” when applying for warrants. Now for you that might be good enough for "extraordinary and persistent illegality" fair enough.

 

Edited by phart
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7 hours ago, phart said:

Semantics. If we assume a court case is a dispute between two parties mediated by laws, It involved not showing things to judges, if we have judges to mean "a public officer appointed to decide cases in a law court." Again what naming convention one wants to use for it isn't really the main point.

They were allowed to mischaractise it as a "misunderstanding" and no one was censured for a pretty clear case of attempting to pervert justice/withold evidence. Not sure i'd describe that as a system working as it should. However depends on what you want from the system i guess.

Again not one person was prosecuted for"extraordinary and persistent illegality" by mi5 we didn't get to find out the extent of it either. We'll have to disagree about the system working on that one.

Special measures meant: the security service will have to show its systems are fit for purpose “to a greater degree than usual” when applying for warrants. Now for you that might be good enough for "extraordinary and persistent illegality" fair enough.

 

The word-nazi* dismissing something as "semantics" shows there really is a first time for everything.

On the substantative point we'll have to agree to disagree.

*oblique Seinfeld reference, nothing more. 

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I've not been following all this in detail. But the bit that struck me was that it would be possible for the "Garavelli Six" to have acted unlawfully (in providing 'jigsaw identification'), but for the prosecutor to not press charges because it wasn't in the public interest (because they are good, honest professional journalists just trying to do their job?). Whereas the implication is that if Craig Murray or Wings published the same content, they could be charged (because they are lurid conspiracy theorists stirring things up?) - that seem to my simple eyes to be in danger of being open to political discretion/manipulation.

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Scottish government going to miss a deadline for handing over information.

"THE Scottish Government has missed the deadline to deliver vital documents to the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair by at least a month.

It means MSPs will be forced to start their witness hearings in mid-August without all the information in front of them."

Committee asked for it end of July , Evans saying she can't do that.

“I said in my letter of 3 June that the Scottish Government will submit that information as soon as possible, having prioritised the first two requests, and explained that it was unlikely to be before end-August. That remains the case.

“You subsequently asked for this information to be delivered by end-July and that an explanation be given if this was not possible.”

"In addition to the increased demands on staff and the remote working impacts of COVID-19, the key issue affecting the timescale for completion of this work is ensuring that we meet our data protection obligations and comply with the legal restrictions which apply to the documentation."

Mad how the roadblock into an inquiry about how Leslie Evans wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money doing her job badly is now being held up by Leslie Evans unable to meet deadlines. Can't meet the legal requirements in an investigation fucking it up and costing thousands, can't meet the time deadlines in the investigation resulting from this potentially fucking up the inquiry, get's her contract extended anyway.

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11 minutes ago, exile said:

I've not been following all this in detail. But the bit that struck me was that it would be possible for the "Garavelli Six" to have acted unlawfully (in providing 'jigsaw identification'), but for the prosecutor to not press charges because it wasn't in the public interest (because they are good, honest professional journalists just trying to do their job?). Whereas the implication is that if Craig Murray or Wings published the same content, they could be charged (because they are lurid conspiracy theorists stirring things up?) - that seem to my simple eyes to be in danger of being open to political discretion/manipulation.

Picking and choosing when the same actions become a crime subjectively is always going to be up for abuse.

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