Selective prosecution

Three men in a pub

My letter published in The National today.

The concept of “jigsaw identification” necessarily implies a number of components. There is no such thing as a one-piece jigsaw puzzle. This being so, if one piece (piece A) constitutes jigsaw identification only in conjunction with at least one other piece (piece B) then it follows as an iron law of logic that piece B must constitute jigsaw identification when put together with piece A.

How then can it be considered just or fair that the author of one piece is prosecuted but not the author of the other piece(s)? If one has offended then the other must also have done so. On the basis of what criteria is only one targeted by the justice system?

It would seem that only two things distinguish Craig Murray from any or all of the other pieces in this jigsaw identification. One is that he works in the new online media rather than the traditional media. The other is that his reporting of the trial of Alex Salmond sought to compensate for woeful under-reporting of the defence case in the traditional media.

Does either or both of these criteria seem adequate justification for the selective persecution of Craig Murray? To put it another way, does working for a traditional media outlet rather than publishing a blog, or favouring the (failed) prosecution in a high-profile criminal case rather than providing balanced reporting, constitute adequate grounds to be granted exemption from prosecution for an offence identical in all relevant regards to that for which another has been imprisoned?

These questions go to the heart of Scotland’s justice system and so demand thoughtful responses.

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9 thoughts on “Selective prosecution

  1. I agree.

    It is totally absurd to single out Craig Murray even if his piece or pieces contributed in any way to someone’s ability to identify any one or more of Alex Salmond’s accusers.

    By definition the other pieces must exist from other sources if the picture is to be completed.

    Corroboration from other materials must be obtained in order to validate/eliminate possible answers to clues. In this case these sources include articles and features originating from the mainstream media. I know as I used them.

    A very selective prosecution indeed.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Maybe a double “state prosecution” , by both the british state (Craig Murray has long been a thorn in their side) and the scottish state-let for reporting the defence evidence in the trial of AS which itself is widely held to have been the result of a political conspiracy, and has been reported on as such by Craig Murray. Can’t escape the conclusion that “they” were out to get him.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As you know, Geoff, I’m not one for conspiracy theories. Mainly because the chances of any human enterprise failing increase exponentially with each additional person involved. But every once in a while there is something which is difficult to explain in any terms other than conspiracy.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. My late father was a teacher of history so from an early age I knew all about the cock-up versus conspiracy theories of history. He inclined more to the cock-up theory, fuelled for the most part by economic interests and incompetence, but like you suggest, he taught that sometimes there are real conspiracies involving those in power to bring about particular ends. He warned though that even retrospectively it is never easy to know what the ends might be.

        Evidence is certainly beginning to pile up that power may well be conspiring (in the perfectly ordinary sense recognised by the legal system) to silence or marginalise dissent. And nobody but the terminally deluded could disagree with your observation that jigsaws have more than one piece.

        Medical stuff and weather permitting, I think I shall be joining you on the 31st August.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. There is something very alarming about all the conditionals attached to this judgement.

    Are we heading towards the world portrayed in that movie with Tom Cruise about the creatures in a tank who know beforehand who is going to commit crime?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is normally in the cover-up that follows the cock-up that the conspiracy lies. I don’t adhere to the principle that the Scottish justice system has been nobbled. It is more likely that it has over-reached itself and has tried to show how clever it is and different and more worthy, like every other Scottish component of our nation does all the time. It’s part of the Scottish Cringe. By doing so, it allows itself to be led up the garden path. It is very convenient for Mr Murray to be out of the way for a while; it is also probably ‘pour encourager les autres (the bloggers and on-line journalists)’; but it is also a reminder that the MSM is allowed to play by different rules.

    The MSM stuff was in circulation before the final warning from the bench went out, and contempt of court is a strict liability offence with no defence of lack of intent, so Lady Dorrian did what she had to do. What has been so shocking is the sentence itself which is punitive – and probably meant to be so. They almost certainly weighed the pros and cons of creating a martyr with the need to protect women before, during and after a sexual offences trial. If the MSM stuff was already published and Mr Murray added to the overall jigsaw effect, that is what he was charged with under contempt of court.

    I must say, I fully expected him to be handed a monetary fine and, maybe even community payback, maybe even being admonished, initially, but, as time went on, it became evident that he was not going to be spared. Eight months is more than the six months handed down to a previous ‘outing’ of the names which was an actual ‘outing’ with full details given on-line. Then, of course, Mr Murray is a bigger threat, being a human rights activist and a former ambassador.

    Liked by 3 people

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