Mr Murray was sentenced to eight months imprisonment at the High Court in Edinburgh (Scotland) today after being convicted of Contempt of Court over his reporting of the previous trial of the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, in 2020.
The High Court ruled that Mr Murray’s coverage of the Salmond trial led to so-called “jigsaw identification” of complainers who made allegations against the former First Minister. A jury acquitted Mr Salmond on all charges on 23rd March 2020.
It is believed to be the first instance in Scottish legal history where “jigsaw identification” has led to an individual being imprisoned.Writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger said, “In these dark times, Craig Murray's truth-telling is a beacon. He is owed our debt of gratitude, not the travesty of a prison sentence which, like the prosecution of Julian Assange, is a universal warning.”
Professor Noam Chomsky added, “Craig Murray has compiled a remarkable record of courage and integrity in exposing crimes of state and working to bring them to an end. He fully merits our deep respect and support for his achievements.”Respected British journalist and author Yvonne Ridley said that Mr Murray was ultimately paying the price of holding truth to power.
"I first became aware of Craig Murray in his role as Britain's ambassador in Uzbekistan when he heroically exposed human rights atrocities meted out to dissidents,” Ridley said.
“As a result of his intervention the world learned how the regime tortured and boiled alive some of its political prisoners. Instead of being praised he was subjected by the Foreign Office to a humiliating disciplinary investigation, had his personal life publicly shredded and suffered a string of health problems,” said Ridley.“That is the price he paid for holding truth to power back in 2002 and the fact he is still shining a light on injustices two decades later is to his credit,” Ridley added.“Now it appears he has fallen foul of contempt laws through claims of jigsaw identification. Sending him to prison because he has upset the Establishment - yet again - proves nothing more than the law is an ass,” Ridley said.
Scotland’s former Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MP, who is himself a lawyer added, “This is a sad day for Scottish Justice. The idea that all problems emanate from Westminster is absurd. There are deep rooted structures and historic inequalities that scar Scotland. They require changed and that cannot await independence, especially when those legal structures are already devolved.”
Solicitor Advocate, Gordon Dangerfield (who does not represent Mr Murray) said, “The way in which Craig Murray has been singled out by the prosecuting authorities in this case is a national scandal which should concern anyone who cares about the rule of law in Scotland. The whole concept of 'jigsaw identification' also needs to be rethought and I fully support Craig's appeal.”Mr Murray’s legal team now plan to launch an appeal against his conviction and sentencing.
Actually what I found most shocking about that was the peculiar determination of the judges to make sure that, during the three weeks we have to lodge the appeal, I am not allowed to go to Spain to testify in the criminal prosecution for the CIA spying on Assange's legal team.— Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) May 11, 2021
. @CraigMurrayOrg é sentenciado a 8 meses de prisión por desacato ao Tribunal en artigos que escribiu sobre o xuizo criminal contra Alex Salmond (do que saíu absolto de todos os cargos) https://t.co/1bZi8adTUg— RosaliaTV (@rosalia_tv) May 11, 2021
Craig Murray vai ser o primeiro xornalista en Escocia sentenciado aparentemente por publicar un artigo que permitiría identificar a algunha das denunciantes contra Salmond. Dende Rosalia TV nos preguntamos qué pasa cos outros xornalistas que mesmo as mencionaron https://t.co/D2m8tLEQNO— RosaliaTV (@rosalia_tv) May 11, 2021
Os letrados de @CraigMurrayOrg solicitan o aprazamento da sentenza para presentar a apelación no Tribunal Supremo.— Pilar Fernandez (@pilaraymara) May 11, 2021
Podo decirvos que isto é de traca.
Coñezo a identidade de varias denunciantes non por Craig Murray senón pola publicacións e artigos doutros xornalistas 😳 https://t.co/Xc4hwdmmn7