Monday, June 27, 2011

Freedom Of Information

  I have used this blog to communicate the facts about the Hollie Greig case, which continues to be ignored by the mainstream media. I have been greatly encouraged by the numerous supportive comments posted in the blog, but I would like to make it clear that I am perfectly willing to engage in constructive debate with anyone who may doubt the veracity of these facts or who interprets them in such a way which does not indicate a major scandal.

 However to date there have been no "dissenting voices" who have posted comments and it seems that the only tactic available to those opposed to justice for Hollie is to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to answer any questions.

 Thanks largely to the persistence of one individual we have succeeded in using the Freedom of Information Act to cause great embarassment and discomfort to people in positions of authority.

 The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, simply ignored awkward questions posed to him and now the Information Commissioner has set a deadline of July 11th for him to respond.

 Similar pressure has been placed on the Crown Office, who refuse to say whether or not the taxpayer funded lawyer's letters to the media sent by Elish Angiolini asking them not to cover the case, and Shropshire Council, who are being extremely evasive about their role in the disgraceful raid on Anne and Hollie's home.

 The current impasse closely resembles that involving the anti-hero Chichikov in Gogol's "Dead Souls". Chichikov was a con-man whose frauds became so widespread that he could not be found guilty without implicating some of the most powerful people in the realm. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Alex Salmond & Greg Lance-Watkins - Do They Share A Common Purpose ?

   On Wednesday 26th January, I appeared at Stonehaven Sheriff Court where my solicitor Gerry Sweeney appealed for a relaxation of my bail conditions. Mr Sweeney drew an analogy between my actions and those of someone opposing the Nazis in Germany in the 1930's.

  The following day, Aberdeen's local newspaper, the "Press and Journal" reported extensively on the case.

 Later that day, I was very surprised to learn that the blog of Greg Lance-Watkins, a person who promotes the notion that the Hollie Greig case is a fantasy, made a reference to Mr Sweeney's Nazi analogy. This was not referred to in any newspaper coverage of the case nor was it mentioned in any of the material which my supporters published on the internet.

 Therefore I could not understand how Lance-Watkins could have been given this information as there were no more than 15 people in the courtroom and there was no transcript made of proceedings. The only possible sources that I could think of were either the Crown Office or the local newspaper group Aberdeen Journals, whose reporter was in the courtroom. 

 I have just learnt that on Friday 28th January, First Minister Alex Salmond had a meeting with Damian Bates, at that time Editor of the Evening Express who had recently been appointed as the new editor of the Press & Journal.

 Given that Salmond's other engagements that day were with Outplay Entertainment, a business from Dundee, and STV , to record a clip about Andy Murray, why would he meet a newspaper editor from Aberdeen ?

 Could the meeting between Salmond and Bates possibly be linked to the leaking of information to Lance-Watkins ? We know that Salmond and Lance-Watkins, for their individual reasons, both want the Hollie Greig story to either be discredited or to disappear.

 Another alternative is that Salmond and Bates were discussing media coverage of my case and the Hollie Greig story in general. It is worth noting that, since then, there has been no coverage whatsoever of the Hollie Greig story by Aberdeen Journals and also, that Gary Cruden, who had reported on my court appearances is no longer employed by the organisation.

 It may or may not be relevant that Bates is a member of the Aberdeen Advisory Group of Common Purpose, an organisation with links to many of the key players in the Hollie Greig case including Elish Angiolini, Colin McKerracher and Kim Ryley.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Support Continues To Grow - Please Spread The Word

 One of the benefits of this blog is that it enables me to gauge the level of interest in and support for Hollie's case. I am pleased to report that we have exceeded 31,000 hits in the blog in a little over 6 months and that, even with nine days to go, June is already the busiest month to date.

 Support continues to come in from all quarters. I appeared on an Irish radio show last night and tonight I am appearing on an American radio show. It is most heartening that the power of the internet enables Hollie's story to be heard when the mainstream media, for whatever reason, do not report it.

 It is significant that those who attempt to deny justice for Hollie do not offer any counter-arguments but simply ignore us, presumably in the hope that we will simply disappear. They must surely realise that Hollie's Peaceful Army is not going to disappear and that the day of reckoning can only be delayed, never cancelled. Attempts have been made in the past to derail the campaign but they have been repelled.

 However, it is important that, rather than resting on our laurels, we build from our position of strength. Therefore, I would ask that everyone reading this blog makes the effort to tell Hollie's story to 10 people who have not heard it before.

 Thank you all for your support.


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Courage And Determination Of Anne And Hollie Greig

 In the latest clip of my recent meeting with Stuart Usher we talk of the extra-ordinary courage and determination displayed by Hollie Greig and her mother Anne.

 I have been invited to speak at the Big Awakening Conference which takes place tomorrow (Saturday 18th June) starting at 10am at the Middleton Arena, Manchester. I am looking forward to being able to tell more people about Hollie's story.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sinecure For The Dame Of Shame

 I note that "Dame" Elish Angiolini has been appointed by "Justice" Secretary Kenny MacAskill to chair a Commission with the aim of "improving outcomes for female offenders".

 Would it not be more appropriate to improve "outcomes" for female victims such as Hollie Greig who, in spite of being paid £13,500 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, has yet to see those whom she accused of raping her face criminal charges.

 All right-minded people would surely agree that those who commit the most serious offences, whether male or female, should be pursued by the criminal justice system and, if found guilty, punished accordingly.

Some Of The Vilest People On The Planet Getting Lots Of Money From The Public Purse

The title of this blog is a quote from Alex Salmond in a recent outburst attempting to deflect attention from the sorry state of Scottish "justice".

 He does not specify who these "vile" people are. Could he be referring to some or all of the following ?

 Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice - Salary of £96,999
 Frank Mulholland, Lord Advocate - Salary of £109,752
 Colin McKerracher, Chief Constable of Grampian Police - Salary over £120,000
 Alex Salmond, First Minister - Salary of £135,605

Monday, June 13, 2011

Frank Mulholland's Bizarre Ramblings

  Scotland's new Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, has taken time out from sticking his head in the sand over the Hollie Greig case to issue a ridiculous statement in respect of the Lockerbie bombing.

 Why is he pushing the view that Colonel Gadaffi could be brought to trial in Scotland when the view of all independent commentators, including Dr Jim Swire whose daughter died on PanAm 103, is that the case that the bombing was ordered by Libya is extremely weak ?

 This is the same Frank Mulholland who, as Solicitor General, stonewalled numerous enquiries from the public relating to Hollie Greig's allegations with the standard response:

"Historical allegations of sexual abuse made by Hollie Greig have been investigated by Grampian Police and the local Procurator Fiscal. All the available evidence was reported to Crown Office for the consideration of independent Crown Counsel. Very careful consideration was given to the material by Crown Counsel who concluded that there was insufficient, admissible, credible and reliable evidence in respect of these allegations."

 Can we assume that Mr Mulholland will now start agitating for further investigations into the allegations made by Hollie and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice ?

Dame Elish Angiolini

 I was very surprised to learn that former Lord Advocate of Scotland, Elish Angiolini, has been made a Dame in the Queen's birthday honour's list.

 During Mrs Angiolini's time as Scotland's chief prosecutor, no action was taken in respect of the allegations made by Hollie Greig that she was the victim of a paedophile rape gang. She has also been heavily criticised for her role in other cases.

 A decision is awaited from the Information Commisioner as to whether the Crown Office should release details of whether she or the taxpayer funded a series of legal actions against the media in connection with the Hollie Greig case.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stuart Usher

 Earlier this week, I was able to meet up with my friend, Stuart Usher, who first introduced me to the Hollie Greig case in 2008. Stuart has spent many years fighting corruption in the Scottish legal system and has exposed dozens of "crooked lawyers". He has been a source of great support to Anne and Hollie and, in the early days, he was single-handedly campaigning on their behalf.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Defence Team

 Now that all Legal Aid issues have finally been resolved my defence team is now in place. Unfortunately Donald Findlay QC is now unable to act as my senior counsel due to commitments to other cases, but I am extremely pleased to have secured an excellent replacement in Frances McMenamin QC.

 Junior counsel, John McLaughlin, and human rights lawyer, Gerry Sweeney, remain as members of the team.

 I will be attending another intermediate diet in Stonehaven this Wednesday, which will be my eighth court appearance to date.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Frank Mulholland Talks A Good Game

 Announcing the launch of a new unit to tackle Scotland's unsolved murder's and other serious crimes, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland says:

 "Justice will pursue down the years those who have so far evaded detection for their crimes."

 Hollie Greig and her ever-growing army of supporters will be watching with interest, to see whether Mr Mulholland's fine words are backed up by his actions.

Taxi For MacAskill ?

 The abject failure of Scottish "Justice" Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, to intervene in the Hollie Greig case would surely have forced his resignation were it not for the virtual black-out of reporting in the mainstream media.

 However his astonishing comments attacking the UK Supreme Court for  attempting to uphold the human rights of Scottish citizens will surely end his political career.

 What does the future hold for MacAskill   ? Perhaps he and his business associates will expand their interests in the licensed trade in Eastern Europe ? 

 Or could he develop a new career as a taxi driver, regaling his punters with tales of how Scotland had the best legal system in the world ? Hollie Greig, Megrahi, Nat Fraser, Shirley McKie and many others may beg to differ. 

The Net Closes In On Salmond And The Scottish Government

 In my blog on May 9th I congratulated Alex Salmond and the SNP on their resounding election victory. I sincerely hoped that they would take the opportunity to clean up the Scottish justice system and to launch a full public enquiry into the Hollie Greig case. Around the same time I wrote to Mr Salmond offering to co-operate with such an enquiry and expressing my wish to let bygones be bygones.

 Mr Salmond's failure to even acknowledge my letter, together with the extraordinary comments both he and Kenny MacAskill have made regarding the UK Supreme Court , lead me to believe that the SNP Government have no interest whatsoever in "Justice" as most right-minded people would understand it.

 Even more seriously, the Information Commissioner has now had to intervene in order to force Salmond and the Scottish Government to reply to correspondence on the Hollie Greig case which they have, to date, simply ignored.

 One wonders if the election result might have been different had the electorate known about these matters.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Firm

  The highly respected independent law journal "The Firm" has supported Hollie's quest for justice since 2009 and I would commend it's editor Steven Raeburn for his courage in speaking out when other journalists have failed to do so.

 This week they reported on the steps taken by Andrew George MP, a Liberal Democrat from Cornwall, to press for a "thorough review" of the Hollie Greig case. This was prompted by correspondence from a constituent that I was unaware of. This demonstrates that, in spite of the failure of the mainstream media to report on the Hollie Greig case, the level of outrage is such that the story is not going to simply disappear.