Saturday, July 23, 2011
Strathclyde Police to investigate Tommy Sheridan trial, reports say that Andy Coulson may face perjury charges in Scottish Court!
Scotland is to have its own phone hacking investigation.
Given the nature of this story, it would have been surprising if they hadn’t started an investigation.
Strathclyde Police are to head up the investigation into phone hacking and breaches of data protection in Scotland.
The announcement was made by the Crown Office.
And like in England, the remit seems at present to be limited in nature to just News International employees.
A probe will centre on allegations that witnesses gave perjured evidence in the trial of ex-MSP Tommy Sheridan.
Sheridan was found guilty of perjury and sent to prison.
Last December he was found guilty of lying during his successful defamation case against the News of the World (NoW) newspaper in 2006.
The jury verdict was 8-6 for guilty, however, trial by jury is a crapshoot, he could have easily got off, juries are fickle because as experienced by myself, fact isn’t the only thing considered.
Juries sometimes allow emotion to influence their verdict.
However, in the trial of Tommy Sheridan, the jury came to the verdict that the evidence led them to, Sheridan’s guilt.
You could say that there was a tsunami of evidence against him but 6 people still voted not guilty.
Tommy Sheridan is a good public speaker but he isn’t that good, it worked once for him in the civil case but criminal cases are a different animal.
Asst Ch Con George Hamilton said:
"Following our discussions with the Crown, we have now been instructed to carry out a full investigation into allegations that witnesses gave perjured evidence in the trial of Tommy Sheridan and into alleged breaches of data protection and phone hacking.
"We will also be looking to see if we can uncover any evidence of corruption in the police service or any other organisation related to these inquiries.
"However, I must stress that no specific allegations regarding corruption have been presented to us at this time."
“The investigation is likely to be a lengthy one”
He also said his detectives would be working with the Metropolitan Police and other Scottish forces.
And on Newsnet Scotland they are running an article that Andy Coulson might possible be facing perjury charges in Scotland.
A blogger Charles Lavery says that:
"He (Coulson) met Scots QC Paul McBride at the Matrix legal chambers in London last week. That meeting came after a series of telephone calls between McBride, Coulson, and senior members of the Conservative Party. Coulson has been told to prepare himself for charges. Legal restrictions prevent further reporting at this time."
Paul McBride during the Sheridan case defended Gail Sheridan.
Now, he is switching sides to defend a Sheridan’s Nemesis and presumably fight to prove their innocence.
Sheridan’s lawyer Aamer Anwar got the ball rolling with Tom Watson by handing in a dossier of information alleging hundreds of people had been targeted by News International.
The BBC has managed to obtain a copy of that dossier, which details journalists' requests to private detective Steve Whittamore.
The so-called "Blue Book" features the names of many high-profile figures who later allegedly became victims of phone hacking.
And in it there are requests for a variety of legitimate, publicly-sourced information, but noticeably but there are also requests for sensitive information like ex-directory numbers, criminal records, vehicle registration details and Friends and Family numbers.
And all that could be illegal if they have been accessed by blagging or deception.
Truly phone hacking is a can of worms for News International.
The Scottish News of the World employed private detective Steve Whittamore dozens of times.
For Sheridan who was found guilty, this is a victory of sorts, the NOTW got him and it looks like he might return the favour at a Scottish level.
However, NOTW or their Associates possible guilt wouldn’t alter his situation.
But at least he can enjoy their misery.
And if anyone at NOTW gets banged up then it will be counted as a form of victory.
Andy Coulson if reports are correct, maybe coming back to Glasgow to stand trial.
He should learn the old song, ‘I belong to Glasgow’ because if convicted Barlinnie will certainly own him for some considerable time.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University