Appeal bid by Alex Salmond trial blogger refused

Appeal bid by Alex Salmond trial blogger refused

A judge has refused a former diplomat permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court over his eight-month jail term for breaching a court order.

Craig Murray was jailed for eight months over blogs he wrote about the trial of Alex Salmond.

The former ambassador to Uzbekistan wanted to challenge the decision at Britain’s highest court.

But Lady Dorrian ruled Murray’s lawyers had not made the case to allow this to happen.

The UK Supreme Court allows people to appeal directly to it in the event of another court refusing to grant permission to proceed to the Supreme Court and this is what Murray intends to do.

Lady Dorrian agreed to continue Murray’s bail for a further month to allow him to make the application to the Supreme Court.

The court had previously heard how Murray posted a series of articles online about the former first minister’s High Court trial in 2020.

Prosecutors raised concerns that complainers could be identified via his writing, breaching a court order.

Murray’s advocate Roddy Dunlop QC had argued that the case should be allowed to proceed to the UK Supreme Court as it raised legal points which needed to be addressed.

But in a written judgement, Lady Dorrian concluded that Murray’s case did not need to be referred to Britain’s highest court.

She wrote: “In its determination the court considered the rationale for the protection of anonymity, and the fact that it extends beyond the rights of complainers in the individual case to providing comfort to those who maybe considering reporting a sexual offence.

“It considered that the actions of the applicant were such as struck at the heart of the fair administration of justice.

“Having reached the conclusion that there are no arguable points of law arising, the court will refuse the application.”

Mr Dunlop had previously argued that sending Murray to prison would be “harsh to the point of being disproportionate” and urged judges to deal with the matter by way of a fine.

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