Today in Sheridanland

After the deluge of weekend stories in the Tommy Sheridan affair things are starting to make rapid progress.  The Procurator Fiscal in Edinburgh (the Scottish prosecution service) has instructed Lothian and Borders police to carry out a criminal investigation into the perjury allegations.  This will come as no surprise to anyone interested in the case including Alistair Bonnington the solicitor for the BBC.  Mr Bonnington in his article asserted that any perjury investigation would be a waste of public money because prosecution would be unlikely.  Such an argument could have been run in relation to the cash for honours investigations south of the border.  It could be argued that one doesn’t know until the investigation has taken place.  In his article Mr Bonnington made a number of other points including the assertion that people lie in court all the time in order to save their skin.  He is referring to criminal cases where such behaviour on the part of an accused person is – as I understand it – not uncommon.  The reason I feel a perjury case is more likely in this scenario is that here the motivation for the court action was cash and  the conflict between the two stories presented in relation to the SSP executive committee is so pronounced.  If the 11 executive committee members were not telling the truth about Sheridan’s alleged confession then their motivation was political.  If Mr Sheridan and those attendees at the relevant executive committee meeting who testified in his favour were not telling the truth the motivation is political for some or the prospect of cash for others.  The personnel of the legal system don’t like it being abused.

That the story comes the day after the most recent News of the World story is coincidental.  The one thing the report today does not confirm is which set of witnesses are to be the subject of the investigation.  The reason for this will – I think – be straightforward.  Irrespective of the 11-4 jury decision until investigated and taking into account all new evidence the police cannot determine which side lied.  Without further investigation we cannot be sure.  However, as Alastair pointed out in his blog yesterday if the News of the World story of yesterday is true (and its veracity is doubted by Sheridan) then “It’s a ‘go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not lead a new socialist party to utopia, do not leave jail for five years’ type of card.”

I await future developments with fevered breath and bated anticipation…

About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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