Former diplomat hands himself in to police ahead of jail sentence over blogs identifying Alex Salmond accusers

The former diplomat was sentenced to eight months in prison for contempt of court (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
13:30pm, Sun 01 Aug 2021
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Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has handed himself in to police in Edinburgh as he is set to begin an eight-month prison sentence.

Mr Murray, who has become a blogger and pro-independence campaigner in recent years, was judged to have been in contempt of court over blogs he wrote during the trial of former first minister Alex Salmond.

The 62-year-old’s offending blog posts contained details which, if pieced together, could lead readers to identify women who made allegations against Mr Salmond, who was acquitted of all 13 charges including sexual assault and attempted rape in March last year.

Mr Murray said goodbye to his wife Nadira and five-month-old son Oscar before handing himself in to police (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

The former diplomat arrived at St Leonard’s police station in Edinburgh on Sunday morning to hand himself in and was joined by family and supporters.

Mr Murray drank from what appeared to be a bottle of champagne and thanked the crowd for their attendance, one video on social media showed, before embracing his wife Nadira and five-month-old son Oscar.

At a virtual sentencing in May, Lady Dorrian said Murray knew there were court orders giving the women anonymity and he was “relishing” the potential disclosure of their identities.

Lady Dorrian said Murray deliberately risked what is known as “jigsaw identification”, saying: “It appears from the posts and articles that he was in fact relishing the task he set himself, which was essentially to allow the identities of complainers to be discerned – which he thought was in the public interest – in a way which did not attract sanction.”

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