Salmond blogger Craig Murray hands himself into police to begin jail term

Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, has handed himself into police in Edinburgh as he faces an eight-month prison sentence.

The ex-diplomat, 62, arrived at St Leonard’s police station in Edinburgh on Sunday morning and was joined by family and supporters. Murray drank from what appeared to be a bottle of champagne and thanked the crowd for their attendance.

Murray was judged to have been in contempt of court over blogs he wrote during the trial of the former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

A court ruled in March that his blogposts contained details which, if pieced together, could lead readers to identify women who made allegations against Salmond, who was acquitted of all 13 charges including sexual assault and attempted rape in March last year.

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

Dorrian said Murray deliberately risked what is known as “jigsaw identification”, 속담: “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.”

The British press standards regulator, IPSO, prohibits the publication of information which might identify victims of sexual assault.

The Scottish arm of international free speech NGO PEN International expressed “grave concern” over Murray’s pending imprisonment. “We fear this ruling will have a chilling effect on reporting and free expression,” said the organisation in a tweet.

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