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UNUSUAL EVENTS AT INVERNESS SHERIFF COURT

(August 11, 2008)

Mr MacAskill
 
I refer to previous correspondence regarding the above criminal complaint made to Northern Constabulary.
 
I have been informed the case referred back to the High Court by SCCRC will be heard on 28 August 2008.  I trust that you will ensure the criminal complaint relating to the circumstances of this case and others is investigated expiditiously,thoroughly and independently in order that all of the relevant evidence relating to the appeal is available for the Hearing.
 
In addition, I require to raise further concerns relating to a Petition for Sequestration heard at Inverness Sheriff Court on 6 August 2008. The Petition is derived from one of the cases that forms part of the criminal complaint made to Northern Constabulary in October 2007 :
 
-    The Hearing was heard by Sheriff Derek Pyle despite a specific request that he excuse himself on the grounds he is the subject of a criminal complaint regarding his previous conduct in the case that led to the Petition for Sequestration.
 
-    The Sheriff did not excuse himself and, in what I can only describe as a cross examination of myself in open court, proceeded to question me about the status and nature of the criminal investiagtion into himself.
 
-    A proposition put forward in response to the Petition was answerred by the Sheriff who then invited the Agent for the other side to agree with his position - not surprisingly he did.
 
-    The Sheriff granted the Petition without the Agent for the other side providing any authority for his position, if indeed this was his genuine position.
 
I do not believe tha above circumstances would constitute a fair hearing in terms of Human Rights legislation and the Sheriff's attempts to establish the position of the criminal investiagtion into his previous conduct were inappropriate. A previous Motion attempting to have all proceedings in the case sisted pending the outcome of the criminal complaint and the SCCRC Referral met with a similar fate on 30 January 2008 at the hands of the same Sheriff :
 
-     Again he did not excuse himself from the Hearing despite being aware he was the subject of a criminal complaint.
 
-    He shortened the period of notification for the Hearing to two days which meant I became aware of the Hearing, by recorded delivery letter, 25 minutes before it was due to start. The Sheriff ignored a request for more time to prepare for the Hearing.
 
-    The Hearing was held in the privacy of the Sheriff's office.
 
-    No reason was given as to why the Motion was refused. The Sheriff declined a subsequent request to provide written reasoning for his decision.
 
I do not believe tha above circumstances would constitute a fair hearing in terms of Human Rights legislation. The circumstances of the original 10 days in court can only be described by myself as an affront to justice with a series of irregularities similar to those in the case referred by SCCRC. I personally cannot see the point of hearing 8 days of evidence in court if the sheriff determines the case on "evidence" he has made up himself in the privacy of his office.
 
In addition, Mr Dunn of the Crown Office, in a letter dated 11 August 2008, has again confirmed his position that no investigation in corruption has taken place which is in direct contradiction of clear evidence I have in my possession from the investigating officer. These are extremely serious allegations and the current situation is nothing short of a fiasco which requires your personal intervention to maintain public confidence in the justice system.
 
 
Stuart Hunt

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