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STILL NO RESPONSE IN RELATION TO CORRUPTION

(August 29, 2009)
Mr MacKay

I refer to your letter dated 8 July 2009 on behalf of the Cabinet
Secretary for Justice.

I am firstly grateful that you have confirmed that your Division (
Constitution, Law and Courts Directorate ) of the Scottish
Governement
are responsible for the investigation of allegations against members
of
the judiciary as there clearly has been a degree of confusion within
the Crown Office, Scottish Court Service and police as to how such
allegations should be investigated. However, it is not entirely clear
if your saying that the police and Crown Office would have to
investigate all such complaints, whether criminal or otherwise, prior
to your involvement - please clarify this issue and in that regard
set
out your formal complaint procedure for dealing with these
allegations
?

I would also be grateful if you could confirm that Dave Thompson MSP
has in fact passed on to you the evidence provided to him in August
2008 as Mr Thompson has been unwilling to respond to recent
correspondence ? I am sure this evidence will satisfy any concerns
you
have regarding these allegations, which I agree are extremely serious
in nature.

In my opinion the complaints are a matter of criminality in the first
instance and agree that all such matters should be referred to the
police, in this case Northern Constabulary - herein lies the first
problem. Northern Constabulary appears to be a police force riddled
with corruption from top to bottom. Dishonesty appears to be standard
practise within this force and they have proven to be incapable of
investigating such allegations in a professional and independent
manner.

The stated position of the Deputy Chief Constable of Northern
Constabulary is that a Chief Inspector Andrew MacLean, former Head of
the Professional Standards and Conduct Unit, fully investigated the
allegations of corruption against various judges, solicitors,
Highland
Council officials etc and found there to be insufficient evidence to
bring criminal charges against any of the named individuals. However
the stated position of the Mr John Dunn ( Depute Crown Agent ) and Mr
Andrew Laing ( Area Procurator Fiscal ) is that Chief Inspector
MacLean
had never been involved in any such investigation as it was outwith
his
remit.  The Deputy Chief Constable has further stated that all of the
evidence provided to Northern Constabulary was submitted to the Area
Procurator Fiscal and he concluded there had been no criminality by
any
of the individuals identified in the complaint and instructed there
should be no further criminal inquiry by Northern Constabulary. The
Area Procurator Fiscal's stated position is that he did not carry out
any such investigation, he did not conclude there had been no
criminality by the identified individuals and he did not instruct
there
should be no further criminal inquiry by Northern Constabulary. In
any
event,  it has also become clear that not all of the evidence
provided
to Northern Constabulary was submitted to the Area Procurator Fiscal
-
many significant items of documentary evidence were omitted from the
report as confirmed by information provided by the Information
Commissioner.

Complaints regarding the above have been made to both the Police
Complaints Commissioner for Scotland and the Northern Joint Police
Board. Firstly, there has been no Police Complaints Commissioner
since
April 2009 and the case officer dealing with the complaints has also
recently been replaced leaving the complaints effectively
uninvestigated for approximately a year. The Northern Joint Police
Board on the other hand are substantially made up of, and
administered
by representatives from the Highland Council who are at the centre of
the original allegations of corruption and as such could not be
viewed
as impartial. In any event both organisations have a limited remits
that will not result, under any circumstances, in the original
allegations made in October 2007 being investigated thoroughy and
independently. That is why a completely independent investigating
authority should be appointed now to establish once and for all the
veracity of the evidence supporting these serious allegations.

In addition, there is a further issue relating to the general role of
the police and their investigation of criminality, and the
sufficiency
of evidence required to prove that the three court cases identified
to
you provided a reasonable apprenhension of suspicion on the part of a
well informed member of the public that the judges did not act
impartially. Whilst the sufficiency of evidence required to prove
criminality has yet to be established due to the failings of Northern
Constabulary, the sufficiency of evidence to prove that the three
judges in the above cases did not act impartially already exists.
What
is clear is that Chief Inspector MacLean did start a criminal
investigation and after considering the evidence over a number of
months concluded that Sheriff Principal Sir Stephen Young, Sheriff
Derek Pyle, Justice of the Peace Simon Fraser and various other
senior
legal figures should be interviewed as part of that criminal
investigation. Clearly the officer would have had to be satisfied
regarding the veracity of the evidence and would not have taken such
a
course of action lightly. I would also remind you that the
individuals
who have benefitted from the irregularities in these cases are two ex-
police officers, a Northern Constabulary employee and one other. It
is
already conceded they unduly influenced the conduct of one police
officer on two occasions and persuaded Highland Council  officials to
become involved in allegations that were not a matter for the
Council.
One of the ex-police officers is known to be dishonest and has had
charges against him dropped on three seperate occasions. There are
clearly dozens of serious irregularities in various police
investigations and court cases involving these individuals which can
be
proven with reference to detailed documentary evidence. As stated
above
the Deputy Chief Constable of Northern Constabulary claims that all
of
the evidence was provided to the Crown Office when in fact many
significant items of evidence were omitted from the reports and it is
no coincidence that the same evidence was never heard at the High
Court
in the case referred by the SCCRC which appears pivotal to the entire
chain of events. The High Court judgement is materially flawed and is
itself the subject of a criminal complaint. The recurring theme of
this
detailed documentary evidence is that of cronyism, collusion,
corruption and the inevitable cover-up to stop evidence of Scotland's
first case of actual bias coming to light. It should also be said
that
circumstances surrounding Scotland's first case of actual bias also
appear to have given rise to Scotland's second and third cases of
actual bias, again involving the same parties.

Given the current evidence also strongly infers that the much of the
cover-up regarding these events appears to have originated within the
Scottish Court Service, their involvement in any future court
proceedings could not be viewed as being impartial. The scottish
justice system itself is in the dock and given the unprecedented
nature
of the allegations a fully independent investigation must be
commenced
forthwith to ensure the individuals responsible for this disgraceful
episode in scottish justice are held accountable for their actions.

I look forward to your comments.

Stuart Hunt

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