Alex Salmond – The story that could have been the biggest of the year

(Ack to The Times and others)

If we weren’t in the midst of the biggest crisis in living memory, we would have been bombarded about the Alex Salmond case. After being acquitted of all charges against him, Salmond is now considering legal action against claims made against him by the media.

In a further twist to the tale, it has been reported that Salmond’s QC, Gordon Jackson, has referred himself to the Scottish Legal Complaints commission over remarks he is alleged to have made on a train on the first week of the trial.

Jackson was recorded by a fellow passenger allegedly naming two of the accusers whilst travelling on a train, calling one of them a ‘flake’. He is also reported to have called Salmond a ‘sex pest,’ however he vehemently denies that the former First Minister of Scotland is a ‘sex pest’.

One of the legal actions being contemplated by Salmond and his team will be against the Scottish Government and will seek compensation for the damage done to Salmond’s reputation by the botched procedure used to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against him, plus the leak of information to the Daily Record.

The Scottish Government and the senior civil servant in Scotland, Leslie Evans, were named in the civil case which Salmond won in the Court of Session as the procedure was “tainted by bias”

Costs were awarded in full to Salmond and are estimated at more than £600,000.

A source close to the case said: “Once you add in the time of the civil servants and Government lawyers, there won’t be much change out of £1 million. And that’s just the civil case – just how much did the Crown Office and Police Scotland spend on the criminal case?

Jackson is facing an inquiry because on March 10, trial judge Lady Dorrian agreed to a Crown request for an order “at common law and in terms of Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, preventing the publication of the names and identity and any information likely to disclose the identity of the complainers in the case of Her Majesty’s Advocate v Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond.”

The Crown Office yesterday tweeted “a reminder that in the case Her Majesty’s Advocate v Alexander Salmond a court order remains in place preventing the publication of the names and identity, and any information likely to disclose the identity, of the complainants”.

A spokesperson for The Sunday Times Scotland said: “There is no question over the validity of today’s story and we stand by the accurate reporting of the incident.”

Interestingly Salmond is understood to be seeking advice on how to pursue a compliant in respect of the ‘secret evidence’ he claims was not able to be brought the court. We await in earnest to see what this is!

The Salmond case shows that unless carried out with stringent and robust processes, investigations can quickly spiral into costly and time-consuming exercises that can actually do more harm than good.

As we say here at Intersol – facts, detail and accuracy equals sound decisions, always.