Friday, 8 April 2016

The Scottish Government cover-up

From the UKColumn Wednesday 6 April 2016:

The programme begins with the sad story of Genette Tate which was reported by the BBC on Tuesday.

" `A file of evidence against a man suspected of murdering a schoolgirl almost 40 years ago has been submitted to prosecutors, the BBC has learnt.` "

"`Robert Black - who died in prison in January - killed four young girls and was believed to have murdered 13-year-old Genette Tate in Devon in 1978.`
The Mail picked up on this story with the headline: `Serial killer Robert Black DID murder 13-year-old Genette Tate 38 years ago, police conclude.` "

"It is not true," says Brian Gerrish. "There is no evidence that Robert Black murdered Genette Tate. The UKColumn can reveal that Devon and Cornwall police were presented with evidence about a suspect who was not Robert Black and met with hostility and stonewalling of mainstream journalists who started to ask penetrating questions."

The impression Brian Gerrish got was that the police thought pointing the finger at Robert Black was a good way to wrap up the investigation after 38 years.

Genette Tate who had been witnessed riding her bike disappeared into thin air. What is puzzling is that the police at the time put out images and posters of Genette as a much younger child rather than the 13 year old girl that she actually was. Another mystery is that a body, washed up on the beach about a year ago, could have been the body of Genette Tate according to a retired police constable. Thirty eight years ago the technology to deal with DNA testing was not available but exists today. The police have DNA material on one of Genette`s sweaters, says the retired constable; but have made no statement about it.

"We need the public to keep digging to get the truth up to the surface."

The programme continues with the theme of children and ends with another look at the Hollie Greig case as Robert Green is in the studio.

Recalling that Sheriff Peter Watson of Levy & McCrae was suspended from office on Monday 16 February 2015 in relation to the Heather Capital fraud case, his clients included First Minister Alex Salmond and Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini who had Robert Green arrested in 2010 and subsequently took out a private civil case against him for falsely accusing her of covering up the Hollie Greig case.

Robert Green, who was denied legal aid in a country with a legal system that was foreign to him, has since been trying to establish where Elish Angiolini obtained the money to pursue the private civil case against him and presents Gerrish with a number of documents. If Elish Angiolini obtained funds from the public purse this is a matter for the whole of the UK because it is not a devolved issue.

"This one is from Angela Cullen, Director of Audit Scotland." says Gerrish.

" `Ministerial Code Civil Legal Proceedings` "

" `11.16 Ministers occasionally become engaged in civil legal proceedings in their personal capacities but in circumstances that may have implications for them in their official positions. In all cases where Ministers become engaged in civil legal proceedings in their personal capacities, they should consult the Law Officers before consulting their own solicitors, in order to allow the Law Officers to express a view on the handling of the case so far as the public interest is concerned, or, if necessary, to take charge of the proceedings from the outset. (Sent 07 January 2016)` "

What caught Robert Green`s eye was this line: `Subject RE: Official Sensitive - Civil Cases`

"It`s an interesting dialogue between Audit Scotland and the Crown Office and deemed to be `official sensitive` Why would it be sensitive?" asks Gerrish.

"It`s not sensitive to me," says Robert Green.

The next matter is the public interest test which is used to decide if the information requested should be provided.

"Well what do they say?" asks Gerrish.

" `Issue of concern raised by you. Disclosure into the public domain of the requested information gathered as part of these enquiries would substantially prejudice Audit Scotland`s ability to effectively carry out its role and remit going forward. Therefore on balance Audit Scotland is of the view that the public interest in withholding the requested information outweighs that in disclosure and this information is therefore exempt from disclosure under sections 36(1) and 40(b) of FOISA.` "

"They are saying...telling the truth about where public money went would undermine their role to look after public money."

"Are they empowered to cover up criminal offences?" asks Robert Green.

"Or perverting the course of justice? We think what we are looking at is a massive cover-up. Was it used for private civil actions?"

Gerrish continues: "Here`s a very measured article from the Press and Journal dated 18 November 2009 which landed on your doorstep. It seems to have disappeared from their website although it may still be there."

" `Grampian police last night confirmed the force was investigating an allegation of historic sex abuse `and the article also said that `Crown Office spokeswoman said late last night we have not received any report from the police. If we do receive a report it will be carefully considered in due course.` So a detailed article there which tells us some things. It tells us the police were investigating and the Crown Office was saying `well we have not received anything yet.`"

Robert Green says: "I just want to say one thing - if people get a chance to look at this article which I hope they will - it is a very sympathetic and accurate article and I can say that because I was there when Hollie gave her statement to the police. The only obvious mistake in the article was it mentioned that Hollie had accused twenty four men. No she didn`t. She accused 22 men and women and said there were 7 child victims that she had observed being abused at that time. So right from the start, let us say that quite apart from all the medical evidence including the former chief constable of Grampian police, Andrew Brown, there were straight away 29 potential corroborative witnesses to a crime. And, of course, it has been agreed that Hollie suffered from a crime. So a crime had indeed been committed. So there has to be at least one perpetrator. "

"But we don`t have a crime," says Gerrish " because the police didn`t fully investigate. Just remember how we started today and what Devon and Cornwall police are not doing. "

"Well let`s have a look at this document: We`re into 4th December 2009 and we`ve got a communication here from the Procurator Fiscal `s Office and we`ll just bring out a couple of paragraphs here."

" `Having reviewed all of the circumstances of Hollie`s case, including Hollie`s statements and all other available evidence, a report was prepared for the consideration of Crown Counsel. The conclusion is that there is insufficient evidence to allow criminal proceedings to be taken against any person in respect of these allegations.` "

"So you don`t investigate and then you say clearly there is no evidence. And we`ll just bring in one more and then I`ll let you comment on that."

" `During the course of this investigation, it has been alleged by others that the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini QC, had in some way covered up Hollie`s allegations. These allegations are unfounded and this has been supported by a careful scrutiny of the case. All key decisions in relation to prosecution in Hollie`s case in 2000 and 2009 were taken before or after the Lord Advocate`s time as Regional Procurator Fiscal in Grampian and were taken by other senior prosecutors, not the Lord Advocate. In addition the Lord Advocate has not had any involvement in the recent decision not to proceed `..."

"So it`s saying here repeatedly that Elish Angiolini had no involvement in the Hollie Greig case. "

"It is very curious because if the article that we talked about from the Press and Journal is correct; and we have no reason to suspect that it isn`t; then needs would indicate that the decision not to take any action against what happened to Hollie took place between the 18 November 2009 and 4 December 2009 because the prosecutor had not had any documents on 17th November 2009. Of course, this makes it very curious because later on in my trial it was established by the police officer who conducted the interview of Hollie, Lisa Jane Evans, that under cross examination she admitted that the police had not questioned a single one of the twenty nine people that Hollie had named.... None of them were questioned, despite all the expert evidence supporting Hollie that the police had in their possession at my trial. "

"Right," says Gerrish "And if we just come back to social worker Carol Woods when she steps forward and says she was asked to falsify reports so children could be stolen - we don`t know what those children are ultimately used for - she couldn`t get any involvement with the police until one police officer stepped forward to help her. That was Mike Todd, and within a couple of weeks Mike Todd is dead."

"Yes, well I think it is very important at this stage to bring in the most sinister aspect of this case and that is satanic ritual abuse, almost too horrific to describe publicly. She has been described by everyone as a thoroughly truthful witness. No-one is saying anything other than Hollie is saying the truth... "

"This brings in a remarkable similarity with what came out of the mouths of the young boy and girl in Hampstead and what happened in Hampstead? No full and proper police investigation of those who were identified...So let`s follow through because the Scottish Government is telling us clearly that former Procurator Fiscal is not involved. Now we`ve got another document here; this is Press and Complaints Commission; and what are they saying?"

" `We have been asked by the Lord Advocate to make clear the following: there was an allegation of a paedophile ring contained in the police report to the Procurator Fiscal at that time; that there was no allegation about a Sheriff or a policeman in the report; that the decision not to prosecute was made before the Lord Advocate took up post as Regional Procurator Fiscal and on the basis that there was insufficient evidence in law; and that she was unaware of the claim at the time and has never had any involvement in the case. We are happy to make the position clear and did not intend to suggest that she had acted in any way improperly.` "

"We`ve got to be really fair here because Dame Elish Angiolini is saying to the Press Complaints Commission that she has never had any involvement in the Hollie Greig case."

"There was an action against the Firm magazine, a well known and respected legal magazine in Scotland, who more or less made the same allegation as I have made, that Elish Angiolini was in fact involved and covered up the Hollie Greig case."

" This is the important thing," says Brian Gerrish. "She says she wasn`t involved."

"Then we have this letter 6 August 2014 - this is the Scottish Government making a statement about the Hollie Greig case. It is the Criminal Directorate which was led by Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, many people south of the border would have known about, Robert...This is the head man, secretary for Justice in Scotland, and this is what he has to say about Elish Angiolini in relation to the Hollie Greig case. Remember what you have just heard. We`ve heard very clearly so far that she wasn`t involved. Let`s hear what the Scottish Government says. We`ll bring this up on screen."

" `I understand that a Mr Scott in the audience asked the Cabinet Secretary a question about the Hollie Greig case. In answering the question the Cabinet Secretary made clear that the allegations Mr Scott referred to were investigated by Grampian Police and reviewed by the then Lord Advocate, Dame Elish Angiolini, and were found to be false.` "

"So I`m very confused Robert because either the Scottish Government doesn`t know what the left and right hand or their feet are doing or else somebody is lying or somebody has got some mental cognitive limitations or what we`re looking at is a cover-up here. "

"At the highest level," Robert Green interjects.

"Now I think this is particularly interesting," says Robert, "because Mr MacAskill wasn`t caught on the hop over this. He had been fully informed many many times including direct questions from me at a public meeting about this precise issue, about Elish Angiolini and her involvement in the case. In fact, in a hustings meeting on the 11 April in Portobello, which is just north of Edinburgh and which happens to be Mr MacAskill`s constituency, he actually told me categorically that she had nothing to do with it. So this was a very curious thing. So if anybody thinks Mr MacAskill was mistaken and caught on the hop he wasn`t. He already knew all about this. He would not have made that statement at that sensitive stage had he not known that this was factual about Elish Angiolini being involved in the case. "

"I think we should also just go back briefly to the Press and Journal article that we referred to and the letter of 4 December 2009 to Hollie`s mother wrapping up the investigation because it would seem that within that period of just over two weeks the decision was made not to go ahead with the case and I maintain that that decision was made by Elish Angiolini, possibly overruling the police."

"Maybe the police weren`t telling her the truth Robert."

"It seems very unlikely. Whatever the situation, she had said she wasn`t involved, and she was ..."

"To give just clear detail about the case, this was the opinion of eminent expert witness psychologist Dr Jack Boyle and he said this: Now this is is a general statement which, of course, is very important because it doesn`t just apply to Hollie. It applies to all cases where children are abused, Hampstead, for example."

" `In general the research indicates that children do not make up false stories of sexual abuse although obtaining information from children with learning difficulties is very difficult. The perpetrator in all cases has enormous motivation to deny and make accusations ,such as the child is lying, misunderstands normal behaviour or has been primed by mother.` "

"It could not be clearer. He has given evidence in a thousand cases in Scotland. So this is a man who knows what he is talking about."

"Yes, we see these accusations against mothers and fathers, time and time again, and I spoke to a lady in New Zealand who had her children taken away from her. What did they do ? They tried to brand her as mentally ill. A common tactic is to say the mother is going to kill the children and then commit suicide. So, from my limited experience compared with this psychologist, I totally agree with what he`s talking about."

"In fact, if I can just come in there, Brian, and expand on that a little a bit: when the Hampstead case came about which is obviously something I know nothing about, apart from the fact that the same judge that was involved, Justice Pauffley, was also involved in the ... English case with Hollie Greig in an attempt to silence her in England as well. When I recall this letter from Dr Boyle which was one of the two letters used to convince the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority that Hollie was a genuine victim, I sent a copy to James Munby who is the head of the family court and I asked the question: how could Justice Pauffley overlook a professional opinion such as this? Because obviously they did everything to try to destroy the credibility of the children concerned ... Here we have one of Britain`s top experts giving that opinion. It`s a case I know nothing about but I was very surprised that the opinion of Dr Boyle, and I would suspect of other experts of his stature, could possibly be ignored. Why would she do that? James Munby has not responded to my letter."

"Well what we do know happened is exactly what Dr Boyle was talking about. It is that Anne Greig was accused of being mentally ill... She was put into a psychiatric unit. We`ve talked about this horrible procedure happening to other people, including former social worker Carol Woods . So you cause trouble with the state; you try and expose the abuse of the children; you are vilified; you`re put into a psychiatric unit."

"So this was a report on Hollie Greig`s mother and what does it say? Well actually it says that there is nothing wrong with this lady at all. Look at the start of this. It is referring to Hollie`s mum. `Ms X, in this case, has faced family trauma on an unbelievable level. Instead of being helped to deal with the pain she has experienced, she has faced the worst injustices that the Scottish legal system is capable of. Nobody within the helping professions comes up well from this decade of sustained attack and discrediting.` But it then goes on to say that `Ms X is a strong woman and capable of dealing with the traumatic events without becoming vengeful, violent or hysterical. ` And, er, there`s nothing wrong with her." [Clinic for Dissociative Studies]

"But we`ve got this juxtaposition haven`t we, of the worst the Scottish legal system is capable of - what had this lady done? She had simply tried to protect her daughter and she`s attacked by the Scottish legal system and what were they trying to do? They were trying to brand her as mad, where this psychologist says absolutely nothing wrong with mother at all."

"You have to give great confidence in the last sentence there."

"Let`s see if I can read it. `She`s able to marshal her thoughts and feelings in a coherent way and has emerged as a woman of great substance. It was a privilege to meet her.` So somebody doing a psychological assessment, and as you say Robert, totally reinforcing the fact that Hollie Greig`s mum is a wonderful lady who stood up to that abuse. What was her crime? Trying to protect her daughter. "

"That is absolutely correct. And Dr Simpson is one of the leading experts in her field, just to reinforce that. "

"Well we`ve got another document here which we think is relevant. This is from the Down`s Syndrome Association and particularly pertinent to Hollie, of course. and what did they have to say? Well they said this:"

" `Hollie has made a number of very serious allegations of sexual abuse, both against members of her family, and against people working in social services; allegations which I find entirely credible, having seen a psychologist`s report on Hollie, and knowing the prevalence of abuse of people with learning disabilities. In spite of this, the allegations have not been fully investigated; for example, members of staff whom she has named in her allegations have not been interviewed by the police.` "

"How much evidence does the British public want that what we`ve got here is an orchestrated cover-up of the abuse of a highly vulnerable young girl . Who is involved in this cover-up? We`ve got the Scottish police; we`ve got the judicial system; we`ve got the Procurator Fiscal`s Office."

"The documents that we have been talking about today have all been placed in the hands of Theresa May, David Cameron and also Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister in Scotland. The predecessor, of course, should not be forgotten in this case. We have documents linking Mr Salmond with the case from 2007, not in any personal way, but he knew about what was going on; and, in fact, on 20 May 2011 he was found by the Information Commissioner to have twice breached the law in trying to cover up the Hollie Greig case and subsequently he sent a letter to his own constituency office dated 14 February 2014, quite clearly in an attempt to even deceive his own constituency secretary at the time, Mr Neil Bailey. All that information is in Parliament. I`ve asked [Angus Robinson] to acknowledge that he`s seen the documents. I`ve also asked Nicola Sturgeon if she`s received and read the documents condemning Mr Salmond. I think that was in November and so far Ms Sturgeon`s office has sent a letter, January, confirming that they`ve got the information and they will reply to me. Still waiting."

"I`m going to put a qualifier in there Robert because we have to be very careful because Ms Sturgeon at the moment is trying to say the only people capable of bringing up your child is the Scottish Government, the Named Person scheme."

"That`s one million Scottish children and this is being enforced on the public at the moment by a government that cannot even protect Hollie Greig. Would you trust them with your child?"

"I certainly wouldn`t."

"So we`ll just round off here. This is back to Audit Scotland. Follow the money is always a good trail. This is a nice little dialogue between Audit Scotland and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service."

" `Hi I hope all is well at COPFS. I`m currently working with somebody on investigating a complaint we`ve received in relation to payments made by COPFS. The payments were in respect of expenditure to cover employee costs when legal action was necessary as a result of actions they had taken in the course of their public duties. Can you advise please if there is a separate code in the ledger to enable us to easily identify such expenditure? The complaint refers to expenditure as far back as 2009.` "

"Can you just tell us the ledger number? But what have they said to the public? They`ve said we can`t tell you."

"Let`s come back to that aspect because this is where we started out. We`ve got the public interest test, which is we can`t tell you because it would substantially prejudice Audit Scotland`s ability to effectively carry out its role and remit going forward. We can`t tell you because then you would know what is going on and then everybody would know that what we`re really dealing with is a Scottish Government cover-up of child abuse. "

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