Defiant Sheridan sends supporters message from prison
01 March 2011
Former MSP Tommy Sheridan is in "high spirits" in jail following his conviction for perjury, his wife has told a supporters' rally. Gail Sheridan was speaking at a meeting of the Defend Tommy Sheridan campaign, which aims to overturn last December's guilty verdict.
Sheridan, 46, the Solidarity co-convener and former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, was given a three-year jail sentence in January after a jury decided he had lied during his successful defamation action against the News of the World newspaper.
Mrs Sheridan, who was acquitted of perjury during the same trial at the High Court in Glasgow, attacked the time and resources spent on prosecuting her and her husband. She said 22 police officers were involved in the investigation, at a cost of 52,000 police hours and a minimum of £2m.
In a message from her husband, she told the meeting at Renfield St Stephen's Church on Monday: "To those who lied and collaborated with the police and the News of the World to imprison me, he says, I may be in jail right now but in January I will be free. The collaborators and liars will be in prison for the rest of their lives - prisons of guilt, prisons of shame."
Former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway, who is standing for election to the Scottish Parliament in May, told the gathering that if elected he would look into the role of the police and Crown Office in Sheridan's conviction. "When I'm hunting people, they usually know about it," he said. "You better hope I don't get elected in the city of Glasgow in May."
He told how Sheridan was being locked in his cell for 22 hours a day before asking the crowd: "What kind of madness is this? And at what expense, by the way?". Pledging his support for the campaign, he said: "He's my brother, my friend and I'll always stand by him."
Mr Galloway and Mrs Sheridan had previously negotiated standing together on a single ticket, but talks foundered over differences about Scottish independence, political leanings and Mr Galloway's fears that the vote would become a "referendum on Tommy and the trial." Mrs Sheridan decided not to stand in the election, but devote her time to caring for her daughter.
...and further to all the above - apart from the impact on Tommy, if in fact there are emails proving that Coulson has indeed paid officers then that is two serious offences (bribery and perjury) that he must surely stand trial for?
NoW scandal 'does not affect' Tommy Sheridan conviction Tommy Sheridan Sheridan was jailed for lying during his successful defamation case in 2006
July 10th 2011
The News of the World scandal has no bearing on Tommy Sheridan's perjury conviction, a leading QC has said. Evidence is to be reviewed after reports that e-mails appear to show former News of the World editor Andy Coulson authorised payments to police. Mr Coulson told the trial he had no knowledge of payments to police.
Paul McBride QC said Sheridan was found guilty of lying about visiting a sex club. He refused to comment on reports he has been hired by Mr Coulson. Three News of the World journalists gave evidence at the trial, including former editor and ex Number 10 communications chief Mr Coulson.
Sheridan was jailed in January for lying during his successful defamation case in 2006. He was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow last December of committing perjury during his case against the News of the World.
On Thursday, Sheridan's lawyer Aamer Anwar asked Strathclyde Police to begin an inquiry into whether Mr Coulson committed perjury, after revelations emerging from the crisis which engulfed the paper. Mr Anwar also produced a dossier which he claims contains scores of names of people in Scotland whose phones may have been hacked.
The Crown Office has now asked Strathclyde Police for a "preliminary assessment" of witness statements and to hand any findings to prosecutors for possible further action. Mr Anwar and Labour MP Tom Watson have claimed the developments mean that former MSP Sheridan's conviction is unsound.
Paul McBride, who represented Gail Sheridan at the trial, told BBC Scotland's Politics Show he suspected investigations in Scotland would come to nothing and that they would not change the Sheridan verdict. He said: "Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury by telling a civil jury that he hadn't been to a swingers club and that he hadn't told members of his own party about it. The evidence at the trial was from members of his own party that he had been to a swingers club and the jury accepted that evidence and he was convicted of perjury.
"The News of the World had no input whatsoever in relation to that perjury conviction, so the evidence of any journalist of the News of the World, even if it was perjured evidence, would not affect the conviction of Tommy Sheridan at all."
When asked about a Sunday Mail report that he had been "secretly hired" by Mr Coulson to represent him in Scotland, Mr McBride said: "I can't comment on that and it should be noted that there are no criminal allegations made in Scotland against Mr Coulson. The Crown Office have indicated that there will be a preliminary assessment of the evidence of a number of witnesses - the report will be complied and looked at by the fiscal, but there are no allegations made in respect of perjury, or any other crime in Scotland, in respect of Mr Coulson."
Sunday marks the final edition for the News of the World, which was shut down after the revelations that murder victim Milly Dowler's phone may have been targeted and that the families of dead soldiers may also have been hacked.
How can anyone other than the jurors in this case comment on how much (or not) they placed credence on Coulson's testimony?
Any given juror could have thought that most of the scottish evidence given was 50/50 but here was a bigwig from London...works for the PM no less...HE MUST be telling the truth.
Now it's demonstated that he is a lying scumbag who should be going to jail for perjury himself. So if only a couple of the jurors placed this type of weight on his testimony then this could have swayed the trial.
The conviction on the basis of the evidence and witnesses is unsound...as I said previously Tommy's guilt is not the issue here...he may or may not be guity....but the jury in this case was not allowed to see all the witnesses the defense wanted to call and Coulson is a liar.
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