STURGEON LIED …OFFICIAL

A Diary of Justice & Injustice – Scotland

Independent Law journalists report on legal news for consumers, litigants & Scotland’s legal community including features on justice, access to justice, law reform, the judiciary, politics & in-depth investigations, analysis and commentaries on legal related issues.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 03, 2021

FIRST INTERESTS: Judge recommended for judicial role by Nicola Sturgeon – found First Minister committed three counts of professional misconduct – in Law Society probe of Ms Sturgeon’s failure to provide legal service protections for domestic violence victim

First Minister recommended judge role for lawyer who found her guilty of misconduct. AN INVESTIGATION has established Scotland’s First Minister – Nicola Sturgeon – was found to have committed THREE counts of professional misconduct by a solicitor she later recommended for the position of a Sheriff within Scotland’s powerful judiciary – currently led by Lord President – Lord Carloway.

The findings of professional misconduct by Sheriff Pasportnikov against the First Minister – were the result of a complaint lodged by a client to the law firm where Nicola Sturgeon worked at the time – Bell & Craig solicitors.

The complaint against Nicola Sturgeon involved the currently serving First Minister’s failure to provide adequate legal services to a victim of domestic violence.

And, the issues in relation to Ms Sturgeon’s failure to provide adequate legal services only came to light after Ms Sturgeon suddenly left the law firm and the client was forced to go to another solicitor – who discovered legal aid forms had not been sent to the Scottish Legal Aid Board – despite assurances the legal aid application had been submitted.

In response to the complaint – the Law Society of Scotland appointed one of their case managers – a solicitor and now Sheriff – Olga Pasportnikov – to investigate.

In a five-page report, dated Dec 1998, Olga Passportnikov said: “The complaint in this case has been identified as professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor.”

Pasportnikov identified 3 counts ‘of professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor’.

They were: failing to raise interdict, misleading client about legal aid application & failing to properly consider her financial circumstances

Among ‘circumstances which have been ascertained during the course of the enquiry’ were the legal aid form had been completed and signed by the client and the client’s employers but not sent.

Despite the findings of Sheriff Pasportnikov, and her identification of multiple serious issues where she concluded Ms Sturgeon’s failure to provide competent legal services qualified as professional misconduct – the Law Society of Scotland concluded there should be no further action and Nicola Sturgeon left the legal profession.

Announced on 31 July 2015 – Olga Pasportnikov was appointed by the Queen following a report to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – by the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Ms Pasportnikov, a University of Dundee graduate, was admitted as a solicitor in 1991. She worked mainly in private practice before joining the Law Society of Scotland in 1998. She has been with the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service since 2003, and is also current convener of the Fife Young Carers Management Committee.

The First Minister has statutory responsibility for making recommendations to Her Majesty the Queen and is required by statute to consult the Lord President of the Court of Session before making her recommendation.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland is an ‘independent’ advisory public body with the role of recommending individuals for appointment to judicial offices within the Board’s remit including judge of the Court of Session, chair of the Scottish Land Court, sheriff principal, sheriff, and summary sheriff.

It has now transpired this story was filed with a Scottish newspaper in June 2018.

The report on Nicola Sturgeon’s failure to provide adequate legal services to a victim of domestic violence, and the findings of professional misconduct against Ms Sturgeon by currently serving Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov had support from one editor to be published – until an assistant editor at the same newspaper voted the story down.

Some weeks later, the same newspaper was leaked details of the harassment complaints against Alex Salmond and the investigation by PoliceScotland which subsequently led to Mr Salmond being charged with 14 offences, including two counts of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault, and one of breach of the peace.

Mr Salmond appeared in court on 21 November 2019 and entered a plea of “not guilty”.

At the subsequent trial, Mr Salmond was cleared by a jury trial – heard by Scotland’s Lord Justice Clerk – Lady Dorrian.

The information came to light after Justice Committee Convener Adam Tomkins (Scottish Conservative) & former Scottish Government Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing (Scottish National Party) made a motivated and concerted effort to close down the same Judicial Interests Register petition which Nicola Sturgeon has opposed and sought to close – throughout her term as First Minister.

The Justice Committee hearing of 2 March 2021 can be viewed here: Register of Judges Interests Petition PE 1458 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee 2 March 2021

This is the same Judicial Interests Register petition the First Minister has tried to undermine and block since Ms Sturgeon became First Minister.

If a Register of Judges’ Interests did become a requirement – Sheriff Pasportnikov who found Nicola Sturgeon guilty of professional misconduct may be forced to list that fact and other details of her service to the Law Society of Scotland.

The Judicial Office have not replied to requests for media comment.

The Judicial Office for Scotland were asked the following questions:

A currently serving Sheriff – Olga Pasportnikov – conducted an investigation of complaints lodged about Scotland’s current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while she was a solicitor at a law firm identified as Bell & Craig

Ms Pasportnikov was, as the Judicial Office will be aware – a case manager for the Law Society of Scotland from September 1998 to March 2003

In a five-page report released in December 1998, Olga Pasportnikov said: “The complaint in this case has been identified as professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor.”

Olga Pasportnikov found Ms Sturgeon guilty of 3 identifyable counts of professional misconduct:

They were: failing to raise interdict as instructed, misleading client about legal aid application, failing to properly consider the client’s financial circumstances

Events then saw the Law Society clear Ms Sturgeon, who quickly left the legal profession.

Noting Ms Pasportnikov currently declares her time at the Law Society of Scotland on her Linkedin page as a “case manager” – along with other career attributes including a term at the Crown Office as a Procurator Fiscal Depute, and her current role as a serving Sheriff

– does Sheriff Pasportnikov have any comment onthe following questions:

why she does not list her role of investigating complaints against solicitors?

why she found Ms Sturgeon guilty of 3 identifyable issues of professional misconduct?

why no regulatory punishment took place upon Sheriff Pasportnikov’s findings?

Does the Judicial Office have any comment on the above events and any comment on the impact of a currently serving Sheriff with a long history as a solicitor, prosecutor and now a judge – having found Scotland’s current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon guilty of three counts of professional misconduct to which no sanction was ever applied by legal regulators and never declared in any register of interests?

It has been previously reported Nicola Sturgeon personally intervened to block the Judicial Register petition – during a long running investigation by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee

The surprise intervention by the First Minister in the bid to bring transparency to Scotland’s secretive judges came to light after a failed attempt by her then Legal Affairs Minister – Paul Wheelhouse – to overturn the petition with claims that ‘gangsters’ could misuse information in a judges register.

In the letter – dated 30 March 2015 – Nicola Sturgeon also revealed Legal Affairs Minister Paul Wheelhouse had a secret meeting in February 2015 with Lord Gill to discuss the petition and the Judiciary & Scottish Government’s concerted opposition to creating the Judicial Register.

Writing in the letter to John Pentland MSP, Convener of the Public Petitions Committee, the First Minister said: “This petition calls on the Scottish Government to create a Register of Interests for the Judiciary. The Scottish Government considers that such a register of judicial interests is not necessary and that the existing safeguards – the Judicial Oath, the Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics and the system for complaints against the judiciary – are sufficient. These safeguards, together with the register of judicial recusals, are sufficient to protect individuals from judicial bias.”

Further to the evidence that the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Mr Wheelhouse, gave to the Committee on 9 December 2014, he discussed this petition when he met the Lord President in February. The Minister acknowledged the Lord President’s concerns about the introduction of a register of judicial interests. The breadth of such a register would make it virtually unworkable. It would need to cover not only financial interests, but also memberships of groups and associations and familial and social relationships. Even so, such a register might not capture relevant issues that could arise.”

“The position of the judiciary is different from that of MSPs and others who hold public office. The judiciary cannot publicly defend themselves. The Lord President has cautioned that such a register could also have unintended consequences. Consideration requires to be given to judges’ privacy and freedom from harassment by aggressive media or hostile individuals, including dissatisfied litigants. In addition, there is currently no evidence that judges who should have recused themselves from cases have not done so.”

The Sunday Herald newspaper reported on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s intervention on behalf of the judiciary and her opposition to the judicial transparency proposal:

First Minister rejects call for register of judges’ interests

Paul Hutcheon Investigations Editor Sunday 10 May 2015

NICOLA Sturgeon has rejected calls for judges to declare details of their finances in a register of interest. The First Minister said the proposal, lodged by justice campaigner Peter Cherbi, was “not necessary” and claimed existing rules were “sufficient”.

Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee is in the middle of a long-term probe into whether judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace should be brought into line with other senior public sector figures.
MSPs, MPs, councillors and board members of public bodies are all required to register their outside financial interests.

A petition lodged with the Scottish Parliament in 2012 called for members of the judiciary to declare their “pecuniary” interests, which would include shareholdings, directorships and membership of external bodies.

Judicial officer holders can recuse – or remove – themselves if a conflict of interest arises during a case, but nothing more is required.

The plan was met with hostility by the country’s top judge, Lord Gill, who repeatedly snubbed calls by the committee to give oral evidence. He relied on written testimony to blast a proposal he said could compromise judges’ privacy by encouraging “aggressive media or hostile individuals”.

Lord Gill concluded: “The establishment of such a register therefore may have the unintended consequence of eroding public confidence in the judiciary.”
The issue has now reached the desk of the First Minister, who has backed Lord Gill.

In a letter to John Pentland MSP, the Committee convener, she supported the status quo: “The Scottish Government considers that such a register of judicial interests is not necessary and that the existing safeguards – the Judicial Oath, the Statement of Principles of Judicial Ethics and the system for complaints against the judiciary – are sufficient.

“These safeguards, together with the register of judicial recusals, are sufficient to protect individuals from judicial bias.”

She also repeated Lord Gill’s fear about “aggressive media” and noted: “The position of the judiciary is different from that of MSPs and others who hold public office. The judiciary cannot publicly defend themselves.”

The First Minister also revealed that Paul Wheelhouse, her Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, met Lord Gill in December to discuss the petition.

In his evidence to the Committee, Wheelhouse said he feared a register could leave judges open to “threats or intimidation”, adding that colleagues at an environment quango had already been threatened by organised criminals. However, emails between the Government and Scottish Environment Protection Agency revealed no link to organised crime.

Cherbi said: “I am surprised Nicola Sturgeon supports a judicial ban on transparency just because judges have been asked to declare their substantial interests. “We are always told if you have got nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. What are the judges hiding and what do they fear? “There cannot be one set of rules for judges and another for everyone else. A register of interests will enhance public trust in the justice system, not detract from it.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government considers that a specific register of interests is not needed. Existing safeguards, including the Judicial Oath, the Statement of Principles of Judicial Interests and the system of complaints against the judiciary, are sufficient to ensure the impartiality of the judiciary in Scotland.”

Previous articles on the lack of transparency within Scotland’s judiciary, investigations by Diary of Injustice including reports from the media, and video footage of debates at the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee can be found here :A Register of Interests for Scotland’s Judiciary

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NICOLA STURGEON GETS BAD NEWS

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Sturgeon get bad news
Nicola Stugeon has a meltdown when her plan to put the former FM in jail goes spectacularly bad ..she SNPs it

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00:00 – 00:03SO Nicola big Alex s trial has just finished
00:04 – 00:05Peters plan to stop Alex
00:05 – 00:07has failed, the cunt walked..
00:08 – 00:12He is walking out the court now and will expose you and your beard
00:12 – 00:15and he has decided to release the Rev Campbell
00:17 – 00:19Campbell ffs
00:19 – 00:21thats the nuclear option he wont do that
00:24 – 00:26 PAAAARP wet fart…emmm
00:27 – 00:28Rev Stu is already blogging
00:31 – 00:33along with the belly dancer Murray
00:34 – 00:36that you and Murrell are to blame
00:53 – 00:58Murrell Swinney Evans stay here the rest of you pricks fuck off
01:13 – 01:15Ya bunch of stupid cunts
01:15 – 01:17It will be easy set up the old drunk twat you said
01:18 – 01:23lets keep this stum till we need it you said
01:25 – 01:28and now THIS for fucks sake
01:29 – 01:31even that cunt Goodley could have done better
01:31 – 01:34two slap heads and a mental bitch
01:34 – 01:37EVEN THE BBC AND STV CANT IGNORE THIS
01:37 – 01:40I cannie even blame Westminster for this fuck up
01:40 – 01:42of course we can our followers are sheep
01:42 – 01:46CAN WE FUCK even sheep know when then they are being fucked
01:46 – 01:48they are total clowns surely they will still believe
01:48 – 01:52Believe fuck all! The Rev Stu is ONE of us!
01:53 – 01:54THE GIG IS UP YA PRICKS
01:56 – 01:57the gravy train just hit the buffers
01:57 – 02:00and you useless fucks are going to have to get real JOBS
02:00 – 02:03we will be as employable as Mcgarry ffs
02:04 – 02:08every day I am on the BBC flicking snotters
02:08 – 02:13talking shite just to keep the sheep believing
02:14 – 02:16I even have to listen tae that fucking dentist
02:17 – 02:21and fucking Freedman on the COVID feart report
02:27 – 02:29then you pricks cant fucking frame one
02:30 – 02:34old fat drunk former FM!
02:34 – 02:36Have I got to dae everyfucking thing
02:41 – 02:42I even pretend
02:43 – 02:47 I read all those books to look pure dead clever
02:48 – 02:53Jesus christ Peter I thought you were smart
02:54 – 02:56but you are like humpty fucking dumpty
02:56 – 02:59your no even any good as a beard
03:00 – 03:02and fucking Swinny ..cunts like Pike
03:04 – 03:07Its a twat off of dads army
03:14 – 03:16well you have royally fucked me
03:19 – 03:23no EU commision for me
03:25 – 03:26Nae appearance on Lorraine
03:31 – 03:33Im going to have to pretend
03:40 – 03:46I am gay and living wie some French Bird
03:46 – 03:49In Bridge of Allan
03:53 – 03:56Unbelievable!

Politics Leslie Evans and the Salmond Affair Robert Green by David Scott Sunday, 7th February 2021 Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans?

Leslie Evans and the Salmond Affair

Robert Green
Sunday, 7th February 2021

My friend, the late Robert Green, wrote to me on 16 November 2018. It was one of the last communications I received from him, as shortly thereafter the illness that led to his death took hold.

His letter, like so much of his writing, was ahead of its time. It looked at the conduct of those who are only now are being examined by the mainstream media and the Holyrood parliament: Alex Salmond and Leslie Evans, the Head of the Scottish Civil Service.

In addition to raising questions over the conduct of Leslie Evans, questions still unanswered to this day, and to commenting, very wisely as it would turn out, on the allegations then facing Alex Salmond, Robert raised a further and most important issue. This was the conduct of the former Lord Advocate (chief law officer of the Scottish Government), Dame Elish Angiolini.

Dame Elish has recently provided a report entitled “Policing — complaints handling, investigations and misconduct issues: an independent review.” Based on her work, the Scottish Government, and the present Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, have announced “bold reform“.

From the grave, Robert Green asks us to examine whether we can trust any of those involved in this “boldness”. His words highlight the depths of corruption in the Scottish state and the lack of any means for redress for the Scottish people. This letter, now posthumously published in full, highlights the pressing need for transparency and openness in Scottish public life.

Had the authorities in Scotland listened to Robert in 2010, how much pain could have been avoided? Will those in power listen to him this time? We will see.

 

David Scott

 

=========================================================================================================

Since the news of sexual allegations made against Alex Salmond broke in late August [2018], intermittent speculation about this issue has been published from time to time.

When the matter first emerged, I was contacted by a wide range of individuals, asking if the allegations could have had any link with the former First Minister’s connection with the Hollie Greig case.

My answer has always been that although I know nothing of either the complainants or the exact nature of their complaints, there is nothing that has been suggested that would lead me to suspect that any connection at all might exist.

Of course, those who have followed Hollie’s case over the years would understand that I am unlikely to be well-disposed towards Mr Salmond. However, such feelings do not preclude me from raising concern about one aspect of the way Mr Salmond has been treated over this recent issue.

Of course, I have absolutely no knowledge about the basis for the complaints and, like almost everyone else, cannot possibly make any presumptions about Mr Salmond or the ladies concerned. What does bother me is the role of the Permanent Secretary, Ms Leslie Evans, in this case.

When the news first came into the public domain, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon went to considerable lengths to clarify that she had nothing to do with the decision to pursue the investigation [of Alex Salmond] and that it had been independently initiated by Leslie Evans. It may be that Ms Evans had justifiable reason to take the steps she did, but such steps are surely inconsistent when compared with her evasions over what appears to be overwhelming evidence of probable criminal behaviour on the part of Elish Angiolini, former Lord Advocate and ministerial colleague of Mr Salmond.

In October 2015, I raised concerns to Audit Scotland over the funding of Mrs Angiolini’s civil action against me, an action she took when fundamentally accusing me of wrongly stating that she was implicated in the Hollie Greig case. I already had evidence to indicate that my position was the correct one, in fact, including a letter copied to my MP, Health Minister David Mowat, by former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill that clearly stated that it was indeed Elish Angiolini who had personally blocked the investigation into Hollie’s rape allegations, contrary to everything Ms Angiolini had previously asserted.

After a five-month investigation, Audit Scotland revealed that Mrs Angiolini had, as I suspected, been granted UK taxpayers’ funds in order to pursue me in a matter that may lead to her own financial enrichment. The said funding had been authorised by Leslie Evans’ immediate predecessor, Sir Peter Housden. The only possible way that Ms Angiolini could have persuaded Sir Peter to grant such funding to her was to convince him that she was telling the truth in that she was not involved in the Hollie Greig case, a position we now know to be utterly untrue.

Subsequently, in order to process this matter further, I asked Leslie Evans to provide copies of the correspondence between Elish Angiolini and Sir Peter that had led to his authorisation.

Leslie Evans refused to comply.

My [then] MP, David Mowat, took up my case, as it involved the very probable misuse of UK public funds (the matter is not devolved) and likely fraud.

Again, Leslie Evans refused to comply.

Mr Mowat was succeeded after the 2017 General Election by Labour’s Mr Faisal Rashid. For the same reason as Mr Mowat, Mr Rashid also approached Ms Evans for copies of the relevant correspondence.

Once more, Leslie Evans refused to comply.

When the action was taken to investigate the allegations made against Mr Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon also emphasised how it demonstrated that no-one in Scotland was above the law.

Why then, is a former First Minister being pursued on the opinion of Leslie Evans, over sexual allegations made from some years ago, but a former Lord Advocate, against whom there is overwhelming documentary evidence of grave financial misconduct, most probably of a criminal nature, and having been supplied by the Scottish Government itself, being actively protected by the very same individual — Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans?

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