PRESS RELEASE 14TH FEBRUARY 2012
BY AAMER ANWAR & CO, SOLICITORS & NOTARIES.
TOMMY SHERIDAN- V- NEWSGROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD
AT THE INNER HOUSE COURT, COURT OF SESSION, PARLIAMENT SQUARE, EDINBURGH ON TUESDAY , 14TH FEBRUARY 10.30 AM.
On the 14th February both Tommy Sheridan and News International went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. At the same court in August 2006 Tommy Sheridan won his libel trial against News of the World. He was granted £200,000 by the Jury, but News Group moved to appeal this decision on the 11th August 2006, requesting a retrial. The monies were never awarded to Mr Sheridan pending the outcome of their appeal.
The appeal however was sisted so as not to prejudice the Lothian and Borders Police investigation into allegations of Perjury. In December 2010 Tommy Sheridan was convicted of Perjury and was released from prison in January of this year, having served one year of his three year prison sentence. Whilst News of the World no longer exist, News International wished today to recall the sist and to amend the grounds of appeal and have the verdict of the jury quashed. This was opposed by us today on behalf of Mr Sheridan.
There is once again a full scale criminal inquiry taking place in Scotland in relation to the Defamation and Perjury case. Officers from the Strathclyde’s Major Investigation Teams have been tasked by the Crown Office to examine aspects of the evidence presented during the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.
In addition, they are examining specific claims of phone hacking and breaches of data protection in Scotland. Strathclyde Police have been liaising with the Metropolitan Police in relation to any Scottish dimension to their current investigations.
Copies of Correspondence from Strathclyde Police’s Operation Rubicon had been presented to the court by ourselves highlighting their concerns at any prejudice. We argued against the lifting of the sist. In conclusion their Lordships refused the motion of Newsgroup Papers Ltd to lift the sist..
Following the hearing Aamer Anwar, Tommy Sheridan’s solicitor stated:
“For several years the News of the World appeal was sisted so as not to prejudice a police inquiry into Tommy Sheridan. That inquiry cost £2 million and took over 50,000 police hours. Major police inquiries are now ongoing, both North and South of the Border into the defunct News of the World. Strathclyde Police’s Operation Rubicon began on July 7th 2010 after Tom Watson MP and myself handed a dossier to them detailing allegations of criminality. It appears that the shoe is on the other foot, today we were successful in requesting that proceedings remain sisted pending the outcome of the criminal inquiries. It is essential that the present criminal investigations are not prejudiced.”