THE concept of “jigsaw identification” necessarily implies a number of components. There is no such thing as a one-piece jigsaw puzzle. This being so, if one piece (piece A) constitutes jigsaw identification only in conjunction with at least one other piece (piece B) then it follows as an iron law of logic that piece B must constitute jigsaw identification when put together with piece A.

How then can it be considered just or fair that the author of one piece is prosecuted but not the author of the other piece(s)? If one has offended then the other must also have done so. On the basis of what criteria is only one targeted by the justice system?

READ MORE: Craig Murray hands himself into police to begin jail sentence

It would seem that only two things distinguish Craig Murray from any or all of the other pieces in this jigsaw identification. One is that he works in the new online media rather than the traditional media. The other is that his reporting of the trial of Alex Salmond sought to compensate for woeful under-reporting of the defence case in the traditional media.

Does either or both of these criteria seem adequate justification for the selective persecution of Craig Murray? To put it another way, does working for a traditional media outlet rather than publishing a blog, or favouring the (failed) prosecution in a high-profile criminal case rather than providing balanced reporting, constitute adequate grounds to be granted exemption from prosecution for an offence identical in all relevant regards to that for which another has been imprisoned?

These questions go to the heart of Scotland’s justice system and so demand thoughtful responses.

Peter A Bell

THEY say that justice is blind. In 21st-century Scotland it certainly seems to be. I cannot help but contrast the 160-hour community payback order imposed on a man who sent a series of “menacing and obscene private messages”, including threats of sexual violence, to Joanna Cherry MP, with the eight-month jail sentence imposed on blogger and journalist Craig Murray. I have to seriously wonder if Murray would even have been found guilty of a crime of any kind had a jury had been involved in case.

I thought the punishment was supposed to fit the crime, but in these two cases it most certainly does not. When you also consider the recent case of the arrest and trial of Mark Hirst, Scotland is fast becoming a rather dangerous place to be a journalist.

READ MORE: Craig Murray says he ‘will go to jail with clean conscience’ ahead of sentence

The once proud Scottish legal system is still reeling from the fiasco of the Alex Salmond case and the multimillion-pound scandal of the malicious prosecution of the Rangers directors, with more massive compensation claims in the pipeline.

The same justice and legal systems seem unable to stem the increasing tide of drug-related deaths and misery by prosecuting and locking up the dealers and manufacturers of deadly wee blue pills and other illegal drugs.

John Baird

HOW ironic that on the day a genuine independence supporter has to surrender to a politically motivated eight-month jail term concerning the mishandled Salmond fiasco, we read of our government capitulating, on many occasions, to the commercial whims of the greedy, unelected Windsors.

The SNP are proving to be a rump of hybrid political persuasions, which now, with regular exposure, is detrimental to the support for independence. John Laurie in Dad’s Army as Captain Fraser expressed the feelings of many Yes supporters as they watch “Lizzies’s Lapdogs” in Holyrood topping up the Buckingham Palace Bowl: “We’re Doomed”.

Sandy Coghill
Sligachan, Isle of Skye

IT appears that a journalist, albeit not one of the mainstream media, has been sent to prison for contempt of court. Apparently, Craig Murray had not held to the standards of behaviour followed by the journalists employed by the mainstream media. Try not to snigger. And yet not one mention of this in this Sunday’s National, not even a mention that this had occurred, never mind the threat this poses to all journalism in Scotland ... or what presently passes for this. Scandalous.

George White
Cupar, Fife

A FEW observations on Alex Cole-Hamilton’s début performance as leader of the LibDems (Cole-Hamilton sent ‘false’ Covid information, Jul 31). 1) I see ACH has not changed his habit of making a mistake and then blaming someone else for making him do it. 2) I don’t see why leaders of other parties think they have to rephrase public health advice, almost as if they want to take unearned credit for it. 3) ACH, so far, seems to be about as effective as Willie Rennie but with a distinct lack of comedy!

Derek Ball

REGARDING the letter from Harry Key about Boris and his dog being alike (Jul 30), I was previously unaware that Boris chewed furniture and peed on handbags.

M Ross