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samscafeamericain

Nat Fraser

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http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/justice-system-in-the-dock-as-nat-fraser-wins-appeal-supreme-court-overturns-fraser-murder-conviction-1.1103573

Okay, so the cornerstone of the prosecution's case was that rings belonging to his (possibly murdered but no one knows for certain) wife were not there on the night (based on photos)of her disappearance but turned up several days later, the prosecution arguing that he (Nat Fraser) removed her rings and placed them in the bathroom to back up his story that she appears to have walked out.

According to the Supreme Court's verdict, it now appears to be the case that the police knew the rings were there all of the time, that the police had made the prosecution aware of this, yet they continued to lead this as their evidence - I am no lawyer, and this may be an over simplification, but isn't that called perjury? And, surely to God, the prosecution and the police want a correct decision not an expedient one - I know, I know.

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http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/justice-system-in-the-dock-as-nat-fraser-wins-appeal-supreme-court-overturns-fraser-murder-conviction-1.1103573

Okay, so the cornerstone of the prosecution's case was that rings belonging to his (possibly murdered but no one knows for certain) wife were not there on the night (based on photos)of her disappearance but turned up several days later, the prosecution arguing that he (Nat Fraser) removed her rings and placed them in the bathroom to back up his story that she appears to have walked out.

According to the Supreme Court's verdict, it now appears to be the case that the police knew the rings were there all of the time, that the police had made the prosecution aware of this, yet they continued to lead this as their evidence - I am no lawyer, and this may be an over simplification, but isn't that called perjury? And, surely to God, the prosecution and the police want a correct decision not an expedient one - I know, I know.

Im no lawyer either but the sentence,"the police made the prosecution aware of this."is pivotal.

So, there is a situation where the Crown failed to provide the defence with all the evidence it had in relation to the enquiry,this they failed to do meaning that evidence could not be tested.

To commit perjury a person must do so whilst giving evidence in court under oath or affirmation.If a witness isnt examined by the Crown on certain aspects of the case at the trial,in this instance the relevance of the rings,then that person does not commit perjury.

I also agree that the Crown and everyone else for that matter are looking for the correct decision but in this instance by witholding evidence the Crown fatally damaged their case against Fraser.

I have always been wary of criminal cases based solely on circumstantial evidence alone and I dont think this is the first to fall on appeal.

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Didn't follow the case at the time and have not been following the appeal process, but the involvement of the UK Supreme Court raises a number of interesting issues considering that Scotland has always had a totally separate legal system, and that was part of the Union agreement in 1707.

Salmond is obviously very unhappy about this "interference" by a London court, which I can fully understand, but presumably if they had NOT overturned the conviction then Fraser could have gone to Europe as it seems that his appeal was lodged under the ECHR?

Scotsman article

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Didn't follow the case at the time and have not been following the appeal process, but the involvement of the UK Supreme Court raises a number of interesting issues considering that Scotland has always had a totally separate legal system, and that was part of the Union agreement in 1707.

Salmond is obviously very unhappy about this "interference" by a London court, which I can fully understand, but presumably if they had NOT overturned the conviction then Fraser could have gone to Europe as it seems that his appeal was lodged under the ECHR?

Scotsman article

The UK Supreme court was put in place to limit the number of cases needing to go to the European Court. The UK Supreme court is effectively acting as the European Court as I understand it.

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Im no lawyer either but the sentence,"the police made the prosecution aware of this."is pivotal.

So, there is a situation where the Crown failed to provide the defence with all the evidence it had in relation to the enquiry,this they failed to do meaning that evidence could not be tested.

To commit perjury a person must do so whilst giving evidence in court under oath or affirmation.If a witness isnt examined by the Crown on certain aspects of the case at the trial,in this instance the relevance of the rings,then that person does not commit perjury.

I also agree that the Crown and everyone else for that matter are looking for the correct decision but in this instance by witholding evidence the Crown fatally damaged their case against Fraser.

I have always been wary of criminal cases based solely on circumstantial evidence alone and I dont think this is the first to fall on appeal.

Thanks Alecko. I used the perjury term because I know the 'reappearing' rings evidence was discussed in court. I think the prosecution's case is undermined by this failure and his conviction will be quashed.

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Thanks Alecko. I used the perjury term because I know the 'reappearing' rings evidence was discussed in court. I think the prosecution's case is undermined by this failure and his conviction will be quashed.

I think you are right, samsc, I would imagine it will be quashed.

Salmond should be a bit more careful with regard to this matter. Is he possibly becoming a bit overconfident?

“Before devolution, the House of Lords had no jurisdiction whatever in matters of Scots criminal law. The increasing involvement of the UK Supreme Court in second-guessing Scotland’s highest criminal court of appeal is totally unsatisfactory.”

Mr Salmond reiterated the Scottish Government’s belief during its evidence to the Scotland Bill that the court “should have no role in matters of Scots criminal law, whether by way of devolution issues or appeal.”

He's certainly ruffling feathers in legal circles. When people feel their rights have been infringed they can take them to the Supreme Court. Where is the problem with that? It's the view of the Supreme Court that the trial, and probably the outcome, would have been different if the undisclosed evidence had been available.

It's a scandal that the evidence was withheld and also pretty foolish to withhold it. Calls up questions about the justice system so just as well there is recourse elsewhere.

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I may well be wrong and will stand corrected but I think that at one time this decision by the Supreme Court would have been the end of the matter,however although the double jeopardy rules were still in force in 2010 I think there may well be legislation to allow for a retrial.

Maybe someone can clarify.

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I think you are right, samsc, I would imagine it will be quashed.

Salmond should be a bit more careful with regard to this matter. Is he possibly becoming a bit overconfident?

He's certainly ruffling feathers in legal circles. When people feel their rights have been infringed they can take them to the Supreme Court. Where is the problem with that? It's the view of the Supreme Court that the trial, and probably the outcome, would have been different if the undisclosed evidence had been available.

It's a scandal that the evidence was withheld and also pretty foolish to withhold it. Calls up questions about the justice system so just as well there is recourse elsewhere.

He already had an appeal against his conviction in Scotland tho' (Court of Session?) and they threw it out, so that is what is ruffling Salmond's feathers and also a few feathers in the legal profession - this is from the Evening Times

Two of Scotland's leading law figures have expressed concerns about the role of the Supreme Court in London in the wake of its ruling on the Nat Fraser case on Wednesday.

Former Solicitor General and Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser said First Minister Alex Salmond has been "spot-on" in his criticism of the court, while leading QC Paul McBride agreed the role of the court would have to be "constantly reviewed".

Salmond said the court - the highest in the UK - should have no role in Scottish criminal law.

Alecko - can't answer your question but this what the BBC website says

The Supreme Court unanimously allows the appeal. It remits the case to a differently constituted Appeal Court to consider whether to grant authority for a new prosecution and then, having considered that point, to quash the conviction."

Nat Fraser and Arlene Fraser Nat Fraser was jailed in 2003 for his wife Arlene's murder

The Crown Office said it would now seek to bring fresh proceedings against Nat Fraser.

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SNP to take action

Have to say while I can understabnd people getting upset at the independence of the Scottish legal system being threatened by London, I still "don't get" why these same people appear happy to allow judges in Europe to undermine it :blink:

Am I missing something, or is this little more than anti-English posturing?

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SNP to take action

Have to say while I can understabnd people getting upset at the independence of the Scottish legal system being threatened by London, I still "don't get" why these same people appear happy to allow judges in Europe to undermine it :blink:

Am I missing something, or is this little more than anti-English posturing?

I am bemused by Salmond's response to this and must admit take some perverse delight in anything that upsets the constitution of the legal industry. Politically, with Scots Law being a separate system from English & Welsh law I can understand a wee bit his concerns but if this court makes judgements based on European Law rather than E&W law I don't think its worth the candle. If however, they are applying E&W law to a Scots case then he is correct to moan.

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This story raises so many issues. However, the issue of most immediate importance must surely relate to the fairness of the Nat Fraser trial. If the prosection perverted the course of justice in the original trial, then the decision to uphold his appeal is correct and shows Scots law to be flawed in this case.

However, what are the potential ramifications for the future of Scots law if the UKSC decision ultimately leads to a retrial which results in his subsequent release?

The question which would then tweak my conscience would be, how do we balance that outcome, and it's potential impact on the future independance of Scots law, without consideration for whether or not Nat Fraser is truly innocent or guilty?

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This story raises so many issues. However, the issue of most immediate importance must surely relate to the fairness of the Nat Fraser trial. If the prosection perverted the course of justice in the original trial, then the decision to uphold his appeal is correct and shows Scots law to be flawed in this case.

However, what are the potential ramifications for the future of Scots law if the UKSC decision ultimately leads to a retrial which results in his subsequent release?

The question which would then tweak my conscience would be, how do we balance that outcome, and it's potential impact on the future independance of Scots law, without consideration for whether or not Nat Fraser is truly innocent or guilty?

Every judicial system has miscarraiges of justice; you remedy the miscarraige and look at why it happened, it does not mean you throw out the baby with the bath water. Scots law is generally well based, as it is being more people centred than asset centred and more akin to European law.

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