Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A Joint Minute of Agreement - for discordant purposes


Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

In court 5, Sheriff McLaughlin asked me if I was 'adhering to' my 'not-guilty plea'?'.

I said that I was but that I had submitted a plea email which also gave reasons for not proceeding to trial which I offered to address the court about.

Sheriff McLaughlin declined my offer saying that it was a matter for the fiscal to take a case to trial in court, not the Sheriff.

She indicated that she had seen my recent email to the court officials, a carbon-copy of my email of Monday 31st October to the prosecutors which I had sent in response to a letter I had received by post on Saturday 29th October from Mr James Dunbar, who was again the depute procurator fiscal appearing in court, proposing a "JOINT MINUTE OF AGREEMENT" which Sheriff McLaughlin wanted to hear from Mr Dunbar about.

Mr Dunbar confirmed that he had sent me a letter but that he wasn't sure that I had received it (apparently, he'd not received nor noticed my email reply). He said that he had based his draft minute on my previous representations - namely, that I was accepting authorship of the tweets and that, were the minute to be accepted, he would lead only 1 or 2 police witnesses rather than the 8 or so police witnesses he had available.

Sheriff McLaughlin asked if this was Dunbar's priority case to proceed to trial today? He admitted this was by far his longest running case - 71 weeks so far - but another adjournment was acceptable.

Sheriff McLaughlin asked me about Mr Dunbar's proposed Joint Minute of Agreement and I replied that I had amendments to propose. 

She suggested that Dunbar and I discuss those amendments during a pause in proceedings, later in the morning, which we later did, when I pointed out to Dunbar that my purpose in agreeing the joint minute was different from his, not to "focus the issue at trial" but primarily to facilitate the return of my computer equipment from the police and secondly to make my political point that the police raid and seizure was entirely unnecessary for any police or prosecutor assumed pretext of an investigatory or prosecution purpose and was an inappropriate abuse of state power.

Dunbar agreed my proposed amendments which were to correct his inaccurate or incomplete quotes of my tweets and to remove and edit points referring to "members of the public".

Dunbar revealed to me that he had not seen any of my many emails sent to him and his colleagues at Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office in recent months, wherein I had suggested alternatives to prosecution, deleting tweets, direct measures and I enquired more information about who it was at the Fiscal's Office, which of his superiors, had made the decision to prosecute this case?

Dunbar said that although the name of "Andrew Shanks" appeared on his documents, Shanks had had no role as far as he knew in dealing with this case.

I showed Dunbar an email from his superior Principal Procurator Fiscal Depute Laura Begg wherein she confirmed the decision to prosecute (she was "not minded to discontinue the prosecution").

I asked Dunbar to raise the matter again with Begg and to see if she would agree to have a meeting with me, should the case drag on any further than today.

Dunbar went off to edit his document and returned with a new version, which still, I pointed out, included a disputed reference to "members of the public" which he agreed to score-through by hand. I have re-typed the resultant agreed text for my notes as follows.
AB14008188 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 November 2016
ALASTAIR PETER DOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACCUSED
, Procurator Fiscal Depute for the Crown and , Accused concur in stating to the Court that the following facts are agreed and should be admitted into evidence
1. That "Twitter" is an online social networking service that enables userss to send and read short 140-character messages referred to as "tweets".
2. That registered users of Twitter can read and post tweets onto Twitter, but those who are unregistered can only read said posts or "tweets".
3. That users access Twitter though the website interface, SMS or mobile device application.
4. That on 25 and 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, was a registered user of Twitter and utilised the username '@peterdow'.
5. That the username '@peterdow' is published on the accused's personal website 'www.scot.tk'.
6. That on 25 and 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, resided at the Ground Floor Right Flat, 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen.
7. That at 7.09am on Friday 25 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, posted a message or 'tweet' on the social networking service Twitter utilising the username '@peterdow'.
8. That the aforementioned message or "tweet" read as follows:
"@marshtheman56 My say as a man at war for my freedom against the imposed monarch - I want my army to put a bullet in HM the Qunt's head".
9. That at 12.05pm on Saturday 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, posted a message on "tweet" on the social networking service "Twitter" utilising the username '@peterdow'.
10. That the aforementioned message or "tweet" read as follows:
"@DeanMThomson @mollylguiness It's not a little rest I need but to see your Queen's brains blown out & her body splattered over the ground".
11. That the aforementioned messages or "tweets" were posted on "Twitter" by the accused from within his home address at the Ground Floor Right Flat 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen,
12. That the aforementioned messages or "tweets" were viewed by police officers _________
In respect whereof
When the case called again later in the morning, I once again tried unsuccessfully to address the court regarding my plea not to proceed to trial but Sheriff McLaughlin wasn't interested in that and wanted to know from Dunbar about our discussion about the proposed Joint Minute of Agreement, adding that she was sympathetic with my request for more time to prepare the presentation of my case using the data recently retrieved from the police.

Dunbar said that my proposed amendments were reasonable and so now that the minute could be agreed it meant the Crown calling less police witnesses so he was content with another adjournment but wanted to know from me which police witnesses the defence would ask to be called?

I then confirmed the agreement telling the Sheriff that I had long "for years" (actually just the 2 years) wanted just such an agreement, but explained that my science and political purposes in agreeing the minute were different from Dunbar's trial purpose.

I signed the principal copy of the Joint Minute of Agreement and that was lodged with the court, which, the Sheriff said, formally had began the trial.

I named police detective "Martyn Thomson" as the most suitable police witness I had prepared questions for, who was the police officer who seemed to have instigated the police action, roping other officers into it.

A date for Thursday 26th January 2017 was set to continue the trial and before leaving the dock I asked about displaying my computer data in court and a court official pointed to the court's equipment confirming that it ran Windows operating system and could read data from memory sticks.

I asked about testing the court's equipment out before the trial and their suggestion was that at 9.30am on the morning of the court case I would be allowed to check that my presentation would display OK.


Anonymous said...

Peter, Clinton vs. Trump - where do you stand? Need your wisdom.

Peter Dow said...

"Clinton vs. Trump"?

My position on whom to support for President of the United States of America is long established.

Rice for President Yahoo Group
"Condoleezza Rice for President. Join this group of supporters from everywhere on the world wide web."

Rice for President Video Playlist

Condi is not supporting Trump and neither would I, for election to anything.

So that leaves us with Clinton as the person best placed to stop Trump in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Ah you see I wasn't sure - she's not really come out in favor of either candidate. I worry that Clinton's neo-liberal agenda leans so far left we're full circle and into the realm of fascism again. Even if Trump is an idiot, she's typically been a Republican - I wonder if she'd accepted his offer as running mate our wonderful Condi could have steered him in the right direction.

I don't like the direction the US is going, it's turning into a police state. Keep fighting the good fight - good luck with your court case!