Friday, March 11, 2016

CROWN CROOKED: Crown Office crime files reveal Scotland’s Prosecutors & staff charged with Drugs crimes, Police assault, threats & perverting the course of justice

Crime & drugs empire at Crown Office revealed. AMID a string of collapsed cases involving high profile criminals, plea deals with gangsters, failures to to prosecute those responsible for multiple deaths, & multi million pound frauds involved legal eagles - documents obtained by the media reveal Scotland’s Prosecutors have their very own crime gang - right at the heart of the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

Information released in response to Freedom of Information requests now reveal prosecutors & key staff among the ranks of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland’s £110m-a-year Crown Office empire - have been charged with a string of criminal offences over crimes ranging from violence to misuse of drugs, making threats and offences against Police Officers.

In a period of just two years – from November 2013 to November 2015 - the Crown Office admitted it retained records showing 15 cases reported to COPFS containing allegations of criminal offences by COPFS staff. Court proceedings were taken in 11 cases, three cases were disposed of by non-court disposal and no proceedings were taken in one case.

The charges brought against staff include assault and vandalism; road traffic offences; threatening and abusive conduct; breach of the peace; Misuse of drugs/offences against the police; data protection offences/attempt to pervert the course of justice.

In the 11 cases where court proceedings were raised, these were concluded as follows: Guilty plea accepted (4); accused found guilty after trial (1); case marked for no further action (1); court proceedings active (4).

Crooks among Them – Prosecutors own crime gang revealed. The only case where a COPFS employee was found guilty after trial relates to that of Iain Sawers, 27, from Edinburgh, who was found guilty of passing information to the criminal fraternity - during a seven-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in September 2014.

A jury found Sawers guilty on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, the Official Secrets Act and nine under the Data Protection Act.

Sawers joined the Productions Office of the Procurator Fiscal Service in Chambers Street in the city in 2008.

His induction covered security of information and the warning that any breach could lead to disciplinary proceedings. He was also told, under the Official Secrets Act, the unauthorised disclosure of documents was an offence.

The offences by Sawers came to light when police began an investigation into the case of 27-year old Calum Stewart on charges of breach of bail and attempting to pervert the course of justice by threatening his ex-partner, Kelli Anne Smillie, if she gave evidence in a trial in July, 2013.

Stewart paid for her and her mother to leave the country and go on holiday to Benidorm on the week of the trial.

The police investigations led them to a number of phone calls and text messages between Stewart and Sawers between 24 and 29 January 2014.

These led to Stewart phoning Kelli Anne threatening her and her mother. They were to be witnesses in the outstanding trial which has since been deserted by the Crown.

The police also recovered Sawers' iPhone. Although many messages had been deleted, forensic experts were able to recover them and the telephone numbers of the senders and receiver. They showed that between April 2008 and January 2014, Sawers had passed on information to other people on nine occasions.

A check on the productions office computer showed shortly after receiving a call, Sawers' secret personal user number was used to access the information.

The jury also found Stewart guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and breach of bail. Neither men gave evidence during the trial – much to the relief of the Lord Advocate.

The Crown Office also admitted 40 staff  had been subject to disciplinary action, been suspended, dismissed or have been moved to other duties as a result of disciplinary action between January 2013 to late last year and  that 14 of those staff members were suspended in the period requested. The reasons for suspension included allegations related to potential criminal activity and/or charged by Police; and breach of trust.

Of the 40 members of staff who were suspended, 10 were dismissed from the Crown Office.

However officials refused to identify the reasons for their dismissal, insisting they wished to protect the identities of their colleagues and nature of the sackings.

A legal insider has since come forward this week to indicate former Crown Office staff including some of those who were sacked or had faced criminal charges - are back working with private law firms and public bodies with links to the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Sun newspaper reported further, here:

Crooks of the Crown: 15 legal staff on charges


COPS charged 15 Crown Office workers with crimes including drugs, police assault and perverting the course of justice.

Violence, vandalism, threats and data breaches were also among the alleged offences.

And 11 of those cases reported over the last two years went to court.

A source said: “The nature of the criminal charges are very serious.

“The Crown Office should be beyond reproach as it’s responsible for highly sensitive information about the most serious crimes and sudden deaths.”

Four of the 11 employees taken to court pleaded guilty, one case was dropped, four are ongoing and the outcome of one is unknown.

It’s thought Edinburgh procurator fiscal’s office worker Iain Sawers, 26, is the only one found guilty.

He was jailed for 18 months in 2014 for attempting to pervert the course of justice by leaking details of cases.

The information about staff charges from the two years to November 2015 was unearthed using freedom of information laws.

Similar data on police officers accused of crimes is published by the Scottish Police Authority.

Last night, Scottish Tory justice spokesman Margaret Mitchell said: “The Crown Office should be no different from Police Scotland in that they should routinely publish this information.”

The Crown Office is Scotland’s prosecution agency headed by the country’s most senior law officer Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland.

A spokesman said: “We employ more than 1,600 staff, the overwhelming majority of whom uphold our high standards of professionalism. Any breach of rules is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”


Anonymous said...

It takes a crook to catch a crooks - the only difference being Crown Office crooks get away with it.

Anonymous said...

paid off no doubt to keep everything quiet

Anonymous said...

The Crown Office take £110 million a year??
A big perversion of justice right there!

Anonymous said...

more than 1,600 staff work for the Crown Office? doing what exactly?

Better to shave those jobsworths down and put some more cops on the beat!

Anonymous said...

Bunch of criminals they cant even get a murder conviction for what is obviously a murder Dont believe anything you hear from Crown Office thugs they are the nastiest liars on the go

Anonymous said...

"A legal insider has since come forward this week to indicate........those who were sacked or had faced criminal charges - are back working with private law firms and public bodies with links to the Scottish Government."

How is this possible?

Do lawyers and the Scottish Gov not ask for references - or do they simply not care?

Anonymous said...

Last night, Scottish Tory justice spokesman Margaret Mitchell said: “The Crown Office should be no different from Police Scotland in that they should routinely publish this information.”

Yes we do seem to have a few double standards among the crime fighters don't we..

Read the following:

More than 150 serving police officers in Scotland have convictions

Police Scotland probe 134 officers over alleged crimes and misconduct including sex offences, stalking and theft

THREE officers of the rank of inspector or above are among those under investigation a Scottish Police Authority's Complaints and Conduct Committee report reveals.

POLICE Scotland is investigating 134 officers for alleged crimes and misconduct including sexual offences , stalking, theft, multiple assaults and several data protection breaches.

Okay.Point made.

Judges have criminal records too.We know this because you revealed it!

So Crown Office must publish just the same as the Police.

Police Scotland employ over 17,000 officers and staff so the Crown Office on 1,600 employees and the 40 suspensions plus the 15 on criminal charges they admitted to is roughly about the same ratio or perhaps worse than Police Scotland.

To be honest I do not believe the Crown Office foi letters.I surmise there are more of their staff involved in criminal activity than they admit to.

Anonymous said...

Another one bbc forgot to mention

Anonymous said...

anyone taken a look at the ever lengthening list of Contempt of Court orders lately?

lots of cases right there Crown Crooked are trying to fit people up or use court orders to keep stuff out the papers and do deals in the background

Anonymous said...

No wonder Crown office refuse to charge crooked lawyers with ripping off clients because the prosecutors are good customers needing the same lawyers to defend them from criminal charges!

Diary of Injustice said...

@ 11 March 2016 at 21:00

High numbers at COPFS regularly migrate between the legal profession, public bodies and Scottish Government departments ... a lot more like the legal profession's method of recruitment, tap on the shoulder and wink wink, rather than worrying or asking about references and criminal histories ...

@ 11 March 2016 at 21:04

Correct ... the numbers are higher than COPFS admit ... remember there is no guarantee of honesty in Freedom of Information and if anything FOI is regularly being used by public bodies as a tool to fiddle the figures and flow of information to the public.

@ 12 March 2016 at 11:05

Good points ...

Anonymous said...

"remember there is no guarantee of honesty in Freedom of Information and if anything FOI is regularly being used by public bodies as a tool to fiddle the figures and flow of information to the public."

Quite so.

Anonymous said...

Yes from what I heard a lot of lawyers get their relatives into crown office jobs as favors to pfs and so on may as well say bungs or bribes

Entirely corrupt as you say cannot be trusted just look at their conduct in the Glasgow bin lorry affair crown office are contemptuous of public feeling and devoid of respect for life

Anonymous said...

Corrupt like the rest of the justice system

Anonymous said...

I once put a series of complaints in about the conduct of staff and judges within the scottish high court & sheriff courts systems & let me tell you there was nothing swift about the actions of the scs & can wholeheartedly confirm they did nothing.

Anonymous said...

you mean like the pf who was/is on coke?

Anonymous said...

I see that Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland is going to step down after the May election, perhaps following something you wrote?;

Needless to say 'Nikla' and her control freaks in the SNP will have been told well before, the Lord Advocate having "attended 73 Cabinet meetings since the SNP gained power - despite the First Minister promising to exclude the legal chief."

Anonymous said...

The right to have rights. This is what the Scottish legal system deny some people and is therefore political.

Diary of Injustice said...

Several comments relating to this article and comments from 2 - 14 April are unavailable for publication.

Information submitted in unpublished comments and emails relating to the Crown Office will be considered for publication at a future date.

Anonymous said...

I thought so.Well done.Not much of a LA anyway along with the rest of the dire 'top' team at copfs

Anonymous said...

aye plenty crooks in the Crown Office even worse than the ones they stick in the weekend press releases to get a cheap headline!

Anonymous said...

Lord Advocate's brother in the news

Revealed: Lord Advocate's brother Iain Mulholland at centre of dirty money probe after arranging £550k mortgage for rogue lapdance tycoon

27 Mar 2016 27 Mar 2016 By Derek Alexander

THE younger brother of Scotland’s top prosecutor helped prepare paperwork that secured businessman Steven MacDonald a huge loan and is now being probed by the Crown Office.

THE brother of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland is at the centre of a dirty money probe into a lapdance tycoon’s business empire.

Iain Mulholland, the younger brother of Scotland’s top prosecutor who announced he was standing down last week, helped prepare paperwork that secured businessman Steven MacDonald a huge loan now being probed by the Crown Office.

Prosecutors hunting assets linked to organised crime claim MacDonald conned bank bosses into lending him enough cash to buy his Diamond Dolls strip club.

They claim the businessman lied on a mortgage application to get a £552,000 cash injection from the Bank of Scotland to purchase the property in Glasgow city centre.

Mortgage broker Iain Mulholland arranged MacDonald’s loan application through his First to Mortgage firm.

The 48-year-old fixed the loan that is now the focus of a major investigation by the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) – investigators at the Crown Office, led by his brother, who seize dirty money, property and other assets linked to organised crime.

MacDonald agreed to pay 6.9 per cent interest on the loan after using his home in Whitburn, West Lothian, as security.

Prosecutors have also accused the lapdancing boss of being involved in human trafficking, drugs, firearms and pornography.

MacDonald owns strip clubs including Diamond Dolls, where woman lap dance MacDonald owns strip clubs including Diamond Dolls, where woman lap dance

The 51-year-old has denied all the allegations, saying the CRU’s claims are part of a campaign to shut down his business.

Mulholland set up the mortgage in December 2008 while he was director of First To Mortgage Ltd. The firm were dissolved in 2010.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial watchdog, Mulholland is now “inactive”. He became a director of Glasgow building contractor Inglis PM Ltd in 2012.

A source said: “MacDonald insists he only acted on the advice of his financial advisers.

“The paperwork was prepared by Iain Mulholland who was hired to secure the best mortgage deal he could get at the time.

“MacDonald paid Mulholland thousands of pounds to arrange the mortgage on his behalf.”

Chartered accountants RES Associates also prepared documents for the Bank of Scotland application before the money was paid.

Mulholland has been spoken to by CRU investigators scouring the documents around the purchase of Diamond Dolls.

They say paperwork claimed MacDonald earned between £193,000 and £272,000 a year. But he told HM Revenue and Customs in his tax return that he earned just £19,000 in 2007-8.

His lawyers say the application was based on cash he could have taken from all his businesses including Edinburgh lapdancing clubs Baby Dolls and Big Daddy O’s, which is now closed.

Anonymous said...

more on the Lord Advocate's brother

Dirty cash probe brother of Lord Advocate bought luxury Dubai holiday home with tycoon Frankie 'Donuts' Donaldson

3 Apr 2016 By Derek Alexander

A FORMER mortgage broker at the centre of a dirty money probe bought a luxury holiday home in Dubai with businessman Frankie “Donuts” Donaldson.

Iain Mulholland – younger brother of Scotland’s top prosecutor Frank Mulholland – ploughed £77,000 into the deal.

Tycoon Donaldson paid £30,000 while his estranged partner Jane Clarke supplied £125,000 for the property bought in the desert kingdom in 2009.

Details of Mulholland’s investment with Donaldson emerged during a civil hearing last month.

Donaldson is suing Clarke for £1million in a row over a nursery school empire. He claims the Hyde ‘n’ Seek chain became a success because of his work and money.

But Clarke says she started the business with her mum by using money she got from grants and her sister. She has lodged a counter-claim against Donaldson for £475,000.

Donaldson appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court for a proof hearing on March 1.

During proceedings, he was asked about property in Dubai. He told the court that he no longer spoke to Mulholland.

But it was revealed that an apartment was purchased by cash supplied by Donaldson, Mulholland, Clarke and a fourth individual.

Mulholland, 48, transferred £77,000 – which partly paid for the property – from his bank account on March 30, 2009.

Iain Mulholland helped set up loan for MacDonald Iain Mulholland

The court heard the flat was registered in Donaldson’s name but had since been sold. The property was thought to be worth around £500,000.

Donaldson is also facing allegations of violence against Clarke. A criminal trial is expected to take place later this year. He refused to answer questions about the claims.

A source said: “Frankie is one of a number of businessmen Iain Mulholland has dealt with over the years.

“They were very close at one point and Frankie often recommended Mulholland as a financial adviser to people.”

Mulholland said: “This would appear to be a financial dispute between Jane Clarke and Francis Donaldson.

“I know nothing of this court action and am not involved in this case.

“I have not spoken to Jane Clarke or Francis Donaldson for several years.”

Donaldson’s solicitor Jim Reilly didn’t respond to our request for a comment.

Last week, we revealed how Mulholland arranged a mortgage for a lapdance boss that is now being investigated by the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) – a team of Crown Office investigators who track down and seize assets obtained through organised crime.

Investigators say Steven MacDonald lied on a Bank of Scotland loan application for £550,000, which was used to purchase the building where his Diamond Dolls strip club is based in Glasgow. The paperwork was prepared by Mulholland while he was a director of First to Mortgage Ltd in December 2008. He was paid a four-figure sum for his services.

The CRU claim MacDonald informed HM Revenue and Customs that he earned just £19,000 between 2007 and 2008 but told the bank that his revenue was up to £272,000.

MacDonald’s legal team say the loan application was based on cash he could take from the bank accounts of all his businesses including Baby Dolls and Big Daddy O’s – lapdance bars in Edinburgh. CRU investigators claim MacDonald is linked to organised crime including prostitution, human trafficking, drugs and firearms – and his assets are recoverable.

The 51-year-old, from Whitburn, West Lothian, has denied the claims. But the CRU were able to freeze MacDonald’s assets at the Court of Session last month while they conduct their investigation.

CRU investigators have spoken to Mulholland in connection with the alleged mortgage fraud.

Frank Mulholland is stepping down as head of the Crown Office after the Holyrood elections next month.

Anonymous said...

and they sit there telling us how great they are at jailing people then in truth just a pack of lying crooks

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Not surprised to read this after reading your other stuff on the judge and the latest on the court titles.Scotland is a very corrupt little country with such people in their jobs.I would not put it past these criminal staff of the crown office to arrange violence against people and their bosses cover it up to avoid prosecutions

Anonymous said...

The prosecutors are more corrupt than the ones they are prosecuting god help us

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to remember the Advocate Depute who was dragged out of a courtroom because his pc was full of child porn? and then his pals at work and on the bench saw to it an easy route out The very same people who troll editors and see to it the news fits the Crown Office view of the world

Anonymous said...

On the subject of drug smuggling crown agents will the Scottish legal mafia be slipping off to Kenya to get this guy off the hook?

Earl's grandson appears in Kenya court charged with smuggling cocaine worth £4.5 million

Jack Marrian, the grandson of the 6th Earl Cawdor, appears at Kibera Court in Nairobi. Jack Marrian, the grandson of the 6th Earl Cawdor, appears at Kibera Court in Nairobi.

Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg

4 August 2016 • 5:41pm

The grandson of an Earl appeared in a Kenyan court on Thursday charged with smuggling cocaine worth almost £4.5 million from South America to Africa hidden in sugar consignments.

Jack Marrian, whose maternal family own Cawdor Castle in Scotland, was arrested last Friday in the Kenyan port of Mombasa in a joint operation by the local police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Mr Marrian, the 31-year-old grandson of the Sixth Earl Cawdor of Castlemartin, spent three nights in custody before saying on Facebook on Monday that he had been released.

He was then rearrested and brought before Kibera court in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, charged with trafficking 220 lb (99 kg) of cocaine. Mr Marrian’s charge sheet states that this amount of narcotics has a street value exceeding 598 million Kenyan shillings – or £4.5 million.

During a brief hearing, prosecutors described Mr Marrian as a “flight risk” and opposed bail. The Briton, who denies the charges, was remanded in custody until Monday when the hearing will resume.

Mr Marrian’s mother, Lady Emma Campbell, is the daughter of the late Hugh Campbell, the Sixth Earl of Cawdor. The family estate is the 14th century Cawdor Castle near Nairn, which boasts three extensive gardens and a nine-hole golf course.

Mr Marrian, who studied economics at Bristol University, has worked in the African sugar business for the last eight years. He is a director of Kilombero Sugar Company and managing director of Mshale Commodities Uganda. He also works as head of trading for east and southern Africa at ED&F Sugar Ltd.

Mr Marrian describes himself as living in London, but he is a regular visitor to Kenya, where his two brothers, Finlay and Hunter, and his father, David, a painter, live as part of the close-knit white community.

The drugs were allegedly discovered in containers shipped from Brazil and destined for Mshale Commodities in Uganda. A Kenyan national, Roy Mwanthi, was charged with the same alleged offence, which he also denies.

A company spokesman said that Mshale Commodities was “aware of speculation regarding an allegedly compromised shipment”, adding: “We can confirm that Mshale's managing director, Jack Marrian, is assisting the Kenyan authorities to provide them with whatever information they require. Mshale operates stringent procedures to protect the integrity of its supply chain. Until these investigations are concluded, we are unable to comment further."

Drug seizures are rare in Kenya, although the United Nations says the country has recently become a hub for cocaine trafficking in East Africa. Mombasa, the region’s biggest port, is a known hotspot for smugglers who us it as a conduit for illicit wildlife products, drugs, money and weapons. They take advantage of corruption among the police and customs officials to avoid detection.

Anonymous said...

Kind of dangerous being a witness for the Crown if Crown prosecutors are doing drugs and presumably buying the drugs from drug dealers.What a state Scotland has got itself into

Anonymous said...

How are the Crown coke heads doing? haha I heard all about this from a pal who told me he knows one of the names of the coke dealers and he is quite the celeb at copfs! afraid to tell a journo tho as some have habit of trading tipsters names for a croon favor!

Diary of Injustice said...

@ 28 October 2016 at 21:32

Content within this article remains subject of an ongoing media investigation into the Crown Office.

If you have any information which you feel could be of use please contact us via the blog or known channels.

DOI journalists guarantee confidentiality and anonymity to informants and will not use material from information providers or persons providing material in relation to cases until matters are discussed and permission is agreed.

Anonymous said...

Happening again.You will know what to do.

Crown office under fire for £9000 contract to director’s husband’s firm

SCOTLAND's prosecution service is at the centre of a nepotism row after giving £9000 of work to a firm owned by a director's husband.

The Crown Office awarded the untendered IT contract to Opin Systems Ltd, run by Graham Curran.

The computer specialist is married to the Crown Office’s director of information technology, Linda Herbert, who is listed as the company secretary for her husband’s business in its annual return.

Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green co-convener and candidate for Holyrood, criticised the contract decision.

The Crown Office last year opted to review the work of an existing IT supplier. Contracts over £10,000 are put out to tender, but the review work identified by officials was not advertised as it was worth only £9000.

Peter Collings, the Crown’s deputy chief executive, was responsible for handing the two-month contract to Opin Systems Ltd.

According to financial records, Bearsden-based Opin’s sole shareholder and director is Curran. He married Herbert in 2007.

Collings said Herbert was not involved in the hiring of her husband’s company and added he had no relationship with Curran, other than encountering him during the course of work Curran had undertaken for the Scottish Government.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Collings said: “We have authority to let contracts of up to £10,000 by non-competitive action where appropriate and we did so.”

He also said that officials would have evaluated a range of suppliers had the contract been bigger. Collings said he took the decision based on Opin’s “experience and knowledge”. He said: “They had obtained that when working as a sub-contractor for another company. The results of that work were reported to me, so I was fully aware of what they had done.”

However, Harvie said: “We would deplore any decision where the spirit of the rules had been bent for personal gain.”

Despite the Crown Office having its own in-house IT department, the service has employed a variety of external contractors since 2005.

Last year alone the department spent £168,000 on temporary IT staff – a figure currently up to £1140 a day for hiring three temps as project managers and a database administrator.

The Crown Office has also given more than £7 million to a single company over the last two years for IT development, part of which was for a project that has since been scrapped.

French IT giant Capgemini was employed to develop an existing system, and then design a replacement, which has now been halted.

Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker said: “This matter needs to be investigated as a matter of urgency. Public money needs to be spent properly and if there is any suspicion of impropriety then that needs to be addressed immediately.”

SNP Holyrood candidate John Wilson said: “Given the family connection, there should be work carried out by the Crown Office to ensure that due diligence was carried out when this public contract was awarded.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “Opin Systems Ltd has had only had one short-term contract with COPFS. The work carried out in July and August 2010 involved an independent review of some of our IT systems for a total sum of £9000.

“Linda Herbert was excluded from all consideration of this contract to avoid any conflict of interest as she had appropriately declared her connection with Opin Systems Ltd some time previously.”