Unprecedented political vendetta ends in draconian sentence
Tommy Sheridan was jailed for three years, yesterday, after having being found guilty on charges of perjury, following the longest and most expensive perjury trial in Scottish legal history. The unprecedented political vendetta and this draconian sentence will provoke anger and disappointment among many thousands of working class people across Scotland.
The class nature of the prosecution and jail sentence was illustrated by the millions of pounds spent by the police and the Scottish Crown to secure this verdict which totals over £4 million.
This prosecution has only been achieved through an unholy alliance of the might of News International, the capitalist legal establishment, the police and the leadership of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). Moreover, many will contrast the treatment of Tommy Sheridan with the way that the prosecutors and the police have allowed Andy Coulson and the News of the World to, so far, avoid charges over widespread illegal phone hacking.
Following the trial, Tommy’s solicitor said on his behalf: "This multi-million pound prosecution will separate me from my wife and child and that will be heartbreaking. But I will continue to fight a system that protects the real criminals – the rich and powerful."
Without the actions of the SSP leadership, a successful prosecution of Tommy Sheridan would not have been possible. It is to their eternal disgrace that they were prepared to collaborate with and encourage the vendetta against Tommy Sheridan.
After the sentence was passed it was announced that Tommy Sheridan will be appealing the conviction and also taking legal action against the News of the World, the Metropolitan police and Glenn Mulcaire over the hacking of his phone.
Gail Sheridan said: "Tommy has dedicated his life to helping others. The real reason why he’s been imprisoned today is because he has fought injustice and inequality with every beat of his heart. "
Socialist Party Scotland statement following the perjury trial can be read here:
Solidarity statement following Tommy Sheridan’s sentence
Scottish justice has notched up another political miscarriage of justice alongside that of Al Megrahi and Muir of Huntershill” – Ian Hamilton QC
Solidarity condemns as barbaric and draconian the sentence imposed today on Tommy Sheridan.
We believe the lengthy jail term imposed by the judge is vindictive. It will reinforce the widespread view that this is the culmination of a brutal vendetta carried out by the rich and powerful against Scotland ’ most prominent socialist. A socialist who has earned their hatred for his uncompromising defence of working class people for the last 25 years.
As such this sentence will be met with anger by tens of thousands of working class people across Scotland and beyond. Solidarity shares that anger.
At a time when Britain ’s rich bankers are raking in billions in bonuses while working class communities and trade unionists are facing the most savage attacks in generations, the millions of pounds spent on the persecution of Tommy Sheridan is a disgrace.
Solidarity regards as outrageous the continued cover-up of News International and the News of the World’s illegal activities by the police and the legal establishment. What a contrast to the lengths that Lothian and Borders police and the Scottish Crown have been prepared to go to try to ruin a working class socialist.
They will not succeed. Solidarity appeals to all those angered today by this action to join us today and help us build a socialist party worthy of the name.
Solidarity will continue to give our full support and backing to Tommy and in particular to Gail Sheridan and the family at this difficult time.
We also send out this guarantee today. Neither Tommy Sheridan nor Solidarity will be broken. We will continue to build our party, offering a real alternative to the despair and brutality offered up by the ConDem government and the other parties of the rich and big business.
We stand, as always, in Solidarity.