Perjury, Tommy Sheridan and the News of the World’s end
As the storm over the phone-hacking methods of the News of the World intensified to the point where the newspaper's owners decided to close it on 7 July 2011, the Crown Office earlier the same day issued the following statement, which it appears most straightforward to give verbatim:
"CROWN OFFICE STATEMENT: HM ADVOCATE V TOMMY SHERIDAN
FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
In light of emerging developments regarding the News of the World the Crown has requested Strathclyde Police to enquire into the evidence given by certain witnesses in the trial of Tommy Sheridan.
Strathclyde Police have been asked to make a preliminary assessment and to report to the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow for consideration of any further action."
The Crown Office issued a further statement on 8 July:
ALLEGED TELEPHONE HACKING IN SCOTLAND
In light of further emerging developments regarding the News of the World the Crown has asked Strathclyde Police to consider and assess specific claims of phone hacking and breaches of data protection in Scotland.
Strathclyde Police will review available information and will liaise with the Metropolitan Police in relation to any Scottish dimension to their current investigations and will thereafter report their findings to the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow.
All this may in due course raise an interesting legal question about the effect on the validity of a conviction, if any of the prosecution evidence in the case is found to have been perjured.