As is being widely reported everywhere, the former Scottish Socialist Party, leader, Tommy Sheridan, has been found guilty of committing perjury during his successful defamation case against the News of the World newspaper four years ago.
To be sentenced at the end of next month, Sheridan – through his lawyer – issued a statement following the guilty verdict urging the estimated several millions of pounds of public money spent investigating whether he had committed perjury should be spent investigating the newspaper.
The statement said: “I make no apology for taking on the might of [News of the World owner] Rupert Murdoch.”
The defamation case – from which he won damages of £200,000 – concerned allegations about his private life, including the claim he had visited a sex club in Manchester.
The paper has lodged an appeal against the original defamation case. The perjury charges followed a Lothian and Borders Police investigation.
Bob Bird, editor of the Scottish News of the World, said, in a statement: “This verdict is a vindication of good, investigative journalism.”
Update, 7pm: STV's Scotland Today devoted its entire programme to reporting the verdict, with presenter, John MacKay, and political editor, Bernard Ponsonby, both appearing in Court No.4 in the Glasgow High Court, where the perjury case was heard. Minutes later, Raymond Buchanan was speaking from the same location, for Reporting Scotland, which devoted most of its programme to the trial.
Both programmes had interviews with Sheridan plus one with his former political ally, and one of his three 'best men' at his wedding, George McNeilage – who provided the News of the World with a secretly-recorded video allegedly of Sheridan (he isn't seen in it, there is a voice sounding like his) admitting to attending a sex club.
Reporting Scotland did have footage of Sheridan being interviewed by police, where he admits to having had group sex.