We’ve been having some trouble trying to explain the Alistair Carmichael verdict to some English chums who hadn’t been following the case previously and have now just heard about it on the news.
Lord Matthews and Lady Paton in their great wisdom concluded that Carmichael had lied about the “Frenchgate” memo, and that he had also lied to them in the courtroom, and that the first of those lies was intended to help Carmichael achieve re-election, but that somehow his own re-election was not a “personal” matter.
Our friends couldn’t follow the logic of that, and to be honest we weren’t able to help them much. Nevertheless, the judgement has been handed down and the case is closed. It seems unlikely the petitioners could fund an appeal even if one was to be allowed, particularly given that according to press reports Carmichael will be pursuing them for his £150,000 costs as well as their own.
However, in the process of wriggling out of his lie on an obscure legal and semantic technicality, Carmichael appears, so far as we can tell, to have explicitly implicated himself in a far more serious crime.
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