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Posts Tagged ‘Uzbekistan

Diplomat at the centre of “Arms to Africa” affair braves libel threats to highlight unanswered questions about Tony Blair’s role

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In “Don’t Get Fooled Again” I discuss Craig Murray’s exposure of UK government complicity in torture in Uzbekistan. Threatened with legal action in 2005 to block publication of confidential Foreign Office documents proving his case, Britain’s ex-Ambassador to the former Soviet republic arranged for the pdfs to be released simultaneously on dozens of websites around the world. The story spread quickly as hundreds answered Murray’s call to duplicate the information on their own blog. This in turn eventually became a news story in its own right. The UK government’s heavy-handedness had backfired badly.

Today Craig is seeking to repeat the same trick, following libel threats from the infamous law firm Schillings – acting for “security contractor” Tim Spicer, over Murray’s new book “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo”. The book raises new questions about both Tim Spicer and Tony Blair, in relation to the 1998 “Arms to Africa” scandal, in which Craig was a central figure.

After his original publisher pulled out of the deal, fearing a prohibitively expensive lawsuit under the UK’s rogue-state libel laws, Craig decided to publish the book himself, and then make the pdfs available online for free, on several different websites simultaneously.

Schillings have a track record of intimidating ISPs into taking down websites that paint their clients in a bad light, but by the time this post goes live, the entire book should be available via this link:

http://www.upwingers.net/craigmurray/orangemen2.pdf

…and there’s a contents page here: http://www.upwingers.net/craigmurray/orangemen.pdf

It will be interesting to see how this story pans out over the next few days. Schillings are a clever bunch and I wouldn’t be surprised if they anticipate this move, given that it worked so well for Murray the first time around. If they have, then they may also have thought up something sneaky to try to counter it. What that something is, and whether or not it works, will remain to be seen…

Here are some links giving more background on Tim Spicer, Aegis, Sandline and Executive Outcomes.

Written by Richard Wilson

January 12, 2009 at 12:30 am