Kurt K.Walker on Twitter asks some very important questions.
Dear Mister McAlpine and your lawyers,
I saw the instructions on your website about how I can incriminate myself for a crime which is only a crime because you say it is a crime.
A crime which I have to take your word is a crime.
Just like I have to take your word that you have the “evidence” against me in the form of historical Twitter messages and even, you claim, deleted messages.
Well I have two questions for you that you must answer before anyone in their right minds will fill and sign your confession.
Question 1 : agreed pre-action protocols
Where on your website do you clearly state, as required under your code of conduct and agreed pre-action protocols, the consequences of filling-in and signing your confession papers?
You have a moral and legal duty to inform anyone completing your forms that a confession will severely limit the signatory’s options should the case come to court.
Where do you state, as is your clear legal obligation, that the signatory should seek legal advice before returning the forms?
Where also do you state the size of the “admin fee”, which is likely to dwarf the £5 donation?
Question 2 : evidence handling chain
You state on your website that you have access to tweets, even deleted tweets.
Please answer whether you followed strict data handling protocols to maintain the chain of evidence for each of the tweets?
If you did not, you hold no actual evidence that will stand up in court. Anyone who has deleted their tweets will therefore get off.
You see, without such a chain of evidence, the court only has your word against theirs that the defendant made such a tweet on their twitter.
A normal course of action, in the US at least, would be for an independent third party, a trusted broker, to archive the source material, providing you with a copy.
Please tell me, who is this third party?
Should there be a dispute over the content of a tweet, the court could then call the third party to witness the data is correct as presented by you.
Even people who have so far self-incriminated should not be bullied into settling when you finally announce the size of the punishment you wish to inflict on innocent Twitter users who correctly identified the person who was wrongly identified by a BBC journalist.
You have your compensation for that original sin.
You are now making a catalog of mistakes almost as bad as the decision to silence the allegations back in the ’90s.
For had you not insisted that your name be kept out of official reports back then you could have cleared your name through open court and killed the rumour dead. You could have called Steve Messham as a witness and he would have seen your face and said, no, actually, this is not the guy.
Instead you made a choice. You chose secrecy, and secrecy has a limited lifespan.