Private Eye Hp Sauce: Failing Grayling

JUSTICE secretary Chris Grayling’s plan to dismantle judicial review – a vital check on government abuse and illegality – has been thrown into disarray by his own bungling.
He has been caught misleading parliament over his plan to restrict the system that enables members of the public to obtain court scrutiny where they believe the government or other public authority may have ignored, abused or acted above the law.


Jodi Arias – where are we now?

The case of Jodi Arias drags on. It is a classic case of misleading circumstantial evidence. In some ways it is simple, but in others it is complex.

It is true, that there are perplexing facts:

  • The large number of knife wounds – can that be self-defense?
  • Jodi fled the scene and lied about her involvement in a stunning show of denial
  • A gun was stolen a week before Travis Alexander died in a fight with Jodi

But there is a complex mystery here : a fundamental problem : WHY would Jodi want to murder Travis Alexander? There is no motive for premeditated murder.

On 18 December 2014, there was further evidence that confirms what we have known since the original trial in 2013 : Jodi was not in the least bit jealous of Travis’ new girlfriends, she had all but escaped from this toxic relationship and was looking for a new man in her life.

Jodi and Travis had tried to break up, and they were both looking for new partners. There was no commitment by either side, even though a turbulent long distance sexual relationship continued.

On 27th March 2008, Jodi says it is hard to say no to Travis, and she wants him to be happy.

On 4th April 2008, in an email with Subject line “Goodbye”, Jodi says she is making the right decision.

So this relationship was going nowhere. Jodi was not jealous of Travis’ new women friends, and she wanted him to be happy. This is not the setting for premeditated murder ( even supposing such a weak motive would ever be realistic ).

So the truth has to be different. There is no question that Jodi lied when she told police first that she didn’t go to Mesa, and then that two intruders killed Travis. But what about her testimony at trial?

It turns out that there is no proof that Jodi lied on the stand.

  • Jodi is said to have lied about Travis’ computer having pornography on it

We now know after evidentiary hearings in late 2014 that Travis’ computer DID have pornography on it.

  • Jodi is said to have lied about Travis Alexander being shot before a later knife fight

This is not the case, a careful review of the physical evidence shows the gun shot must have been first, and in fact it was the lead detective that lied.

  • Jodi is said to have lied about returning a gas can to Walmart

We now know that the Walmart witness does not know if records moved intact when the store relocated.

The only logical conclusion is that Jodi’s lies to the police in 2008 were due to overwhelming feelings of shame and depression, and that her testimony at trial is the truth.

Finally, evidence has emerged of prosecution misconduct. This has been a steady accumulation, from lead detective Flores’ perjury concerning the gunshot, to gross misconduct in concealing the pornography on Travis’ computer.

Paul Huebl, veteran private investigator and former journalist, recently remarked: “Both Arias and Milke cases are finished but for the last breath of stale air”.

Let’s hope that is true: in the name of justice, it’s time to Free Jodi Ann Arias.

See also Horn, Corn and a Truck Load of Porn for an in-depth review of the retrial so far.

[ This article also published at Ground Report ]

My response to Vinnie Politan

Hi Vinnie, the trouble is this system you have is broken, and you Sir are not smart enough to see it. Instead of starting from a presumption of innocence, HLN took one side, ignored exculpatory evidence, and in addition presented prejudicial material excluded from the trial, as if it were fact. That is, the evidence that wasn’t conveniently hidden by the prosecution in this case.

You failed to give due prominence to the defense’s request for mistrial due to the perjury of the lead detective.

And so HLN, it’s presenters and the masses, in league with a lying lead detective, and various unqualified experts, conspired to create an entirely unfair trial, in which witnesses and counsel were intimidated, and an incorrect verdict was reached.

I find it quite amusing that it still has not dawned on you that there is something seriously wrong with this trial. Even when we have headlines such as “Jodi Arias: Prosecutors have pattern of misconduct“.

Happy Christmas Vinnie!

[ In response to this post ]

See also Sandra Webber’s thoughts

and this video

My further comment:

Grieta Hoga Did I say what HLN did was illegal? No – but maybe it should be. Broadcasting prejudicial untrue stories kept from the jury for good legal reasons is highly irresponsible, especially with an unsequestered jury. This trial was an online lynch mob, incited by Time Warner companies. Oddly, they seem to have abandoned this line of entertainment soon after Jodi’s trial. Perhaps the reputational risk of Time Warner executing an innocent woman has become too great.

Postscript: Following this little Facebook battle, on Thursday 18 December 2014, Vinnie Politan’s account was disabled, not at my instigation, I might add. Five days later, on 23 December, it is still out of action : A copy of Politan’s post was posted here :

Given this circumstance, here is a copy of the original post, for reference:

Time for me to respond to Sir George… Sir. I noticed you blamed HLN… wow – that is incredibly misplaced, inaccurate and utterly ridiculous.

First of all in MY COUNTRY we have open public trials AND freedom of speech… In MY COUNTRY when a trial is taking place the government can not gag the people. It’s in our Constitution… remember that great document MY FOREFATHERS drafted after breaking away from that little country from across the pond. You see FREEDOM of expression is something we treasure here. Our right to express our viewpoint without being censored by the government is one of the cornerstones of our nation.

I know in some OTHER countries the media and public can’t talk about trials or the the lawyers wearing silly wigs, but here – we can. And miraculously at the same time we can also give defendants a fair trial via an impartial jury of their peers… which is another product of that incredible document drafted after we broke away from our oppressors. We have no King or Queen ruling over us, we are a government by the people and for the people… and our system of justice is one of those branches of OUR government which will remain the property of the public.

You see, Sir, the only one in this case to cause any problems is the one who planned and plotted the brutal murder of a young man, and was so vain she thought she could charm a jury into believing she was innocent… but that jury of her peers heard the lies… saw the truth and convicted her beyond any and all REASONABLE doubt…

Jodi and Debra

Debra Milke took a giant step forward Thursday, when the AZ Appeals Court dismissed the case with prejudice. Prosecutors can still appeal to the AZ Supreme court, but I doubt that will succeed.

And Juan Martinez finally had to concede there was porn on Travis’ laptop, after trying to blame defense attorneys and witnesses.

What a great Thursday. I was at an office party and missed it all!

Sadly though, Amanda Lewis’s 2nd appeal has failed.

Finally, some very good developments for Rodney Lincoln.

Dewani Verdict Tweets

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 6 secs6 seconds ago
#Dewani is free. “There is no evidence to convince a court.. to convict the accused.” – Traverso #DewaniTrial
Like · Reply · 1 · Commented on by George Barwood · 9 hrs

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 6 secs7 seconds ago
Judge also refuses to grant Monde Mbolombo immunity from prosecution, since he was untruthful, providing cue for his arrest.

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 40 secs40 seconds ago
Judge says she feels for the Hindochas but grants the discharge. “There is no evidence on which a court acting reasonable could convict.”

Alex Crawford @AlexCrawfordSky 24 secs24 seconds ago
#DewaniTrial Judge says she aware of plight of Hindocha family but no evidence to convict accused

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 25 secs26 seconds ago
Traverso on Mbolombo: “I refuse to grant him indemnity” #DewaniTrial

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 17 secs18 seconds ago
Judge: I cannot permit public opinion to influence my application of the law.

Leigh-Anne Jansen @LA_JANSEN 7 secs8 seconds ago
#DewaniTrial Traverso” There are stark contradictions in the evidence of Mr. Tongo, Mr. Mbolombo and Mr. Qwabe on material aspects.”

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 16 secs16 seconds ago
Mbolombo is another “self-confessed liar”, Traverso says – “blatantly lying about material aspects” of his evidence. #DewaniTrial

Leigh-Anne Jansen @LA_JANSEN 8 secs8 seconds ago
#DewaniTrial Traverso “Mr. Mbolombo is a self-confessed liar”

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 7 mins7 minutes ago
Judge turns to evidence of “middle man” Monde Mbolombo, who turned out to play a much bigger role in what happened. Says he admitted lying.

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 47 secs47 seconds ago
Judge turns to evidence of “middle man” Monde Mbolombo, who turned out to play a much bigger role in what happened. Says he admitted lying.

Alex Crawford @AlexCrawfordSky 1 min1 minute ago
#DewaniTrial Its clear the Judge doesnt think much of the evidence of the two other witnesses either

Andrew Plant @BeebJournalist 3 secs4 seconds ago
Judge says Qwabe’s evidence, “disintegrated into a garbled mess”. #Dewani

Leigh-Anne Jansen @LA_JANSEN 1 min1 minute ago
#DewaniTrial These marks undoubtedly indicate some sort of struggle. Primer residue was found on the web area of the glove worn by Mr. Qwabe

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 3 mins3 minutes ago
Qwabe said Mbolombo was just a link. Traverso: “With this attitude he persisted even when confronted with audio recordings” #DewaniTrial

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 6 mins6 minutes ago
Judge on the evidence of the hitman, Qwabe:”During cross-examination it became clear that Mr Qwabe was a self-confessed liar.” #DewaniTrial

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 5 mins5 minutes ago
Hitman Qwabe was a “self-confessed liar”, Judge Traverso says, preparing to rip State’s second most important witness apart. #DewaniTrial

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 57 secs58 seconds ago
“One doesn’t know where the lies end and truth begins” with Tongo’s “suspect” evidence -Traverso. #Dewani looks more relaxed #DewaniTrial

Alex Crawford @AlexCrawfordSky 1 min1 minute ago
#DewaniTrial Judge: Mr Tongo’s evidence is of very poor quality. But that is not the test….’

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa now
Judge Traverso says she simply cannot accept that without any indication of his criminality, Mr Dewani would co-opt Tongo to kill so quickly

George Barwood @GeorgeBarwood 3 secs4 seconds ago
Tongo’s explanations are laughable. #DewaniTrial

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 10 secs11 seconds ago
Traverso: “Apart from the contradictions, the entire story as told by Mr Tongo is highly improbable.” #dewanitrial live

AfricanTourismMarket @Afrotourism 6 mins6 minutes ago
#Dewani – judge has used the phrase “attempt to frame the accused” this is another fatal blow to the prosecution case.

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 6 mins6 minutes ago
Judge refers scathingly to taxi driver Tongo’s claim that “the record is wrong” if it didn’t tally with what he said. #DewaniTrial
· Edited

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 3 mins3 minutes ago
Judge looks at Tongo’s claim Dewani remonstrated angrily with him outside a restaurant for failing to get “the job” done: shown to be a lie.

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 2 mins2 minutes ago
Tongo locking both child locks, preventing #Dewani from getting out,is an important point against claim that he ordered the murder -Traverso

AfricanTourismMarket @Afrotourism 2 mins2 minutes ago
#dewani – Judge continues her onslaught of the state’s case, affidavit under attack, again Tongo’s evidence being torn apart.

Alex Crawford @AlexCrawfordSky now
#DewaniTrial Judge still pointing out a ‘further untruth told by Tongo in an attempt to further incriminate the accused’

Can also watch live @

Judge to rule on Dewani trial future
Shrien Dewani, who is accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni, will learn later if the case against him…
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · Commented on by George Barwood · 10 hrs

George Barwood @GeorgeBarwood 7 mins7 minutes ago
@DivyaTalwar1 @ChandsManani There is ample evidence to show that Tongo decided to falsely implicate #Dewani.

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 1 min1 minute ago
Prosecutor said Tongo’s lie was “not a deliberate falsehood” but understandable in circs. “I do not agree” Traverso says firmly #DewaniTrial

Alex Crawford @AlexCrawfordSky 47 secs48 seconds ago
#DewaniTrial Judge points out cctv contradicted Tongo’s claim the two discussed the ‘hit’ in hotel carpark after changing money

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 14 secs15 seconds ago
The judge is making all the points that #Dewani’s lawyer, Francois Van Zyl, has made over the past months #DewaniTrial

Steve Scott @stevescott_itv 4 mins4 minutes ago
Dewani judge picking out piece after piece of inconsistent, contradictory evidence from State’s key witness – Tongo the taxi driver

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 49 secs49 seconds ago
Qwabe and Mbolombo “contradict Mr Tongo on just about every aspect of their interaction”, Traverso says #DewaniTrial

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 1 min1 minute ago
Tongo was prepared to lie & “create an atmosphere of suspicion around the accused”, Traverso says #DewaniTrial

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 1 min1 minute ago
Judge says the evidence of taxi driver Zola Tongo was “riddled with contradictions”.Dewani’s barrister,his eyes still closed,nods fervently

Ruth Maclean @ruthmaclean 2 mins2 minutes ago
Tongo’s evidence was “riddled with contradictions” and his version of events “highly improbable” Traverso says #DewaniTrial

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 2 mins2 minutes ago
Gloomy-looking prosecutor Adrian Mopp’s eyebrows form a perfect “V” on his forehead as he takes notes on the judge’s decision. #DewaniTrial

Leigh-Anne Jansen @LA_JANSEN 7 minutes ago
#DewaniTrial Traverso is summarising Tongo’s evidence

It’s nearly all over. Easy to see where this is heading. Judge summarising evidence.

Aislinn Laing @Simmoa 42 secs42 seconds ago
Judge says the CCTV shows nothing in itself, it’s only Tongo’s claim about what’s happening that’s incriminating. #DewaniTrial

George Barwood @GeorgeBarwood 52 secs52 seconds ago
Only the version of Tongo corroborates. I predict #Dewani will soon be on a plane back to the Uk.

Stefan Simanowitz @StefSimanowitz 41 secs42 seconds ago
#DewaniTrial about to be thrown out of court! Judge: “The only witness who coud implicate accused was Tongo who was an accomplice witness”

See also

Shrien Dewani NOT GUILTY

A judge has dismissed the case against Shrien Dewani, who was accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni in South Africa.

Judge Jeanette Traverso said the evidence presented by the prosecution fell “far below the threshold” of what a reasonable court could convict on.

The end. Overwhelming evidence that Tongo implicated Dewani to get a shorter sentence.

Jodi Arias – Tweets from 4 Dec 2014 Evidentiary Hearing

Highlights from 4 December evidentiary hearing

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Martinez asking how to bring computer out of sleep mode, then asks why computer screen in courtroom is dark. Neumeister: “You turned it off”

Steve Krafft @SKrafftFox10
It’s as if prosecutor has released cloud of squid ink in court room, hoping to confuse judge so she can’t decide

Larry Rowland @LarryLegends
Between Dr. F and Brian Neumeister, Martinez is having a bad week. It’s about time someone put that little Dwarf in his place

AZ Girl Diary @doriowen
“I want the record to reflect that the defense attorney imitated me in a sing-song voice.”
–Juan Martinez, Maricopa County Prosecutor

William Pitts @william_pitts
Nurmi said the sealed motion was about 14 other witnesses. #jodiarias

Jeffrey Evan Gold @jeffgoldesq
#jodiarias done for day. The defense has 14 mo witnesses. 3 have secrecy issues. More PC porn next Wed. By trial to resume with jury Monday

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Nurmi says that the state has not yet turned over notes for its psych expert, Dr. DeMarte.

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Stephens orders that expert witness notes be provided by Monday. We are done. Back Monday

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Flores says he has no idea why the phones would not have SIM cards. Denies he removed them.

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Neumeister said he looked at several cell phones but none had SIM cards. But if Mesa PD was able to reference calls made, they had the cards

William Pitts @william_pitts
Neumeister asks if he heard Martinez say correctly that Dworkin’s copy was created in 2008. Wilmott says yes

William Pitts @william_pitts
Neumeister asks why all the files on it say they were created in 2009? Wilmott: good question.

Wild About Trial @WildAboutTrial
Maria and #JodiArias sit in the corner discussing the finale of LOST.

Steve Krafft @SKrafftFox10
Never worked on or touched Travis’ actual computer drive, says defense expert.

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Neumeister says that yesterday he received a copy of the clone the original forensic expert got from Mesa PD and it was the same.

Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Neumeister answers how forensic expert would not see porn on Alexander computer: “He’d have to be incompetent or lying.”

William Pitts @william_pitts
Wilmott quoting Det Melendez: Melendez testified he checked for viruses in the registry. Neumeister says that’s not possible

William Pitts @william_pitts
Wilmott: So if someone testified to lookinng in a registry and finding nothing would tha tbe a red flag to look further?

N: Yes. #JodiArias

Steve Krafft @SKrafftFox10
Expert re: prosecution claim Travis had no porn:”Either they are stunningly incompetent or they are lying.There is no gray area.
Michael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer
Neumeister says Spybot hides the porn on your history so your spouse can’t see it, but it does not take it out of the registry.

Jeffrey Evan Gold @jeffgoldesq
“@SKrafftFox10: Defense. on redirect suggesting Travis had lots of anti-virus programs b/c he had lots of porn on his computer

Steve Krafft @SKrafftFox10
“I have never seen this many privacy cleaners on one computer,” says expert of Travis Alexander’s laptop

Steve Krafft @SKrafftFox10
“Oh, there is so much porn on this computer it takes me awhile to get through it all,” says expert of Travis’ computer