A new allegation of malicious prosecution has been made against the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. 
The allegation comes from Mark Hirst, who was acquitted in January 2021 of an offence following comments he made in in a vlog upon former First Minister Alex Salmond’s acquittal. The defence submission, which was upheld by the court, was of no case to answer, and further noted that Mr Hirst’s comments were protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Rape Crisis Scotland had reported Mr Hirst to the police on behalf of two complainers, who were also complainers in Mr Salmond’s trial.
Solicitor advocate Gordon Dangerfield wrote in a letter to newly appointed Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC, on behalf of Mr Hirst: “It is clear that there was never any basis for him being prosecuted, and the prosecution against him lacked reasonable and probably cause both objectively and subjectively.”
Mr Dangerfield noted that section 170 of the Criminal Procedural (Scotland) Act 1995 provides immunity to prosecutors from suit when the accused was not imprisoned. He adds however that, after consulting senior counsel, “we consider that that provision is incompatible with Article 6 of the European Convention in that if fails to provide a remedy when a wrong is committed.”
Mr Dangerfield goes on to say: “Finally, we wish to make clear that this prosecution appears to have been politically motivated. Mr Hirst was, plainly, a supporter of Mr Salmond. We shall of course investigate whether Rape Crisis Scotland were encouraged to make a complaint for political motives, and indeed whether the complainers in the Salmond trial were similarly encouraged to do so.”