You have reached the Justice 4 John Lamberton website. This website relates an evolving true story based on personal experiences and facts extensively researched over several years.
On 5th August 2003, John Lamberton was going about his legitimate business as an International Estate Agent in Spain having just returned from Northern Ireland when he was arrested on false and malicious information reported by officials from the former Inland Revenue. Special Compliance Officers based in Edinburgh pursuing an unsubstantiated and uncorroborated line of enquiry had reported to the Scottish Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service that John was an absconder and had fled the country. As a direct consequence of these actions and this false information John was denied the opportunity to return to Scotland voluntarily and spent some 6 months in Spanish prisons before being eventually extradited to Scotland to face charges which can only be described as manufactured. He was subsequently denied bail due to the promoting of these same falsehoods and spent a further 7 months on remand in Edinburgh before facing a 4-week trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in September 2004.
John was denied proper legal representation including the basic right to call witnesses and provide documents in his defence. He was convicted on the basis of a majority decision being unique to Scottish Law and was thereafter sentenced to an even more ludicrous period of 7 years imprisonment. John was immediately granted leave to appeal the conviction and sentence but nevertheless spent a further 2½ years in prison in Edinburgh before being released on appeal on 18th May 2007. The Crown have consistently refused to acknowledge that at the very least, serious errors and misjudgements have been made in this case and continue, even now, to refuse full and proper disclosure as required by law. In addition to this, Lothian & Borders Police have stated on several occassions that they are powerless to act and are being prevented fom carrying out an independent investigation into the affair by the office of the Procurator Fiscal in Edinburgh who, by the way, promoted the false allegations in the first place.
This website has been created in order to bring to the public domain, facts and information not previously published surrounding the case. In particular, it exposes the actions of over-zealous and incompetent public officials who colluded and conspired to bring a case where none actually existed.
We reveal how officials from the former Inland Revenue could mislead prosecuting authorities in Scotland including Lothian & Borders Police and more worryingly, how these authorities were either unwilling or powerless to do anything about it.
The Legal Aid System in Scotland has been continually eroded to the extend where it is questionable if justice is really being served especially in the more complicated or invovled cases. This is particularly evident in complex criminal trials where defendants are being denied the same level of representation and expertise so long taken for granted and enjoyed by Crown Prosecutors. The notion of equality under the law is a far flung aspiration as far as the Scottish Justice System is concerned. Defendants like John are denied the opportunity to have witnesses and documents in their defence, this state of affairs being all the more apparent where such are located overseas. In addition, agents are now used to interview potential witnessess when this was traditionally the responsibility of the solicitor. It is quite clear that under the existing legal aid system there is virtually no provision for any investigation by defence lawyers. The legal aid system is being constantly interfered with in order to cut costs resulting in the ridiculous situation where lawyers and Counsel have refused to take on certain cases because it is just not economically viable for them to do so! Is this really Justice?
This is the ludicrous scenario for which John was prosecuted and then handed an even more ridiculous 7-year prison sentence basically in order to set an example to others. Apparently, you are now considered an embezzler if you receive your inheritance early, an Inheritance Tax evader if you choose to live other than in Scotland and an absconder and fugitive if you choose to live aborad! Thinking of moving abroad? Better let the taxman know afore ye go!
This website explores the recent debate and growing public distaste over Inheritance Tax, formerly known as 'Death Duty'. John's case is unique as there has not been a prosecution involving Inheritance Tax in the UK since the 1960's. We look at the various public campaigns and petitions whose primary aim is to rid the honest working family of this unfair and unwelcome tax burden once and for all. We show how officials from the former Inland Revenue (conveniently now renamed H.M. Revenue & Customs) used methods including deception and subterfuge in order to try and incriminate taxpayers.
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The Scottish Justice System is unique within the so-called United Kingdom and offers a system of justice which at the very least is questionable compared to that in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. We offer an insight into this system and explore the discriminations inherent within it.
Recent experience has shown that the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland believe themselves to be answerable to no-one. They refuse to accept decisions by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the House of Lords leading to unacceptable and prolonged miscarriages of justice.
European Law, to which the United Kingdom Government is a signatory and designated as 'The State' , requires that every citizen of that State is entitled to equality and fairness under the law. Scotland is by virtue of being a member of the United Kingdom, party to European Law as entered into by the UK Government. The Scottish Government is therefore bound to do no other than comply with the various obligations contained within the Conventions and Protocols of European Law; opting out on the basis that Scots Law is different from the rest of the United Kingdom is not an option.
Crown officials have categorically refused to hand over documents and files not previously provided to John or his lawyers in the case. This is contrary to their legal obligation to do so in accordance with recent decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the House of Lords. This refusal has resulted in a prolonged appeal process with no-one in Scotland apparently competent or authorised to overrule the Crown Office. Partial copies of other files have been obtained under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 although the Crown Office again continue to withhold information which would inevitably be damaging to certain Crown officials conveniently citing exemption clauses. Further legal action is being considered in order to bring this matter to a conclusion.
A Public Enquiry is sought into the circumstances of John's unjustifiable arrest and detention in Spain but continues to be denied at every opportunity. No-one in Scotland seems to have the authority or indeed, the willingness to initiate such an enquiry into the conduct of senior public officials. There is something fundamentally and inherently wrong with a system of justice that permits the arrest and detention of British citizens abroad without the slightest corroboration of any sort. This website exposes a wholly inappropriate use of legal powers by the Scottish Authorities at the behest of the former Inland Revenue simply in order to set Inheritance Tax precedent. It would appear that the need to further the UK Governments tax policies far outweighs any possible requirement for justice!
The Bank of Scotland Investment Services Department in Edinburgh managed a substantial portfolio, then under a Trust Agreement, for Mrs Annie Paul (John's aunt) from 1993 until they were summarily dismissed by her in 1996. At this time they also managed Mrs Paul's late husbands share portfolio whilst acting as Executor and Trustee in his estate. In 1997 Mrs Paul requested funds as was her right under her husband's Trust but she was summarily refused a single penny even though the estate was then valued at over £1 million.
In December 1998, some 6 months after Mrs Paul's death and one year after she had requested an advance of funds, the Bank of Scotland paid the Inland Revenue £405,000 in lieu of Inheritance Tax. The Bank of Scotland offers "peace of mind" and a "personal service" and suggests that you can entrust your capital to their expert care leaving you free to focus on other matters. Judge for yourself the legal and moral implication of such actions!
The bank continue to refuse to address a formal complaint made by John in his capacity as Executor & Trustee of his late aunt's estate. Legal action is now being considered against Halifax Bank of Scotland.