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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Call to uncover freemason judges
Court graphic
A hearing will now take place later this month
A man who is facing trial in Scotland has begun legal proceedings which could force judges to put on record if they are freemasons or members of a secret society.

Thomas Monogue, 55, from Dunfermline, faces a housebreaking charge, but he claims that if his hearing is presided over by a freemason it will not be impartial.

The company director is using the European Convention on Human Rights to make his claim.

He told Sheriff Stuart Forbes at Dunfermline on Thursday: "I contend there is a possibility that a court presided over by a freemason deciding my guilt would not be impartial to me as a non-freemason or could discriminate against me.


A sheriff's membership of a masonic brotherhood infringes my human rights and damages the impartiality of the court.

Thomas Monogue
"This is based on my understanding of the promise freemasons make, swearing in effect that they will give a brother mason the benefit of the doubt in interpreting all things, including the law.

"In the event this request is refused, before I take the oath, or at some other early stage in my defence, I or my counsel be granted the opportunity to address the learned judge who is conducting my trial, with the question, 'are you a freemasons?'."

Mr Monogue said that if the judge declines to answer the question then he will not co-operate or recognise the impartiality of the court.

"A sheriff's membership of a masonic brotherhood infringes my human rights and damages the impartiality of the court," he added.

Human rights law

The case is due to be heard on 27 October by Sheriff Isabella McColl.

But a preliminary hearing will now take place on 19 October in which Mr Monogue, managing director of Kingdom Engineering, will argue his case based on the human rights law.

He will ask for a ruling to be made or the matter referred to the High Court.

Mr Monogue is pleading not guilty to a charge that in December last year he broke into business premises in Fife and stole a quantity of bridge parts.

Unlike in England and Wales there are no plans in Scotland to introduce legislation which compels people to disclose if they are a member of a secret organisation.

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