JPP: Perverting Justice?

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The SFA’s Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal (JPDT) process itself  is now under scrutiny .

Aberdeen FC have asked for change and the Celtic Supporters Association  have written to Ian Maxwell SFA CEO expressing concerns about judgements reached concerning recent on field incidents that appear to herald in A Cloggers Charter.

However the whole Judicial Panel Protocol (JPP) on which the JPDT is based (and which was the brainchild of the discredited former SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan) has shown itself to be a means of perverting justice rather than providing it since it was introduced amidst a loud fanfare at the SFA AGM in June 2011 (the same one that saw Campbell Ogilvie elected SFA President)

To see how the JPP  has been misused  we need to start with a definition of  judicial which according to Websters dictionary is:

 of or relating to a judgment, the function of judging, the administration of justice

The latest Judicial Panel Protocol can be found on the SFA Web Site  .

One of its Founding Principles is:

2.2 Principle 1 – Economic and expeditious justice. The objective of the Protocol is to secure the Determination of disciplinary proceedings arising in respect of Association Football and that Decisions are made economically and expeditiously in a fair manner. Tribunals appointed from the Judicial Panel may impose reasonable procedural requirements on Parties to ensure that matters are dealt with economically and expeditiously.

The word justice actually appears nine times and injustice three times, so it would appear that whilst economy and speed are the means to the end, that end is justice, but how has that panned out since June 2011?

I am grateful here to Glasnostandtwostrickers  for three enlightening articles in Pie and Bovril in which he reviews the protocol a year later in 2012 with suggestions that with the passage of time have been shown to be prescient when made. They can be read at:

Of particular interest is the important view that the process is not independent of the SFA and the following is an extract from Pie and Bovril 3 covering that aspect which explains how the JPP has been used by the SFA to pervert rather than administer justice.

“So to what extent does the JPP system achieve that independence? We think that it does so to a far greater extent than the old system, but not nearly enough. Ensuring that the Tribunals are chaired by respected members of the legal profession was perhaps the single most important reform to make. But there remains a serious lack of independence in the JPP system. This centres on the roles of the SFA’s Compliance Officer (Vincent Lunny) and the SFA Secretary (Stewart Regan) in the process of bringing a case in front of a Tribunal.

The Compliance Officer’s task is to monitor what goes on in Scottish football, assess whether anyone has broken any rules, and – if so – to initiate the disciplinary process.  What happens if the Compliance Officer reviews a given event and decides that the conduct of the club, player or official in question doesn’t breach any rules? Well, that is the end of the matter. Neither the SFA executive nor the Judicial Panel can do anything about that decision. And, given that some SFA rules are very vague (e.g. ‘bringing the game into disrepute), the Compliance Officer wields a great deal of power. If the system is to be independent of the SFA, it the Compliance Officer must be independent of it. Yet, as things stand today, Vincent Lunny is an employee of the SFA.

The lack of independence associated with the SFA Secretary’s role is even more flagrant. Firstly, he can veto any decision of the Compliance Officer to mount a disciplinary case. Secondly, even if he allows a case to go ahead, he has the power to select (from the 100-strong Judicial Panel) the 3 individuals who will hear the case. The SFA claims that this takes place on a ‘cab rank’ basis (i.e. the Tribunal is formed of next 3 people in line), but no such rule is to be found in the JPP. On the contrary, it states that:

“Tribunals shall be appointed by the Secretary or his nominee from the Judicial Panel…The Secretary or his nominee may take such steps in respect of the appointment of Tribunals as he considers, in his sole discretion, to be appropriate.” (sections 7.2.1-2)

This applies equally to the Appellate Tribunals as it does to the first-instance Disciplinary Tribunals. So, in theory at least, the SFA Secretary gets two bites of the cherry. He may appoint to a Disciplinary Tribunal the individuals who he thinks are most likely to return the result that he desires. If they don’t, and there is an appeal, he also gets to choose the make-up of the Appellate Tribunal that will hear the appeal. And that’s only if he hasn’t blocked the case from happening in the first place. That is not to impugne Stewart Regan himself, but rather a system that allows him (and his successors) such great power.

The reasons why the JPP is structured in the way that it is are unclear. Despite the fact that it represents a great improvement over the system it replaced, more work must be done if we Scottish football is to have a genuinely independent – and therefore credible – system of footballing ‘justice’.


This  article however will let the readers decide if they impugn Stewart Regan and shows how he has used the Judicial Protocol not to deliver justice but to prevent such an outcome,  which might just clarify the reason  why the JPP was structured in the way that it was and why it absolutely must be replaced on the lines of the suggestions in the excellent Pie and Bovril articles.

Perverting the Course of Justice.

The Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal on Craig Whyte – Bringing The Game Into Disrepute.

The First instance can be found in  this E Tim’s article  where Regan and LNS met in February 2012 to set the terms of reference for the Judicial Panel that charged Craig Whyte with bringing the game into disrepute.(  Telegraph Report 21 Feb 2012 )

As the E Tim’s article shows, whilst Whyte was charged with non payment of PAYE and VAT no charges were made with regard to his failure to pay the £2.8m tax liability that CW undertook to pay in his statement to Rangers shareholders of June 2011. This omission prevented scrutiny of what lay behind that liability, what created it and why it was accepted by RFC in March 2011 and  how  the SFA were able to grant RFC a UEFA licence in April 2011.

Whatever information Regan had from his telephone conversation with Andrew Dickson  on 6th December 2011  and subsequent meeting at Hotel Du Vin with Craig Whyte along with Campbell Ogilvie and RFC CEO Ali Russell, appears not to have been passed to Lord Nimmo Smith in February 2012 when Regan and Nimmo Smith were drawing up the JPP Terms of Reference for the Craig Whyte Tribunal.

The Lord Nimmo Smith Commission

The second instance of Regan’s ability to shape outcomes  is in respect of the LNS Commission. Here the SFA stood aside on the grounds they were the Court of Appeal should RFC wish to appeal the eventual LNS Decision and let the then SPL take the running in March 2012. This was a convenient argument given that Regan knew by March 2012 that RFC had a £2.8m tax liability that Sherriff Officers had called to collect that prompted a number of enquiries asking how the SFA were able to grant a UEFA licence in March/April of 2011.

That event caused UEFA and the SFA in September 2011 to discuss the submission RFC made in June 2011 under Article 66 of UEFA FFP that described the status of the liability as postponed and awaiting scheduling of payments but more of this SFA/UEFA discussion later in the context of the current JPDT  charges of non compliance against Rangers FC.

It is inconceivable that by March 2012 when the investigation into ebts and side letters began that this  September 2011 discussion along with his conversations in December 2011 that  Regan was unaware that the tax owed was the result of RFC use of unlawful ebts nor the reasons why RFC had accepted liability for the sum owed arising from their use. However by standing aside there was no specific mention in  the SPL Lawyers letter of 15  March 2012   that began the investigation  of the by then clearly unlawful ebts that caused the £2.8m tax liability, although it did refer to all ebts with side letters from 1998.   All rather convenient for Regan under the powers the Judicial Panel  Protocol gave him.

The impact of this exclusion in skewing the LNS Terms of Reference and so the LNS Decision is now a matter of Social Media record that can be followed from beginning to end  HERE.

The E Tim’s article already mentioned covers how events from February to April 2012  allowed the exclusion from the Craig Whyte JPP and  The Reasons  given by Lord Nimmo Smith in September 2012 appear in a  follow up E Tim’s article   where LNS himself justifies  the exclusion of the £2.8m tax liability caused by RFC’s use of unlawful ebts in from 1999 to 2003 on what are less than convincing grounds unless he was kept in the dark by Regan.

 SFA JPP Charges In Respect of UEFA Licence in 2011

The final instance of the misuse of the JPP begins in September 2017 when after court testimony stating when the £2.8m tax liability was accepted, the SFA, whilst rejecting an investigation into the handling of RFC use of ebts with side letters (and the foregoing on LNS spells out why) Regan accepted that the granting  of the UEFA Licence by the SFA in 2011 should be subject to the Judicial Protocol process.

It took until mid-May 2018  for that process to come up with two charges of non compliance of SFA Articles by RFC that were put to TRFC presumably on the basis that they were responsible for the events in 2011, particularly when at least three current TRFC officials/Directors were in place in 2011, charges which TRFC said they would contest and subsequently in July wanted CAS involvement on grounds that the secret 5 Way Agreement requires it but on scope that that have still to be made known as the parties  negotiate the terms of reference to CAS.

Now seven plus months is a long time to finally arrive at charges that according to a TRFC statement in May 2018 in this BBC report excluded the very period at end of March 2011 stating accusations were groundless, that caused the SFA to invoke the JPP process, but what is interesting about those charges is the absence (and as Regan left in February he might not have had an influence or was his parting shot), of any charges against the SFA itself of aiding RFC noncompliance at end of March  in September 2011. The Compliance Officer himself resigned not long after the charges of non- compliance were made which raises eyebrows higher than Roger Moore level.

Perhaps it was because of possible SFA complicity in September 2011 that the Compliance Officer agreed to exclude this end March period although that exclusion was challenged by Resolution 12 lawyers just before the SFA Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal (JPDT) sat on 25th June. No answers to the evidence backed questions in that letter, copied to Celtic, have so far been provided.

So what are the SFA hiding from or behind the JPP process this time?

Here is a copy of the Good News  e mail of 19th September 2011 between Keith Sharp the UEFA FFP man at the SFA and Ken Olverman the Financial chap at RFC. In it Sharp tells Olverman that UEFA have verbally accepted the RFC submission of June 2011 under Article 66. (This admitted that the 2.8m EBT proposed settlement also required to be disclosed but is shown as a status of postponed (awaiting scheduling of payments)  but that a further declaration will be needed under Article 67. This can be read here but note the Comments were not part of original exchange.

Note the tone of the advice given about the Article 67 submission but the point is, either Sharp of the SFA told UEFA porkies to get the monitoring submission under Article 66, that itself was false at the time it was made, verbally accepted or told UEFA the truth and as RFC were out of Europe there was an agreement to bury it between SFA and UEFA.

That UEFA involvement if the latter instance, would explain Celtic’s reluctance to take Res12 to UEFA in 2013 especially as we don’t know UEFA’s response to Celtic’s earlier  letter  of May 2012 to SFA re ebt investigation copied to Infantino at UEFA.

If the former instance i.e. SFA told UEFA porkies it makes SFA complicit in covering up the non compliance they are charging Rangers with!

I mention this in the context of the SFA Judicial Process being totally  inappropriate in this case and why there should be  a speedy independent investigation because the charges of non-compliance that the JPDT are covering relate to RFC and NOT the SFA which is perhaps why the terms of reference to CAS are taking so long to emerge.

There is clearly a conflict of SFA self interest here.

It would be more than ironic if the organisation bringing charges against Rangers were in fact complicit in the non-compliance by Rangers after it became public HMRC were owed tax in August 2010!

Summary

The point of this long blog is that the Judicial Panel Protocol introduced by Regan in June 2011 with the flaws pointed out a year later in The Pie and Bovril articles has been used by the SFA under Regan not to produce justice but pervert it since 2011.

Only a truly independent investigation will provide the justice that the crimes perpetrated against Scottish Football and its supporters since 2000 by RFC under the dishonest leadership of Sir David Murray requires, an investigation that should recommend changes that make the JPP independent of the SFA..

Justice is there to uphold the rule of law, that applies to football law as much as natural law and without justice there can be no law. That is where Scottish football now exists, in outlaw territory with the bad guys still ruling as they please, not as justice demands.

Until justice is served and seen to be served there is no law in football and no fake Judicial Protocol Panel is ever going to provide it.

 The owners and Directors of all SPFL clubs need to revisit the scene of the crime, the 5 Way Agreement has done its  job, a form of Rangers drawing big crowds will continue to exist, but on it has to be on more honest grounds, where who knows, they might even earn redemption.

Previous articleFantastic Voyage ..
Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

276 COMMENTS


  1. John Clark 00.33

    How can you link a post regarding an act of kindness by a stranger to someone less fortunate with what has occurred in Scottish football in recent times?

    "Nazis" even getting a mention now. Had to check it was John Clark and not John James posting.

     

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  2. slimjim 23rd September 2018 at 08:56  

    '..How can you link a post regarding an act of kindness by a stranger to someone less fortunate with what has occurred in Scottish football in recent times?'

    _________________________

    It's quite easy to contrast an act of kindness shown by a stranger to someone in need with the brutal act of cheating both of the country as a whole and the football paying community that was perpetrated by one now deceased club and by the very Governance body of the sport respectively.

    The reference to Nazis  is ,of course, reference to the systematic lying propaganda adopted by those in Scottish Football governance and in the SMSM who would try to brainwash us into believing that a liquidated football club is alive and well and playing under a different name in the SPL.

     

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  3. slimjim 23rd September 2018 at 08:56

     

    John Clark 00.33

     

    How can you link a post regarding an act of kindness by a stranger to someone less fortunate with what has occurred in Scottish football in recent times? "Nazis" even getting a mention now. Had to check it was John Clark and not John James posting.

    _____________________

     

    While alluding to Nazis is seen by many to be distasteful, is there anything pertinent within John's post that you disagree with, or are you just so devoid of any excuses or justifications for the way your clubs are/were run along with the unfaltering assistance given to them by the game's governors, that you prefer to pedantically nitpick at posts, Lawman style, rather than to address the main thrust of the arguments produced?

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  4. Allyjambo 15.01

    Only the fact that a feel good post by Jimbo is turned into another excuse,as if one is required, by JC to restate his opinion once again.. 

    My club are doing ok atm thank you. 

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  5. slimjim 23rd September 2018 at 15:27 Allyjambo 15.01 Only the fact that a feel good post by Jimbo is turned into another excuse,as if one is required, by JC to restate his opinion once again.. My club are doing ok atm thank you.

    ________________

     

    Your club's dead. Oh you mean their replacement club. OK, they are doing better than they have done at anytime in their existence. Still, though, you do not attempt to either agree, or disagree, with what John said, which did not relate directly to either of your clubs, but to cheats and liars in general. But if the cap fits…

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  6. slimjim 23rd September 2018 at 16:42  

     

     

    Allyjambo 16.26.

    Not going to respond to this nonsense again.

    ________________________–

     

    You just did, and left a discussion you started.

     

    You still haven't stated whether or not you agree or disagree with JC's post, and completely ignored the fact that it wasn't specifically about Rangers, though whenever cheating is mentioned in football they can't be far away from anyone's thoughts.

     

    But, anyway, you keep picking up on the things that are inconsequential to the thrust of a post, it's easier than arguing from a weak position.

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  7. Allyjambo 17.29.

    What was the point of Johns post?.  

    It seems to me that no matter the subject matter his posts are consistent in both tone and content. Nothing wrong with that of course but on this occasion i felt it unnecessary.

    Like the rules regarding red cards for off the ball incidents you mean. laugh

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  8. I was catching up on some news items on my return from holiday and came across the following case from last week, where a publican was jailed by Lord Ericht at the Court of Session for contempt of court, after breaching an interdict not to show Sky football games.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/whitburn-pub-manager-caught-streaming-sky-sports-sent-to-jail-1-4803741

    The guy seems to have been pretty stupid in repeatedly ignoring court orders, but it serves to confirm that should King continue to ignore court orders, then he will leave himself open to a custodial sentence, civil matter or not.

     

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  9. Just a note on the 'Different Tops' worn on a recent European tie. At first glance it looks like there has been a rogue top in amongst the other tops and that this one top was probably supplied from a street trader in some holiday resort. But that's not the case. The official top whose details are logged with UEFA has a sponsors logo in RED. not Black. Look at the official sales pictures from Ibrox. All have 32 Red in red font. So NONE of the tops worn on Thursday evening matched up to the top registered wit UEFA.

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  10. easyJambo 23rd September 2018 at 18:33  

    '..where a publican was jailed by Lord Ericht at the Court of Session for contempt of court, .'

    __________________________

    One would be tempted to see certain advantages in  being an impecunious person with rights in a Family Trust than an ex-manager of a small-town pub, when it comes to flouting the Courts.broken heart

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  11. CQN been down for hours!  Missing it dreadfully for the football side of things.

     

    Had a few pints in the Clachan, 1970s early 1980s.  Long before Sky TV.  So not guilty m'lud!

    I suppose we have got what a lot of people have wanted for a long while. A wide open league. Not saying I am happy but as long as my brothers and sisters on here are happy, it takes the sting out of it.

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  12. On the subject of cheating in sport, I have to confess that I was actually quite shocked to hear this afternoon on BBC Radio 4, a programme which discussed the (apparent) fact that Paralympics has a 'cheating' problem. 

    It seems that some people deliberately fake their impairments or exaggerate them, in order to be classified as more 'impaired' than they are- so as to gain a sporting advantage over those against those against whom they compete.

    Good God Almighty!
    What can be in their minds, to pretend to be more disabled than they are in order to compete against people who are actually more disabled than they?

    What in God's name is their idea of Sport, and personal integrity in Sport?

    Thank the Lord that we in Scottish Football have a governance regime that simply would not tolerate any  kind of cheating by a club, let alone be complicit in it!

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  13. slimjim 23rd September 2018 at 17:59

     

    Allyjambo 17.29.

    What was the point of Johns post?. It seems to me that no mattert the subject matter his posts are consistent in both tone and content. Nothing wrong with that of course but on this occasion i felt it unnecessary. Like the rules regarding red cards for off the ball incidents you mean. laugh

    ________________

     

    The point of John's post is fully consistent with what I believe to be one of this site's greatest values – reminding us all of the cheating and cover-ups that have gone on in Scottish football and the continued failure of the mainstream media to give it proper coverage and so become a part of the problem. Without this blog and other similar ones, it would be all too easy for those who would want us to 'move on' to see their wishes fulfilled.

     

    It is, of course, something that all 'Rangers' supporters would like to be forgotten, and they, themselves, have a consistent method of leading the blog away from what they want forgotten, and that is to pick up on the parts of posts that are of no consequence to Scottish football rather than to challenge the point that is being made. 

     

    It is notable that, however many people don't like the use of 'Nazi' allegories, only you saw fit to draw the blog's attention towards it, despite the fact that John was generalizing and not being specific about either Ibrox club. It is significant, however, that you, and us all, automatically think of those two Ibrox clubs whenever the subject of lying and cheating in Scottish football is raised.

     

    My apologies to the blog for continuing this argument from yesterday.

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  14. I notice John Clark's post of last night at 23.40 on cheating in sport, and specifically in the Paralympics, has attracted 3 TDs. Does that suggest that there are people who visit this site who actually accept cheating in sport as being OK, or is it the case that some people are set to automatically TD posts from certain posters regardless of the content? It is also notable that none of the three have seen fit to post a counter argument, as is nearly always the case with TDers.

     

    Might I also say that I wholeheartedly agree with John that it is extremely disappointing (disappointing? It's bloody sickening) to see that, in some people, cheating comes so naturally they would even cheat the (more) severely disabled.

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  15. Morning gents, good to see the irrepressible "Godwin's Law" coming to the fore on here. 😉

     

    Fascinating weekend of football with Hibs, Aberdeen and Rangers all looking very impressive and Hearts maintaining their unbeaten record.  Far too early to be writing Celtic off but there are undeniably shades of Rangers failed 10 in a row bid about their start to the season.  

     

    The media will of course run with "Celtic in crisis" as their angle as is their way but I think the thing being overlooked is that the league is just generally more competitive than it has been in years (possibly decades).  I certainly won't be predicting the winner and I wouldn't be betting against Celtic with their riches rising to the top in the end but one prediction I will make is that the winning points total will be one of the lowest in the modern era.

     

    We're going to see good teams like Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, Celtic, Rangers and Killie take points off each other every week.  There is a lot wrong with Scottish football but it's worth pointing out that there is a lot we're getting right as well.

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  16. Funny old game football isn't it

    Celtic fans in meltdown 6 games into the season having won back to back trebles ffs!!

    Not exactly Real Madrid ourselves at the moment but its early days

     

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  17. Allyjambo 24th September 2018 at 09:08

    "Might I also say that I wholeheartedly agree with John that it is extremely disappointing (disappointing? It's bloody sickening) to see that, in some people, cheating comes so naturally they would even cheat the (more) severely disabled."

    Why would this be a suprise Allyjambo the Torys have been cheating the disabled for years by depriving them off their entitlements.

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  18. bigboab1916 24th September 2018 at 10:36

     

    Allyjambo 24th September 2018 at 09:08

     

    "Might I also say that I wholeheartedly agree with John that it is extremely disappointing (disappointing? It's bloody sickening) to see that, in some people, cheating comes so naturally they would even cheat the (more) severely disabled." Why would this be a suprise Allyjambo the Torys have been cheating the disabled for years by depriving them off their entitlements.

    _____________

     

    I perhaps should have said 'disappointing but even more disappointingly not surprising'.

     

    Though I was limiting my thoughts to a sporting context, I do agree with the sentiment of your post having, through my work, experienced just how horrendous it is for the disabled when dealing with the DWP whose current remit is clearly to deprive rather than support the disabled.

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  19. Well it’s been a while since I actually posted something but I have been just about keeping up with reading the contributions of others.

    It seems that just about everything that I believed would unfold this season was mistaken – so far!

    I’m delighted that Hearts are at the top of the league and, even though I am in the 10 in a row camp, I would love them to win it.

    I was very sad to watch Rodgers bubble burst with the calamitous transfer business or lack there of at Celtic Park. I think we may have already lost him. I think, in playing Boyata after he let his teammates down so badly, Brendan may have broken an unwritten rule. Time will tell whether or not this has lost him the dressing room.

    I really did believe that Sevco would not be able to mount a challenge this season but here they are winning games and still paying players wages! Just don’t know how they do it! At the time of my last post, I also doubter we would see Stevie G manage his team in the premiership. I was wrong about that one too.

    This story really is taking much longer to unfold than I expected – I know!

    Still, time will tell!

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  20. armchairsupporter 24th September 2018 at 23:18  

    '…Still, time will tell!'

    Yes, o be of good cheer, armchair, and keep in mind that 'the mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding fine'. ( I was astonished to discover that that sentiment was first expressed in ancient Greece!)

    The baddies know themselves to be on the wrong side of the divide between truth and falsehood.
    For all their protestations, they know that not since some date in 2012 has the Rangers Football Club of 1872 kicked a ball, and that whatever TRFC Ltd does or achieves cannot be honestly shown in the sporting record books as being the achievement  of Rangers Football Club of 1872.

    Truth will out, sooner or later. 

     

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