McKie fingerprint inquiry - top secret reports withheld

Scotland on Sunday reports that Scottish Ministers have frustrated a Scottish Parliament inquiry into the Shirley McKie fingerprint scandal before it even starts, by refusing to hand over at least four top-secret reports into the matter.

MSPs have demanded the release of a number of confidential reports that were commissioned by the Scottish Executive. These are thought to contain important new information about the case. But ministers have ordered that any release of the papers should be blocked, citing legal conventions to keep them "under lock and key".

The papers held by the Scottish Executive include two reports by independent fingerprint expert John MacLeod, into the SCRO's handling of the case. There are also reports commissioned by Lord Advocate Colin Boyd into the affair, including the full report by former Deputy Chief Constable of Tayside police, Jim Mackay.

Justice minister Cathy Jamieson now admits she holds another secret report on the case, the existence of which previously remained secret.

McKie: ministers hide vital evidence (Scotland on Sunday, 26 March 2006)