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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Order lifted on Dunblane papers
Colin Boyd QC
Colin Boyd said some documents would not be made public
The Lord Advocate has lifted a 100-year restriction on documents relating to the Dunblane massacre inquiry.

Colin Boyd's decision to release information from the 1996 inquiry follows demands from victims' families.

Edited material will be made available from Monday but Mr Boyd said some documents would not be published as they could distress relatives.

Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children and a teacher at Dunblane Primary School on 13 March, 1996.

He injured 12 other children and two teachers before killing himself.

This was always going to be a lengthy process because of the volume of printed documents which had to be carefully and individually examined
Lord Advocate Colin Boyd

The Scottish Office, the Crown Office and Lord Cullen, who led the inquiry into the Dunblane shootings, agreed that some information should be kept for 100 years to avoid it causing distress to the child victims or their siblings.

The Crown Office denied it was to protect the identities of public figures involved in the inquiry and the controversy over Hamilton's access to firearms and background working with children.

The Lord Advocate said the 100-year restriction would remain in place for files one to four, which contain details of the victims, including personal profiles, photographs, medical reports and post mortem reports.

Thomas Hamilton
Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and a teacher

Mr Boyd said: "It is clear that there remains considerable public interest in the evidence that was provided to Lord Cullen's inquiry, and I am pleased to announce that we have now completed the review of the papers subject to the 100-year Closure Order.

"This was always going to be a lengthy process because of the volume of printed documents which had to be carefully and individually examined.

"All names or other information which would lead to identification of individuals had to be removed from each document to protect the families involved, and to comply with data protection."

'Bring closure'

Of files one to four, Mr Boyd said: "Even in an edited form, they contain material which is sensitive in nature and could cause further anguish to the families of victims."

Scottish National Party MSP Michael Mathieson welcomed the Lord Advocate's decision, adding: "I hope the publication of this information will bring closure to many of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Dunblane inquiry and will reassure many of individuals affected by the incident."

Brian Monteith, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: "It is imperative that a sensitive approach is taken to ensure the victims, their family and friends are protected from the deep emotions that the constant revisiting of this tragedy can unleash."

The released documents, in their edited form, will be made available to the public at the National Archives of Scotland.

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25 Sep 04 |  Scotland
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19 Mar 03 |  Scotland
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