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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 February 2006, 15:49 GMT
Fresh allegations in McKie case
Iain and Shirley McKie
Ms McKie rejected claims of an 'honest mistake'
Fresh allegations of a cover-up have been made in the Shirley McKie case.

The former policewoman was awarded 0.75m compensation by the Scottish Executive after being wrongly accused of lying over finger print evidence.

Reports claim that six years ago the Crown Office received information about an alleged "cover-up" that should have led to a criminal prosecution.

However, a Crown Office spokesman said there had been "insufficient reliable evidence" for a prosecution.

Speaking to BBC Scotland's Sunday Live programme, Ms McKie rejected Jack McConnell's claims that an "honest mistake" had been made.

In the first few days, yes it was a mistake, but since then it has been cover-up, after cover-up, after cover-up
Shirley McKie

"In the first day or two days, if someone had said a mistake had been made then that's absolutely fine.

"But it's been nine years since this all started. They said the Scottish Criminal Records Office were correct and I was wrong.

"Now, all of a sudden they are saying it was a mistake.

"In the first few days, yes it was a mistake, but since then it has been cover-up, after cover-up, after cover-up.

"It's a laughing stock that Scottish Criminal Records Office come away with that and for Jack McConnell to repeat it is an even bigger joke."

'Huge possibilities'

She said she could "not quite believe" that she had finally received compensation from the executive.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," she said. "This has been such a long time coming."

She said she had received "fantastic" support from people across the world.

Finger prints
Ms McKie was wrongly accused of lying over finger print evidence

"When this dies down, I'm expecting to feel quite flat as this has filled my life for nine years.

"I've been very scared to think about what I might do in future.

"I'm going to take my time over the next few months and work out what I want to do with the rest of my life because there are huge possibilities now the fear has gone."

Referring to calls for a public inquiry to be held, she said: "It's up to the Scottish public and media.

"If they think they deserve the truth and a better forensic system in this country, they need to take this forward."

The Scottish Conservatives have now added their voice to calls for a public inquiry into the case.

There is a need to restore confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service
Annabel Goldie
Scottish Tory leader

Conservative leader Annabel Goldie said: "Serious allegations have been made about this case.

"I believe there now needs to be a public inquiry to record all the facts surrounding it.

"There is a need to restore confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service."

The SNP has also called for an inquiry to be held.

Leader Alex Salmond said: "This case strikes at the very heart of the Scottish justice and political system.

'Crucial question'

"It is absolutely essential that the truth surrounding the Shirley McKie case is laid bare and that we get answers to the crucial question of who knew what and when.

"Otherwise, the standing and credibility of our justice system could be damaged forever."

Responding to calls for a public inquiry, an executive spokesperson said: "There have already been two inquiries into SCRO.

"We hope that in reaching a settlement in this we want to move on and look forward, rather than back.

"We don't consider that another inquiry would cast any more light on an incident which happened nine years ago."

Listen to the Shirley and Iain McKie interview

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