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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 16:01 GMT
McKie prosecution move defended
Iain and Shirley McKie
Shirley McKie has been pressing for a public inquiry
The lord advocate has defended his actions in the case of a policewoman wrongly accused of leaving a fingerprint at a murder scene.

Colin Boyd said he was right to prosecute Shirley McKie for perjury. She was acquitted in 1999.

But Mr Boyd said he was also right not to take action against experts involved in the case.

He insisted there was insufficient proof that they lied in court.

Last week Ms McKie was paid 750,000 in compensation by the Scottish Executive.

There was clearly sufficient evidence in law, because the case went to the jury, who ultimately acquitted her
Colin Boyd
Lord Advocate

There have been calls for an inquiry into the case and the operation of the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

In a letter to the Scottish Parliament explaining his actions, Mr Boyd said: "In the case of Shirley McKie, the decision to prosecute her for perjury was taken by me in 1998, as solicitor general, following a report by the then regional procurator fiscal for Glasgow.

"I am satisfied that the evidence available at the time justified criminal proceedings.

"The evidence against her was tested at trial. There was clearly sufficient evidence in law, because the case went to the jury, who ultimately acquitted her."

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson has also released a statement outlining work undertaken to improve the procedures of the Scottish Fingerprint Service over the past six years.

In a written answer to parliament, she said enhanced independent verification had been introduced and quality assurance and training officers had been put in post.

Iain McKie, Ms McKie's father, said the "cover-up continues".

He described Mr Boyd's statement as "a disgrace" which avoided the issues at the heart of their complaint.

Mr McKie said only a judicial review would get to the bottom of the case.


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