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Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Fingerprint perjury inquiry launched
Ms McKie getting her fingerprint taken
A BBC investigation revealed problems in fingerprint identification
The Crown Office is to investigate allegations of conspiracy and perjury following the case of a former Strathclyde police officer accused of leaving a fingerprint at a murder scene.

Shirley McKie, a former detective, was tried for perjury after she said in court she did not leave the print.

She was acquitted at a trial in the High Court and a report last month vindicated her claim that fingerprint evidence lead against her was wrong.

Now the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, has appointed Paisley Procurator Fiscal Bill Gilchrist to investigate the allegations of perjury and conspiracy against Ms McKie.

Colin Boyd
Colin Boyd: Perjury investigation
Last month, Justice Minister Jim Wallace gave the Scottish Parliament details of an inspectors' report which vindicated Ms McKie.

It recommended comprehensive changes at the Scottish Criminal Records Office, the body responsible for examining fingerprints.

Future cases relying on fingerprint evidence will now be double-checked and a review has been ordered into fingerprint evidence in the trial of David Asbury in 1997.

An inquiry into Scotland's fingerprint service was launched after an investigation by BBC Scotland discredited fingerprint evidence in Shirley McKie's trial for perjury.

Ms McKie was acquitted last summer and a report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary confirmed that fingerprint evidence against her was wrong.

Evidence doubt

SCRO experts testified that a print left at a murder scene matched Ms McKie's, a claim she strenuously denied.

The Lord Advocate has also ordered that fingerprint evidence in the trial of David Asbury, the case which Ms McKie was investigating when she was accused of perjury, is to be reviewed by an independent expert.

Asbury, from Kilbirnie in Ayrshire, was jailed in 1997 for the murder of Kilmarnock woman Marion Ross.

He denied the killing and fingerprint experts have since cast doubt over evidence presented in the case.

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See also:

23 Jun 00 | Scotland
Trial chaos fears played down
16 May 00 | Scotland
False impression: transcript
19 Jan 00 | Scotland
Fingerprint procedure review call
17 Jan 00 | Scotland
Frontline Scotland
18 Jan 00 | Scotland
Finger of suspicion: transcript
07 Feb 00 | Scotland
Inquiry into fingerprint evidence
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