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Aileen Clarke reports
"The men have continued high profile protests of their innocence"
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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
New move in ice cream wars case
Campbell and Steele
Campbell and Steele in 16-year campaign
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has gone to court in an attempt to gain unprecedented access to all documents relating to the ice cream wars murder case.

It has applied for access to all Crown paperwork including government correspondence relating to the case.

The commission has been considering allegations by Thomas TC Campbell, 47, and Joe Steele, 38, that they were wrongfully convicted.

Ruchazie fire
Six people died in the fire
The men were convicted of murdering six members of the Doyle family, including an 18-month-old child, by starting a fire in a tenement flat in Ruchazie, Glasgow, in April 1984.

After a 27-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow, the two men were jailed for life.

The killings were part of a violent war between ice cream van businesses in the east end of Glasgow.

Ever since their trial 16 years ago, both men have protested their innocence.

The men lost an appeal and then saw a bid to have fresh evidence heard in their case rejected on a split decision of three judges in 1998 after the then Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewar, referred the case to the appeal court.

Lost appeal

Their case has been under consideration by the review commission, which was set up to adjudicate on whether alleged miscarriages of justice should be referred back to appeal court judges.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that after Campbell and Steele lost their last appeal their solicitors raised a new challenge with the Scottish secretary, which was handed over to the commission when it was set up.

The commission has already received some material from the Crown Office, but has now gone to court seeking access to all documents relating to the case in a move opposed by the Crown.

It has argued that police papers suggested new lines of inquiry.

Lord Clarke
Lord Clarke: Considering case
"This is why they wish to see all the papers," Gerald Moynihan, QC for the commission, told the court.

Advocate depute Duncan Menzies, QC, said the Crown was not intending to obstruct the commission, but argued that the onus was on it to justify why it should get access to the papers.

He also argued that the documents requested were in the same category as papers which the Scottish Executive's Justice Department has already refused to hand over.

The judge, Lord Clarke, said he would rule at a later date.

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11 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Minister hears human rights plea
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