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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 September 2006, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
Moira documents could be released
Moira Anderson
Moira Anderson was never seen again after going on an errand
Documents relating to the disappearance of a schoolgirl nearly 50 years ago could soon be released under Freedom of Information rules.

The Scottish Information Commissioner has received a request to release the file relating to the unsolved case of 11-year-old Moira Anderson.

The youngster went missing in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1957.

Sandra Brown, who believes her father murdered Moira, has called for disclosure of the information.

Moira's body has never been found but many believe she was abducted and murdered.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion said a decision on whether the documents should be released would be made shortly.

She could not confirm reports that the papers included a detailed description of the girl's death.

Deathbed confession

Moira was never seen again after going out on a shopping errand from her home during severe winter weather.

The Times newspaper reported that the documents being considered by the commissioner, described how the schoolgirl was sedated and sexually abused before being dumped.

It also reported that the documents named members of an alleged paedophile ring, including senior police officers and members of the Crown Office and former Scottish Office.

The documents are believed to be a confession by James Gallogley, a former friend of Alex Gartshore - the paedophile who was named by his daughter Mrs Brown as Moira's killer.

Strathclyde Police submitted a report to the procurator fiscal in 2004 after Gallogley made the deathbed confession from his prison cell.

He claimed Gartshore had killed the youngster before dumping her body in a spot called Tarry Burn.

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown said her father had left victims in his wake

Mr Dunion will have to decide whether to uphold a ruling by Strathclyde Police last year not to release the confession on the grounds that doing so might prejudice any future prosecution.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Information Commissioner said: "We cannot confirm precisely when this decision will be issued but I can confirm the decision is in the closing stages."

Mrs Brown, who grew up a few streets away from Moira, claimed in her book Where There Is Evil that her father was responsible for the murder.

She told the BBC: "My father is someone who's left a raft of victims in his wake.

"I believe he was part of something a lot bigger.

"There was protection for him and, knowing what we know about places like Belgium, we know that protection often comes from high up."

Mrs Brown has also set up the Moira Anderson Foundation, which works to help families cope with incidents of sexual abuse.

She received an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours this year, for services to child protection in Scotland.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Sandra Brown outlines her case for disclosure



SEE ALSO
OBE for child's rights campaigner
16 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
'New evidence' in Moira mystery
12 Oct 03 |  Scotland

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