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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 21:25 GMT
Report 'vindicates' McKie experts
Fiona McBride
Ms McBride still works for the SCRO
One of the fingerprint experts in the Shirley McKie case welcomed a Holyrood report's which said there was no evidence of malice on their part.

Fiona McBride was one of the four experts who identified a print at a murder scene as Ms McKie's.

The report was also welcomed by trade union Unison and MSP Ken Macintosh, who have backed the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) employees.

Ms McBride said she had been vindicated and called for a judicial inquiry.

Ms McKie, a former detective from Troonin Ayrshire, received a 750,000 out-of-court settlement after being cleared of committing perjury.

Criminal conspiracy

She had been accused of leaving a fingerprint at a murder scene but challenged the evidence of the experts.

A report by MSPs on the Justice 1 Committee heavily criticised the management of the Scottish Fingerprint Service but said the officers involved had not acted maliciously.

Ms McBride said: "The salient points were that we weren't malicious or vindictive.

"We have been vindicated and it's still the case that all the marks that were disputed, so called, where we were supposed to be in error, were all found to be correct by SCRO.

These officers have had to put up with a series of allegations and accusations that have once more been demonstrated to be entirely without foundation
Ken Macintosh
Labour MSP

"The only one that they haven't looked at is Y7."

Ms McBride is still working for the SCRO and intends to remain there, despite moves to reach a settlement for her departure.

Unison, the trade union that represented the four fingerprint staff, gave the report a cautious welcome.

Kath Ryall, Unison regional officer, said: "We are pleased that the inquiry has confirmed yet again that our members have no criminal conspiracy case to answer.

"Our members have spent nine years being suspended, investigated, accused of malicious conspiracy and had the best possibility of them clearing their name - the court case - dashed from them at the last minute by deals between the McKies and the Scottish Executive.

"At least this inquiry has given them the opportunity to have their say."

Apology call

She said the four experts had identified the fingerprint according to the rules and procedures that were in place at the time.

Ken Macintosh, the Labour MSP for Eastwood, represents three of the fingerprint experts.

He said those who had accused them of making a mistake should now apologise.

He said: "This is not the first inquiry to clear these officers of any wrongdoing, but I hope it is the last.

"For almost a decade now, these officers have had to put up with a series of allegations and accusations that have once more been demonstrated to be entirely without foundation."


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