Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Thursday, 28 June 2007 14:01 UK

The commission's main findings

The following is a brief summary of some of the commission's main findings on the grounds of review which formed the basis of the grounds of referral.


THE VERDICT - A number of the submissions made on behalf of the applicant challenged the reasonableness of the trial court's verdict, based on the legal test contained in section 106(3)(b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

The commission rejected the vast majority of those submissions.

However, in examining one of the grounds, the commission formed the view that there is no reasonable basis in the trial court's judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items from Mary's House, took place on 7 December 1988.

Although it was proved that the applicant was in Malta on several occasions in December 1988, in terms of the evidence 7 December was the only date on which he would have had the opportunity to purchase the items.

The finding as to the date of purchase was therefore important to the trial court's conclusion that the applicant was the purchaser.

Likewise, the trial court's conclusion that the applicant was the purchaser was important to the verdict against him.

Because of these factors the commission has reached the view that the requirements of the legal test may be satisfied in the applicant's case.

NEW EVIDENCE - New evidence not heard at the trial concerned the date on which the Christmas lights were illuminated in the area of Sliema in which Mary's House is situated.

In the commission's view, taken together with Mr Gauci's evidence at trial and the contents of his police statements, this additional evidence indicates that the purchase of the items took place prior to 6 December 1988.

In other words, it indicates that the purchase took place at a time when there was no evidence at trial that the applicant was in Malta.

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE - Additional evidence, not made available to the defence, which indicates that four days prior to the identification parade at which Mr Gauci picked out the applicant, he saw a photograph of the applicant in a magazine article linking him to the bombing.

In the commission's view evidence of Mr Gauci's exposure to this photograph in such close proximity to the parade undermines the reliability of his identification of the applicant at that time and at the trial itself.

OTHER EVIDENCE - Other evidence, not made available to the defence, which the Commission believes may further undermine Mr Gauci's identification of the applicant as the purchaser and the trial court's finding as to the date of purchase.

Source: The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission statement on 28 June, 2007

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