Date: 30 May 2006
Fingerprint experts finally get the chance to state their case
The four fingerprint experts who identified the disputed fingerprint
in the Marion Ross murder case as that of Shirley McKie, have finally
been allowed to state their case.
Hugh MacPherson, Fiona MacBride, Tony McKenna and Charlie Stewart
gave evidence to the Justice 1 Committee's enquiry into the SCRO
today (Tuesday 30 May).
Although angry and disappointed that the £750,000 settlement agreed
between the McKies and the Scottish Executive has denied them the
opportunity to put their case in court, and have the whole issue
tried fully, the fingerprint experts welcomed the opportunity to
refute allegations of malicious conspiracy made by the McKies and
UNISON - the union that represents the four experts - said that
a step forward in balancing the one-sided campaign had been made.
UNISON spokesperson, Kath Ryall, said: "Our members have been hung
out to dry. They have suffered attacks on their competence and integrity
for years, have been suspended from duty and are not allowed to
work at their true level. Despite having been investigated many
times, no evidence of wrongdoing was ever found. We are angry that
our members have had no legal opportunity to clear their name, but
at last there has been some limited opportunity for them to state
The four experts said in their evidence that they stand by their
identification, and that experts outside the SCRO (and all who were
asked inside SCRO) agree with their idents. Indeed two of those
outside experts were appointed by the McKie and Asbury defence teams.
There will be a press conference with the experts and their representatives
held in Committee Room 3 of the Scottish Parliament immediately
after they have finished giving their evidence.
Please contact Chris Bartter or Ken Macintosh MSP for details Hugh
MacPherson, one of the four, said "Our job is to provide the information
to those whose job it is to decide whether or not to prosecute,
and what evidence to use. In this case we stand by our identification.
We accept neither accusations of malicious conspiracy, nor honest
mistake in this case. Independent experts have agreed with our identification.
"Our work has been constantly checked - for a year both before
and after this identification and has in all cases been found to
be accurate, professional and correct. We have faced seven years
of allegations, suspensions, untruths, half-truths investigations,
and reviews. We want this enquiry to find the truth - that we didn't
act maliciously, and that we did our job to the best of our ability.”
For Further Information Please Contact: Kath Ryall (Regional
Organiser) 07904 341 971(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer)
07715 583 729(m) or 07958 120 676(m) Des McNulty MSP 07714 450 850(m)
Ken Macintosh MSP 07971 961 158(m)