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Date Wed 27 December 2006

McKie case needs inquiry more than ever - UNISON reaction

UNISON, the union that represents the fingerprint staff who have been unfairly accused of conspiracy by the McKie campaign, today reacted angrily to the announcement by Iain McKie that they were walking away from their previous demand for a public inquiry.

The union's members in the fingerprint service have consistently maintained their identification of the WPC's fingerprint, and now face attempts by the service to force them out of their jobs.

Anne Russell UNISON's Regional Officer said "Justice is not a pick and mix option that campaigns can select or not, as a weapon. As part of the campaign, our members have been 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.

"Most, if not all, of the accusations against these hard-working public servants have been found to be false and no action has ever been found to be justified against them. Despite this they face the end of their careers, and the murderer of Marion Ross walks the streets. How does this serve the ends of justice? UNISON and the fingerprint experts, have consistently supported the call for a full judicial inquiry as the only way to reach the truth in this complex case.

Anne said "It seems that as soon as there is a chance of a full investigation into this case - whether by a court or an inquiry - the McKie's shy away from it. Of course, any such inquiry would require Shirley McKie to give evidence whether she wanted to or not - unless she was out of the jurisdiction of the legal system of course.

"Meanwhile, six long-serving, talented and much-maligned public servants continue to be scapegoated by the system. It has also been nine-years of hell for them. While the McKies may feel they can walk away, our members can't. They have the right to justice, and we will continue to fight for them.

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: Anne Russell (Regional Officer) 07904 341 971 Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 07715 583 729(m)

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