Date 15 February 2007
Justice One inquiry exonerates experts - UNISON reaction
UNISON, the union that represents the fingerprint staff who have
been unfairly accused of conspiracy by the McKie campaign, today
gave a cautious welcome to the report of the Justice One Committee
of the Scottish Parliament.
That inquiry has found that there was no basis for any accusation
of malicious conspiracy towards the fingerprint experts, despite
the claims from campaigners. "there is no basis to say that the
SCRO fingerprint officers had acted maliciously in their identification
and verification of mark Y7. It would appear to the Committee that
proving malice may have been challenging for Ms McKie's lawyers
had the action proceeded to proof." Committee report.
The union's members in the fingerprint service have consistently
maintained their identification of the fingerprint, and continue
to face attempts by the service to force them out of their jobs.
Kath Ryall, UNISON's 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."
"We will need to study the full recommendations of the report carefully
before responding in detail on the other findings. However, it may
be that we agree with some of the criticisms of the way this issue
has been handled by the authorities. That however, does not change
the position of our members who identified the fingerprint according
to the rules and procedures at the time. The finding that there
was no conspiracy confirms that our members have been cleared of
any wrong-doing yet again."
UNISON and the fingerprint experts, have faced an attempt by the
head of the new Scottish Police Services Authority to pressurise
them out of their jobs, and talks continue about their future.
Kath said "Six long-serving, talented and much-maligned public
servants continue to be scapegoated by the system. No group of workers
has ever been subjected to such scrutiny and yet found to be without
fault. It has been nine-years of hell for them. Unlike the McKies,
our members can't walk away. They have the right to justice, and
we will continue to fight for them."
For Further Information Please Contact: Kath Ryall (Regional
Officer) 07904 341 955(m) Ken Macintosh MSP 07971 961 158(m) Chris
Bartter (Communications Officer) 07715 583 729(m)