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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


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)