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Holyrood probe to take in McKie affair

23 March 2006

MSPs have voted to investigate the Shirley McKie case as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into Scotland's fingerprint service.

Holyrood's Justice 1 Committee yesterday agreed by 4-3 to hold an inquiry which will cover the running of the Scottish Criminal Records Office and Scottish Fingerprint Service, after Liberal Democrat Mike Pringle joined opposition MSPs to outvote the Labour members.

Mr Pringle said that it would be absurd not to look into the McKie affair when that was what had sparked the controversy surrounding the service.

Labour members argued that the committee was already overburdened and that it would effectively be running a public inquiry in the guise of a parliamentary inquiry. The full parliament voted against a public inquiry earlier this month.

Ms McKie, a former police officer, was wrongly accused of lying on oath after fingerprint said to be hers was found at the Kilmarnock home of murder victim Marion Ross in 1997. She was cleared in 1999 and last month achieved a £750,000 damages settlement with the Scottish Executive.