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hammer6

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Reply with quote  #16 

Saru mo ki kara ochiru gif

 "saru mo ki kara ochiru"

The phrase literally translates as "even monkeys fall from trees."  In English, the closest adage may be "pride comes before a fall." 

Because in every field of human endeavor there will be oversights, quality control and quality assurance are important to assure reliable results.  It is also important that persons incriminated through latent print identifications should have ready access to competent experts to reexamine alleged identifications.

On rare occasions, a fingerprint or palmprint identification error occurs, even among experts trained to competency.  In fingerprint identification, DNA identification, firearms identification and other relatively mature forensic sciences, erroneous individualizations are so rare that they cause international news headlines.  That extreme rarity benefits society and justice. 

These are real cases.  This page exists to demonstrate errors so that more than just the experts involved in the cases might learn from mistakes.

In the words of a famous Scotsman, 

"There's nane ever fear'd that the truth should be heard but they whom the truth would indite."

So how many monkeys have fallen from the trees within the SCRO?


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Reply with quote  #17 
The Scotsman Sat 8 Apr 2006
Iain McKie, pictured with his daughter Shirley...

Iain McKie, pictured with his daughter Shirley, said he was not surprised by the strong support shown in the poll.
Picture: Lewis Houghton

 

66% of public support inquiry into McKie case 

TWO-thirds of people in Scotland think that there should be an inquiry into the Shirley McKie case, a new survey has revealed.

The Scottish Executive has refused a public inquiry into the case of Ms McKie, the policewoman who was wrongly accused of leaving a fingerprint at a murder scene. Instead, the Executive favoured a parliamentary inquiry to ensure the accuracy of the fingerprint system.

 

However, supporters of Ms McKie say that her case, which stretched over nine years and which has seen the Scottish Executive, the police service and even the FBI accused of a cover up, deserves a public inquiry.

Now a Yougov survey of more than 1,600 people, which was commissioned by the Scottish National Party, has found that 66 per cent of people think there should be a public inquiry, 10 per cent do not think there should be an inquiry and 24 per cent did not know.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, was surprised at just how decisive support was for a public inquiry into the complicated case. "It indicates the overwhelming view of the Scottish public that there needs to be a public inquiry and judicial inquiry," he said.

"It is not enough to have matters swept under the carpet for any longer and it certainly cannot be tolerated [that] documents are being withheld from the parliamentary inquiry.

"The people of Scotland are asking what has the Lord Advocate and the previous justice minister, Jim Wallace, got to hide that they resist so trenchantly the calls for a public inquiry."

Ms McKie, a former police officer, from Troon, Ayrshire, was wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at the home of the murder victim, Marion Ross, in 1997. Ms McKie was later cleared of perjury and sued the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO). In February this year, she received £750,000 from the Executive in an out-of-court settlement.

Iain McKie, her father, said that he was not surprised by the poll's findings. "The letters and e-mails I get show how many people want this inquiry.

"The only people who do not want the inquiry are the Scottish Executive and Scottish Criminal Records Office and some quarters of the police service."

He said the parliamentary inquiry was fine for looking into the accuracy of the fingerprint service, but a public inquiry was needed to examine the wider implications of the case.

Mr McKie added: "There is a need for this, not only looking at the Shirley McKie case, because this case represents many other cases in Scotland where injustice has been done and the time is long overdue for a close look at the actions - or inactions - of the Scottish Executive, the Lord Advocate, the First Minister, the justice ministers and the police."

Mr McKie is preparing an application to the Court of Session calling for a judicial review of whether there should be a public inquiry.

However, the Scottish Executive claims that the parliamentary inquiry will restore public and professional confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

It insists that the role of other agencies has already been investigated by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and that the recommendations arising out of that investigation, in 2000, have been acted on.

The Executive claims that a public inquiry is not appropriate and that it is the responsibility of the parliament to hold the Scottish Executive to account.

Related topic


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Reply with quote  #18 
END OF THE ROAD?

Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala

When the day is dawning
On an Executive Monday morning
How I don't long to be there
Cos Shirley McKie might be waiting for me there

Every lonely corner
(La lalalala)
Where I clap my cat
(La lalalala)
Ain't as half as pretty
Where my sporrans' at

Is this the way to Portobello
Every night I'm being briefed by a dodgy old fellow
Creating schemes near Portobello
And Shirley McKie who waits for me
Show me the exit for Portobello
For I've been briefed by another old fellow
I've been flying over Portobello
Whilst Shirley McKie who waits for me

Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
And Shirley McKie who waits for me

There's a stench here ring-ing
And the noise that it's making
For the Shirley McKie-a
And I'm the guy who doesn't want to see-a
Just beyond the tarmac, there's my private plane
And it keeps me airborne through this pissing rain

Is this the way to Portobello
Every night I'm being briefed by a dodgy old fellow
Creating schemes near Portobello
And Shirley McKie who waits for me
Show me the exit for Portobello
For I've been briefed by another old fellow
I've been flying over Portobello
Whilst Shirley McKie who waits for me

Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
And Shirley McKie who waits for me
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
And Shirley McKie who waits for me
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
Shirley la la lala lalala
And Shirley McKie who waits for me

CROWN COPYRIGHT 2006








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hammer6

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LAWYERS acting for former detective Shirley McKie in a multi-million-pound legal action against the Scottish Executive have had their computer hacked into and sensitive files removed.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that two independent specialists have confirmed to the McKie legal team that its computer has been accessed remotely by a hacker and information contained on its hard disc “cleaned out”.

Every file relating to the high-profile fingerprint case, including confidential reports and documents said to claim collusion on the part of fingerprint experts at the Scottish Criminal Record Office (SCRO) in a 1997 Kilmarnock murder case, was taken.

Around 180 court productions, Powerpoint presentations and politically-sensitive documents were also removed, as were hundreds of private e-mails and other correspondence relating to the McKie case.

The legal team are so concerned by the incident – which took place three weeks ago – that they are now hiring a private investigator to find the identity of the hacker.

They have refused to report the matter to the police because their legal case centres on claims of “criminality” and “cover-up” on the part of fingerprint analysts involved in a criminal investigation into a murder. It is understood that the legal team do not feel confident they can report the matter to the police.

Sources close to McKie’s lawyers have also revealed that some are “certain” that telephone conversations have been monitored. Some are now refusing to discuss the case on mobile phones or via e-mail.

Sensitivity over the case has increased in recent weeks as McKie’s lawyers now represent both McKie and David Asbury, who was convicted of the murder of Marion Ross in Kilmarnock after SCRO experts claimed they had found the victim’s fingerprint on a tin filled with money in his house.

As the Sunday Herald has previously reported, there are now allegations that “fabricated” fingerprint evidence was used to convict him of the crime.

An informed source said: “The security breach happened in the last few weeks, after the court hearing was due to take place … It was confirmed to them after they consulted with professionals that their computer had been targeted and accessed illegally.”

Although the incident occurred after the Scottish Executive made a £750,000 out-of-court settlement to McKie, the timing has raised suspicions, as it happened at a time when ministers were facing fierce calls for a public inquiry into the affair. It also took place when the Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd, was under significant pressure to answer questions about why, despite a police inquiry finding “criminality” on the part of SCRO experts, he had not prosecuted.

Allegations had also surfaced at this time that a prosecution may have undermined the legal case against the Lockerbie bombers.

There is no suggestion that the police, the SCRO, the Crown Office or Scottish ministers are aware of, or sanctioned, the security breach.

However, the astonishing revelation that McKie’s lawyers have had their computers hacked has triggered demands for openness in the case. The incident has again led to claims that only by holding a judicial inquiry – so far refused by ministers – can the full facts of the case emerge. Alex Neil MSP, a vocal supporter of the McKies, said: “In some ways it is hardly surprising given the level of cover-up by the Scottish Executive and its agencies over the Shirley McKie case.

“It may well be that the hacking had nothing to do with the case, but it certainly makes me very, very suspicious.”

Iain McKie, Shirley’s father, said: “Ever since this case started, we have suspected that our phones have been tapped and that we were being monitored.

“With the allegations of criminality and the cover-up that has gone on over this, you have to ask yourself what do people have to hide and what lengths are they prepared to go to to keep it hidden?”

John Scott, a human rights lawyer, said: “ You have to ask who would have something to gain by accessing this information.”

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP deputy leader, said the incident underlined the need for a “full, open, public inquiry”.

26 March 2006 (BILKO'S POST)


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Reply with quote  #20 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE/LETTER

 

It is claimed we have a Scottish Executive that listens and is responsive to public opinion. As each day passes and more and more people join the call for a judicial inquiry into the Shirley McKie case it becomes increasingly obvious that the opposite is the truth.

 

Lord Macaulay (Letters, April 10) joins Lords Mackay and McCluskey and a growing list of Scotland's foremost legal brains in supporting a judicial inquiry and still the first minister, minister for justice, lord advocate and their colleagues in the Scottish Executive persist in a collective act of head-burying. 

 

Proof of this, if proof were needed, comes in the form of the revelation that the lord advocate has been made a peer in the House of Lords.

 

Only a few weeks ago in the Scottish Parliament we heard him angrily reject accusations of bias and political expediency in his refusal to prosecute the Scottish Criminal Records Office experts as recommended by the police. He explained in hurt tones that his independence was sacrosanct and essential to the probity of the Scottish justice system.


Now, in an unbelievable act of naked ambition and arrogance, he accepts a political peerage that further compromises his independence and shows just how shallow his parliamentary claims were.

 
It is because of such breathtaking hypocrisy that we need a judicial inquiry to look at, among other things, the role, responsibilities and independence of the lord advocate and the minister for justice; the effectiveness of the police inquiry into the death of Marion Ross; the lack of independence of the forensic services from the police; the interface between politicians, civil servants and the Crown Office; the separation of powers and responsibility within Scottish government; the validity of Crown Office and executive refusals to publish relevant expert and other reports; the role and effectiveness of civil servants in responding to questions from the public and from MSPs; the misuse of the sub-judice rule to suppress public and parliamentary debate; and what links, if any, exist between the Lockerbie and Shirley McKie cases.
Meanwhile, the fight for a judicial inquiry goes on and regular updates are available on http://www.shirleymckie.com
Iain A J McKie, 27 Donnini Court, South Beach Road, Ayr.


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Reply with quote  #21 

With regards to the last post I had been in touch with Mr Ian Mckie to ask his approval on replicating his open letter to the editor of 'The Herald' on this website.

 

Here is what Mr Mckie had to say:

 

Your support for an enquiry is welcome and I have no problem with material appearing on your site.
 
It is heartening to know that so many organisations are fighting injustice no matter who the victim is.
 
The current move for a judicial enquiry is going well as we seek to move the issue onto an even higher profile.
 
Best wishes,
 
Iain
----- Original Message -----
From: Rea
To: iainaj.mckie@
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:37 PM
Subject: LETTER

Dear Mr McKie,
 
Your letter was absolutely spot on and the thrust of your argument is wholly validated by this new PEER on the bench.
 
We are fighting for ALL cases of miscarriage of justice and hope that you and your daughter get the inquiry that is now almost inevitable.
 
If you would like us to remove your letter from our website please let our team know as our archive department discovered it in 'The Herald' newspaper.
 
Good luck and best wishes,
 
 
P.S. (OPEN LETTER ATTACHED)
 

ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE/LETTER

 

It is claimed we have a Scottish Executive that listens and is responsive to public opinion. As each day passes and more and more people join the call for a judicial inquiry into the Shirley McKie case it becomes increasingly obvious that the opposite is the truth.

 

Lord Macaulay (Letters, April 10) joins Lords Mackay and McCluskey and a growing list of Scotland's foremost legal brains in supporting a judicial inquiry and still the first minister, minister for justice, lord advocate and their colleagues in the Scottish Executive persist in a collective act of head-burying. 

 

Proof of this, if proof were needed, comes in the form of the revelation that the lord advocate has been made a peer in the House of Lords.

 

Only a few weeks ago in the Scottish Parliament we heard him angrily reject accusations of bias and political expediency in his refusal to prosecute the Scottish Criminal Records Office experts as recommended by the police. He explained in hurt tones that his independence was sacrosanct and essential to the probity of the Scottish justice system.


Now, in an unbelievable act of naked ambition and arrogance, he accepts a political peerage that further compromises his independence and shows just how shallow his parliamentary claims were.


It is because of such breathtaking hypocrisy that we need a judicial inquiry to look at, among other things, the role, responsibilities and independence of the lord advocate and the minister for justice; the effectiveness of the police inquiry into the death of Marion Ross; the lack of independence of the forensic services from the police; the interface between politicians, civil servants and the Crown Office; the separation of powers and responsibility within Scottish government; the validity of Crown Office and executive refusals to publish relevant expert and other reports; the role and effectiveness of civil servants in responding to questions from the public and from MSPs; the misuse of the sub-judice rule to suppress public and parliamentary debate; and what links, if any, exist between the Lockerbie and Shirley McKie cases.
Meanwhile, the fight for a judicial inquiry goes on and regular updates are available on http://www.shirleymckie.com
Iain A J McKie, 27 Donnini Court, South Beach Road, Ayr


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Reply with quote  #22 

We are therefore formally asking that you, as the Lord Advocate, add this further question in order that this major public interest issue is at last addressed by the courts.

 

In any just and democratic system it is essential that there be mechanisms for the public to question the legality of official policies.

 

As you know it has been over a few years now that citizens groups have been asking that the question of an independent judicial inquiry.

 

This fact formed the basis of our defence submission in the 'Shirley McKie' case - we have tried all possible means of getting the authorities, including the courts, to address the issue of the criminality of the SCRO and to have it disbanded so that we would not need to do this essential crime prevention work ourselves.

 

The present Lord Advocate’s reference, arising as it does out of a citizen’s initiative to prevent a crime, and in the knowledge that many other miscarriage of justice cases are now being adjourned to await the outcome of this reference, should be seen to be impartially looking at the most important legal questions arising from the 'Shirley McKie' case :

 

Why was there no public inquiry?


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Reply with quote  #23 

Mark of innocence

In 1997, a smudged print from one of PC Shirley McKie's thumbs was found at a murder scene in Kilmarnock. When she denied it was hers, no one believed her - after all, fingerprints don't lie. Then the truth emerged - it wasn't her print after all. Now she has been awarded £750,000 compensation but calls for a public inquiry are mounting. By Eamonn O'Neill

Tuesday April 18, 2006
The Guardian


On January 8 1997, a 51-year-old woman named Marion Ross was found stabbed to death in her home in Kilmarnock, a town 30 miles south of Glasgow. The police went in, took photographs and dusted for prints. They made their inquiries. Then came an odd development: on January 14, police found a "mark" on a bathroom doorframe inside the victim's house - a mark made since the murder. It was later formally identified as the thumbprint of police officer Shirley McKie.
 
McKie was part of the team investigating Ross's murder. She had stood outside the house, but she had not been part of the unit that entered the crime scene. The fingerprint could only mean one thing: that McKie had illegally entered the house some time after the killing.

McKie, who was then 35, denied that it was her print. She also denied ever having set foot inside the victim's house. But no one, of course, believed a word of it: they all knew that fingerprints do not lie.

That one fingerprint from Ross's house went on to cause an awful lot of trouble, for an awful lot of people. It destroyed McKie's promising career in the police, it threw doubt upon the investigation into Ross's murder, and it has now very seriously undermined the reputation of fingerprint science in Scotland.

Because, it seems, it was not actually McKie's fingerprint. In February this year, McKie, now 43, was awarded a compensation payout of £750,000 from the Scottish Executive after she was wrongly accused of leaving the print. Calls for a public inquiry into the case are now mounting by the day.

"I was in the police for 36 years," says Iain McKie, Shirley's father. "I always believed fingerprints didn't lie. Now ... I know different."

Iain, who is 67, lives in a flat in Ayr, on Scotland's south-west coast, overlooking the Irish Sea. He used to serve with the CID so he "knew what happened in the police", and initially, although he says that his daughter "wouldn't tell lies", he questioned her denial of having been inside Ross's house. "I was saying to her, 'Look, Shirley, if they say your fingerprint was found in there then it must be your fingerprint ...' They had it checked and they had it checked. You never argue with that - people have been hung on a fingerprint."

Iain McKie says that it is normal practice to rule out any "innocent" prints from officers involved in a case simply by comparing prints at the scene to photographic records kept of officers' prints. In this case, Shirley's prints turned out not to have been taken earlier on in her career, so investigating officers asked her to give her prints for elimination purposes. She duly gave her prints - and one of them ended up matching the print on the doorframe.

But McKie stuck to her story. She had never been inside the victim's house and therefore hadn't left that print.

In May 1997, Shirley repeated this story at the trial of a 20-year-old joiner named David Asbury, who had been accused of murdering Ross. But despite her throwing doubt on to the whole issue of fingerprints at the scene - and despite the fact that fingerprints were used as evidence against Asbury - he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

McKie had stuck to her guns but, as it turned out, her troubles were only just beginning. Within a month, she was off work, suffering from anxiety and depression. The police, she says, wanted her to change her story and admit that she had entered the murder victim's house and accidentally left a print, and they were piling on the pressure. Challenging the Scottish Fingerprint Service, a branch of the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO), was simply unheard of.

McKie was sick and off duty until the following March, when she was suddenly arrested, taken to a station, strip searched, and then charged with perjury for her part in the Asbury trial. "They got the dawn chorus organised: they phoned her up, she answered the phone and there was nobody there so she hung up, and then they went around and got her there," says her father. "Then they took her into the police office where, in 1992, I had been in charge ... She got bail and came home and lay on the floor weeping. You'll understand that I became very, very protective of my daughter at that stage."

Iain and the family began fighting back. But the first QC hired by the family simply did not seem to believe the fingerprint service could be wrong. The second QC, Donald Findlay, also initially had his doubts, but took on the case.

Crucially, at this stage, everyone - including Iain and Shirley McKie - still believed that the print found at the murder was hers: the issue for them was, how did it get there? Had McKie, either before or after the murder, without any recollection, once been inside the premises? Or had she touched a doorframe - again without any memory of it - that had ended up inside the house?

"We wondered if she'd once visited a joiner's yard and touched a plank of wood that ended up inside Marion Ross's house," says Iain. "Or maybe she'd sleepwalked herself there? Except that meant dodging the 54 police who had guarded the place [after the murder] and never seen her inside. Or - believe it or not - she wondered herself if she had been abducted by aliens or something. I mean, nothing was out of the question."

Out of the blue, when McKie was surfing the internet looking for fingerprint experts to help her with her case, she came across an American expert named Pat Wertheim, a respected professional who had trained FBI personnel. Within a few months he was in the UK with a colleague named David Grieve, inspecting the McKie print that had been found inside Ross's home. He reached a shocking conclusion: the print was not Shirley McKie's.

Later on, when McKie stood trial in 1999 for perjury, three SCRO experts claimed that her print had indeed been found inside the victim's home. Iain says: "The two Americans - Wertheim and Grieve - came in and showed the court that it wasn't Shirley's print at the murder scene. They won the day and Shirley was found unanimously not guilty and she was congratulated by the judge for the way she comported herself, which was almost unheard of."

The two US experts brought in by McKie's defence team argued that the "mark" found on January 14 1997 inside Ross's house and then identified by SCRO experts on February 10 as belonging to McKie bore no resemblance to McKie's actual fingerprint, with one saying the "obvious" differences took only "seconds to see".

In television dramas there is often a scene where a computer is fed a print and then spits out a name. In reality, the fingerprint identification process is a lot clumsier. Forensic police officers attend a crime scene and use fine black powder to dust surfaces for prints. When they find a mark, it is usually quite clearly visible to the naked eye. This mark, when finally identified as a human print, is then compared to a print from whoever is being checked out or investigated. The prints are photographed and placed side by side for visual inspection by experts. Experts try to identify 16 points of similarity in each print.

Computers sometimes play their part - the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System does help police authorities worldwide to narrow down their search by eliminating hordes of unlikely matches - but eventually, in nearly all cases, final identification will still come from a human expert visually inspecting two sets of prints. According to the Americans, whoever matched up the print at Ross's house with McKie's prints was simply wrong.

Later, in 2002, it was alleged that there had, in fact, been a fundamental and significant division of opinion about the identification among the SCRO's own experts in February 1997 - at the same time as the SCRO were telling the murder squad detectives that the print was definitely McKie's.

Following McKie's acquittal for perjury in 1999, the family hoped for an apology from the chief constable, but it did not come. "That really, really got her down and she became more ill after that," says Iain. "There was anxiety and pressure because of the stress of it all. She was at [the] stage where if she saw a police car she'd start to physically shake. She even planned her own suicide."

After talking to Iain McKie, he and I travel across Ayrshire to meet Shirley herself. She lives in the nearby coastal town of Troon and works in a little gift shop there. He warns me that she is strict about timekeeping and, indeed, when we meet Shirley, she seems angry that we are late.

I ask her what her reaction was to a parliamentary statement made recently by Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell, who claimed that the SCRO's identification of her print had been an "honest mistake" and "that [it] was accepted by all the [parties] involved" and everyone had "moved on".

"I was amused at how the most senior minister in Scotland can stand up, knowing what there is to know about the case, and say what he said," she says. "It bemuses me and that's turned to disgust."

In the same week as that McConnell statement, McKie, who was about to go to court to sue the police for damages, had accepted a £750,000 settlement from the Scottish Executive.

McKie says she detests anyone thinking that she has "won" anything. She says that accepting the offer felt like "copping out".

"You see, as big as this has become, the worse I seem to feel. The more people who say, 'It's fantastic and you're so powerful', then the more my self-esteem gets lower and I become more and more drained."

For a long time she hoped to resume her police career, but that dream has been destroyed. Even when she was cleared of perjury, she never got an official apology from any superior in the force. "They were basically saying that I'd lied," she says.

It may well be that someone lied here - but it was not McKie. In 2000, an independent report reached the conclusion that possible criminal prosecutions should be considered against certain SCRO personnel. The author of that report was James Mackay, a much-respected former deputy chief constable of the police force in Tayside. In a statement to McKie's lawayers in August 2003, he said, "It is my view and that of the inquiry team that there was criminality involved in the actings of the SCRO experts and that that criminality first reared its head in February 1997 ... It should have been patently obvious to those involved that a mistake had been made and there were opportunities then for the mistake to be acknowledged and dealt with. The fact that it was not so dealt with led to 'cover-up' and criminality."

But nothing, apparently, was done about these allegations. Earlier in the same year, a letter signed by 14 fingerprint experts from Lothian and Borders police, sent to the then justice minister Jim Wallace and the Lord Advocate, the senior legal officer in Scotland, concluded: "At best the misidentification is a display of gross incompetence by not one but several experts within that bureau [SCRO]. At worst it bears all the hallmarks of a conspiracy of a nature unparalleled in the history of fingerprints." But again, that had led nowhere.

Still, no one at the SCRO has yet lost their jobs or apologised. The same goes for the police.

To make matters worse, David Asbury, the man originally convicted of murdering Marion Ross in 1997, was sensationally acquitted in August 2002 - because of faulty fingerprint evidence. The SCRO experts had got it wrong again. They had claimed that a tin found in his flat during the investigation bore a "mark" - later classed as a "print" - which belonged to the murder victim, Marion Ross. This was incorrect and his conviction was duly quashed.

Still no one from the SCRO was sacked. Indeed, to date the SCRO has not admitted that it wrongly identified McKie's print. Despite the First Minister's claim of an "honest mistake", this is not the story that the SCRO tells. In fact, the office still refuses to accept that it got it wrong. In a statement, it tells me that, "There is a great division of opinion as to whether the print is Ms McKie's."

Yet it is difficult to find any "great division" at all. Scores of fingerprint experts from around the world say that the SCRO is plain wrong. The SCRO is merely backed by a tiny handful of increasingly isolated dissenters who say that they could be right. Britain's fingerprint community has been shattered by the SCRO's stance; the McKie case is referred to as "the Scotch Botch".

It has also recently been alleged that the prints presented by the SCRO in 1999 at the McKie perjury trial had been cropped. This meant that whole prints were not being shown, only parts of them, blown up and cropped advantageously. McKie's claims of innocence still won the day, but the cropping allegation would probably have gone down badly in court if McKie had not settled. Speaking from Tuscon, Arizona, Wertheim says, "I first looked at the images in March 1999 and knew in seconds that they'd been cropped. It's like looking at a snap of your wife and knowing immediately that her head's been cropped. Anywhere in the world would require you to present the whole image, so this was highly irregular."

Michael Mansfield QC is one of those calling for a public inquiry. He believes that the McKie case is a "hugely important and damaging case for the UK justice system as a whole. I don't think the McKie case should ever have been prosecuted in the first place. I know from past experiences in disputed IRA cases, such as the Danny McNamee bombing case, that the whole so-called 'science' of fingerprinting needs to be re-examined. It's a science in the loosest terms - it's more of an art. More quality control is needed. Fingerprint science isn't infallible.

"The SCRO experts who wrongly identified that McKie print should have all their prior cases reviewed. In fact, I am writing a letter to England's Attorney General asking for a review of cases where fingerprints have been pivotal. Public confidence in this process needs to be reassured. The Mckie case is potentially explosive for the English legal system. That's why it deserves a full Scottish public inquiry as fast as possible."

In her flat in Troon, McKie says she is beginning to see a future for herself, but it's "in another country. But maybe that's because I feel like running away at the moment".

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Reply with quote  #24 

Hi Hammer6, Admin2, mactheknife & Magpie... thanks for all your excellent posts on the topic of 'Shirley McKie - The Whole Truth'.  A lot of fantastic reading to catch up on, and Admin was particularly pleased to see the letter that Mr Iain McKie sent to 'The Herald' appear on the forum.  Not only that, but a personal message from Mr McKie himself! 

 

I've been missing out on far too much, and the posts that have been included on the forum in my absence have been absolutely fantastic - very informative.

 

I think it is fantastic that Mr McKie, and no doubt, Shirley herself, know that there are people out there who are in full support of her and who will continue to fight her corner for her.  I was just saddened by her quote, which was included in Magpie's previous post, that she just "feels like running away".

 

In fact, it angers me, that this woman has been put in such a position that she feels she has no other option but to run away, but after what she has been put through over all these years, and the subsequent reluctance of a public enquiry (MR BOYD????), I can understand her feelings.

 

We, at http://www.ferrisconspiracy.com will continue to support Shirley in her quest for justice, and as for what mactheknife said in his last post... WHY, INDEED WAS THERE NO PUBLIC ENQUIRY?

 

Again, Mr Boyd, step forward.....I'm sure you'll be quick enough to step forward when the time comes to collect your Peerage...

 

 


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Family to fight on for public inquiry as McKie seeks respite in Australia

ALISON HARDIE

SHIRLEY McKie is fleeing Scotland for Australia in an effort to escape the furore over the fingerprint case that destroyed her police career.

The former detective, who was wrongly accused of leaving a fingerprint at a murder scene, will leave her family to campaign for a public inquiry into the case, amid claims of a cover-up by the Scottish Executive.

 

She is "running away" to the other side of the world to seek anonymity as she tries to heal the wounds inflicted over the nine years she fought to clear her name. She intends to spend several months in Australia with a view to moving permanently.

The former Strathclyde Police officer, from Troon, Ayrshire, was wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at the home of the murder victim Marion Ross in 1997. Ms McKie was eventually cleared of perjury in 1999 after two fingerprint experts from the United States, Pat Wertheim and David Grieve, proved in court that the print did not belong to her. She went on to sue the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) and in February this year received a £750,000 out-of-court settlement - but no admission of liability - from the Executive.

Ms McKie has tried to maintain a low profile since. In an interview, she said she was beginning to see a future for herself, but added it would be "in another country - but maybe that's because I feel like running away at the moment".

Her father, Iain, said last night: "Shirley needs to heal, but how can she recover from post-traumatic stress when she is bombarded with e-mails and calls every day from people who want to know how she's coping?

"She's not rejecting Scotland. Shirley loves the country and thanks everyone who has supported her, but now she needs time away from it all to come to terms with what has happened and finally move on."

Ms McKie, 43, has relatives in Australia and, according to her father, initially hopes to spend "several months" with them before coming to a conclusion about where she will settle.

Her father added: "What she wants in the short term is to get away from Scotland because she cannot escape this story, even although she's stopped reading newspapers and watching the news on TV.

"People come up to her in the street all the time and people come into the gift shop she's been working in and they all want to know how she is and how she's coping.

"Of course, she'd be coping a lot better if she wasn't reminded about the affair the whole time. So Shirley has come to the conclusion that the only way to get a break is to leave the country."

Ms McKie's life was turned upside down by the accusation that she had illegally entered the home of a murder victim some time after the killing.

After growing pressure to admit that she had been inside the victim's house, Ms McKie was forced to take time off work suffering from anxiety and depression.

Her condition worsened when she was accused, wrongly, it emerged, of perjuring herself at the trial of the man convicted - but later cleared - of the murder of Ms Ross. Mr McKie said last night: "There is no doubt Shirley is disillusioned with Scotland's government and the Scottish justice system, which hurt her and her family. She feels totally let down by the system.

"Her decision to leave is nothing to do with Scotland and its people, but about the government of Scotland and the way it has treated her."

Mr McKie will continue to lead the campaign for a public inquiry into his daughter's case and the handling of the affair by the SCRO.

The Executive has refused to yield to all demands for an inquiry and has claimed the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry by the cross-party Justice 1 committee will restore public and professional confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

It insisted that the role of other agencies has already been investigated by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and that the recommendations arising out of that investigation, in 2000, have been acted on.

The Executive claims that a public inquiry is not appropriate and that it is the responsibility of the parliament to hold ministers to account.

However, a public inquiry is supported by a majority of the Scottish public. This month, a survey revealed that two-thirds thought that there should be an inquiry.

In the YouGov survey of more than 1,600 people, which was commissioned by the Scottish National Party, only 10 per cent did not think there should be an inquiry and 24 per cent did not know.

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SHAME ON YOU!! [Scotland's government and the Scottish justice system]

 

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Reply with quote  #27 

It is no doubt hard to comprehend that one day you are a police officer and the next you are accused of perjury, put on trial and clearly exonerated but without an apology.

 

Shirley McKie is a very lucky woman as she could have been convicted she would have experienced what TC Campbell, Joe Steele and many others had to endure whilst locked up for DECADES constantly protesting their innocence and no one wants to know.

 

Now Mr McKie is ready to fight and defend her daughter whilst Shirley heads off to Australia to try and rebuild her life and all the TEAM here wish her a speedy recovery and most importantly of all PEACE..................

 

Her father, Iain, said last night: "Shirley needs to heal, but how can she recover from post-traumatic stress when she is bombarded with e-mails and calls every day from people who want to know how she's coping?

"She's not rejecting Scotland. Shirley loves the country and thanks everyone who has supported her, but now she needs time away from it all to come to terms with what has happened and finally move on."

Ms McKie, 43, has relatives in Australia and, according to her father, initially hopes to spend "several months" with them before coming to a conclusion about where she will settle.

Her father added: "What she wants in the short term is to get away from Scotland because she cannot escape this story, even although she's stopped reading newspapers and watching the news on TV.

"People come up to her in the street all the time and people come into the gift shop she's been working in and they all want to know how she is and how she's coping.

"Of course, she'd be coping a lot better if she wasn't reminded about the affair the whole time. So Shirley has come to the conclusion that the only way to get a break is to leave the country."


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Expert blasts Scotland's crime scene evidence...

EDDIE BARNES POLITICAL EDITOR

A LEADING English forensics expert has made a devastating attack on the quality of crime scene examination in Scotland, declaring he has "no confidence" in the evidence lawyers are using to convict criminals.

Allan Bayle, a former fingerprint investigator with the Metropolitan Police and adviser to the Association of Chief Police Officers, is to make his startling claims to the Scottish Parliament's inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) - the organisation that wrongly identified former policewoman Shirley McKie as having left her print at a murder scene.

 

Bayle has been a constant critic of the SCRO, accusing it of gross negligence in the McKie case. But his latest attack is far more wide-ranging, placing fresh doubts over all crime scene work in Scotland, nine years after the McKie affair began.

Scotland on Sunday has also obtained the submissions from the four fingerprint experts at the heart of the case, in which they launch a bitter attack against ministers, law chiefs and their own organisation, the SCRO, insisting they were right to link the print to McKie.

Bayle's attack is made in an unpublished submission to the MSPs, obtained by Scotland on Sunday. He writes: "Crime scene examination in Scotland is of a very poor standard and needs to be brought up to date, especially in respect of note taking."

Asked for his views on the SCRO's work currently taking place, he added: "I have no confidence in its effectiveness or efficiency. I have been checking SCRO's work for the past five years for Scottish defence lawyers, and have been dismayed at some of the standards. Despite claims of change, experts are still providing unsatisfactory court evidence."

Bayle's claims are to be put before MSPs later this summer as they begin to trawl through the fallout from the McKie case. The former policewoman won £750,000 in damages earlier this year after ministers claimed an "honest mistake" had been made in her case.

However, this newspaper then revealed that a report by the former Deputy Chief Constable of Tayside Police, Jim Mackay, had alleged "criminality" and a "cover-up" over the case.

Bayle's evidence casts doubts over claims by ministers that weaknesses in Scotland's forensic system, exposed by the McKie case, have now been resolved. Previous reports that recommended changes to the SCRO "have not been fully implemented", he claims. "There needs to be a re-analysis as a matter of urgency."

The outcry over the case has thrown a pall over Scotland's justice system. In another submission to the inquiry, Solicitor-Advocate John Scott has revealed how the shadow of the McKie fiasco is now hanging over High Court trials.

He said: "I have already sat through an afternoon's evidence in a High Court trial where fingerprint evidence from the SCRO was subjected to the McKie cross-examination. It started with the question, 'Have you heard of Shirley McKie?', and then proceeded to attempt to undermine the evidence in that case by association."

The supposed improvements in the SCRO are even challenged by the fingerprint experts working there. In his submission, one of the group of four at the centre of the McKie case, Charles Stewart - who insists his analysis of the former policewoman's print was right - admits that "as experts within the bureau, we have had concerns about our management for years".

Stewart said senior management at the centre had traditionally been police officers "with no fingerprint experience". He added that a new action plan designed to boost the service was "flawed".

Stewart also levels a furious attack against ministers and senior prosecutors over their handling of the case. He writes: "Great concern must be expressed over the Crown's behaviour in this affair. At best, a high level of gross incompetence has been shown."

He adds: "The Scottish ministers appear to have settled with the McKies for some unclear reason, probably for their own self-preservation, or more likely the protection of the Lord Advocate and the Crown, and, to a lesser extent, of the reputation of Strathclyde Police."

Three other fingerprint experts linked to the case also break their silence in the submissions to defend their claim that the print was McKie's.

Robert Mackenzie, the deputy head of the Scottish Fingerprint Service's Glasgow office, insists: "In this instance, it is my belief that there have already been three miscarriages of justice in relation to the cases of David Asbury and Shirley McKie, due to actions of individuals and organisations outwith the Scottish Criminal Records Office."

Hugh Macpherson, the principal fingerprint officer who originally matched the print to McKie, adds: "The four suspended experts have been put through a 13-month police/fiscal/Crown investigation and an external ad hoc disciplinary enquiry and have been exonerated. We are the most reviewed and examined fingerprint experts there have ever been."

Another officer who examined the print, Alister Geddes adds: "I have no doubt that the scene of crime mark is identical to the left thumb of Shirley McKie."

 

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Suggestion Box/Fingerprint Kit


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Reply with quote  #29 

The Sunday Times March 19, 2006

Letters to the Editor: Lib Dem silence speaks volumes on McKie case

IN what is becoming the longest running political saga our justice system has experienced, the silence of our Liberal Democrat MSPs is deafening (Police ‘used sex smear’ in McKie case, News and Memo to Jack: can all of these people be wrong?, Ecosse, last week).

The lack of comment on the need, or not, for a judicial inquiry on the Shirley McKie case is nothing short of disgraceful and while their new leader, Menzies Campbell, raises questions about Scotland’s legal system, his MSPs meekly toe the executive line.

If this travesty of justice had occurred elsewhere in the United Kingdom the Lib Dem MPs would be demanding a full and public inquiry but in Scotland they conspire to prop up a failing Labour party in the executive.

The former leader, Jim Wallace, was justice minister at the time and has questions to answer. The Lib Dem MSPs are putting his political protection above the wider public interest, the reputation of our legal system and simple justice.

This misguided loyalty is a betrayal of what the Scottish parliament was set up for.

Bob Ewen
Nairn

NO COMMENT: Why are the Liberal Democrats so silent on whether there should be a public inquiry into the McKie case?

For years we’ve been subject to their sanctimonious hand-wringing about being the party of honesty and fairness. Yet when calls are made for the truth to be laid bare about a case that strikes at the very integrity of the Scottish legal system they vote against it.

Could it be that they are embarrassed that the justice minister at the time was a Liberal Democrat?

I suppose they think that they can get away with it because the public doesn’t really care. However, the past has a tendency of catching up with those parties who have such contempt for voters.

Just look at what happened to the Tories after years of lies.

Alasdair MacLean
London

PASS THE BUCK: The stonewalling by the Scottish executive on the subject of a public inquiry in the McKie case is astonishing but not surprising.

The lesson of devolution is sadly a culture of buck passing. “The buck stops everywhere but here” should be their motto and shoot any messenger who brings bad news. Hence the McKie case is all the fault of the media and politicians making mischief. This position is destroying the credibility of devolved government.

As to motive, what else is it but the avoidance of responsibility by politicians, various ministers knowing this was a miscarriage of justice yet doing nothing about it and maintaining this mendacity over nine years.

I intend to contribute to the McKie’s fighting fund and hope others will do likewise.

Jim Gordon
Glasgow

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MSPs to hear evidence of McKie and SCRO experts

SHIRLEY McKie and the four fingerprint experts who wrongly identified a print at a murder scene will be called to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament - but not on the same day.

The justice 1 committee is to invite more than 30 witnesses, including the Lord Advocate and the justice minister, to give evidence on the misidentification of Ms McKie's fingerprint at a murder scene in 1997.

 

Ms McKie, a Strathclyde policewoman, was charged with perjury after she denied that the fingerprint was hers but was later cleared and awarded £750,000.

The committee agreed that Ms McKie should be a key witness as well as the four fingerprint experts from the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO), who first identified the print as hers.

However, a suggestion that the quartet, who deny any wrongdoing, should come to the committee on the same day as Ms McKie was met with fury from her family. Her father, Ian McKie, said the experience will be "traumatic" enough. "I am not having her sitting here with those people there," he said. 

fingerprint cartoons, fingerprint cartoon, fingerprint picture, fingerprint pictures, fingerprint image, fingerprint images, fingerprint illustration, fingerprint illustrations
'I suppose the only way we could find out exactly who collected these DNA samples would be to fingerprint everyone.'


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