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News from COPFS

Lord Advocate applies for Chhokar murder retrial

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC has applied to the High Court for authority under the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 to set aside the acquittal of Ronnie Coulter, Andrew Coulter and David Montgomery and prosecute them again for the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar in North Lanarkshire in 1998.

POCA results in serious disruption to criminals

The Crown Office can reveal that £8 million was seized from criminals in Scotland last year under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Crown welcomes new Human Trafficking bill

The Crown Office welcomes today's Scottish Government announcement to strengthen the criminal law against human trafficking and increase support for victims.  Tragically human trafficking is big business, it has strong links to serious and organised crime and it is of great concern that it takes place in Scotland. The Lord Advocate has already appointed a specialist prosecutor to deal with cases involving those who commit these abhorrent crimes to ensure the challenges of prosecuting these crimes are addressed from the outset. The measures announced today will greatly assist prosecutors in ensuring that those who peddle such misery face the consequences of their actions.   

Human Trafficking Bill

Super Puma FAI conclusion does not alter no criminal proceedings decision

The Crown Office welcomes the publication of the determination following the FAI into the Super Puma helicopter crash and hopes that the conclusions will help to improve safety in the industry.
The evidence presented during the FAI has not altered the insufficiency of evidence therefore the decision not to hold criminal proceedings remains the correct one.

Media Release

Lord Advocate responds to Lockerbie claims

Following reports in today's press regarding claims in a documentary to be broadcast today that terrorists hired by Iran were responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, the following statement has now been issued by the Crown:

"There is nothing new in these claims and some of the accounts of the evidence reported are inaccurate.

Significant development in historic Moira Anderson murder enquiry

The Cold Case unit within the Crown Office has today issued a statement in relation to one of Scotland’s oldest unsolved murders. Eleven year old Moira Anderson disappeared after leaving her grandmother’s house in Coatbridge in 1957. Following its investigation into the case and the examination of new evidence Crown Counsel has decided that Alexander Gartshore, would be indicted for the murder of Moira Anderson if he were alive today.

Scottish Lockerbie bombing prosecutors meet Libyan prosecutors

A delegation of Scottish and US law enforcement and prosecutors to Tripoli, Libya has met with senior members of the Libyan Congress, and both the UK and US Ambassadors to Libya, to discuss the ongoing criminal investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988. The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC, who led the delegation, has said the meetings were extremely positive and there is a commitment on behalf of the Libyan authorities to work with both Scotland and the United States to progress the investigation.

First Cold Case Unit indictment served for historic murder case.

Following an investigation under the direction of the Crown Office Cold Case Review Unit, John Docherty, born 2 December 1964 has been indicted for the murder of Elaine Doyle in Greenock on 2 June 1986. The case will call for a preliminary hearing at the High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow on 10 February 2014. This is the first indictment to be served following an investigation by the Cold Case Unit set up by the Crown Office in 2011.

Report published on enhancing the provision of interpreting in the Scottish criminal justice system

A Skills for Justice report on enhancing the professionalsim of the provision of interpreting in the Scottish criminal justice sector was published today. The report was commissioned by the Working Group on Interpreting and Translation (WGIT) whose members include the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.  The publication reports on the key findings of a scoping exercise to review and evaluate current interpreting provision, standards, qualification, training and service contracts.

Crackdown on criminal behaviour on public transport

The Lord Advocate has today announced a crackdown on criminal behaviour on public transport in a bid to ensure the safety of passengers and transport workers over the Christmas period.

Under the pilot scheme there will be a presumption that anyone committing criminal behaviour on public transport, which puts people at risk of violent or threatening behaviour, will be prosecuted.     

Offences involving violence which cause injury of any description to transport staff will carry a presumption of prosecution in front of a Sheriff and jury – increasing the chances of a jail sentence.

The pilot scheme will run from December until 6 January 2014.