Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC,
released only four police reports on Hamilton
in the wake of criticisms against the Crown
Office for allowing 110 documents
on the case to be kept secret for 100
last night that the bulk of the secret briefings,
about 106 separate files, will continue to be hidden
in Scotland's national archive
pending further review by the Lord Advocate
has increased speculation that a number of documents
relating to the massacre further
criticise police officers who investigated
Hamilton and question the historical
relationship between senior
political figures and the killer.
Frank Blake, whose wife, Mary, a teacher survived
the 1996 massacre which
left 16 Dunblane Primary School
children and another teacher dead, welcomed the release
of some of the police reports but said the families
wanted all the documentation made available to the
said: "We are not entirely happy with this move
by the Crown Office.
They have not divulged the whole lot and we want everything
made public. They shouldn't just be divulging
part of the evidence. We want to know
why they were put away by Cullen
[Lord Cullen chaired an
inquiry into the massacre]
for 100 years; what was
the reason for that? We want to know what
is so important in these papers, what do they have
to hide from public view?"
the SNP's justice spokesman, Michael Matheson,
joined other MSPs in calling for a review of the investigation
after claims that a number of reports, compiled before
and after the massacre,
were suppressed because they revealed links between
Hamilton and a number of
prominent Scots political figures. The
Central Scotland MSP triggered the debate by asking
the Lord Advocate to reconsider
the time ban, imposed by Lord Cullen
after his inquiry, in the light of the new freedom
of information legislation.
Crown Office reason for
the 100-year closure period
related to the fact that some documents refer to people
who were children at the time and whose identities
need to be protected in the newly-released police
reports via deletion of their names.
claimed that the release of four documents was a "step
in the right direction" but criticised the fact
that more than 100 remain secret. He said:"
I have been calling for many weeks for all the documents
with a 100-year rule relating
to Dunblane to be made public.
This announcement from the Lord Advocate
is a step in the right direction. However,
this decision only relates to four police reports,
which means that over 100 documents remain secret.
I hope therefore that this is only a first step by
the Lord Advocate and that
he intends to make public the remaining documents
as soon as possible.
for the Crown Office claimed
the other documents could still be released from the
national archive but a decision
would not be made for some time. She said:
"In light of recent public concern expressed
about the 100-year period,
all police reports submitted to the procurator fiscal
in relation to Thomas Hamilton
have been reviewed. The Lord
Advocate considered if it would be appropriate
to make these reports available for public inspection
and decided that in the exceptional circumstances
these reports should be made available.
Once the rest of the documents are catalogued by staff
at the National Archives,
Mr Boyd will then consider
whether more material can be released."
released last night failed to shed any light on why
the authorities failed to prevent Hamilton's
gun licence being reviewed. The 230-page
dossier of documents had been widely tipped to give
information on Hamilton's
application for a handgun licence and outline his
alleged links to the Masonic
it detailed four investigations conducted about Hamilton
between 1988 and 1993 over complaints about alleged
abuse and mistreatment of boys at youth camps he ran.
raises concerns that Hamilton
"induces certain children to dress in very tight
tunics which he provides for them outwith the knowledge
of their parents", and notes that he took photographs
of them in "questionable circumstances".
Details of these investigations were considered by
Lord Cullen's inquiry in
the wake of the massacre.