IT HAS been claimed that the release
of papers submitted to the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane tragedy
would dispel rumours that there was a cover-up. If anything,
their release adds to the mystery. As the documents released
aren't the originals, there's no way of knowing whether they have
been tampered with or whether all have been released.
And as there's nothing of any consequence in them
anyway, why was it necessary for a closure order to be imposed, keeping
the papers secret for 100 years? LINK
Furthermore, there is official confusion about exactly
who imposed the closure order and even whether anyone had the necessary
authority to impose such an order. LINK
There are still many questions which demand answers:
although some details of Hamilton's post mortem have been known for
some time, why is part of the autopsy to remain secret for 100 years?
The release of the papers is said to show there was
no proof that Hamilton was part of a paedophile ring. LINK
But if such a paedophile ring did exist, nobody would be naive
enough to expect proof to be found in the released papers.
Hamilton had many visitors in expensive cars, some
chauffeur driven. None have so far been identified.
For nearly six years, I have tried
without success to establish who authorised keeping the Cullen Inquiry
documents secret for 100 years. And if there is such authority,
why was the Lord Advocate [Colin Boyd] able to waive it suddenly?
The decision not to release the documents - which,
I am assured, was taken collectively - was made on January 13, 1997
at a meeting attended by the Clerk to the Inquiry [Glynis McKeand]
and representatives of the Scottish Record Office, the police and
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
Yet in June, Lord Cullen
wrote to me stating unequivocally that those attending that meeting
did not have the authority, either individually or collectively, to
decide what was to be done with the copy productions, and did not
do so. Accordingly, there is no question of their having taken
the responsibility for imposing a closure order.
He does, however, confuse the matter by claiming
in a letter in September that the Crown authorised the restriction
of access to the copy productions.
In April the Lord
Advocate's office stated quite clearly that the Crown Office and Procurator
Service were not responsible for the imposition of the closure.
If the authorities are so evasive about the existence
of a closure order, how can they expect to be trusted over any other
information regarding Dunblane? Quite apart from that question,
many other worrying loose ends remain. For example, a great
many witness statements and other facts are contradictory. And
the question of just how closely Hamilton was acquainted with members
of the local police force has still not been resolved.
If nothing else, all this and the sudden about-turn
to release some of the Cullen Inquiry documents still arouse considerable
doubts about the official version of the tragedy and its circumstances.
W W SCOTT, North Berwick