02 March 2003
secret documents contain letters by Tory
and Labour Ministers.
between Labour and Tory
ministers and correspondence relating to Thomas Hamilton's
with Freemasonry are part of
a batch of more than 100 documents about the Dunblane
mass murder which have been sealed from public sight for 100
documents include a letter connected to Hamilton,
sent by George Robertson, the then head
of Nato, to Michael Forsyth,
who was the current Secretary of State for Scotland.
Until now it was thought
that a 100-year public secrecy order had
only been placed on one police report
into Hamilton which allegedly named high-profile
politicians and legal figures. However, a Sunday
Herald investigation has uncovered that 106 documents,
which were submitted to the Dunblane inquiry
in 1996, were also placed under the 100-year
Executive has claimed the 100-year
secrecy order was placed on the Central Police
report, which was drafted in 1991 five years before the murders,
to protect the identities of children named in the report. Hamilton
had allegedly abused a number of children prior to his 1996 gun
attack on Dunblane primary school in which
16 primary one children and a teacher died before Hamilton
turned the gun on himself.
However, only a handful of the documents, which
the Sunday Herald has discovered to be
also subject to the 100-year rule, relate
to children or name alleged abuse victims.
The most intriguing
document is listed as: 'Copy of letter from Thomas Hamilton
to Dunblane parents regarding boys' club,
and flyer advertising Dunblane Boys' Sports
Club. Both sent to Rt Hon Michael Forsyth,
MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, by
George Robertson MP.' Also
closed under the 100-year rule is a 'submission
to Lord James Douglas Hamilton, MP, Minister
of State at the Scottish Office, concerning government evidence
to the Inquiry'.
Another document relates
to correspondence between the clerk of the Dunblane
inquiry, which was presided over by Lord
Cullen, and a member
of the public regarding 'possible affiliations of Thomas
Hamilton with Freemasonry
... and copy letters from Thomas Hamilton'.
deputy justice minister, Michael Matheson,
said: 'The explanation to date about the 100 -year
rule was that it was put in place to protect the interests of children
named in the Central Police report. How
can that explanation stand when children aren't named? The
100-year rule needs to be re-examined
with respect to all documents.'
has written to the Lord Advocate, Colin
why the 100-year rule applies
and how it can be revoked. He has so far had no response.
He also asked First Minister Jack
McConnell to explain the reasons for the 100-year
order but received 'no substantial answer'. Matheson
is to write to Colin Boyd a second time,
in the light of the discovery that more than 100
other documents are also sealed, asking him to account
for the decision.
A spokeswoman for the
Crown Office said: 'In consultation with
the Crown Office and the Scottish
Office, Lord Cullen agreed
that in line with the age of some of the individuals involved and
named in the inquiry, the closure period
would be 100 years. The Lord
Advocate is considering issuing a redacted copy of
the productions, which would blank out identifying details of children
and their families. A decision on this has yet to be made.'
Other sealed key reports
on Dunblane include:
- A 'comparative
analysis of Thomas Hamilton' by Central
- Information about Hamilton's
'use and possession of firearms'
- Pathology reports, Hamilton's
autopsy report, and analysis by Glasgow University's forensic
science lab on blood, urine and liver samples from Hamilton's
- Details on firearms
- A review by Alfred
Vannet, regional procurator fiscal
of Grampian, Highland and Islands, of 'reports
and information in respect of Thomas Hamilton
submitted to the procurator fiscals of Dumbarton
and Stirling by Strathclyde
Police and Central Police'
- A psychological report on Hamilton
- Guidance from the British Medical
Association on granting firearms licences
- 'Transcript of and correspondence
relating to answering-machine tape which accidentally recorded
conversation between police officers
at the scene of the Dunblane incident'
- Correspondence and witness statements
'relating to allegations of sexual abuse
made against Hamilton'.
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