yesterday called for a review of the 100-year secrecy
rule imposed on some documents seen by the inquiry
into the Dunblane killings which were never made
public. The move comes after the Scottish cabinet this week
instructed Scotland's most senior law officer to look again at the
100-year ban placed on a police report on Thomas
Hamilton, who murdered 16 primary schoolchildren and their
have been allegations that the lengthy closure order
was placed on the report after it linked Hamilton
to figures in the Scottish establishment, including two senior politicians
and a lawyer.
the crown office says the decision to impose the
ban - by Lord Cullen, who chaired the inquiry
- was made to protect the identity of children who may have been
abused by Hamilton, and their families.
Wednesday's Scottish cabinet meeting, it was announced that the
lord advocate, Colin Boyd QC,
would look at the feasibility of publishing the report with the
children's names deleted. But Michael Matheson,
the Scottish National Party's shadow deputy justice
minister, questioned whether the lord advocate's
review would go far enough. He said: "There are
more documents covered by the 100-year rule than
this police report. Some of them have
nothing whatsoever to do with children. We need to look
at why such a lengthy ban has been imposed on them.
I have been contacted by a number of families affected by the tragedy
who are anxious to ensure this information becomes public.
And so far we have no guarantee that it will. We only have a review."
report banned under the 100-year rule was compiled
Hughes, then a detective sergeant with Central
Scotland Police, and concerns Thomas Hamilton's
activities at a summer camp in Loch Lomond in 1991,
five years before the shootings. Selected extracts published
during the Cullen Inquiry revealed it recommended
that Hamilton should be prosecuted for his activities
at the summer camp and that he should have his gun licence revoked.
report, however, was ignored. Although Lord
Cullen referred to it in his inquiry, it does not feature
in the index or appendices to his final report. Consent
from Lord Cullen is not needed to overturn his
ruling. "The decision is a matter for the lord
advocate," said a crown office spokesman.
If the report is published - as now seems likely - the names of
the politicians and lawyers it contains will not be blanked out.
"It is important we make available, if it is at all
possible, any information that is available about people in the
public eye," said the Scottish first minister,
has been much speculation about the identity of the politicians
in the report. It is known that in June 1996 Michael
Forsyth, then Scottish secretary and MP for Stirling, congratulated
Hamilton on running a boys' club in Dunblane.
Robertson, now general secretary of NATO,
withdrew his son from a club run by Hamilton amid
concern about its militaristic nature.
time frame has been given for the lord advocate's
review, but campaigners say he must publish it in as full a form
as possible. "I don't know whether this is [a]
cover-up or just a culture of secrecy, but we need
to publish this report to put everyone's minds at rest," Mr
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *