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JUSTICE MINISTER URGENTLY ASKED TO RESPOND

(July 29, 2008)
Mr MacAskill
 
I refer to my letter emailed on 25 July 2008. I write to highlight further concerns relating to the "investigation" that may or may not have happened.
 
1    Northern Constabulary have now admitted that after 8 months of a "criminal investigation" they have not interviewed any of the senior legal figures directly responsible for dozens of documented irregularities favouring 2 ex-police officers, a Northern Constabulary employee and one other. The investigating officer, having considered detailed documentary evidence over a number of months, made it absolutely clear that the individuals responsible would be interviewed and held accountable for their actions. This has not happened and is entirely unacceptable and fuels further suspicions of an investigation that was comprised from the start.
 
2    The basis for not interviewing the senior legal figures based at Inverness Sheriff Court, accordingly to the investigating officer, is legal advice given to him by legal figures based at Inverness Sheriff Court. This is entirely unacceptable - any legal advice should have come from sources entirely independent of those individuals and organisations directly implicated in the allegations.
 
3    The basis for not interviewing the senior legal figures based at Highland Council Solicitors Office, accordingly to the investigating officer, is legal advice given to him by legal figures based at Highland Council Solicitors Office. This is entirely unacceptable - any legal advice should have come from sources entirely independent of those individuals and organisations directly implicated in the allegations.
 
4    The basis for not interviewing the senior legal figures based at the Procurator Fiscal's office in Inverness, accordingly to the investigating officer, is legal advice given to him by a source he would not identify. The Crown Office view is that they would not interfere in any way with a criminal investigation.
 
5    I am being asked to believe that the dozens of documented irregularities favouring the two ex-police officers, a Northern Constabulary employee and one other are not linked and happened in isolation of the each other. In reality there is a clear time line linking the irregularities providing clear motive as to why an irregular decision may have been taken.
 
It would probably worth providing some examples of the documented irregularities to put the above concerns in a context :
 
There are 3 examples of sheriff's / JP's concluding cases on "evidence" they have made up themselves in private - "evidence" not led or discussed at any point during trial or proof.  
 
There are 2 examples of the PF with holding materially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested for trial.
 
A criminal investigation was clearly sabotaged by a police officer, who later received counselling relating to his impartiality regarding another incident. Whilst under investigation himself, the same officer investigated a further clearly fabricated incident which resulted in a failed prosecution resulting in a 10 year old being put through a court ordeal for no reason. 
 
Another criminal case this time prosecuted with no corroboration and no possibility of success resulted in a conviction which resulted in a SCCRC referral back to the High Court - the defence solicitor has already had to pay compensation for his role in how the original appeal came to be abandoned in grossly improper circumstances - the District Court refused to co-operate with the Law Society investigation into the same and to date have never been held accountable for their actions.
 
A current case is being prosecuted which relies on the testimony of an ex police officer with a known and documented history of dishonesty over a number of years. Corroborated charges relating to acts of violence by the same ex police officer have been dropped by the PF on two occasions with no rational explanation provided by the PF. 
 
There are various documented examples of sheriffs, solicitors, and police officers being dishonest to my obvious disadvantage.
 
Legislation and guidelines have been ignored.
 
Human Rights legislation has been routinely breached. 
 
 
etc etc etc.
 
6     To date Northern Constabulary have failed to answer any detailed questions relating to the "investigation" and refuse to provide a timescale for the release of their detailed findings despite the "investigation" apparently being concluded.
 
7    The Crown Office remain of the view that no criminal investigation has ever taken place.
 
Reservations expressed to Northern Constabulary regarding their ability to carry out a proper investigation appear to be fully justified. Justice must be done and must be seen to be done and I trust that I will have your full support in having all of the evidence relating to these cases examined independently.
 
 
 
Stuart Hunt

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