11 March 2006
Appeal Case: HMA v Nat Fraser
A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said:
"In preparing the Crown's response to this appeal, Crown Counsel learned that evidence which was relevant to the case was not made available to the defence or to the Court at the time of the trial. Crown Counsel considered that this evidence should be made available to the defence under the duty which the Crown has to disclose evidence which undermines the prosecution case or may assist the defence. We have now provided this information to the defence as it may be of relevance to the appeal.
"The next of kin of Arlene Fraser have been advised of the position by the Area Procurator Fiscal for Grampian.
"The Lord Advocate regards it as a matter of serious concern that this evidence was not made available to the defence prior to the trial. For that reason, the Area Procurator Fiscal for Glasgow, Catherine Dyer, has now been asked to conduct a full investigation into this matter. At the same time, Grampian Police asked the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland to appoint a lead investigating officer into the handling by Grampian Police of relevant information and evidence concerning the Arlene Fraser murder enquiry. ACPOS subsequently approached Strathclyde Police and it was agreed that Deputy Chief Constable Ricky Gray would lead the investigation. The primary purpose of these investigations is to establish the facts and to ensure that all relevant evidence is available for the appeal.
"Since this case is yet to be considered by the Court of Appeal it is not appropriate to comment further at this time."