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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-05623: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 15 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Crown and Procurator Fiscal Service is satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the six men who were cleared of rioting at HMP Grampian on 13 May 2014.

Answered by: James Wolffe QC 30 December 2016

The case was carefully considered for a sufficiency of evidence by experienced prosecutors and ultimately Crown Counsel prior to criminal proceedings being raised on indictment.

The question of sufficiency of evidence is one which falls to be assessed by prosecutors and is distinct from a determination of guilt which, in a case prosecuted on indictment, is for the jury to decide upon.

Four out of the six accused who were prosecuted, and whose case proceeded to trial, ultimately pled guilty to another offence, namely a breach of the peace. In respect of the remaining two accused the prosecutor in court accepted a plea of not guilty on the basis of evidence adduced at trial.