"The McKie case has led to calls for an inquiry into Scotland's fingerprint service and yesterday she gave evidence at a parliamentary inquiry into the SCRO, the first time she has spoken publicly about the case.
But rather than focusing on the future direction of the service, Ms McKie found the tables were turned on her when two MSPs - neither of whom is on the justice 1 committee - questioned her about evidence that contradicted her own account of events. Angry scenes developed when Des McNulty, the Clydebank and Milngavie MSP, asked her legal adviser, Andrew Smith, QC, about a report by an independent fingerprint expert, Peter Swann...
Mr McNulty was joined at the meeting by Ken Macintosh, the Eastwood MSP. The four SCRO officers who maintain that they correctly identified the print are constituents of the two MSPs."
Already, there seems to be a real danger that the Committee's inquiry is degenerating into a 'who was right?' battle between the McKie camp and that of the four SCRO officers, which is surely not what was originally intended. If Messrs McNulty and Macintosh were permitted to direct hostile questioning at Ms McKie yesterday (as, under the rules of parliamentary procedure, they were entitled to do), then presumably some MSP like Mr Alex Neil will be allowed to do similar when the SCRO officers give evidence. Meanwhile, the Committee convener, Ms Pauline McNeill, has to hold the coats as fairly as possible, even although her party allegiance might otherwise dispose her to favour the Executive's line (which seems confined to hoping - in vain - that the whole matter can be closed down).
The case for a proper judicial inquiry, rather than an inquiry by politicians some of whom have already nailed their colours to the mast, seems stronger by the day.