Highlands & Islands

Call for new probe of SNP activist Willie McRae's death

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini
Image caption Mr Finnie has written to Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini

Scotland's senior law officer has been asked to re-investigate the death of an SNP activist 25 years ago.

Solicitor and anti-nuclear campaigner Willie McRae was found badly injured in his crashed car on the A87 near Kintail in Wester Ross in April 1985.

Later, in hospital where he died, medical staff found a gunshot wound behind his right ear.

SNP councillor and former policeman John Finnie has asked Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini to look at the case.

Mr Finnie has urged her to release any official details so far kept secret in the same way confidential information on the death of UK government adviser Dr David Kelly were made public last month.

In a letter to Ms Angiolini, the SNP group leader on Highland Council said: "The circumstances of Willie McRae's death, and the subsequent investigation, have led to a quarter of a century of speculation and public disquiet.

"Public confidence in the functions of state is very important, indeed, the UK government stated that their recent decision to release 'new details' about Dr David Kelly's death was 'in the interests of maintaining public confidence'.

"I ask you to display similar understanding of the public's need and institute a full investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the death of Willie McRae."

Mr McRae was travelling from Glasgow to his holiday home in Kintail.

Following the discovery of the gunshot wound, police recovered the weapon some distance from where his car crashed. There were no fingerprints on the gun.

No fatal accident inquiry was held and Mr McRae's death remains unsolved.

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