Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Prosecutors move for Angus Sinclair to face second World's End trial

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Media captionChristine Eadie and Helen Scott were killed in 1977

A man could be tried again over the World's End killings after prosecutors lodged an application to have his acquittal set aside.

Angus Sinclair stood trial in 2007 accused of murdering 17-year-olds Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in Edinburgh in 1977.

The case collapsed after the judge said the Crown did not have enough evidence.

The application for Sinclair to be prosecuted again is the first to be made under new double jeopardy laws.

The Lord Advocate applied to the High Court to allow the prosecution of Mr Sinclair for the murders of the two friends, who were last seen alive leaving the World's End pub in Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

Image caption Angus Sinclair was acquitted of Christine Eadie and Helen Scott's murders in September 2007

Previous double jeopardy laws prevented anyone cleared of a crime standing trial for a second time.

But Mr Sinclair's acquittal five years ago was specifically referred to by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill when the new double jeopardy law came into force in November last year, following a two-year review by the Scottish Law Commission.

The commission's report had recommended that any change to the 800-year-old law should not be imposed retrospectively, which would have prevented Mr Sinclair being charged for a second time over the World's End killings.

But this recommendation was ignored in the Scottish government's subsequent legislation, which said suspects could face retrial for very serious crimes if "compelling new evidence" emerged, even when the original trial had been heard before the new law was introduced.

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