Man in court accused of Martin Hamilton murder
A man has appeared in court charged with shooting dead a notorious gangland figure in West Lothian.
James Farrelly, 52, denies murdering Martin Hamilton, 53, in Mossside Drive, Blackburn, between 16 April and 17 December 2015.
It is alleged that, while acting with others, Mr Farrelly shot Hamilton in the head and inflicted blunt and sharp force injuries to his head.
He is also charged with hiding the body in woodland near the B7015.
It is also alleged that he removed kitchen units, appliances and flooring from the house in Mosside Drive, and cleaned and attempted to remove blood-staining from the house and from a van.
Farrelly, who is represented by Derek Ogg QC, is also accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin between January 2001 and February 2016.
He denies all the charges against him and trial has been set for May.
Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: "The Crown position is that this is a fairly complicated case."
Hamilton, from Glasgow, was previously one of Scotland's most wanted men and was nicknamed the Blackhill Butcher, after the housing estate from which he operated..
He was released from prison in September 2014 but went missing in April last year.
He had been on the police's most-wanted list before he was jailed in 2000 over a string of charges including drug dealing, torture, abduction and sodomy.
The trial is expected to last between four and five weeks.