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Hard line against web hate messages.


PROSECUTORS will be told to take a hard line against those who made hate comments about the Clutha crash.

Scotland's most senior law officer, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC, has announced that guidance will be issued this week on dealing with allegations linked to the tragedy.

The news comes as police investigate "hateful comments" posted online.

Procurators fiscal will be told that where offences have been motivated by a reaction to the crash, there will be a presumption in favour of criminal proceedings.

Mulholland said: "It is important that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service demonstrates a robust prosecution policy towards such offences committed as a reaction to the incident, in recognition of the fact that people died and the impact such crimes will have on their families and friends.

"This is also in consideration of the other people who were in the Clutha bar and those who attended the scene in the aftermath.

"I have made it clear that prosecutors must take a hard line against this kind of hate crime."

An investigation into the cause of the disaster that killed nine and injured 32 is under way. Those killed have been named.

Police constables Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, were on board the helicopter, along with pilot Captain David Traill, 51.

The six people who died in the pub were Robert Jenkins, 61, Mark O'Prey, 44, Colin Gibson, 33, John McGarrigle, 57, Gary Arthur, 48, and Samuel McGhee, 56.

A 16-year-old was arrested after being accused of posting sectarian and racist remarks on the internet about the crash.

However, he was released before appearing at Ayr Sherrif Court after the procurator fiscal ruled there should be no proceedings, pending further investigation.


GUIDANCE Mulholland
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 9, 2013
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