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I'll name ex-cop in Beattie scandal says MP.

An MP will this week name a former policeman whose evidence, he claims, could have cleared a convicted killer.

The officer investigated the 1973 murder of typist Margaret McLaughlin.

George Beattie was jailed for life in 1974 and was freed from Edinburgh's Saughton Prison on parole last year.

The 42-year-old, now living in Kent, has always said he didn't commit the savage stabbing near Carluke, Lanarkshire.

The former policeman is understood to have destroyed a note book, thought to hold vital interview transcripts, after refusing to hand it over to officers last year.

Now Clydesdale Labour MP Jimmy Hood says he'll name the ex-officer, in his late 60s and living in Fife.

He's also to complain to top prosecutor the Lord Advocate over a decision not to charge the man.

Last night, Mr Hood said: "It's a scandal. This man gave evidence at trial. But he used notes made by another officer - and not his own note book.

"I believe there is vital evidence contained in his note book that may well have cleared George Beattie.

"The trouble was it simply did not square with other evidence the police put forward.

"I'm sure we'll soon win the right for an appeal and that Beattie will be pardoned."

It is understood a blood-covered man was arrested by police probing the murder but that he was released as soon as Beattie was arrested.

Mr Hood said: "This shows that either the police were worse than incompetent or that Beattie was fitted up."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 12, 1996
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