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News from COPFS

Aberdeen gamekeeper jailed for killing Goshawk

Gamekeeper Mutch was handed a custodial sentence today after being caught trapping and killing a rare wild bird with the use of video cameras.

George Mutch was sentenced to four months imprisonment on each of the four charges, one offence under Section 5(1)(b) and three offences under Section 1(1)(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The sentences will run concurrently.

Scotland's Law Officers marked the anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing

On 21 December Scotland's Law Officers marked the 26th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing by showing support for the relatives of those who died. The Lord Advocate urged the relatives not to give up hope that others will eventually be brought to justice for the atrocity in which 270 people lost their lives. The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC sent a message of remembrance on the anniversary of the atrocity.

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Solicitor General welcomes Bill for new human trafficking law

The Scottish Government has today introduced the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill which will introduce a specific law to combat human trafficking and exploitation for the very first time in Scotland.

The Bill will clarify and strengthen criminal law by introducing a new single human trafficking offence and increasing the maximum penalty for offenders to life imprisonment.

US Senate report to be part of Scottish rendition flight investigation

The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has today instructed Police Scotland to consider the U.S. Senate report on CIA interrogation as part of the ongoing police investigation into rendition flights.

Clutha Helicopter Crash: Information

A Police Scotland helicopter crashed onto the busy Clutha bar in Glasgow on 29 November 2013, killing 10 people.

Immediately following the incident meetings were held between the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC  and the Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC and the Chief Inspector and Deputy Chief Inspector of Air Accidents at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to underline the need for them to carry out a through and speedy investigation in close liaison with the Crown.   

An investigation by Police Scotland under the direction of the Crown into the cause of the crash is underway. However, the AAIB inquiry is responsible for the safety part of the investigation to establish the cause of the crash and we must have this information before we can complete our investigation.

Crown Office sets out social media prosecution policy

We have launched written policy guidance on communications sent via social media, to provide clarity on when such communications will amount to criminal conduct. 

The guidance is published to ensure there is absolute clarity both in terms our approach and the difference between criminal and non-criminal communications.

Convicted drug dealer loses £70,000 of illegal earnings

At Dumfries Sheriff Court today, Mohammed Shikari from Dundee, was made subject to a confiscation order for £70,000.

In 2012 he plead guilty to involvement in the supply of cannabis. Proceeds of Crime proceedings were then initiated against him and he was unable to account for £70,000. The funds recovered will be re-invested in the community by Scottish Ministers, through the CashBack for Communities programme.

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Lord Advocate and Solicitor General to remain as Law Officers

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has asked the Law Officers to remain as Ministers in the Scottish Government following today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC and the Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, are both delighted to continue in their roles.

The Lord Advocate is the ministerial head of COPFS, leading the system of criminal prosecutions and investigation of deaths, and as a Minister of the Scottish Government, acts as its principal legal adviser. The Solicitor General is his deputy and assists him in carrying out his functions.

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Global investigation into money laundering

An investigation into international money laundering by the COPFS Economic Crime Unit that spanned eight years and six countries, and which led to the conviction and imprisonment of a Denny woman, has today culminated in a confiscation order for £470,000.

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Human Trafficking Summit communiqué

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, hosted a Human Trafficking Summit at the Scottish Parliament today.

This was the first meeting to be attended by all of the heads of the prosecution services for the UK and Ireland. Attending with the Lord Advocate were the Directors of Public Prosecutions for England & Wales, Northern Ireland. The Director of Public Prosecutions for Ireland attended the summit as an observer and participated in the discussion. Also present was the Advocate General for Scotland, the Right Honourable Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC representing the UK Government.


Human Trafficking Summit communique