‘The police and prosecutors deserve credit’

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THE news that a fresh investigation is under way into the notorious World’s End murder case is to be welcomed.

Both the police and prosecution service deserve great credit for their perseverance in pursuing justice for the families of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie, 35 years after the crime which shook Edinburgh.

Using the new double jeopardy powers and as a result of new investigations, a fresh trial may now take place. We can only hope that it will perhaps finally bring some closure to the relatives of the victims.

Our justice system has taken a fair amount of criticism in recent times not least in regard to the Lockerbie investigation and subsequent release of al-Megrahi, but there is now an opportunity to show how it works at its best.

Police, prosecutors and politicians have worked together to scrap the 800-year-old double jeopardy law, a positive step forward.

The relatives of Helen and Christine have waited a long time for justice – their girls would be in their 50s now – and they will be willing to wait a little longer for this process to be completed.

Certainly, there are still legal stages to go through before we can expect news of a new trial and much work to be undertaken.

What is certain is that any new trial would inevitably be one of the biggest cases in Edinburgh history and would once again see our justice system on trial.

The police officers involved at the time of the original investigation in October 1977 have never forgotten the names of Helen and Christine, even though most are long since retired.

The families of the two teenagers can be reassured that the police and prosecutors of today have not forgotten them either.

Funny old business

POLITICS is a funny old business, and Edinburgh’s City Chambers is of course not immune to the odd accusation that it is full of comedians.

The tram project has kept Fringe comedians in business for the last few years and the jokes will no doubt continue until it is finally completed.

It seems only natural then that a former comedy club promoter would mount an assault on the local elections in May.

Seriously, Green candidate Melanie Main is not standing on a joke ticket, and clearly offers passion in her politics and some welcome entrepreneurial flair. The great hope for May’s elections is that, whatever the outcome, the new administration is packed with such qualities and some fresh thinking.