Portknockie man calls for enquiry over ‘doctored’ police statement

Willie McRae – death shrouded in mystery.

A former Strathclyde Police officer now living in Moray is calling for an inquiry after claiming that a statement he gave to police in 2011 over the death of a Highland lawyer had been altered.

Donald Morrison, 72, gave the statement to former Northern Constabulary officers at his home in Portknockie. They were conducting a fresh probe into the death of SNP activist Willie McRae, who in April 1985 was found slumped in his car with a single bullet wound to the head.

Mr Morrison was a constable in Glasgow at the time and was one of the last people to see Mr McRae when he left his home in the city to visit his weekend cottage in Wester Ross. He said that the evidence given in his statement cast serious doubts over the original finding that Mr McRae had committed suicide.

Mr Morrison insists the statement he made in 2011 had been “doctored”, telling the Scottish Sunday Express: “My statement was at least 12 pages long – this had just five pages with a lot of information downright incorrect or with what I regard as vital information missing.

“I have asked for the original statement again and been told that they are still in the process of locating it and blaming a poor filing system for the delay. I believe it is the doctored version that was sent to the Crown Office – which is why nothing further came of it.

“Willie McRae was silenced – I’m certain of it – but there has never been any interest to solve the mystery. Somebody who does not want the truth out has suppressed it.”

Mr Morrison insists that the Northern Constabulary investigation into Mr McRae’s death was “flawed from start to finish”, and that only a public enquiry would get to the bottom of what happened.

“Willie McRae was under surveillance by the Special Branch and MI5, and I will forever regret for not telling him that. If I had, he might have lived,” Mr Morrison said.

He continued: “There has never been a proper investigation into what happened because someone higher up does not want the truth out. For example, two witness statements from those who allegedly shadowed him were lost, yet to my knowledge they’ve never been interviewed again.

“It’s been a total whitewash from the beginning to the end.”

He has now written to Scotland’s Chief Constable, Sir Stephen House, demanding a public enquiry – however, the convener of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee says that it is not within the remit of the Chief Constable to order such an enquiry.

Christine Graham MSP did, however, agree that the case deserved a new look. She said: “I do not believe the public inquiry route is the best way forward. They take forever.

“I would be happy to assist Mr Morrison in filing a petition with the Scottish Parliament. It would provide an ongoing narrative as to what is happening and could – this is not something I can promise – end up in front of Holyrood’s Justice Committee.

“It worked in terms of Lockerbie and it could be an option here. I do not think it is in Sir Stephen House’s remit to request for an inquiry.”

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