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JusticeforMichaelRoss

New Campaign Website - Justice for Michael Ross

Michael Ross was convicted in 2008 of the murder of Shamsuddin Mahmood which occurred in Orkney in 1994 when he was just 15 years of age. His new website gives the background to what is undoubtedly one of the worst miscarriages of justice seen in Scotland.

Please visit our site:

www.j4mr.com

Thanks to anyone that takes an interest, signs the petition or shares the site.
JusticeforMichaelRoss

http://www.orcadian.co.uk/2016/03...ues-say-michael-ross-campaigners/

Huge interest in the website since launch with over 1200 unique visitors and over 400 petition signatures in 36 hours.
frank

Interesting that a person can come forward 12 years later and be deemed credible especially considering all the media attention surrounding the case at the time.

If that was the defence that amazingly obtained a witness 12 years later to contradict the Crown case they would be laughed out of court.

Hopefully something is done about the non independent sccrc very shortly. More interested in what the appeal court makes of them instead of doing their jobs. Crown office in disguise. They even had Crown agents working on their cases over the years whilst still employed by the Crown.
JusticeforMichaelRoss

You may find this file from the website interesting.

http://www.j4mr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/The-Primary-Witness.pdf

I actually can't find any words to express the disgust felt within our campaign group for the farce that this police investigation, subsequent trial, appeal process and SCCRC 'review' has been.
frank

I feel it is time the sccrc were scrutinised by way of a review into their workings over the last 16 years. How a Sheriff could be considered to run an organisation when they are are supposedly independent from the Justiciary is beyond me. They have also had Crown agents working on cases too over the years which is scandalous.

aprox 25 - 30 convictions quashed in 16 years says it all really. I would have supplied more accurate figures but their website has mysteriously dissappeared since the Scottish legal Aid Board awarded legal assistance to an unhappy applicant who is challenging them at the UK Supreme Court.


Anyone else feel the SCCRC should be reviewed themselves ?
Iain McKie

As other readers have observed the SCCRC is an integral part of the Scottish Justice System which unfortunately has allowed itself to become too close to the other parts.

Institutional bias has crept in over the years and it is clear that there are attempts to second guess the appeal courts to reduce the number of referral rejections.

It appears clear for instance that neither the Appeal Court nor the SCCRC look on 'defective representation 'claims kindly. In rejecting appeals like  Willie Gage's  these authorities appear prepared to put lawyer incompetence down to tactics. Not in the name of justice but in the name of their own self interest.

The truth is that the whole justice system requires an overhaul.

At times shambolic  court administration and an unaccountable prosecution and judiciary truly make justice a fiction. Unfortunately we are also faced with a political system that is unprepared to challenge these sacred cows.

Solutions which often depend on those within the system to implement are not a priority. Self interest is.
frank

Alistair Carmichael calls for conviction of ex-squaddie for notorious Orkney murder to be reviewed

Quote:
THE former Scottish Secretary of State has criticised the body responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice and called for a fresh review of the 1994 murder of a Bangladeshi waiter


http://www.heraldscotland.com/new...y_murder_to_be_reviewed/?ref=ebln


anyone got the full article??
frank

http://www.heraldscotland.com/new...y_murder_to_be_reviewed/?ref=ebln

THE former Scottish Secretary of State has criticised the body responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice and called for a fresh review of the 1994 murder of a Bangladeshi waiter.

Alistair Carmichael said the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) had failed to address concerns about the conviction of former Black Watch Soldier Michael Ross for the murder of Shamsuddin Mahmood, when he was 15 years old.

Following a trial in 2008, Ross was depicted a racist former sniper who had executed the waiter while disguised with a balaclava, in the Mumutaz curry house in Kirkwall - despite being a schoolboy when the murder took place.


He was found guilty after it emerged that his father owned a rare type of military bullet which was used in the shooting, but the evidence was largely circumstantial and a campaign group asked the SCCRC to investigate concerns including inconsistencies in witness statements and the loss of the victim's diary, which they say could provide crucial evidence.

Ross attempted to flee from court after being found guilty but was tackled by an officials. A hired car packed with guns was found in a nearby Tesco car park

Mr Mahmood had been serving diners in Orkney when he was shot in the head in 1994.

It was not until 2006 that a witness told police he saw Ross in a Kirkwall public toilet just before the murder.

In 2014, when the SCCRC refused to refer Ross's case back to the High Court, the campaign group called Justice for Michael Ross group urged Mr Carmichael - a former depute procurator fiscal - to help them fight to overturn the decision.

Now, in a letter to the group, Alistair Carmichael said some aspects of the police investigation "might have been done differently" after acknowledging that witness' descriptions of the killer being six foot tall deviated from Ross' true height of 5ft 7ins.

He also noted his "surprise" that witnesses had not been approached by investigators determining whether there was a basis to question he conviction.


He wrote: "In any criminal trial the issue of the identification of the person accused is absolutely central. When I met Michael I was struck that, at 5ft 7ins, he is not particularly tall.

“I suspect that, given the opportunity to do things again, some aspects of the police investigation might be done differently.

“The information you placed before the Commission went into this subject in some detail and highlighted a number of issues surrounding the descriptions offered by witnesses and the conduct of the police investigation.

"I think that these are very legitimate concerns. I agree that the Commission has not properly engaged with these issues and appear not to have analysed your submissions in the way that I would have expected.

“I was surprised to learn, for example, the Commission’s staff had not interviewed any witnesses."

But Mr Carmichael said it was "not appropriate" at this time for him to express a view on whether was Ross was guilty of the crime.

But the Liberal Democrat deputy leader added: "I know that the verdict has been controversial within the local community in Orkney and I have been approached by a number of constituents over the years who have been concerned about it."

He also criticised the way the SCCRC had set out its decision to refuse to refer the case back to the High Court.


"To my mind the thinking behind their conclusions is not as clear as I would expect it to be," he said. "I will be happy to encourage the Commission to reconsider the submissions that you made."

The SCCRC was set up to investigate possible miscarriages of justice and can review a sentence or a conviction and sentence, where concerns are raised. If, after investigating, commissioners feel a miscarriage of justice may have taken place, they can refer a conviction back to the High Court.

Mr Carmichael also appeared to criticise the original police investigation into the murder - which went unsolved for 14 years.

"I suspect that, given the opportunity to do things again, some aspects of the police investigation might be done differently," he wrote.
THE former Scottish Secretary of State has criticised the body responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice and called for a fresh review of the 1994 murder of a Bangladeshi waiter.

Alistair Carmichael said the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) had failed to address concerns about the conviction of former Black Watch Soldier Michael Ross for the murder of Shamsuddin Mahmood, when he was 15 years old.

Following a trial in 2008, Ross was depicted a racist former sniper who had executed the waiter while disguised with a balaclava, in the Mumutaz curry house in Kirkwall - despite being a schoolboy when the murder took place.


He was found guilty after it emerged that his father owned a rare type of military bullet which was used in the shooting, but the evidence was largely circumstantial and a campaign group asked the SCCRC to investigate concerns including inconsistencies in witness statements and the loss of the victim's diary, which they say could provide crucial evidence.

Ross attempted to flee from court after being found guilty but was tackled by an officials. A hired car packed with guns was found in a nearby Tesco car park

Mr Mahmood had been serving diners in Orkney when he was shot in the head in 1994.

It was not until 2006 that a witness told police he saw Ross in a Kirkwall public toilet just before the murder.

In 2014, when the SCCRC refused to refer Ross's case back to the High Court, the campaign group called Justice for Michael Ross group urged Mr Carmichael - a former depute procurator fiscal - to help them fight to overturn the decision.

Now, in a letter to the group, Alistair Carmichael said some aspects of the police investigation "might have been done differently" after acknowledging that witness' descriptions of the killer being six foot tall deviated from Ross' true height of 5ft 7ins.

He also noted his "surprise" that witnesses had not been approached by investigators determining whether there was a basis to question he conviction.


He wrote: "In any criminal trial the issue of the identification of the person accused is absolutely central. When I met Michael I was struck that, at 5ft 7ins, he is not particularly tall.

“I suspect that, given the opportunity to do things again, some aspects of the police investigation might be done differently.

“The information you placed before the Commission went into this subject in some detail and highlighted a number of issues surrounding the descriptions offered by witnesses and the conduct of the police investigation.

"I think that these are very legitimate concerns. I agree that the Commission has not properly engaged with these issues and appear not to have analysed your submissions in the way that I would have expected.

“I was surprised to learn, for example, the Commission’s staff had not interviewed any witnesses."

But Mr Carmichael said it was "not appropriate" at this time for him to express a view on whether was Ross was guilty of the crime.

But the Liberal Democrat deputy leader added: "I know that the verdict has been controversial within the local community in Orkney and I have been approached by a number of constituents over the years who have been concerned about it."

He also criticised the way the SCCRC had set out its decision to refuse to refer the case back to the High Court.


"To my mind the thinking behind their conclusions is not as clear as I would expect it to be," he said. "I will be happy to encourage the Commission to reconsider the submissions that you made."

The SCCRC was set up to investigate possible miscarriages of justice and can review a sentence or a conviction and sentence, where concerns are raised. If, after investigating, commissioners feel a miscarriage of justice may have taken place, they can refer a conviction back to the High Court.

Mr Carmichael also appeared to criticise the original police investigation into the murder - which went unsolved for 14 years.

"I suspect that, given the opportunity to do things again, some aspects of the police investigation might be done differently," he wrote.


However the SCCRC told the Herald it was not willing to comment on the case or on Mr Carmichael's intervention.



Speaking from prison, Michael Ross, 38, welcomed the MPs letter and said: “It’s reassuring to see that someone in a position of authority is concerned at the way the SCCRC has conducted my case review.

“Many politicians would not speak out on an issue like this. I hope that his views will draw attention to the hurdles faced by the wrongly convicted. I have very little faith in the Scottish justice system, but I would hope that my case will come before the appeal courts again leading to a retrial.”


A spokesman for the J4MR campaign, which has detailed its concerns at a website j4mr.com, said: “Michael Ross served his country with the Black Watch but his country has let him down. We feel that the general public would be shocked if they knew the reality of what passes for justice in Scotland. Our efforts will continue until the day he is free.”
JusticeforMichaelRoss

For further media/ internet coverage of this, please visit J4MR.COM Home Page.

Although a very welcome boost to our efforts, we acknowledge that it will be a long road yet.

The Scottish Government have announced a ministerial review of the Crown Office, but appear willfully oblivious to the major issues with the SCCRC and appeals system.

We will continue fighting and attempting to be the proverbial "flea against injustice". Hoping all you others in the fight have your own "strategic biting" opportunities. The more the better.

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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.