Scottish MP seeks investigation into inquiry delay


Scottish MP seeks investigation into inquiry delay

Tony Collins
A prominent member of the Scottish Parliament is seeking an investigation into claims by a senior Scottish law officer that he was impeded in his efforts to set up a formal inquiry into the Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre.

The move follows comments made in Computer Weekly by Iain Henderson, former procurator fiscal for Cambeltown, who was responsible for organising both a police investigation and a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the Chinook crash. Henderson disclosed that the FAI had been delayed by more than a year because the Ministry of Defence had, he said, refused until pressured by ministers to allow full access to a technical report into the crash by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Kenny MacAskill, transport spokesman for the Scottish Nationalist Party, who has asked many Parliamentary questions about the possible role in the crash of the Chinook's Fadec engine control software, has written to Colin Boyd, the lord advocate in Scotland.

He requested "an investigation into the role and actions of the Ministry of Defence relating to their conduct in the FAI". He said that the law of Scotland relating to FAIs "depends on full co-operation, especially from government departments."

MacAskill told Boyd he was particularly concerned that the FAI had not been told by the MoD that it was suing the Fadec's manufacturer Textron Lycoming. The legal action was over a Chinook accident in 1989 caused mainly by a design flaw in the Fadec software.

MacAskill said there was an issue over whether the MoD had failed to provide the FAI with all the relevant information either "timeously or indeed at all".

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