A new six-part series is to look at a raft of high-profile Scottish public scandals.
These events are re-examined by the journalists and key players involved at the time.
Each episode looks at two cases, ranging from miscarriages of justice to high court dramas, banking bailouts to public health disasters. Episode one opens with the long-running saga of the delays and spiralling cost of building the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
The story begins in 1997 with Scotland’s first First Minister, Donald Dewar launching the Scotland Bill with the declaration: ‘There shall be a Scottish parliament. I like that.’
By the time the parliament opened in 2004 – three years late – it was 10 times over budget.
Tragedy also stalked the building of the parliament at Holyrood. Its architect, Barcelona-based Enric Miralles, and Dewar died within a year of each other without ever seeing the building – which in the end cost £414million to build. T
he second scandal to be scrutinised is the trial in 1991 of Paul Ferris, who was acquitted of murdering Arthur Thompson Junior, aka ‘Fat Boy’, in the longest and most costly trial in Scottish legal history. No-one has ever been found guilty of the gangland killing of the eldest son of the godfather of Glasgow’s biggest criminal clan, outside his home in Provanmill, Glasgow.
Ferris worked as a debt collector for Thompson and had known his son well. He was arrested and charged after the murder. The night before Thompson’s funeral, two of Ferris’s friends, Bobby Glover and Joe ‘Bananas’ Hanlon, were found shot dead in a car on the funeral cortege route. As well as being Scotland’s longest ever trial, it cost a record £4m and heard evidence from 300 witnesses.
Other stories featured in future episodes include; the trial of Nat Fraser, the world’s worst recorded outbreak of E. coli in Wishaw, the Shirley McKie fingerprint scandal and the Ice Cream War murders.
The Scandals that Shocked Scotland begins on Thursday, 28 November, on BBC Scotland, from 8.30-9pm.