Sheku Bayoh

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th November 2019.

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Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

On the many occasions on which I have appeared before the Justice Committee, of which Margaret Mitchell is convener, I have seen her commitment to there being transparency throughout the justice system, and I hope that she recognises mine. Anything that the Scottish Government can do to achieve such transparency is crucial.

I reiterate that, as Margaret Mitchell knows, decisions on whether to prosecute or to give immunity from prosecution are very much for the Lord Advocate, who is independent. None of us—regardless of whether we are Government or Opposition politicians—should have a say in such matters or seek to influence them unduly.

I will take away Ms Mitchell’s question about data and the number of individuals who have been prosecuted in similar circumstances of a death in police or prison custody. I will explore with the Crown Office whether such data exists and whether the Scottish Government can do anything more. We should not fear anything from there being additional transparency. I certainly do not.