CAN OF WORMS

Major and minor players in the unfolding investigation

Ian Walker: Wealthy senior partner with Edinburgh solicitors Burnett Walker WS. Took his own life by hanging in June, 1988, after Law Society investigation into the firm’s accounts. Leaked police report linked him with Edinburgh gay community.

Colin Tucker: Partner with Burnett Walker WS. As a result of Law Society and police inquiries, he was charged with embezzling client funds. Trial took place at High Court in Edinburgh, December 1989. Found not guilty after defence claimed that Walker had forced his compliance by threatening to expose him as a homosexual. Struck off the solicitors’ register in 1990. Now a footman with the Lord Mayor of London. Defended at trial by Robert Henderson QC. Rumours begin suggesting existence of a ”list” giving identities of high-placed and judicial homosexuals.
Lord Dervaird: Appointed a High Court Judge in 1988 but resigned without explanation two days before Christmas, 1989 and three days after the Tucker acquittal. His departure followed a meeting attended by the then Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, the then Lord Advocate Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, and Scotland’s most senior judge the Lord President, Lord Hope. Resignation highlighted in leaked police report as coming three days after Colin Tucker’s acquittal, with suggestion that the acquittal had been facilitated by means of a secret list of homosexual Judges.
Robert Henderson QC: One of Scotland’s leading defence counsel and among the most flamboyant figures at the Bar. Educated at Glasgow University and admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1963. Took Silk in 1982. Police maintained that, during Tucker trial, Mr Henderson came into possession of the ”list” containing the names of homosexual legal figures. Business transactions of his were also the subject of a fraud inquiry but the Crown Office decided that he should not be prosecuted.
Lord Penrose: Now a High Court Judge but, as George Penrose, QC, the most senior Advocate-depute, recommended to the Lord Advocate that proceedings should not be taken against Mr Henderson because the evidence against him did not justify the allegations which would be involved in the case.
Gordon May: Former financial director with builders Teague Homes (Scotland) Ltd. Burnett Walker WS and Colin Tucker acted as company secretaries. May was accused, along with Tucker, of embezzling company funds. Trial at High Court in Dunfermline collapsed after six days and both were found not guilty. Defence conducted by Robert Henderson QC. Leaked police report, erroneously, credited Mr Henderson with defence of Mr Tucker in this particular trial. May now operating at Boys, Boys, Boys, a homosexual club in Thailand, along with James Lumsden, another former secretary of Teague Homes.
Neil Duncan: Jailed for four years for his procurement role in the Operation Planet homosexual rent-boy case. Leaked police document claimed that one of the rent boys would accuse a High Court Judge of illegal sexual practices. Case which followed a four-month police investigation involved 57 charges against 10 men. Crown Office instituted policy of no prosecution in cases of consensual homosexual conduct involving youths over 18. By the time the Operation Planet investigation came to court in February 1991, only 10 charges remained and five men had not guilty pleas accepted by the court. Only one case, involving a solicitor, went to trial and the jury returned a not proven verdict.
Tom Dawson QC: Now Solicitor- General, Scotland’s second most senior law officer. As an Advocate-depute, prosecuted the Operation Planet case. Arrived at Bar in 1973 and took Silk in 1986.
Tam Paton: Former manager of the 70s pop group the Bay City Rollers. His Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, house was alleged by police to be at the hub of the Operation Planet homosexual network.
Stephen Conroy: Jailed for six years in 1992 after being found guilty of a #280,000 mortgage fraud. Former lover claimed Conroy had a homosexual relationship with Lanark sheriff Douglas Allan. Later denied by Conroy and subsequently rejected in yesterday’s report. Conroy was originally represented by Robert Henderson QC but, because of pressure of work, Mr Henderson did not represent him at his trial.
Sheriff Douglas Allan: Appointed to the sheriffdom of south Strathclyde, Dumfries, and Galloway at Lanark in August, 1988. Aged 50, he joined the procurator-fiscal service in 1967 and, before becoming a sheriff, was regional procurator-fiscal of Lothian and Borders.
Tam Dalyell MP: Labour Member of Parliament for Linlithgow. Relentless parliamentary campaigner on issues as diverse as the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser Belgrano, the Westland affair, and the bombing of Libya. He was indirectly responsible for the leaked report which highlighted police conspiracy concerns. The MP had raised the issue in a letter to Lothian and Borders Chief Constable Sir William Sutherland and the leaked report, intended only as an internal memorandum, had been prepared to allow Sir William to frame a reply. Mr Dalyell refused to give evidence to the inquiry.
David Johnston: Radio Forth news editor with first-class Edinburgh police contacts who presents a popular Sunday morning phone-in programme. A Magic Circle agnostic, he alerted Tam Dalyell to the apparent homosexual links in a number of court cases and associated events.
Michael Glenn: Convicted fraudster and police informer who shared cell on remand with Stephen Conroy. Loretto-educated, son of a military family, gay, he began touting story of conspiracy round newspapers before Magic Circle report was leaked.
Sir William Sutherland: Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police since 1983. Previously Chief Constable of Bedfordshire. As a chief superintendent in Surrey he headed the 1974 police inquiry into the IRA Guildford pub bombings. The ”Guildford Four” were released from jail in 1989 on the basis of discredited forensic evidence. Inverness-born Sir William, who was knighted in 1988, was caused acute embarrassment last year as a result of the so-called Fettesgate Affair when his police HQ was broken into and a cache of sensitive police intelligence files stolen. He also denounced the leaking of the Magic Circle report as an act of ”gross disloyalty and unprofessionalism”.
Hector Clark: Deputy Chief Constable of the Lothian and Borders force since 1984. He co-ordinated the nationwide investigation into the murders of Borders schoolgirl Susan Maxwell and five-year-old Caroline Hogg. In October of last year, he issued an unprecedented public apology to the former Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, following remarks made at a football match. Lord Fraser, now a Scottish Office Minister but Scotland’s most senior law officer during the period of the Magic Circle affair, had threatened to sue.
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC: Solicitor-General from 1982 and Lord Advocate from 1989 until his re-entry to politics as a Scottish Office Minister after the General Election in 1992. During his period as Lord Advocate, he was in charge of the international investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie.
Lord Rodger of Earlsferry QC: Appointed Lord Advocate, Scotland’s senior law officer, in April of last year. Previously held the post of Solicitor-General. He ordered the Nimmo Smith-Friel inquiry. Alan Rodger was educated at Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow University, and Balliol College, Oxford. He arrived at the Bar in 1974 and took Silk in 1985. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1991 and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh last year. He became an advocate-depute in 1985 and was home advocate-depute from 1986 to 1988.
Detective Chief Superintendent William Hiddleston: Lothian and Borders former top detective, with 32 years service, took retirement, unexpectedly, in October last year. As head of CID, he signed the Magic Circle report but was not its author. Chief Constable denied Mr Hiddleston, 53, had been forced out.
Detective Inspector Mike Souter: Formerly deputy head of Lothian and Borders fraud squad, he had seen a number of long-running fraud cases thwarted. Recently returned to work after heart by-pass surgery. After internal police inquiry into leak of Magic Circle report, he was moved to uniform duties. Now in charge of police cells at Southside police office.
Detective Sergeant Peter Brown: Former fraud squad member and involved with DI Souter throughout investigation into Conroy mortgage frauds. He was also party, with head of CID, to interview with Edinburgh lawyer who claims immunity deal was struck over Fettesgate raid. Moved to uniformed duties in Pilton when Mr Hiddleston retired in October.
Detective Sergeant Charlie Orr: Formerly based at West End CID, he was involved in long-running Operation Planet investigation into gay vice ring. Brother of officer who compiled Magic Circle report. Now moved to uniform duties.
Detective Inspector Roger Orr: Formerly based at Leith CID, assigned to compile Magic Circle report following chief constable’s receipt of letter from Tam Dalyell MP. Interviewed fraud squad officers and officers involved in Operation Planet and was given access to transcripts, tapes of interviews with informers, and other documentation to enable him to write report. Subsequently moved to uniform duties.

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