Politics

Ex-Scots sheriff who represented Lockerbie bomber arrested and charged by cops

A former Scottish sheriff who represented Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has been arrested and charged in connection with an ongoing police investigation.

One-time Dundee judge Alistair Duff, 67, was picked up last month but cops are yet to say what he has been charged with.

The Record understands that officers swooped on the top judiciary figure in recent weeks.

However, senior force figures are remaining tight-lipped as to what the leading lawyer has been accused of, citing “operational reasons”.

We can also reveal that Duff, who was appointed as a resident sheriff at Dundee Sheriff Court in 2004, stood down as the head of the Judicial Institute for Scotland training college last month prior to his arrest.



Alistair Duff was once principal sheriff at Dundee Sheriff Court
Alistair Duff was once principal sheriff at Dundee Sheriff Court

A spokesperson for the Judiciary of Scotland said: “I can confirm that Sheriff Alistair Duff retired from his judicial office on 1 December 2021.”

A source told the Record: “Alistair Duff resigned suddenly because he’s been charged by the police for something.”

His profile has been yanked from the Judiciary of Scotland website after the Record made enquiries.

Duff was admitted as a solicitor in 1977 and he worked as a procurator fiscal between 1977 and 1981.

He then moved into private practice as a solicitor between 1981 and 2004, and qualified as a solicitor-advocate in 1993, granting him the right to conduct cases before the High Court.

It was in 1993 that he was engaged to represent al-Megrahi, a Libyan national, when he was put on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague in the Netherlands following the airplane bombing that killed 270 in 1988.

Duff then joined the judiciary in 2004 and got involved in training in 2011 before being appointed the head of the sheriff training college.

More recently, he headed up an inquiry into claims of inappropriate behaviour relating to another Sheriff, Aberdeen judge Jack Brown.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Following a complaint and subsequent investigation, a 67-year-old man was charged and has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

The Crown Office confirmed Duff was the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal.

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