Today we start a new weekday morning service exclusive to newsnetscotland.com in which we will take a look at the stories that are likely to surface in Scotland later today. We will also present a short digest of Scottish stories featuring in the day’s online media.
The major story expected to break later today is the conclusion of the most sensational murder trial in recent Scottish history, in which Malcolm Webster is accused of murdering his first wife, trying to murder his second wife, and attempting to bigamously marry a third woman.
The case has international implications as the attempted murder charge relates to events that happened in New Zealand. It is being seen as a test of the Scottish legal system’s ability to deal with crimes committed overseas.
The details of the case have shocked Scotland and read like one of the wilder flights of a detective novelist’s fantasy. Evidence in court claimed that Webster, 52, drugged his first wife, Claire Morris, and deliberately crashed their car in Aberdeenshire in 1994 before setting fire to the vehicle with her still inside.
In New Zealand in 1999, he is alleged to have drugged his second wife and tried to kill her in another car ‘accident’ – Felicity Drumm survived the crash. The motive in both cases is alleged to have been profit from insurance payouts.
Prosecuting counsel Derek Ogg QC said that, if convicted, Webster would be seen as one of the “most notorious murderers of our modern times.”
The jury is expected to consider its verdicts today and possibly tomorrow. Newsnetscotland will report on the case and its implications after its conclusion.
Tomorrow should see First Minister Alex Salmond confirm the membership of his new cabinet following the SNP’s historic and seismic victory in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Expect no great changes in the winning team.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland begins later this week in Edinburgh. Watch out for a special newsnetscotland.com report on the issue of whether openly gay people should be admitted to the ranks of the Kirk’s clergy, and what the Assembly’s view will be of a transformed political situation in Scotland.
The line-up for the 65th Edinburgh Film Festival will be announced later today in Cannes.
Today’s Daily Record exploits its connections to the Labour Party to carry an exclusive report that Glasgow South MP Tom Harris wants the Labour leader in Scotland elected by all the membership and not just MSPs and MPs. That will require colossal changes to Labour’s structures and rules, but clearly the party must do something following its electoral disaster.
Most papers today heavily feature the latest worrying development in the ongoing saga of sectarianism in Scottish football. Until now, prominent figures associated with Celtic – especially manager Neil Lennon – had been the target for bullets and parcel bombs that were allegedly sent to them by two men who are now in custody, charged with several offences.
In what is being seen as a tit-for-tat exchange, high-profile Rangers fan Donald Findlay QC, the club’s former vice-chairman who resigned after being caught on video singing sectarian songs, has been sent a knife via the post at his new club Cowdenbeath FC where he is chairman. As with the Celtic cases, the weapon was intercepted before it could reach its intended recipient.
Staying with football, the Scottish Daily Express and other papers report on Scotland international Garry O’Connor being arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine. It has also been revealed that two Hearts players, Ian Black and Robert Ogleby, have each been arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.’
Fitba, bloody hell, as Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said.