Scotland’s Lord Advocate will be quizzed by MSPs over a proposal to hold inquests into every suspicious death and suicide after intervention by a Fife family.
Colin Marr, of Lochgelly, was just 23 when he suffered a fatal single stab wound to the chest at a house he shared with his girlfriend Candice Bonar in 2007.
An independent Crown Office report by a former CID officer ruled the cause of death, a verdict of suicide, was not properly investigated by police.
A second complaint probe has been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner for an independent review.
Colin’s stepfather Stuart Graham appeared at Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday, alongside retired Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Whittle, where the duo argued that full details of investigations into a suspicious death should be given to families.
Mr Whittle said: “I think we’ve been blinded by the FAI being the only vehicle. One of the things in the English justice system is, they say, to put the bereaved families at the centre of the inquest.
“We have nothing like that. We talk about being this a just society but there is nothing in our system that I can read that talks about the needs of families.”
Committee convener Dave Stewart said he would be calling on the Lord Advocate to give evidence at future sessions, as well as Police Scotland and other bodies.
Mr Whittle said: “There’s something like 800 suicides a year and no fatal accident inquiries. I actually said to Stuart: ‘It looks like these are being ticked off by the fiscal.’
“I was very, very surprised at that because, in England, there has got to be evidence on oath, cross examined, and the coroner has to be satisfied, beyond any other reasonable doubt, that there is no other explanation.”
A Crown Office spokesman: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has a duty to investigate all sudden and unexplained deaths, as well as deaths where there may be suspicious circumstances.
“Where a death is reported, the procurator fiscal will investigate the circumstances of the death, attempt to ascertain the cause of death and consider whether criminal proceedings or a FAI is appropriate.
“An FAI was held in relation to the death of Colin Marr at Dunfermline in 2011. The Lord Advocate has not received an invitation to appear before the committee.”