Police statement ready on covid-related claims against Sturgeon and Freeman

Daily Express exclusive: Whistle-blowing former nurse Lesley Roberts has spent months being interviewed and going through the evidence with Police Scotland detectives – now her 20-page statement is ready to go to prosecutors

Former Health Secretary Jeane Freeman and then First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

By Democrat reporter

A statement alleging Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman were “dangerous and reckless and did not work in line with the law” during the Covid pandemic is ready to be submitted to the Crown Office, according to a report in today’s Scottish Daily Express.

The 20-page document – as well as a further 42 attachments as evidence – has been painstakingly compiled by Police Scotland homicide detectives after months of interviews with whistle-blowing former nurse Lesley Roberts.

The statement – seen by the Scottish Daily Express – is now undergoing a few final corrections and additions, before it is signed off and submitted as part of the Operation Koper inquiry.

It is the long-running probe into thousands of Covid-19 deaths in care homes, including a number in West Dunbartonshire, as well as work-related deaths including the fatalities of NHS and care workers. Officers have been gathering information since 2020 and yet more than three years later not a single Fatal Accident Inquiry has been carried out.

Frustrated at the apparent lack of urgency, Ms Roberts and two fellow NHS campaigners reported the former first minister and the former health secretary to the police in Glasgow in March. She has had several interviews with detectives from the Unresolved Homicide Investigation Team – West, resulting in the agreed statement.

Their evidence centres on three major failures by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland bosses – the infamous decision to transfer elderly hospital patients to care homes in the early weeks of the pandemic; the safety and efficacy of PPE given to NHS and care staff; and the widespread use of Do Not Resuscitate orders for elderly or disabled patients and others who it was believed would not survive from the virus.

Roger Livermore and Lesley Roberts at Cowcaddens police station in Glasgow
NHS campaigners Roger Livermore and Lesley Roberts at a police station in Glasgow.

In her conclusion, Ms Roberts states: “I believe the Government and the NHS as the employer, created this unbelievable situation and by not following the law and being guided by [Scottish Government Guidance] they put lives at absolute risk. However, I deem Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman to be absolutely at fault and should be accountable for ignoring the law and putting lives at risk. I therefore deem their behaviour to have been dangerous and reckless and did not work in line with the law. By such actions many people died and that is in my opinion corporate manslaughter.”

Speaking to the Scottish Daily Express, she added: “I think they are using my statement as the basis for the investigation but I’ve real concerns about Sections 44 and 48 of the Scotland Act which allows the Lord Advocate to sit as a Government Minister. I feel she needs to stand aside and allow somebody else to take the lead on this.

“There still hasn’t been one FAI into a Covid death. I personally know at least five people who worked in the care profession who died from Covid and yet they are saying that not one single care worker died as a result of their work. I honestly think my statement will change things because I believe that if it doesn’t then there’s no hope for this country.”

Roger Livermore, a former Crown Prosecutor for the Health and Safety Executive in England and founder member of the Action for a Safe and Accountable People’s NHS campaign in Scotland, also submitted the complaint to the police.

He said: “The police are sending Lesley’s information to the Procurator Fiscal, which is of course isn’t independent from the Scottish Government. So we’ve got a major complaint against the government being investigated by the government.”

‘Inquiries are ongoing’

A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “Scotland’s prosecutors act independently of any other body, including the Scottish Government.

“A large amount of information is being collated from care homes, employers, NHS, and the Scottish Government and provided to Crown’s Covid Deaths Investigation Team for examination. The CDIT will continue to work with relevant agencies to ensure that all necessary and appropriate inquiries are made.”

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