Scottish parliament rejects inquiry into freemasonry
2006 02 14
The Scottish Parliament Wednesday rejected a petition calling for an inquiry into how many Freemasons there are in the police and the judiciary.
Sidney Gallagher brought forward the petition to the Public Petitions Committee was reported to have been thrown out of the Edinburgh-based parliament after shouting at its MPs.
Convener Michael McMahon said there had been a number of petitions on the topic in the past and had referred them on to the Justice Committee, which then carried out a full inquiry.
"I don't think this petition adds anything to that inquiry. I don't think there's any value in taking it forward," McMahon was quoted waying by PA News.
The committee simply agreed to note the latest petition, Gallagher, described as a 66-year old joiner from Glasgow, shouted that he wanted justice before being led out by security staff.
Police were said to have later questioned the petitioner, who later revealed he had been sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder, claiming that two officers, who gave evidence against him, were Freemasons.
An inquiry by the Home Affairs Committee of the British Parliament in 1998 concluded that there were a "large number of freemasons within the criminal Justice system," but said that the numbers in themselves give "no general cause for concern."
It reported that it is "not possible on the evidence we received to say that there has never been any abuse of masonic contacts" despite the many allegations.
"There is a widespread public perception that freemasonry can have an unhealthy influence on the criminal justice system," the committee said.
It said that it "certainly believe that one of the main reasons for freemasonry's poor public image is a perception that it is a secret society" while recommending that members themselves of the secret brotherhood address such a perception.
A government survey at the time found that there were at least at least 247 judges in the UK who admitted they were masons and over 1,000 magistrates.
Article from: http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0602085929192204.htm