Anorak News | Paul McBride: News round-up of top Scottish lawyer’s sudden death

Paul McBride: News round-up of top Scottish lawyer’s sudden death

by | 15th, March 2012

PAUL McBride: A round-up of the death of the high-profile Scottish lawyer in the news:

A reader writes:

Even your article managed to leave out any mention of strips of diazepam being found lying beside McBride’s body, as reported by Pakistani police. Also interesting to see how Pakistani police originally said “Bottles of liquor found beside his dead body” in their initial news report then downgraded this to “1 glass of wine” There’s something very fishy about this story that the UK media don’t want us to know.

Telegraph (March 4):

Supt Faisal Gulzar, of the Lahore police, said officers found a wine bottle and packets of prescription drugs in the bedroom. He added that there were no signs of injury and said the lawyer appeared to have died in his sleep.

IBTimes (March 5):

Mr McBride apparently died of cardiac arrest, but police have recovered empty bottles of liquor and covers of diazepam tablets from his room, reported The Nation.

The Scotsman (March 15):

Mr McBride had been in Lahore attending a series of business meetings with fellow Scottish solicitor Aamer Anwar.

The 47-year-old QC had been present at a wedding on Saturday with Mr Anwar, where he met high ranking government ministers and army officials.

The visit to Pakistan had been a side trip, as Mr McBride had been on holiday with his parents in Abu Dhabi, where he had also carried out business meetings.

Mr Anwar said that in the days running up to his death, Mr McBride had complained of feeling “sick and unwell”, but had refused offers of medical help.

He said that while the QC was “not particularly the type to moan”, at the time he had not been unduly concerned by Mr McBride’s condition.

“Everyone who comes to Pakistan feels ill,” said Mr Anwar. “I had felt ill as well, so it was nothing new. He had said he felt ill. I had said to him that I would get him a doctor… but he kept insisting he didn’t want a doctor.”

Mr Anwar said there were repeated offers of doctors made to him, including a government one, but that Mr McBride had declined them.


But Mr Anwar said he had “serious concerns” about the Pakistan police investigation.

“Obviously the authorities here have a different way of dealing with things here,” he said. “It’s certainly not the way we would deal with things back home, but I don’t mean to sound arrogant.

“The situation is that the police have already said that there are no suspicious circumstances, and that the door was locked from the inside, but I have serious concerns, because they should have cordoned the place off, there should have been tape, rather than simply saying ‘that’s it, it’s done’.

“I know back home things would be done differently, but unfortunately we’re not back home.”

Daily Express (March 6):

FOREIGN Secretary William Hague stepped in yesterday to speed up the return of QC Paul McBride’s body from Pakistan.

Human rights solicitor Aamer Anwar, who found Mr McBride dead in his hotel on Sunday, has remained in the country to assist the process.

Mr Hague intervened after Mr Anwar contacted the Scottish Government and the Foreign Office for help in cutting through the bureaucratic process.

Police in Lahore said that drugs had been found in 48-year-old Mr McBride’s suite. But sources close to the QC stressed he had been taking prescribed medication.

The Sun (March 7):

TRAGIC lawman Paul McBride laughed off warnings not to travel to Pakistan — telling a pal: “I’m safer there than in Glasgow.”…

Last night the top lawyer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I had a really strong compulsion to phone Paul and tell him not to travel to Pakistan.

“I was concerned about security. I told him there was no need for him to go to Pakistan and that the risks were unacceptable.

“Paul had a wee joke about how he was probably safer over there than he was here.”…

Reports in Pakistan’s English-language newspaper The Nation also claimed empty booze bottles and the “covers” of Diazepam pills were found in his room. No one from the Lahore police was available to comment on the claims.

Yahoo (March 7):

The tragic death of the Scottish criminal lawyer Paul McBride last weekend brings into sharp perspective the mentally unhinged who continue to loiter on places like Twitter. McBride was barely dead and there were people – anonymous sorts of course with jobs to lose if their employers found what they were up to – rejoicing in his death.

Most of the stuff was aimed at McBride’s links to Celtic. It had little to do with his obvious skills as a lawyer, but more because of his slightly theatrical performances in public last year when he denounced the practices within the Scottish Football Association. McBride had apparently asked to get a Twitter account set up in his name so he could see what kind of abuse he was getting.

It was a level of invective he would not be around to see hours after his untimely death on a business trip to Pakistan last weekend, but was of a nature that makes you understand why two men are up in court charged with an attempt to blow up McBride, the Celtic manager Neil Lennon and the Scottish MSP Trish Godman by sending homemade ‘devices’ apparently from somewhere in the undergrowth of Ayrshire.


The Lawyer (March 7):

An initial post-mortem examination has found no suspicious circumstances in the death of high-profile Scottish QC Paul McBride… Preliminary tests have found no injuries, but a cause of death cannot be confirmed until the results of further toxicology reports are known.

The Sun (March 9):

THE trial of a man accused of murdering Kevin ‘Gerbil’ Carroll has been delayed because the suspect was due to be represented by tragic QC Paul McBride.

The Herald (March 12):

In a joint statement, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and Solicitor General Lesley Thomson said: “Paul was in the prime of his life.

“He lived life to the full and had contributed so much to the legal profession, the media and public life in Scotland.

“He had a fabulous intellect and was interested in so many things. He was a fearless advocate who was not afraid to speak out about injustice and intolerance.”

Mr McBride was on a business trip to Lahore with human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Both had been at a wedding but Mr McBride returned to his room early, feeling unwell.

He was found dead in his bed at the Pearl Continental hotel last Sunday morning.

The Press & Journal (March 13):

Hundreds of mourners gathered to say a final farewell to one of Scotland’s most prominent and respected lawyers.

Paul McBride QC, described as “an outstanding figure in Scottish public life”, died in his sleep while on a business trip in Pakistan last weekend. He was 47.

Daily Record (March 15):

Two men are on trial accused of conspiring to assault and murder Mr Lennon as well as the late Paul McBride QC, former MSP Trish Godman and various people inside the Glasgow premises of Irish Republican organisation Cairde Na Heireann by sending what they believed were improvised explosives devices to them through the post.

Trevor Muirhead, 43, and Neil McKenzie, 42, are also accused of sending Mr Lennon a package with the intention of making him think it was likely to explode or ignite.

They face an alternative charge of “unlawfully and maliciously” conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

Mr Muirhead and Mr McKenzie deny all charges.

Posted: 15th, March 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink