MOORS murderer Ian Brady will today begin his bid to be declared sane and moved to a Scottish prison, where he hopes to starve himself to death.
Scottish prisons do not force-feed inmates, unlike England and Wales, and Brady, 75, has been on hunger strike in an attempt to die since 1999.
He has been sectioned, but in a mental health tribunal starting today, he will claim that he is sane and should be moved from Ashworth maximum security hospital in Merseyside to a Scottish prison.
Brady is expected to appear by videolink and the hearing could last for eight days.
A return to Scotland – he was born in Glasgow – is unlikely.
It would need the agreement of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), and the Scottish Government.
Both the MoJ and SPS declined to comment on specific cases.
However, the Scottish Government has said it would block any transfer and reiterated its position yesterday.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “No approach has been made, and in any event Scottish ministers would have to agree to transfer from England to Scotland, and this is just not something we would support.”
Approving the transfer would be hugely controversial and politically toxic.
Brady, along with Myra Hindley, who died in 2002, abducted, tortured and murdered five children between 1962 and 1965.
The family of one victim, Keith Bennett, 11, whose body has never been found, has opposed Brady’s bid.
John Ainley, a solicitor who acted for Keith’s mother, Winnie Johnson, until she died last year, was reported as saying: “Winnie certainly did not think that Ian Brady should be allowed to be transferred from hospital to prison.
“She took the view that he did not give her son and the other children he murdered any choice and he should not be able to control his own fate.”
As well as Keith, Brady and Hindley murdered Pauline Reade, 16, John Kilbride, 12, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey, ten, and Edward Evans, 17, and buried them on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.
Even if Brady is successful, the SPS confirmed that, along with the Scottish Government, it would have the power to block any transfer.
A spokesman for the SPS said: “He [Brady] would need to make the request, which would come to our service. Ultimately a decision would be taken by us and the cabinet secretary [for justice].”
He confirmed that Scottish prisons would not force-feed if someone was making “a sound and rational judgment” in not eating.
A spokeswoman for the MoJ said it did not comment on individual cases.