9am Briefing: Hearing for Kenny Richey's brother postponed

A HEARING that could have seen the brother of former death row inmate Kenny Richey released from an American prison yesterday has been postponed.

Tom Richey, who was given 65 years in prison for murdering a man and assaulting another while high on LSD, is awaiting re-sentencing over his murder conviction.

A hearing which was due to take place in Washington State, and could potentially have seen Richey walk free yesterday, has now been postponed until next month.

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Minister to defend Homecoming loan

THE Scottish Government minister behind a "secret loan" to bail out a flagship event at last year's Homecoming celebrations will today defend his decision.

Mike Russell, the then-culture minister, will make a statement to MSPs after a row erupted last week over the 180,000 loan to the firm behind The Gathering in Edinburgh last Summer, which later went bust.

An Audit Scotland report last week revealed details of the loan to The Gathering Ltd which ministers did not share with its agencies Event Scotland and Scottish Enterprise at the time.

The firm later collapsed with debts of about 516,000.

Tributes for bomb disposal expert

TRIBUTES were paid today to a "hugely popular" and "well respected" British Army bomb disposal expert shot dead in Afghanistan.

Corporal Jamie Kirkpatrick, 32, who was born in Edinburgh, died in a firefight with insurgents on Sunday. He leaves a wife, Heidi, and 16-month-old daughter, Holly.

A statement from his family said: "Jamie was a larger than life individual who was loved, loyal and loud. A wonderful son. He was a proud soldier, friend, brother, husband and Daddy."

Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, Royal Engineers, commanding officer counter-improvised explosive device task force, paid tribute to Cpl Kirkpatrick's "coolness" under pressure.