Moira Jones murder trial: Full firepower of Crown brought to bear in case that became personal for Lord Advocate

THE full weight of the Crown case against Marek Harcar was brought by the head of the nation's prosecution service.

Although she had dealt with appeals and preliminary issues beforehand, the Moira Jones murder was the first prosecution case led by Elish Angiolini, right, since she was appointed Lord Advocate in late 2006.

Although incumbents of the prestigious office, along with that of Solicitor-General, have from time to time appeared in court, it is uncommon for such a high-profile figure to lead the prosecution even in a major case.

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The Crown Office has said Mrs Angiolini had declared her desire to return to a High Court trial, and the case against Harcar simply came up at the right time. Her inclination to return to the courtroom, however, is likely to have been driven by several factors.

Firstly, unlike her predecessor, Lord Boyd, a civil lawyer, Mrs Angiolini made her name as a prosecutor. Secondly, the mother-of-two has ties with the southside of Glasgow, where Ms Jones was murdered.

A coal merchant's daughter, she was raised in Govan area of the city, where she developed a zeal for helping the less fortunate fight injustice.

The third factor centres on the politics of her position, for which Mrs Angiolini has at times come in for criticism. As well as heading the country's system of criminal prosecution, it is her duty to provide legal advice to ministers, leading to suggestions she may be susceptible to political interference.

By taking on the Moira Jones case, she has been able to reassert her authority.

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