Documents relating to the disappearance of a schoolgirl nearly 50 years ago will not be released following a decision by the Scottish Freedom of Information Commissioner.

Kevin Dunion has declined a request to release the files on the unsolved case of 11-year-old Moira Anderson.

The youngster went missing in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1957, after going on a shopping errand.

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Moira's body has never been found but many believe she was abducted and murdered.

The documents are believed to contain a confession by James Gallogley, claiming that his former friend Alex Gartshore had killed the girl before dumping her body in a spot called Tarry Burn.

The ruling of the commissioner is expected to influence future decisions not to release material from unsolved cases. He said he could not release the sensitive personal information contained in private police statements.

Sandra Brown, Gartshore's daughter, has stated that she believes her father murdered Moira, and backed the calls for disclosure.

In 2004 Strathclyde Police submitted a report to the procurator-fiscal after Gallogley made the deathbed confession from his prison cell. Gartshore and Gallogley are now both dead.

Mr Dunion's decision states: "I know that my refusal to accede to this request will be very disappointing to family members and to friends who, understandably, are desperate to solve the mystery of Moira Anderson's disappearance.

"However, that would not justify setting aside the privacy to which those making statements to the police are entitled to expect. Nor can I justify the real damage to the integrity of conducting police investigations which would entail."