HUMAN RIGHTS lawyer Aamer Anwar has paid an emotional tribute to the Scottish QC Paul McBride as his body was flown home from Pakistan.
McBride, 47, was found dead in his hotel room in Lahore on Sunday after complaining of feeling unwell the previous evening.
Anwar said Scotland had lost an "outstanding and fearless" lawyer. He made a tearful return to Glasgow yesterday morning on a delayed flight from Dubai which also bore the coffin of his close friend and colleague.
He had been travelling with McBride on a business trip to Pakistan when the QC died.
It was an emotional reunion for Anwar and his family, who were waiting in the arrivals hall at Glasgow Airport. He was visibly upset as he rushed to embrace his children.
After the flight landed the coffin was carried into a private ambulance that was waiting on the concourse.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend a requiem mass tomorrow morning at St Aloysius' Church in Garnethill, Glasgow including First Minister Alex Salmond and Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
The funeral mass will be followed by a private burial at St Conval's Cemetery in Barrhead. It is understood Lennon, who was represented by McBride, will be among the pallbearers. Most of the Celtic playing squad are also expected to pay their respects.
Strathclyde Police said they would act on any intelligence received about possible security threats. Both the Celtic manager and McBride were targeted with bomb threats.
On arriving back in Scotland, Anwar said: "I just want to get home to be with my family. I'm exhausted and gutted. It is not a cliche to say Scotland has lost a son. For many Paul McBride was an outstanding and fearless lawyer, a good friend and loving son and partner.
"I hope the fact Paul is now finally back home will provide some peace and comfort to his family and friends. I want to thank Paul's friends including the Lord Advocate, Strathclyde Police and the First Minister's office who provided real support in horrific circumstances. I would ask now for some privacy."
Police said no additional security arrangements had been put in place for the service but extra patrols would manage traffic and the high number of attendees expected.
Both lawyers had been attending a wedding in Lahore last Saturday but McBride returned to his room early, feeling unwell. He was found dead in his bed by Anwar at the Pearl Continental hotel the next morning. A post-mortem examination carried out on Tuesday found no suspicious circumstances.
It also found no sign of any injuries and concluded that he died in his sleep through natural causes. Toxicology test results are expected to be reported within the next few weeks.
Anwar has complained that he did not get enough help from the British High Commission
Following McBride's death, tributes poured in from across Scotland. He was appointed a QC at the age of 35 and has been involved in many high-profile criminal cases
On Monday, the trial of two men accused of sending parcel bombs to McBride was postponed as a mark of respect.