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MacAskill listed as witness in trial over alleged threats

JUSTICE Secretary Kenny MacAskill could be the star witness at the trial of a plumber who is accused of threatening a politician and a BBC reporter.

Brian McKerrow, 42, has demanded Mr MacAskill is made available to give evidence in person at an ongoing trial.

Mr McKerrow has listed him in a list of high-profile witnesses that includes MSP Roseanna Cunningham and senior Scottish Government legal advisor Simon Stockwell.

Fathers' rights campaigner Mr McKerrow, who is defending himself at Hamilton Sheriff Court, has denied issuing threats at the BBC offices in Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

He is alleged to have repeatedly phoned Panorama journalist Sam Poling after contacting her about making a programme on fathers' rights.

He has also denied making threats against SNP MSP Christina McKelvie in Hamilton.

Mr McKerrow, of Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, has been on trial since November but has revealed he plans to interrogate the Justice Secretary when his defence starts later this month.

He is able to call anyone he chooses as he fights his case. However, it is unclear whether Mr MacAskill will actually appear.

Mr McKerrow's case has been on hold since last month.

A court insider said: "Everybody is entitled to provide a list of witnesses they want during their case to help their defence. But to call the Justice Secretary is something that's never happened here before."

Ms Poling has claimed McKerrow told her he was going to "extinguish" her and that he scared her more than criminals she came across as part of her job.

Ms McKelvie said she was left frightened after McKerrow allegedly told her he was going to "take up arms" against her.

A Scottish Court Service spokesman said: "Anyone who decides to represent themself in court would be required to engage an officer of the court to cite any witnesses they require."

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