THE driver in the George Square bin lorry crash cannot be prosecuted for his involvement in the tragedy as the Crown Office has already publicly declared he will not face charges, law experts have said.

The senior legal figures, who have criticised the Crown's decision not to prosecute, said once someone is told that they will not face prosecution, there is no way the decision can be reversed.

The Crown revealed they would not prosecute Harry Clarke in February this year, but evidence led at the ongoing Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the December's incident in which six people died, has prompted questions over the decision.

The inquiry has heard that the driver may have lied to the DVLA about a previous blackout in 2010, while documentary evidence showed that he also failed to declare a previous collapse at the wheel of a bus three times while applying for posts at Glasgow City Council.

Lawyers have now said that, taking the evidence presented so far, the Crown's decision against prosecution is "utterly perplexing".

Advocate Brian McConnachie QC, a former senior prosecutor at the Crown Office, confirmed that now that the Crown has stated it will not prosecute Mr Clarke, it cannot change its decision.

He said he believes the FAI and the confirmation of no prosecution was made with "unseemly haste" due to the high profile nature of the crash, which left six people dead on December 22 last year.

"It seems rather odd that if the position is that the driver didn't tell the truth, there hasn't been at least some consideration of the fact that if you're driving in the knowledge that you may have a medical condition that puts people lives at risk, it amounts to dangerous driving", he said.

"There was nothing to stop the Crown having the FAI before they took a decision on prosecution, even if there was some doubt about the evidence. I don't understand why they didn't wait.

"The Crown are usually very reluctant to tell people that they're not going to be prosecuted. Their decision to do so in this case is now beginning to look rather hasty, if not the wrong decision."

Mr McConnachie added that the decision will undoubtedly have been taken by either the Lord Advocate or Solicitor General, adding that they will be in a "very difficult position" if the sheriff in the inquiry makes a finding that the driver did in fact fail to disclose his previous blackout to the DVLA and the tragedy could have been avoided had he done so.

It is understood that the Crown Office were fully aware of the evidence which has been led at the inquiry.

Road traffic law specialist Graham Walker said it was "remarkable" that the decision not to prosecute was taken so quickly, adding that he has had experience of cases where drivers have had so called "vasovagal" blackout incidents.

He said: "A major concern wherever a vasovagal incident is reported is to establish if there has been a history of blackouts or any cardiological illness that has not been reported to DVLA.

"If there has been a history of blackouts then it can be very difficult to successfully defend such a charge as there is an onus on the driver to declare such an illness to DVLA and he or she can then expect to be revoked from driving.

"But more than that there is an onus on such an ill person to refrain from driving as the very act of driving in that condition may endanger others."

He added that from his reading of the evidence led so far, "it is utterly perplexing that the driver is not prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving i.e. driving in the knowledge that he suffered from an illness that should have precluded him from driving and should have been declared to DVLA, who would have been expected to revoke his driving licence".

Advocate Niall McCluskey confirmed Mr McConnachie's view that the Crown cannot reverse its decision not to prosecute.

He added that the Crown will have had to consider several factors before taking the decision, including whether or not they should decide against prosecution on compassionate grounds.

Callum Anderson, Partner and Solicitor Advocate at Levy & McRae solicitors said: "An unequivocal announcement by the Crown of a decision not to prosecute a person in relation to a particular crime or incident is final. "Once the decision has been made and communicated to the person concerned, their lawyer or the public then the Crown cant at a later date seek to prosecute the person concerned for the offence or incident in question. "This has been the legal position in Scotland since 1976. There are numerous cases where the High Court has reiterated the position.

"Decisions on whether there are to be criminal proceedings is a matter for the Crown who prosecute in the public interest. The factors that the Crown take into account in deciding whether criminal proceedings are in the public interest are set out in the publically available Prosecution Code.

"Normally if there are to be criminal proceedings these take place in advance of any FAI, however, because a witness has given evidence at a FAI is not a bar to criminal proceedings being taken against them at a later date if the Crown haven’t unequivocally announced there is to be no prosecution."

A Crown Office representative said: “It is clear on the evidence at the time that the driver lost control of the bin lorry, resulting in the tragic deaths, he was unconscious and therefore not in control of his actions.

"He did not therefore have the necessary criminal state of mind required for a criminal prosecution. In addition the Crown could not prove that it was foreseeable to the driver that driving on that day would result in a loss of consciousness.

"This still remains the case and all the relevant evidence regarding these points was known to Crown Counsel at the time the decision to take no proceedings was made.”