The lawyer representing police officers involved in the Sheku Bayoh case has raised questions about an alleged fight involving the father of murdered toddler Mikaeel Kular.

Professor Peter Watson has made a public call for the legal team for the Bayoh family to respond to questions it is claimed "will lead to the truth".

He has raised queries about claims 31-year-old Mr Bayoh, who died in police custody, fought with his best friend Zahid Saeed - whose son Mikaeel Kular was killed by his mother Rosdeep - shortly before Mr Bayoh was apprehended.

Mr Saeed's three-year-old son was killed last year by his mother who dumped his body in a suitcase.

Father-of-two Mr Bayoh died after an alleged incident in as yet unexplained circumstances claimed to involve up to nine officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

A female officer was injured in the incident which began at around 7am.

It came after reports of a man carrying a knife in the street and although it is claimed Mr Bayoh had no knife at the time of the arrest, it is understood a blade was recovered a few yards from the scene at the time.

The Herald: Family and campaigners in Sheku Bayoh funeral marchFamily and campaigners in Sheku Bayoh funeral march

The unusual move by the police officers' legal representative comes after former Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said he believes a probe into the custody death of Sheku Bayoh will show no criminality by the officers involved but that it was a tragic accident.

The case is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

Mr Watson said: “In broad terms, the (Pirc) inquiry will set out to explain what happened on May 3 which led to Sheku Bayoh, known locally as Chris and by some as 'socks' to be on the streets of Kirkcaldy in the early morning, being confronted by the Police and sadly dying.

“I will not engage in speculation as to the outcome nor make wild allegations.

"The information which has come into the public domain suggests there was a fight in a house, and that Sheku Bayoh had taken drugs.

“This information will shape some of the questions which must be answered. The family say there is no justice without truth.

“There are, I suggest, ten questions that will lead us to the truth."

  1. Who else was present when Sheku Bayoh and Zahid Saeed were fighting?
  2. What caused the fight between Sheku Bayoh and Zahid Saeed?
  3. Did Sheku Bayoh have a knife as he left the house where he had been fighting?
  4. It has been reported that Sheku Bayoh had taken Ecstasy. Is that the only drug he had taken that night?
  5. If Sheku Bayoh had a knife is it accepted this unlawful and posed a danger to the public and police?
  6. Is it accepted that someone with a knife who has taken illegal drugs poses particular risk to the police and public?
  7. Reports from the public describe a black man brandishing a knife prior to the police detaining Sheku Bayoh. Was that Sheku Bayoh?
  8. The man with the knife has been variously described by witnesses interviewed as being “off his face“ and acting like a “zombie”. Are these descriptions accurate?
  9. When detained a knife was found nearby Sheku Bayoh. Is it accepted that this was the knife Sheku Bayoh had and was brandishing when he was seen by the public who contacted the police?
  10. A female officer was attacked by Sheku Bayoh and significantly injured. Is this accepted by the family of Sheku Bayoh?

Mr Watson, legal adviser to the Scottish Police Federation, added: “These questions will be asked.

“Answers to these questions will help get to the truth, as will the post mortem and toxicology reports."

The Herald: Zahid Saeed and Sheku Bayoh's partner Collette Bell at Mr Bayoh's funeral, talking to Aamer AnwarZahid Saeed and Sheku Bayoh's partner Collette Bell at Mr Bayoh's funeral, talking to Aamer Anwar

Mr Anwar, above, left, talking to Mr Bayoh's partner Collette Bell and Mr Saeed, issued a statement in response to the questions raised.

He said: “The Bayoh family are distraught at yet again another attempt to divert attention from why Sheku Bayoh died on the May 3.

“Sheku’s family have stated since day one that his behaviour was out of character and that if he broke the law then the police had a right to act.

“However any action had to be proportionate and legitimate and he never deserved to die.

“He was not a terrorist, nor did he brandish a knife at police officers, nor was one ever found on him. “

He went on: “Peter Watson forgets that Sheku Bayoh’s family have seen his dead body, they have seen his multiple horrific injuries, they have seen the CCTV, mobile phone footage, they have seen Sheku brought to the ground within 30 seconds of four officers arriving never to get up again alive and his family have seen the Crown’s own post-mortem report.

“Importantly none of this information is in Mr Watson’s possession."

Mr Anwar continued: “As for the Bayoh family they will not be bullied, silenced or patronised but find it astonishing that even before the Lord Advocate has concluded his investigation that the Scottish Police Federation, their lawyer and a former Justice Secretary appear to be concluding what will happen legally."

He said: “Whatever dirt, individuals or organisations may desperately wish to throw at a dead man or his family, does not make Sheku Bayoh’s right to life any less worthy in a civilised society.”