POLITICIANS have written to Scotland’s top law officer following the "shocking" death of a prison inmate.

Holyrood’s Justice Committee has raised a “number of questions” around Fatal Accident Inquiries with the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC.  

It comes after a FAI ruled the death of Allan Marshall, 30, was “entirely preventable”.

Sheriff Gordon Liddle also accused prison officers of failing to tell the whole truth about what happened.

Committee convener Margaret Mitchell MSP said the circumstances of Mr Marshall’s death were “both shocking and a matter of grave concern”.

She said: “It is most certainly not for the committee to investigate the specific circumstance of Mr Marshall’s death, that is the purpose of the FAI.

“However the inquiry into the circumstances of Mr Marshall’s death and how that was conducted has raised a number of more general questions about Fatal Accident Inquiries.”

Ms Mitchell has raised six questions, including around the average length of inquiries, what criteria is used to decide whether a prosecution is viable and on what grounds immunity from prosecution is offered to individuals.

She also asked the Lord Advocate to provide information on the number of occasions immunity has been granted in the last five years in relation to FAIs.

Mr Marshall died from a cardiac arrest after being dragged feet-first across the floor and restrained by multiple prison officers at HMP Edinburgh in March 2015.

Cameras in the corridor showed five prison officers holding him down. One officer was seen to stamp on Mr Marshall.

The Crown Office reportedly gave wardens assurances they would not be subject to criminal proceedings.