Mr Yousaf said on Monday a full public probe was not the best path forward for victims of the surgeon seeking justice.

The first minister fears an inquiry would struggle to get off the ground since Prof Eljamel fled Scotland years ago and is unlikely to return.

[Mr Yousaf said] “The difficulty is of course there would be, I suspect, virtually no cooperation whatsoever from Professor Eljamel, the main individual involved in this.

“He’s working abroad. There would be no way to compel him to come here. I don’t think it would give the answers that are required.”

However, victims rubbished this and insisted any inquiry should primarily focus on the alleged cover-up within NHS Tayside.

Lead campaigner Jules Rose said: “Mr Yousaf, please stop attempting to deflect this back to Professor Eljamel.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg for more whistleblowers to have the courage to come forward in whathas been and perhaps still is a toxic environment.

“I keep repeating myself: NHS Tayside assisted Professor Eljamel to commit this harm for 18 years.”

Campaigner Pat Kelly, another victim of Prof Eljamel, fears an independent review would not go farenough.

He told us: “Would an independent inquiry have the power to force witnesses to attend and take the oath?

“Would witnesses be charged with contempt should they lie on oath? Somehow, I doubt it.

“However, a public inquiry would enable the matter of NHS Tayside and Sam Eljamel to be lawfully andproperly investigated.”

The Courier (DC Thomson), 19th June 2023 – archived below for public information available online here. Copyright remains with The Courier.

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