Top lawyer found dead in hotel
Tributes have been paid to one of Scotland's most prominent lawyers who died in his sleep while on a business trip in Pakistan.
Described as an "outstanding" and "gifted" lawyer, Paul McBride QC was found dead at a hotel in Lahore. Pakistani police have said they believe the 48-year-old died of natural causes.
The lawyer, who two men are accused of conspiring to murder along with Celtic manager Neil Lennon in an explosives plot, was in the country on a business trip with human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.
Mr Anwar said he found Mr McBride dead in his room at the Pearl Continental hotel on Sunday morning after becoming concerned when he failed to answer his phone.
Both lawyers had been attending a wedding the previous evening meeting Pakistani government ministers but Mr McBride returned to his room early feeling unwell, Mr Anwar said.
He told BBC Scotland he tried to call him several times and knocked on the door of his hotel room before persuading security to break the door open. "Security came in with me and then we found Paul... I thought he was asleep," Mr Anwar said.
Superintendent Faisal Gulzar, of Lahore police, told the BBC it is thought he died of natural causes and they do not suspect any foul play. A post-mortem examination is due to take place.
A statement issued by Jack Irvine on behalf of Mr McBride's family said: "Paul died in his sleep last night in a hotel in Pakistan and at this time we would ask you to respect the privacy of his family." Mr Irvine added: "I understand Paul was found dead in bed this morning. He had been in Pakistan for a few days and I am uncertain when he was to return to Scotland. The family have asked that they are not troubled at this distressing time."
Mr McBride was appointed a QC at the age of 35, said to be the youngest QC ever appointed in the UK. He was involved in many high profile criminal cases in Scotland and represented Celtic Football Club on disciplinary matters. He was also a former member of Labour and the Scottish Conservatives.
In the many tributes paid to Mr McBride from colleagues and politicians, one described him as "one of the finest legal minds of his generation". Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said Mr McBride was a "substantial public figure in Scotland".