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Joseph (Joe) Beltrami


1932 -

Defence lawyer. Born in Rutherglen, the son of a Swiss father and Scottish mother, Beltrami was brought up in Glasgow and educated at St. Aloysius College and the University of Glasgow. Following National Service, he qualified as a solicitor in 1956. During his career, he has appeared for the defence in more than 500 murder trials and a number of high-profile cases involving, for example, safe-breaker Johnny Ramensky (1905-72), murderer Jimmy Boyle (b.1944) and Glasgow gangster Arthur Thompson (d.1993). Two of his cases led to the only Royal Pardons granted in Scotland in the 20th century; namely that of Patrick Meehan (1928-94), falsely accused of murder, and Maurice Swanson, wrongly convicted for a bank robbery. In 1993, Beltrami became the first Solicitor-Advocate to plead in the Court of Criminal Appeal. He has published several books including The Defender (1980), Tales of the Suspected (1988) and A Deadly Innocence (1989). An enthusiastic supporter of Celtic Football Club, Beltrami has chaired the testimonial committees for players including Jimmy Johnstone (1976), Bobby Lennox (1976) and Danny McGrain (1980).


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