8 Jan 2008


low copy dna
Published: Tuesday January 8,2008 by Rosiepops
LCN DNA is only accepted as evidence in two other countries, New Zealand and the Netherlands, because of concerns over its accuracy. So how come the Portuguese police are trying to use it, if these newspaper reports are true?To use this type of DNA in Portugal would surely require a law change?Also the FSS has announced and interim suspension of Low Copy DNA testing, so how can the PJ have submitted a report to a Portuguese judge?


The transfer of DNA samples between different jurisdictions is clearly provided for via Interpol and Europol:

Rosie, I suggest you stick to simpler subjects that you are capable of understanding!

Luv Viv x

What issues are raised by the transfer of bioinformation between different agencies and countries? How should such transfers be facilitated and what safeguards should be in place for the storage and use of transferred data?

Response: We see no special issues regarding the transfer of bioinformation between UK agencies involved in criminal investigations.
Arrangements exist for the transfer of DNA profiles between investigative agencies in other countries. Such transfers are administered through Interpol on the basis of an agreed set of common loci – the International Standard Set of Loci (ISSOL). It is our understanding that countries agreeing to share DNA information must meet the standards laid down by Interpol. We are aware that proposals have been mooted for a similar system to be established to meet the specific needs of European law enforcement agencies through Europol.
There are clearly issues relating to the make up of databases in different countries with few, if any, countries countenancing DNA databases that are as comprehensive as the UK. This means that where the UK requests DNA information from other countries it is going to be ‘fishing in a very much smaller pool’ in terms of types of offenders. The converse would of course be true of countries requesting DNA information from the UK where they are likely to be able to access data from types of offenders that would not be permissible in their own countries. It is our understanding that the transfer of information such as DNA profiles from one country to another may be subject to the laws of the country that holds the primary information. A country may also withhold information if it is not considered to be in that country’s interest to release it. The exchange of information between countries may not therefore be on an equal basis.

If you wish to access the full study by Nortumbria University:


The FSS themselves say:

More recently the FSS has been called in to carry out DNA LCN testing in international cases, where standard DNA testing has failed to get a result.

They then go on to give some examples:

International cases
Anna Lindh murder - Swedish authorities requested the help of the FSS to carry out DNA LCN profiling on a knife used in the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, in 2003. The testing on the knife handle was successful and a mixed DNA profile was obtained. Part of the profile matched Anna Lindh herself (as she had bled) and the remaining part matched that of suspect Mijailo Mijailovic. This result provided extremely strong evidence of association between Miljailovic and the weapon. Mijailovic was later convicted of stabbing Ms Lindh to death and jailed for life. This case demonstrates the efficacy of using LCN to detect the DNA of an individual who may have held an implement such as a weapon.
Helen Nilsson and Jannika Ekblad murders - a semen sample retained on a microscope slide for nearly 15 years was sent to the FSS in 2003 from Sweden. The sample came from the body of a 10 year-old girl, Helen Nilsson, killed in 1989. The FSS used DNA LCN to obtain a full DNA profile, and police then asked possible suspects to give DNA samples. There was a match against Ulf Olsson. The following year the FSS carried out further DNA LCN analysis, this time on semen from Jannica Ekblad, killed in August 1989, and again a profile was obtained that matched Olsson. Olsson was convicted of the murders in April 2005. These cases also incorporated the use of the specialist sperm recovery technique called LMD (Laser Microdissection).
Palmerston North New Zealand - rape. New Zealand authorities called in the FSS after DNA tests failed to get a sufficient result from samples from a victim in a rape case. The FSS carried out LCN testing on extracts from two swabs with a low sperm score, which produced a full DNA profile and a partial one respectively. These both matched the suspect in the case. Joseph Lepper was found guilty of rape and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. This was the first time LCN evidence had been heard in the NZ judicial system and the technique went through a full voire dire. An appeal in October 2005 was dismissed.

To see the full fact sheet go to



docmac said...

Rosiepops the retired nurse. She worked in the body fluids and DNA ward. Prior to that she was a lawyer, financial planner, accountant, psychologist, media specialist, PR consultant, call centre manager, IT consultant and a tireless campaigner for the British National Party. She also won the world speed-typing championships 3 years running and retired undefeated. She is currently a tea lady but still manages to find time to dabble on the computer in between providing cuppas for her superiors.

ratonthebeam said...

Unless it's for Mandz in which case it's a "cupa" - maybe as in Mea Cupa....
I believe there have been cases in Australia and Holland which have secured convictions on low copy DNA. I will try and find details.