A man has been extradited from Australia and arrested over the death of a North Lanarkshire man almost 17 years ago.
Owen Brannigan was 45 when he was allegedly stabbed to death at a house in Coatbridge in November 1999.
James McGowan was arrested by police in Australia last year and has been extradited to face charges over the death. He is due to appear at Airdrie Sheriff Court.
Prior to the news, Australia’s attorney-general’s department said, in a statement: “A dual citizen of Australia and the UK has been arrested, pursuant to an extradition request for the UK for prosecution for murder and assault to severe injury.
It is understood that Mr McGowan was living in South Australia.
Police have been seeking Mr McGowan following Mr Brannigan’s death in a friend’s house in Coatbridge on November 29.
A Scottish warrant was issued for his arrest on December 3, 1999.
However, Mr McGowan, who had been in Scotland to attend his mother’s funeral, returned to Australia on the very day his warrant was issued.
He had told friends he intended to spend Christmas in his homeland and had brought presents for his family.
Detectives from the former Strathclyde Police force followed him to Adelaide but, as a naturalised Australian citizen, the Scot allegedly refused to co-operate with them.
The situation was described as a catch-22 by police, as it meant Scottish prosecutors did not feel there was enough evidence to seek extradition.
However, more than 16 years later, a police spokeswoman said yesterday: “A 57-year-old man has been arrested and is presently detained in police custody in connection with the death of Owen Brannigan in November, 1999, in Coatbridge.”