Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Lockerbie evidence withheld from defence

This is the title of an article posted today on the Cossacks Breaking News website. Internal evidence suggests that it derives from The Scotsman but I have not been able to find the piece on that newspaper's website. Part of the story reads:

"Fresh doubt has been cast over the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber after it emerged a document containing vital evidence about the bomb timer has never been shown to the defence.

The Scotsman has learned that the failure to disclose the classified document, which concerns the supply of timers identical to the one said to have been used to blow up Pan Am Flight 103, led a review body that examined the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to conclude a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.

It was not previously known that doubts over the timer were grounds for an appeal.

The content of the document remains a mystery as sensitive details of the report seen by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) have been blacked out, or redacted. It is understood that security services also prevented the SCCRC from releasing the report, or disclosing any of its contents, to Megrahi or his lawyers, who are thought likely to seek a court order forcing the Crown Office to hand it over.

The document is among six points in the case which the SCCRC has concluded casts doubt over the reliability of Megrahi’s conviction. The SCCRC detailed some of these in a summary of its findings in June, but others, including the failure to disclose this document, remained secret."

For the full text, see

None of this seems terribly earth-shattering: those who attended, or followed proceedings at, the procedural hearing on 11 October had already reached the inevitable conclusion that the failure by the Crown to disclose the document relating to timers was one of the grounds upon which the SCCRC had referred the case back to the appeal court.

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