Saturday, 13 December 2008

Scottish newspapers on Megrahi campaign launch

The Scottish "heavy" daily newspapers have good coverage of yesterday's launch of the Justice for Megrahi campaign.

The Scotsman concentrates on the experiences of the parish priest of Lockerbie at the time of the disaster, Father Pat Keegans. The report reads in part:

'Father Patrick Keegan, 62, said he believed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, was innocent and should be freed on compassionate grounds before an appeal against his conviction.

'"I wrote to Mr Megrahi offering him my support, telling him that I was convinced he was innocent, and that I would willingly offer support to him and his family," said Fr Keegan, who was living in Lockerbie at the time of the bombing, just yards from where a wing section of the Pan Am flight crashed in 1988.

'Describing the Libyan and his family as "victims" of the bombing, Fr Keegan said he believed there had been a mellowing of opinion, even among those previously convinced of his guilt.'

The comments from members of the public that follow the story are also well worth reading.

Lucy Adams in The Herald has an article headed "Priest claims police interference in aftermath of Lockerbie bomb". It reads in part:

'As the Justice For Megrahi campaign was launched yesterday, Father Patrick Keegan, the priest in Lockerbie at the time, revealed that he had been visited by police during the inquiry and asked to keep to the official line - that Libya was responsible. (...)

'"I really became convinced of his innocence when the whole thrust of the case shifted from Syria and Iran to Libya alone. Interference in my own life by the investigation team convinced me.

'"A police officer asked to come along and speak to me. I listened to him for quite a while and then I said: Have you come here to ask me to be silent? He said that the point was that when you speak people listen and we would appreciate it if you could follow our line of Libya alone.

'"I complained to the Lord Advocate about it at the time and got a very bland response. The very fact that they interfered and took the trouble to come to talk to me made up my mind that I was on the right track. Other people had similar experiences."'

[Note to editors: the gentleman's name is Father Patrick Keegans.

The Press and Journal has a good account by Joe Quinn. The BBC News website's report of the launch can be read here.]


  1. The experience of Father Keegan mirrors that of another person who questioned what was going on.

    Local journalist David Johnston was at the scene of the crash shortly after the December 1988 bombing. He started asking questions about the search tactics and the presence of US intelligence agents on the hills around Lockerbie. Shortly afterwards he was visited at his home, and leaned on by the police, with what he took to be hints of threats. He was told in no uncertain terms to keep quiet.

    It was happenings like these that caused the suspicions to develop. And they've grown in significance ever since.

    The philosopy of the authorities seems to be that if you are an ordinary citizen, you may think and say what you like. But if you're someone the public might listen to, we want you to keep quiet. And if you don't, we'll pay you a visit at home and lean on you.

    Why should this be? What is it about Lockerbie that makes politicians, police and intelligence organisations of two nations so nervous?

  2. US and British intelligence organisations continue to be so nervous because they KNOW that Libya is not responsible for carrying out the Lockerbie bombing.

    In the absence of compelling evidence and/or a formal admission by the guilty party, the ordinary citizen (and informed commentators) can only hazard a GUESS as to who bombed Pan Am Flight 103.

    I remain convinced that apartheid South Africa is to BLAME - the US and Britain turning a blind eye!