Thursday, 3 September 2009

Al-Megrahi: a miscarriage of justice

Sir, I was a member of the team of lawyers who acted for Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi in his claim against the UK of breach of the right to a fair trial under the European Human Rights Convention. I met him in prison and, after carefully studying the transcripts of his trial and the judgments of the Scottish courts, came to the conclusion that he had been the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected his claim without even communicating it to the Government, but the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission was sufficiently concerned to refer the case back to the Scottish judiciary.

I express no opinion about the decision to allow Mr al-Megrahi to return to die in Libya. But in my view, it is a misfortune that he has been induced to abandon his appeal. Had the appeal proceeded, it would have given him the opportunity to clear his name not only for his sake but also for the sake of the families bereaved by the mass murder at Lockerbie.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill, QC
House of Lords

[The above is the text of a letter published in Friday's edition of The Times. The European Court of Human Rights rejected Mr Megrahi's claim, not on the merits, but because he had not exhausted domestic remedies.]

No comments:

Post a Comment