[The following letter from Elizabeth Cutting, Public Information Officer for the Scottish Judiciary, is published in today's edition of The New York Times. The issue was referred to in a post on this blog on 14 September.]
Re “Still Chafing After 40 Years, Qaddafi Baffles the West With His Behavior” (news analysis, Aug. 26):
Dirk J. Vandewalle, associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, is quoted as stating that a judge from the Scottish panel that in January 2001 convicted Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi of the Lockerbie bombing told him during a conversation that “there was enormous pressure put on the court to get a conviction.”
I’m authorized to say that to the best of their knowledge the three deciding judges on the panel — Lord Sutherland, Lord Coulsfield and Lord MacLean — have never met Mr. Vandewalle.
Moreover, they assert that none of them has ever said what Mr. Vandewalle reports one of them to have said. They were never under any pressure to return any particular verdict.