Monday, 19 July 2010

Dalyell attacks Scottish Crown Office over Megrahi case

A former Labour MP has accused the Scottish Crown Office of behaving "deceitfully and disgracefully" over its handling of the Lockerbie bombing case.

Veteran Labour figure Tam Dalyell made the comments after a Tory MP called for a public inquiry into the release of the only man convicted of the atrocity Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

Mr Megrahi was finally released last year on compassionate grounds by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Many, including a number of families of those killed, believe that Mr Megrahi was a scapegoat and should never have been convicted of the bombing. Others, including the US government, condemned Mr MacAskill's decision.

Mr Dalyell, an ex-Father of the Commons who repeatedly raised the issue of Lockerbie, said: "My political opponents Mr Salmond and Mr MacAskill were quite right to release Mr Megrahi.

"They know perfectly well that he is an innocent man in relation to Lockerbie. It is I suppose understandable that they cannot as SNP leaders say so, since to do so would reflect appallingly on the Crown Office in Edinburgh which has behaved deceitfully and disgracefully over 20 years and on the quality of Scottish justice."

He continued: "If in their heart of hearts they had thought Mr Megrahi guilty they would in my opinion certainly not have released him."

Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski, who is chairman of the Westminster all-party group on Libya, called for a public inquiry into the decision yesterday and said Mr MacAskill should apologise for the "huge error" in releasing Mr Megrahi almost a year ago.

Mr MacAskill has already said he would be prepared to assist any inquiry held into circumstances surrounding Mr Megrahi's release.

[From an article just published on the website of the Morning Star.]



    Dear former Labour MP, Sir Thomas Dalyell,
    congratulation, you are one that the Scottish messy "Lockerbie play" from A-Z understood.
    Thank you and regards, we wish you good health.

    Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  2. Tam Dalyell has always stood head and shoulders above many of his Labour colleagues when it came to principles.

    When we watch so many politicians in America, in London and indeed in Edinburgh doing all in their power to keep insisting Megrahi was guilty, that the conviction was sound it just makes you wonder all the more why they were so afraid of that second appeal.

    In Scotland in particular the Labour Party, Mr Dalyell's Party, has used Megrahi's release as a Party-political football against their sworn rivals the Scottish National Party. Lockerbie and the truth about that terrible event should be above Party politics. The big question is why they prefer to seize on distractions of any kind in order to avoid considering all those grounds the SCCRC uncovered which suggested a miscarriage of justice at the original trial. The next big question is why the Scottish and the UK media allow them to do it. The media bears its own share of responsibility for failing to make the search for the truth the main priority.

  3. The next question is why the SNP government is continuing the establishment line. The SNP is hardly establishment, and there has been a general awareness in the party that the prosecution case stank, for many years.

    Why are Kenny and Nicola and the rest of them so keen now to insist the conviction is sound? Is it just the gadzillions of pounds it would cost to re-open the investigation?

  4. Kenny McAskill declared the original verdict sound on the day he released Megrahi. He also paid tribute to the Scottish Justice System for their investigation of the atrocity.

  5. The worst thing of all is that in the UK this matter has been turned into something which all Unionist Parties can use to beat the SNP about the head with. Especially in Scotland. Our media has been utterly carried away with Party-politics and the truth behind something all of us should care about regardless of our politics has been cast aside.