Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Lockerbie inquiry widened to stop "stonewalling"

[This is the headline over a report just published on the Telegraph website. It reads in part:]

The senators originally wanted to investigate whether BP “directly or indirectly influenced the decision” to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi in August last year on compassionate grounds.

It has been alleged that a prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) was signed by Tony Blair's government and Libya in return for BP being granted a £550 million exploration deal. (...)

Senators have decided to circumvent what they regard as buck-passing by widening their investigation to include everything regarding the release.

Explaining the new plan, Senator Robert Menéndez, who will chair the hearing, said: “We are at a place where no witness of consequence has the courage to step forward and clear the air. They would prefer to sweep this under the rug.

“Because of this stonewalling, we are shifting our efforts to a longer-term, multidimensional inquiry into the release of al-Megrahi.

“The hearing will be postponed and rescheduled, and it will be coupled with an investigation into al-Megrahi’s release.”

He said the committee would take up the Scottish Executive’s decision to provide more information on the case, warning SNP ministers: “Our requests will be frequent and public.”

Senator Chuck Schumer added it was time for Scottish and British ministers “to prove they are part of the solution here and not part of the problem.” (...)

But a spokesman for the First Minister indicated that Mr MacAskill would still refuse to appear before the wider inquiry, adding: “We are responsible as Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish people have great respect for the Senate but we are not responsible to the American Senate.”

[Do the Scottish people have great respect for the US Senate? I hae ma douts. Certainly the senators' recent conduct over the Megrahi repatriation has done nothing to engender respect.]


  1. How about a "longer-term, multidimensional enquiry" into the imprisonment of al-Megrahi!

    This makes me want to throw up. It's not as if the evidence is ambiguous. He didn't buy those clothes. Once you acknowledge that, the entire case falls apart. His presence at the airport that morning (whatever he was up to), together with tray B8849 (whatever the hell that was I have no idea), simply do not a conviction make.

    Not only do they not a conviction make, they no more implicate Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in the crime than they implicate me. I don't care what he was up to that morning, he wasn't blowing up Pan Am 103. Sure, someone who was a JSO officer in the 1980s is probably not a person I'd want to invite to dinner. But I imagine a lot of people were JSO officers in the 1980s and have even travelled on coded passports, and we're not trying to bang them up for life in Greenock jail that I noticed.

    Puzzling over what might or might not have happened 22 years ago, or what most certainly didn't happen a year ago, is all very well. But the bottom line is that an innocent man has been imprisoned far from home and family, had justice delayed then denied, has developed a fatal illness, and on his deathbed has been turned into an international hate-figure. Surely this is a bit more of a scandal, and worthy of a proper investigation, than sordid, commonplace business lobbying of politicians.

  2. This really can't go on. We are simply not accountable to the United States of America and it is time someone told them to butt out! They have no authority over Parliaments in the UK, end of.

    And, as Rolfe points out, the fact that they are wasting so much time and money on something that is simply about their own elections later this year, is disgusting when at the centre of the whole Lockerbie issue is the fact that the wrong man was imprisoned.

  3. But again............look for the positive here. This guy could very well keep browning the previously lukewarm off until they reach boiling point. Pressure for a full investigation into Lockerbie may increase even more.

  4. Oops! Seeing on TV that the FBI have arrived in the Gulf to start a criminal investigation - I wonder what result they have decided on.