On The Oligarch Kings blog today there is a post by David Macadam entitled "Lockerbie, the Scottish Bar and Libya: a different truth perhaps?". The last few paragraphs read as follows:]
The matter was referred to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review [Commission] whose own report, reluctantly oh so reluctantly, accepted that a miscarriage of justice had happened.
And Al-Megrahi appealed.
Scotland is a devolved country within the UK. Matters legal are dealt with by its own Justice Minister who is Kenny McAskill. Now Kenny is a nice guy. When he was in practise it was as a partner in a down home Mom and Pop law shop dealing with the daily concerns of ordinary people. He showed genuine concern and this lead him to politics where his calm manner and common touch have made him friends. But a diplomatic background or any international legal experience is not his.
This appeal had every likelihood of going ahead. If it did it would undoubtedly have been a disaster to the profession and to Scotland’s legal standing in the world.
Worse was to happen. Al-Megrahi fell ill with prostate cancer and a nightmare for the profession loomed. It was entirely likely that Al-Megrahi would be found innocent and it was just as likely, given the length of time the appeal would take, that he (an innocent man) would die a lingering death in a Scottish jail far from his home and family. Desperate for a way out of this quandary, did the profession do what it does best? Did it panic and send Kenny in to bat?
Kenny certainly does something really out of place for a justice minister. He turns up personally in the jail to negotiate with Al-Megrahi. The deal? We might speculate that it was to drop the appeal, and Kenny would invoke a little known part of a 1993 act which would allow him to release Megrahi as a compassionate act.
The appeal was certainly dropped and Al-Megrahi was back in Tripoli a fortnight later.
So, is Megrahi is back in Libya, not because BP were dealing with Libya, or any deal with the British Government but because the Scottish legal profession were terrified that the whole mess, which had been their one and only throw on the world stage, would come unravelled and their bar would end up looking like a bunch of backwood hicks and amateurs? It also entirely denies anyone ever being able to test Al-Megrahi’s arguments under court conditions. Did they put their own legal political expediency over justice?
It worked a treat boys didn’t it?