Sunday, 22 August 2010

Megrahi's conviction "entirely unsustainable"

The White House has told Scottish Ministers that they should return the Lockerbie bomber to jail in Scotland, amid fresh calls for a full public inquiry into his conviction and subsequent release.

John Brennan, counter-terrorism adviser to President Barack Obama, said Washington had expressed "strong conviction" to officials in Edinburgh over what he described as the "unfortunate and inappropriate and wrong decision" to free Abdelbaset Al Megrahi. (...)

But campaigners who believe in Megrahi's innocence are now arguing that the backlash over his freeing should not obscure more fundamental questions surrounding his conviction.

It came as it emerged that the Egyptian-born terrorist Mohammed Abu Talb - the man many suspect as the real figure behind the bomb - was released from jail in Sweden.

Michael Mansfield QC, one of the country's best-known defence lawyers, said a full judicial inquiry was required to settle the doubts over the case. Mansfield said he had no doubt that the evidence given to secure Megrahi's conviction was "entirely unsustainable".

[From a report in today's edition of Scotland on Sunday.

The same newspaper runs an opinion piece by Kenny Farquharson headlined "Scotland itself is in the dock" arguing that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice should go to Washington to testify on the compassionate release decision before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As is so often the case with Scotsman publications these days, the readers' comments are much more interesting than the article.]



    Is the dropping of the successful promising "Lockerbie appeal invalid and must be set back to the status from 19/20 August, 2009?

    Professor Dr. Hans Koechler, UN Observer during "Lockerbie trial" held in Kamp van Zeist points out a servere error, which was not happening for the first time:

    According to Scottish law, it is NOT necessary that a convicted shall with drawal his demand for reappeal in order to profit from a so called "compassionate release". Such with drawal would have been necessary only, if Mr Adelbaset Al Megrahi would have been returned to his home country on the basis of the agreement between Libya and Great Britain referring to the mutual transfer of prisoners.

    It lacks of any reason, that Mr Megrahi has abandoned his right, that the reappeal-procedure shall continue also in the case of his sudden death. It is well possible, that Mr Megrahi was not informed/consulted correctly during his stay in prison. There is a vital danger, that this fatal error will deeply influence the jurisdiction in the case in question.

    Professor Dr Koechler explained to me personaly, that it is a generaly accepted principle of right, that such decision is only valid, wehn this desicion has been made in full liberty. Professor Koechler has furthermore immediately after the desicion of with drawal was made public asked, that all circumstances, which have lead to this desicion must be 100% cleared-including the role, which was "played" by his (Megrahi's) defense-team!

    MEBO states the following: The publication of Mr Megrahi's appeal-documents on his internet-webpage for the sake of clearing his name is a clear indice, that the "dropping" of his appeal was NOT based on his free will:

    Why so?

    1. Mr Megrahi was blackmailed by facts, which have nothing to do with the PanAm 103 attack and were clearly aimed do drop the appeal;

    2. Mr Megrahi was not protected to absolutely avoid a legally wrong decision by the present lawyer Tony Kelly;

    continuation down >>>

  2. >>> continuation MISSION LOCKERBIE:

    In a TV interview with Al Jazeera, Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi has denied any deal was done to secure the release of the only man, Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and this problem ended.
    He said also: "It is not possible anymore to talk about clearing Libya or not Mr. Megrahi was the only person who had the right to appeal to the European Court, but as I said because of his illness and release it seems that there is no need for an appeal".

    In a other interview: With regard to Lockerbie case, Leader Gaddafi said that Libya has not accepted culpability, and only took responsibility for the actions of its citizens. "We never acknowledged any guilt ... and Libya was never indicted in any court as responsible!"

    MEBO states that the Leader of Libya Mr Gaddafi was intentionable wrong informed by his Scottish solicitors!

    Firstly, Mr Megrahi would not have been forced in this moment in time to apply the European Court, since the dropping of his appeal, and if this would be the fact, the High Court in Edinburgh would fully remain in duty.

    Mr Abdelbaset Al Megrahi personaly, his family, the Libyan People, the families of the victims of PA 103 and any person and/or organization, who suffered either morally or financially, like MEBO, from this tragedy are definitely asking for a true, rightful and final decision of the second appeal on the High Court in Edinburgh!

    We ask Mr Al Megrahi to use his good and guaranteed right with draw the wrongful dropping of his appeal, stating a declaration dated from 19/20 August, 2009 which should be formulated and substantiated by his Libyan lawer and then immediadely submitted to the Scottish Justiciary in Edinburgh!

    In order to restaurate the prestige and the honour of Libya and the whole Libyan People we again ask the respective unknown government (possible Switzerland or Germany) which has delivered to the United Kingdom, on September 13, 1996, a document under 'National Security' (PII), please give to Justice Secretary MacAskill the granted permission for opening PII for exoneration Libya's and public interests.

    If Megrahi not make use of its right and will take back the dropping of his appeal -- the internationally media and the victim families of PA-103 will say -- the Megrahi's transfair was definitive dependent from a BP oil deal between UK and Libya...

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  3. That article in the Scotsman by Farquharson is just a piece of mischevious nonsense to 'noise up' (antagonise) any stray SNP readers. The commenters take it apart with ease and more constructive argument that he could ever muster...are these guys employed to be biased and controversial?
    [Also reading on the Daily Record site that Megrahi was chatting to his friends back in Scotland about his favourite football team, Rangers...joke journalism from the West of Scotland.]

  4. It`s the hypocracy of the Americans which I find hard to stomach. IF Al Megraghi is guilty of the atrocity then Ghaddafi is the mastermind. He is the true Butcher of Lockerbie.
    But, while the Democrats and Republicans are united in demanding that minion al Megraghi rots in a Scottish jail, they are happy that their own senior politicians meet the man, who by their own reasoning planned the atrocity as part of his foreign policy, with a view to " normalising relationships" between the oil rich dictatorship and the USA. Thus when Condoleesa Rice met Ghaddafi in Tripoli early in September 2008 she did not say " you are a mass murderer and the USA demands that you hand yourself in to to the international courts of justice for trial", she said "We are working on a trade and investment agreement, a framework, which will allow the improvement of the climate for investment, which I know very many American firms wish to do."
    And in August 2009, the new Democratitic government sent a delegation to Libya led by John McCain, including senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins. McCain noted how "bilateral ties have taken a remarkable and positive turn in recent years".
    However we shouldn`t think that this American "warming" to the country which is still ruled by the same pariah who controlled it in 1989, is either new or purely political. On the contrary in January 2008 Libyan government official Abdel-Rahman Shalqam was wined and dined on Capitol Hill with executives from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum and Raythorn as well as officials from the US trade representatives office. So has the Lockerbie issue itself been a block on trade between America and Libya? It seems not. US trade with Libya has soared since economic sanctions were lifted by the Bush administration in 2006. Oil exports totalling 2.5 billion dollars flowed into America from Libya that year and exports from the US to Libya increased by over 400%.No need for dodgy deals in the desert there then!
    What puzzles me is the almost total silence about the above from the "America relatives". Surely MacAskill`s act of mercy cannot realy insense them more than the cynical commercial dealings of their own government officials.

  5. What puzzles me is the almost total silence about the above from the "America relatives".

    True. Of course, from a psychological point of view it is so easy to understand.

    They've had the pain. They've managed to close the case, having found the guilty, a single person you can point to and hate. They have received compensation, FWIW.

    They want to bury it like that. Suppress the pain that their government kisses up to Ghaddafi.

    Ask such people to accept that they were wrong all the way, fooled by their own government, that the murderer walked scot-free all these years and, not the least because of their own inaction, is less likely to be brought to justice for each year that passes by and that the money they got was extorted from an innocent people!

    It just can't be true, it must not be true.

    Duggan is just the right man for them. Using strong language, hitting with derogatives towards those who ask impertinent questions, terminating any informed debate. It's all about stopping cold the pain that the information about Megrahi's conviction would bring.

    The US relatives would be the strongest factor in the demand for a new investigation, but it the last thing to hope for.

  6. Grendal: Those are good points you make. Do you have any links you can post where any of this stuff is discussed in the US?


    Hi Blogiston, I lost most of my links but the first two here will cover most of my points. I have added the third without reading it yet as it looks like it might be interesting. As I rush out I`m not even sure what it is!
    The Washington Post article is also interesting because of its reference to victims` families` spokesperson Rosemary Wolfe, who it seems was going to demonstrate against the Capitol Hill meeting but cancelled it as it co-incided with an Iowa caucus!And not a squeek since, either, it seems!


    On the subject of the rebuilding of America`s and Libya`s friendship, some of you might be interested in this. It tells the story of an al quaeda member who was rendered around the world by America to states who will torture their prisoners for them. He ended up in , yes you`ve guessed it,A LIBYAN JAIL where he died, ooooops!
    Three days later the US re-opened its embassy in Tripoli.

  9. Grendal: Thanks - I'll read 'em now.

  10. Thanks for these links Grendal.