Sunday, 22 August 2010

Miscarriage of justice

This is the headline over an article in the Maltese newspaper The Sunday Times by Justice for Megrahi committee member Robert Forrester, based on the Address to the People and Government of Scotland. It can be read here.

Is it not sad that no Scottish Sunday newspaper has done the same? All credit, however, to Newsnet Scotland and to The Herald for their earlier coverage.



    In the Name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Mercful

    With respect to the families of the PanAm Flight PA-103 victims
    The truth is the silence of the desert ...

    Further good health for Lockerbie Victim no. 271 Mr Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi's on its first anniversary of freedom. And thanks to Secretary of Justice Kenny MacAskill for its responsible employment.
    Mr Al-Megrah had been wrongly sentenced and was 9 years in Scottish Prisons ! The trial to which was far from fair and proper !

    And again and again Mr. Al-Megrahi and Libya not have anything to do with the Lockerbie Tragodie!

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  2. Prof Black Newsnet may have covered this but again the commentators are blinkered. one has posted that Megrahi must call a press conference and present to the world the "evidence" of his innocence.

    Another declares that perhaps an exception can be made in Megrahi's case so that all medical evidence can be published.

    Elsewhere we have the usual stuff where its just about defending the SNP. Those behind JFM are called "naive" by one frequent poster on Newsnet Scotland. Ironically their own failure to take in a word of the JFM letter or to understand even a tad the injustice associated with Megrahi's trial says a great deal. It also demonstrates well just where the naivete lies.

    So its nice that NS published the article but the response to it is thoroughly depressing.

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  4. Whether the response is depressing has of course to do with what you expect.

    Yes, replies are mostly off-topic, seen from the JfM cause.

    But the few ones on-topic are encouraging.

    Let me bring some examples of postings directly touching the question of Megrahi's guilt, edited down for space and readability.

    They are all in support for his innocence. (I'd like to have spiced them up with a condemnation of Megrahi but I did not notice a single one!)

    - - - - -
    gedguy2 2010-08-21 05:25
    Assuming that Al-Megrahi is guilty (which I have serious doubts about) the Scottish government is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    - - - - -
    enneffess 2010-08-21 07:33
    We need an enquiry. But something is missing here: if Megrahi didn't plant the bomb, then who did.

    - - - - -
    # Robert Louis 2010-08-21 07:44
    It is easy to say, Scotland should do an enquiry, but Scotland in its current form has NO foreign secretary, NO foreign office, no foreign ambassadors or consulates. It cannot run such an enquiry properly, due to lack of power.

    So let's get real.

    Since we all quite rightly think London and Washington have a lot to hide on the Megrahi conviction, does anybody seriously expect London, never mind Washington, to participate.

    - - - - -
    Scot 2010-08-21 12:22
    ... lest we offend those liars who still pretend the lockerbie bomb was loaded by Megrahi & others unknown from Malta when in fact we know that was not the case.

    - - - - -
    MartinOfBothwell 2010-08-21 13:16
    I would like to see Mr al-Megrahi call a press conference and present his evidence to the world. He has proof of his innocence, I am certain of it.

  5. SFM I take your point but just look at some of the comments posted above.

    One asks us to "get real". The reality is the evidence is already with us and the Scottish Justice System has it. The reality is that Scotland DOES have the power to ignore the fact the appeal was dropped and hear it anyway (as we have previously discussed here) on the grounds that it is in the interests of justice to do so. So I remain convinced that for many of those commenting the issue is simply about making excuses for the Scottish Government not to take this forward.

    We don't have a Foreign Secretary or a Foreign Office, no, but we have an independent Justice System a Parliament and a formal report from the SCCRC which refers to the relevant evidence. No one can stop Scotland from deciding to hear that appeal and Mr Megrahi has no need to call his own press conference to present his evidence. That evidence is already in our hands.

  6. No real disagreement here.

    ".. That evidence is already in our hands".

    Sure, but that is not what matters.

    Anyone messing with the question of Megrahi's guilt will have an army of strong forces against him/her and it is likely to be to your disadvantage, whether you are politician, lawyer or policeman.

    What is there to win? Those now concerned about Scotland's reputation for releasing a man convicted of mass murder, would instead have to worry about being a country where, even in such an important case, what should have been justice turned out to be a farce.

    For Scotland is it a lose-lose case.

    - - -

    Politically, those seeing their advantage in attention to this case are a minority compared to those who would really like to see it buried and forgotten.

    Let's face it, from an urgency perspective it makes a lot of sense too. In a world with many large issues to solve most people (voters) would see the Megrahi conviction as an old case about a single man. "How much money should we spend on that?"

    So any attention is good attention, even if it's not the kind we'd like most.

  7. Well that's a depressing outlook sfm, it really is.

    I disagree that it is a lose-lose situation for Scotland. The truth, if it was permitted to emerge would show collusion by two governments, the US and the UK, and a seriously flawed trial, to stitch up someone else and to deny justice, not to Megrahi only, but to the relatives of those who died. These things are being written about frequently in our newspapers and openly acknowledged. That has to lead somewhere.

    Many of the US relatives actually genuinely believed they were told the truth and yet they were not. And that is what makes this case about much more than a single man.

    If I didn't think there was hope in this case I don't think I'd want to be in the debate. If I didn't ultimately believe that the truth can be exposed I wouldn't waste my time doing what I can to keep calling for action. Because I couldn't handle the despair I would feel.

  8. Again, we don't really disagree. Also for me it is not a case concerning a simple man.

    In today's Lockerbie trial stand as accused 3 governments, the public investigative services like CIA/FBI, a bribed witness and the police forces but most of all the Zeist trial judges.

    And our society for not caring about whether we are lied to or not, and the injustice done in our name.

    What I was talking about was how it right now looks for the vast majority of people, who do not have their interest into the case already.

    They are the voters. Again, any activity is good activity, at least dragging attention to the case.