Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Scottish Government should stand up to the bullying and call the Americans’ bluff

[This is the heading over a letter in today's edition of The Herald by Iain McKie, committee member of Justice for Megrahi and father of Shirley McKie. It reads as follows:]

As we witness the American and British governments’ cynical attempts to shift the blame for Lockerbie on to the Scottish Government the critical question is: Will the SNP administration display courage, vision and leadership, stand up to this bullying and call their bluff? Will the Scottish Government offer them the inquiry they are all afraid of?

How can we blame other governments if the search for the truth about Lockerbie, a Scottish tragedy that occurred on Scottish soil which was investigated and prosecuted by Scottish authorities, is frustrated by our own government?

It is a legitimate question to ask – what right does a country have to self-determination if when given the opportunity to exercise that right it fails to do so?

Last week a public petition was submitted appealing to the Scottish Parliament to call on our government to launch an independent inquiry into this indelible stain on the Scottish justice system.

The petitioner’s hope is that people from home and abroad will add their voices to this call.

As Robert Burns so eloquently put it: “There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard but they whom the truth would indite.’”

The petition can be found at:

[Another letter in the same newspaper from Mrs Ann Yule contains the following:]

Just recently reading the biography of Edwin Morgan by James McGonigal - Beyond the Last Dragon - I discovered that when the poet was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, he was told by the consultant that he might survive for six months or six years, which demonstrates just how difficult it is to give an accurate timescale for cancer sufferers. As it was he survived for 11 years.

So let’s waste no more time on this and turn to the much more important aspect of the conviction of Megrahi on the unreliable evidence of one man, whose memory seemed to improve out of all proportion after being promised $2m by the CIA. Let’s focus our minds in the right direction.


  1. I don't have my Herald yet (paperboy on school holidays having a lie-in....) but I'm glad to see some mention of the petition in the mainstream press. Signatories jumped when it was publicised in a Maltese newspaper a couple of days ago, which shows how important it is to raise public awareness.

  2. While I accept the SNP government could be saying a whole lot more Iain McKie really should be condemning the entire Scottish Parliament. For even if Salmond decided to put anything of worth to the Parliament regarding that lost appeal what would the opposition Parties do? They will do what they have mostly done since 2007 and do what it takes to wreck what they perceive as an SNP policy. They will play Party politics above anything else, even justice, even above rescuing the reputation of the Scottish Justice system globally. He really should have condemned all of them because if this Parliament gave a toss about justice or about the truth the US antics would have been stopped in their tracks a long time back.

  3. I just noticed a big problem with that last letter.

    the conviction of Megrahi on the unreliable evidence of one man, whose memory seemed to improve out of all proportion after being promised $2m by the CIA.

    Gauci wasn't promised $2 million in advance, as far as we know. Just hints and general grooming. And the thing is that his memory didn't improve - it got worse. He started to drop all the things he'd been reasonably sure about in his early interviews, but which didn't describe Megrahi - age, height, build, Christmas lights and so on. As he realised the suspect was all wrong in those respects, he dislaimed his original statements, reversed what he had first said about the lights, and said he was no judge of height or age.

    It was Giaka whose memory improved spectacularly after being lubricated with lots of money - and told what it was he was supposed to remember, of course.