Friday, 8 October 2010

Scottish Parliament e-Petition: Justice for Megrahi

This is the title of an e-Petition just submitted to the Scottish Parliament, calling on the Parliament "to urge the Scottish Government to open an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp van Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988." For reasons related to forthcoming changes in the Parliament's procedures, the petition is open for signature only until 28 October 2010. The full text of the petition can be viewed here. It can be signed on the same web page by anyone, anywhere in the world, who approves of its terms.

Related items on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm can be read here and here and here. Newsnet Scotland's coverage can be read here.


  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE: The truth on the trace.
    doc. 872.rtf. sorry only in "Babylon English":

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron started the debate about release of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.
    Mr Cameron say to the media, the relase of Mr Megrahi was wrong !

    MEBO say: Its statement is a hypocrisy...
    The release of innocent convicted Mr Megrahi was not wrong, but long overdue and this not because of its illness, but because of the wrong judgement in the "Lockerbie Process" detected by the SCCRCommission, as possible miscarriage of justice in 6 points. (ask justice) !

    Mr Cameron have you the courage to give a definited urgent order to Secretary of Justice MacAskill to opening the SCCRC documents as he have promised several times ?
    Only the opening of the SCCRC files and (PII, if possible)
    shows the innocence of Mr. Al Megrahi and Libya in the Lockerbie- Matter.
    Mr Cameron please your help for the "HEALING" of Scottish Justice and your urge for opening the truth.

    MEBO will not keep quiet until it is legally accepted that:

    1.) The MST-13 Timerfragment (PT/35) was a manipulation (FRAUD). see Affidavit of eng. U.Lumpert, Zurich 18th July, 2007.

    2.) The Transfer of the so called “Bomb Bag“ from Air Malta KM 180 on PanAM-103/B in Frankfort did not take place at all. It is documented with clear evidence. (FAA doc. Prod.10769 and Alert 'Duty x-ray Report' from 21st of Dec.1988, 16.25hour, Prod.10769)

    3.) The alleged clothes bought in the store of Toni Gauci could only have taken place on the 23rd November 1988 and not as stated on the 7th December. There are clear facts and figures to confirm this.

    4.) That the visit of Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, alias "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad" between 20 and 21st December 1988 in Malta had nothing to do with the Pan Am 103 bombing.

    5.) That the PanAm 103 tragedy as „MISSION AMSTERDAM", was used as a conspiracy against the Libyan Leader Gaddafi.

    6.) That through my „Mission Lockerbie“it will be confirmed that Libya and Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi had nothing to do with the Lockerbie tragedy.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  2. My guess is that this petition will be as successful as this one:

  3. Doubtful, however that it will receive the amount of signatures other petitions, such has this one have:

  4. Perhaps, Bunntamas. Then again, if the Sun and the BBC were to report on it...

  5. If people who are outraged about the release feel that way they have that right. They should have nothing to fear from a review of the case, of the evidence or ultimately of the verdict itself.

    Megrahi had the right to have the six grounds highlighted by the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission examined publicly. His appeal should have been heard long before August 2009.

    Scotland should want an investigation, even with the appeal dropped, if only to protect the reputation of its judicial processes. Apart from that the grounds raised, in support of the belief that a miscarriage of justice could have occurred, are so serious that no one should want to leave them aside.

    Scotland's judiciary already stands accused of "obstructing justice" for its repeated delays in the hearing of the appeal. That accusation came from the UN itself. The Scottish Justice System should surely want to defend itself. Shouldn't it?

    Above all the atrocity at Lockerbie merits the removal of all doubts once and for all. The dead deserve nothing less.

  6. We could keep the Inquiry short. One question. How much did the US pay to the Gauci brothers in return for testimony? Answer. Around $3 million. Conclusion: verdict unsafe, bribery is involved.

    And that's before we even get to the fact that Gauci didn't ever identify Megrahi positively in the first place or even give a description that remotely resembled Megrahi!

  7. I can't help feeling that the DoJ didn't get very good value for that money. "Not the man I saw in my shop...." Maybe they should have paid it to the judges instead, because it was them who translated this into "yes, that was definitely the same man beyond reasonable doubt."

    The petition is only calling for an inquiry into the verdict. It would be better to have the appeal heard, of course, but no doubt that's not something you can petition parliament to do.

    I can't understand why this simple request is causing such anger in Bunntamas. If she's so sure of her ground, why would she be concerned? And frankly, if she's not sure of her ground, why would anyone want a conviction to stand if it might be unsound?

    It almost sounds like someone who doesn't care for full transparency.

  8. I think it would be a very good idea for all the Scottish lawyers to set up their own inquiry using all the evidence they have available, which I believe is substantial.
    If the law is so corrupt that it denies justice then surely the people have a right to take the law into their own hands.

  9. It would be interesting to know how many signatures is considered to be sufficient to gain some influence with these petitions. I mean, 200 on the first day may be good, but there are 3 million voters in the country. Most of them couldn't care less, I suspect.

    How many have to care before anyone listens?

  10. Lawyers, Ruth. I don't know what to think. Megrahi's solicitor is the brother of a Labour MSP. He said publicly the appeal only had a 67% chance of success.

    Where did he get that from? Oh, it seems to be the percentage of appeals following on from a positive SCCRC report which are successful. Does he really think it's a lottery, and an appeal will get through on probabilities?

    He gave the impression he really thought Megrahi's appeal was only worth a 67% estimate of success, on its merits. What sort of an idiot is he?

    We never hear real analysis from the lawyers involved in the case. But that would indeed be interesting.

  11. I share Rolfe's view - that's an interesting idea Ruth about challenging lawyers on this. If those of us who are not lawyers can see the gaping holes in this case surely they must know even more than we do how unsafe that verdict was?

    I also heartily agree with Rolfe on the appeal. Part of me wishes we were demanding, in this petition, that the appeal be heard anyway on the basis that the doubts publicly expressed by the SCCRC about the verdict simply demand it.

  12. Jo,
    The challenge I referred to was to challege the state and its corrupt judiciary by setting up an inquiry conducted by honest lawyers who want to see justice done to Megrahi, the victims' families, the victims and the Scottish people who must now live in fear that one day they may be convicted of a crime they didn't commit.

  13. Dear Commentators,

    I wish to clarify a couple of points if I may.

    There are two distinct but obviously related bodies involved in the Lockerbie case campaign. They are represented by Justice for Megrahi, the political wing, and the bereaved families, the judicial wing.

    Justice for Megrahi's role is to be both proactive and reactive, taking every opportunity that comes its way to maintain the limelight upon the issue. The key word in the title of the organisation is 'Justice'. Mr al-Megrahi and his plight is clearly a focal point in the campaign's efforts. However, and with the greatest respect to him, JFM will maintain its campaign whether he is alive or not and whether he wants us to or not. The issue central to both JFM and the bereaved families is the question of whom justice exists to serve and what role it has in our society.

    Insofar as the judicial aspects are concerned, it is for the bereaved families to make representations to the judiciary in order that they be granted permission to pursue the appeal in the interests of justice, which, in turn, takes us full circle. What JFM does does not interfere with the aims of the families and vice versa. Indeed both wings support and compliment each other.

    One must assume that Mr al-Megrahi is going to continue to maintain his unwillingness to attempt to reopen the appeal in his lifetime. Following his death then, first shout will presumably go to his family. If they are similarly unwilling to reopen the appeal, it will then fall upon the bereaved families to establish a legal precedent.

    On the basis of the above, I hope commentators will feel more encouraged to sign up to the JFM petition in order to provide the organisation with further ammunition to utilise in the event of future conflicts with the established powers that be.

    I hope that this brief explanation clarifies the make up of the overall campaign.

    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Robert Forrester (Justice for Megrahi Committee).

  14. Hi Ruth

    I totally agree with you. Wouldn't that be something to have Scottish lawyers en masse declaring publicly what a sham this whole thing was. It is an excellent idea. It may also happen. Perhaps what we are starting now is just the beginning. The frightening thing tho' is the number of MSPs and MPs who are from a legal background and who don't care about the legal position here. I believe however that we can shame them. For indeed they should be shamed.

  15. Quincey, I believe the findings of the SCCRC justify all of us demanding the re-opening of the appeal. The grounds speak for themselves and are in the public domain. I do not accept that we need Megrahi's death to do it. We need to shame the Scottish Legal and Political establishments and we can do that if we have the will. The facts are already in the public domain. The main one is since when does a Scottish court accept that the star witness has been paid millions of dollars for testimony.

  16. And I should have put a question mark at the end of the last sentence. Oops.

  17. I would also appeal to Blogiston at this point and ask him to cancel his exile and join the discussions again as his contributions are valued.

  18. Robert, I think it's fair to assume that posters here have already signed. However, I wonder what the anticipation is? How many genuine signatories to such a petition is likely to sway the parliament's fixed intransigence on the matter?

    Jo makes a good point about the SCCRC findings. The position that these should be tested in court in the interests of justice is one which is very difficult to refute.

    However, I take issue with the repeated description of Tony Gauci as the "star witness", which I have seen in many articles. Some "star witness"! "Not the man I saw in my shop, but the man who looks a little bit like...." And that earns the Gaucis $3M plus. Nice work if you can get it.

    We must never forget that it was Giaka who was the star witness, and who may have been paid even more. Whose perjured evidence was knowingly bought by the US authorities, who offered him as a witness in the full knowledge that his evidence was fabricated.

    It was Giaka's evidence which was considered to be the killer information that allowed all these other inferences to be made. The bomb must have travelled on KM180, because Giaka saw Megrahi with it on Malta. So the Maltese baggage handlers must be lying. And so on. It was Giaka and his lies who was the cause of the indictments, and then of the eight years of stand-off and sanctions.

    Giaka underpinned the entire house of cards. He was the template on which the whole pattern was built. But so ingrained had this pattern become, that when he was exposed as a liar, the pattern remained, instead of crumbling to dust as it should have done.

    The role of the US authorities in soliciting perjured evidence from Giaka to support their case must never be forgotten. That they based the indictments and the sanctions on something they knew to be fabricated should never be forgotten. That they were prepared to present him in court although they knew his evidence was made up for money should never be forgotten. And that Colin Boyd lied to the court to conceal this vital evidence from the defence should never be forgotten.

    A little less about Gauci's star qualities and a little more recollection of who the star witness was supposed to be, would be salutory. Not least in raising the question, if the US authorities were prepared to go to this length to manufacture a case against Megrahi, what else were they prepared to do that we don't know about?

    And one Giaka was discredited, the real star witness was Bogomira Erac. Without her morbid little souvenir, the case would have collapsed completely.

    I wonder if she ever saw any "rewards for justice"?


    Who has fear before the truth respectively before the disclosure of the SCCRC documentation ?
    Probably the Scottish Justiciary herself therefore she keep the files closed ?
    by Edwin Bollier

  20. QR said:
    JFM will maintain its campaign whether he is alive or not and whether he wants us to or not. The issue central to both JFM and the bereaved families is the question of whom justice exists to serve and what role it has in our society.

    Well put, Mr. F. and I'm glad it's like that. I might even venture that the name of the group is more limited than its goals (at least as I take them in spirit). Megrahi is only one figure in this, and justice for the families and for society at large is also tied in with this miscarriage of justice.

    And also, I like Ruth's idea. I was hoping to gather some such at this post on my blog:

    As far as I'm concerned, it's already happening. Not lawyers, but all of us talking is at least some kind of start, right where we are rather than off in the mists.

    Keep it up, everyone.

  21. Rolfe, I take your point about the use of the term star witness. I should really say "star" witness and make it clear that I don't see Gauci as any such thing. Sadly tho, plenty of others wrongly see him as precisely that and choose to ignore the significant sum of money paid to him for not once positively identifying Megrahi.

  22. "Megrahi is only one figure in this, and justice for the families and for society at large is also tied in with this miscarriage of justice."

    He is indeed Adam but he's the only one referred to as the Lockerbie Bomber.

    The families of course have a special place in proceedings. That's where I struggle sometimes to understand a few things. For example the fact that so many families are happy to continue believing we got the right man when there are now so many grounds to believe we did not. In their shoes I would be demanding an investigation and the full disclosure of those SCCRC findings. Their findings, as we have said before, do not come from some pro-Megrahi pressure group but from a formal body that is part of the Scottish legal establishment.

  23. I think too that when we consider the relatives, all of them, including those who believe Megrahi is guilty they must be utterly exhausted.

    In the position of those who consider him guilty I think I would be actually demanding a new investigation in order to have my own belief confirmed, if my belief in the verdict was so absolutely solid. I would not fear an appeal. I would want that. I would want to say at the end of it, "Right, see? I was right. He was guilty, now can we move on?"

    The opposition to any new investigation is odd to me. Aren't they sick of some of us harping on about the doubts? Wouldn't they want to see those doubts examined publicly in order to be sure, absolutely sure? Why refuse to discuss the doubts when they feature in a formal investigation and in the conlusions of a body like the SCCRC? Why oppose the process of examining them? In their position I would so desperately want to be sure I was right. It would bother me that there were doubts around. It really would.

  24. Relatives happy with the conviction know - as Tony Kelly acknowledged in his interview for the STV programme recently - that appeal courts don't always side with a strong case.

    A technicality can cause an appeal to fail, or succeed. A host of things can cause an inquiry to fail to find answers. In this case, they don't want an OJ Simpson scenario.

    To be fair, part of the motivation for some may be that the sole conviction was all they got in the way of criminal responsibility being officially agreed. As a result, perhaps, they don't want to lose what little their government, in their eyes, achieved.

    A piece of context could be provided by the answers to these questions:

    How many US civilians have been killed by terrorists/bombers/assassins/guerrillas/whatever in the last five years?

    How does the risk of dying from terrorism compare with risks from other causes?

    How does the perception of risk compare?

    What I'm getting at is that the US attitude towards threats may be behind some of the reactions.

    Some SCCRC conclusions were out of line with those of many who doubt the verdict - the Commission didn't say that anything about the scientific evidence meant there may have been a miscarriage of justice.

  25. But, Matt, they already have an "O.J. Simpson scenario" i.e. a verdict with which no reasonable person could possibly agree. Only an appeal could have put that situation right and only an appeal can break the Lockerbie log-jam. That is why, although I too have my reservations about the name "justice for Megraghi", I accept that the findings of any enquiry, whether under the auspices of the UN or the Scottish Government, will be insufficient to satisfy the bulk of the "victims families" and others who accept the Libyan`s guilt. If the appeal is won, some will no doubt talk about "loopholes" but the rest of us can say that the same authority which convicted him, cleared him and that the investigation must continue.
    So why are Mr Megraghi and the Libyans dragging their heels on the appeal? Dr Swire believes that Mr Megraghi simply has no faith in Scottish justice but I am not convinced. Are Ghadaffi and co. really concerned about clearing their names over Lockerbie? I suspect that now that they`ve paid their money, got their man home and are back selling their oil on the international market they consider it "job done".

  26. I suspect that now that they`ve paid their money, got their man home and are back selling their oil on the international market they consider it "job done".

    Yes, but I think it goes further than that. There is good reason to believe that Libya was manoeuvering to get the appeal dropped as early as 2007. Consider the bizarre terms of the PTA negotiated that year. Some informed observers also believe it was Libya as much as Kenny MacAskill which was pressurising Megrahi to drop the appeal in 2009, even though it wasn't necessary for compassionate release.

    Something a bit funny going on here. Probably it's much as you say, that it suited Libya to have the status quo maintained and not to piss off the Americans again. But it's quite an odd situation.