Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Government urged to release secret files

[This is the headline over a report by Bob Smyth in this week's edition of The Sunday Post. It is not on the newspaper's website but has just been sent to me. It reads as follows:]

The Scottish Government is under pressure to change the law to allow the release of secret files on the Lockerbie case.

Campaigners desperately want to study an 800-page dossier on bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s abandoned appeal.

They say the Scottish Government could change the legislation to allow that — but they are stalling.

The row erupted after the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission revealed earlier this month it had failed to get the green light to release details of its “statement of reasons” for referring Megrahi’s case back to court for the appeal. That’s because the law requires that all those involved agree to the release of the files.

The main parties include Megrahi, the Crown Office, the Foreign Office and police. It’s understood none have given the required unqualified consent.

The Scottish Government admits it’s disappointed the information couldn’t be made public and says it will now consider a law change to get round the need to get the go-ahead from all those involved.

But ministers say it would need the lengthy process of an Act of Parliament to do that.

Campaigners who doubt Megrahi’s guilt say this “primary legislation” is not necessary and the change could be done a lot quicker through a simple variation of the legal order that put the consent rule in place.

MSP Christine Grahame, who is battling for answers on Lockerbie, has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament. It says she is unsurprised consent wasn’t given and calls for the Scottish Government to repeal or amend the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (Permitted Disclosure of Information) Order.

She has also lodged a question, asking ministers if they’ll delete the part of the order that says everyone’s consent is needed.

She said, “I don’t understand the suggestion that primary legislation is necessary. There would be no time to get it through the Parliament before next year’s elections.

“It could be done before then in the way I have suggested.”

She said the consent requirements amount to a “gagging order”.

“Given that the Crown Office, the police and the UK Government are involved, why would they possibly agree to a release of information that might show that Megrahi should never have been found guilty?

“They’ve just stonewalled the whole thing.”

Professor Robert Black, a legal expert who was the architect of the Lockerbie trial, agreed a change to the law could be done quicker.

He said, “It doesn’t have to be an Act of Parliament and go through all the committee procedure and other stages that entails.

“When the Scottish Government say they’re considering primary legislation, given that’s not necessary, we have to ask what they are playing at.

“The suspicion is they are simply adopting delaying tactics.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said, “Based on legal considerations about the most effective way of overcoming constraints of existing legislation, we are now considering primary legislation to address the issue of consent while retaining the necessary protection for any third parties potentially affected.”

1 comment:

  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE: google translation, german/english

    The 22nd anniversary of the Lockerbie Tragedy.
    With respect to the Families of the Pan Am 103 victims.

    For the "Justice Undone"report, signed in December 2010, by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez, Frank R. Lautenberg, Charles Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, was probably deliberately chosen the wrong target!

    It seems obvious, with the enormous effort (58 pages) should be efforts to create a new appeal in the Lockerbie affair distracted and prevented. In this way, the truth is trying to block!

    The question for the senators is entitled: Why support not the efforts by the "Megrahi Pedition", the Scottish call on Parliament to arrange for a new investigation into the Lockerbie affair, "and documents of the Scottish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission (SCCRC) and the document under National Security (PII) to open?

    The profession defends its privileges...
    The backgrounds of the report should be clear to the initiated. Revealing the truth is that Mr. Abdelbaset and Libya have nothing to do with the Lockerbie tragedy, could the senators politically, morally and financially to a large problem, degenerate with loss of prestige.

    In short: If the truth and only the truth, the real goal of the U.S. Senate's is, the senators would have without "ifs and buts", for a new investigation and, opening the SCCRC-Dukumente, the Scottish Parliament to use!
    The question whether Mr. Al Megrahi, 20 August, was released in 2009 legally, should therefore be very likely more than just answered...

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch



    The 22nd anniversary of the Lockerbie-Tragedy.
    With respect to the Families of the PAN AM 103 Victims.

    Für den "Justice Undone" report, unterzeichnet im Dezember 2010, von den US Senatoren, Robert Menendez, Frank R. Lautenberg, Charles Schumer und Kirsten E. Gillibrand, wurde vermutlich vorsätzlich ein falsche Ziel ausgesucht !

    Es scheint offensichtlich, mit diesem gewaltigen Aufwand
    (58 Seiten) sollen Bemühungen um ein neues Appeal in der Lockerbie-Affäre abgelenkt und verhindert werden. Auf diese Art wird versucht die Wahrheit zu blockieren !

    Die Frage an die Senatoren ist berechtigt: Warum unstützen Sie nicht die Bemühungen durch die "Megrahi Pedition", das Scottish Parliament aufzufordern, eine neue Untersuchung in der "Lockerbie-Affäre" zu veranlassen und Dokumente der Scottish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission (SCCRC) sowie das Dokument unter National Security (PII) zu öffnen ?

    Die Hintergründe des Reports dürften für Eingeweihte klar sein. Das aufdecken der Wahrheit, dass Mr. Abdelbaset und Libya nichts mit der Lockerbie-Tragödie zutun haben, könnte für die Senatoren politisch, moralisch und finanziell zu einem grosses Problem, mit Prestige Verlust ausarten. Der Berufsstand verteidigt seine Privilegien...

    Kurz zusammengefasst: Wenn die Wahrheit und nur die Wahrheit das wahre Ziel des US Senat's ist, müssten sich die Senatoren ohne "wenn und aber", für eine neue Untersuchung und die, Öffnung der SCCRC-Dukumente, beim Scottish Parliament einsetzen !
    Die Frage ob Mr. Al Megrahi am 20. August, 2009 rechtsmässig freigelassen wurde, dürfte damit mit grosser Wahrscheinlichkeit mehr als nur beantwortet sein...

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch