Saturday, 11 December 2010

Official report into Lockerbie bombing blocked by authorities

[This is the headline over a report just published on The Telegraph website. It reads in part:]

The publication of an official, 800-page dossier detailing the Lockerbie bomber's grounds for appealing his conviction has been blocked by authorities.

The decision to keep the report secret has fuelled claims by families of victims of the terrorist attack that the release of Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi was rushed through to prevent his appeal, which was due to be heard in public, going ahead.

The blocking of the report follows revelations last week contained in leaked US diplomatic cables that Britain believed lucrative oil and finance deals with Libya would be scrapped if Megrahi died in jail.

The Sunday Telegraph can also reveal that a call by [victims' relatives] for a public inquiry has been turned down by the [UK] Government.

In a letter, obtained by this paper, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, declared it would "not be in the public interest" to order such an inquiry.

Megrahi dramatically dropped his appeal last summer and was then told he would be released from prison on compassionate grounds. (...)

The report into his conviction conducted by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which looks into alleged miscarriages of justice, will remain locked away after Megrahi, the police, and other authorities could not agree on its publication.

All parties involved have to give 'unqualified consent' for it to be made public. It is not clear which parties – including the police, the Foreign Office and Megrahi himself – vetoed its publication.

The SCCRC investigation is the most comprehensive into the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in mainland Britain in which 270 people were murdered when Pan Am flight 103 blew up over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland on Dec 21, 1988.

The main report runs to more than 800 pages with a further 13 volumes of appendices.

Victims' families believe Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds only once he agreed to drop his appeal.

Dr Jim Swire, whose 24-year-old daughter Flora was killed, said: "It appears the way had been prepared to enable Megrahi's release to take place before his appeal could be heard in full.

"The appeal could have overturned the verdict which would have been very embarrassing for authorities.

"There is a great deal the SCCRC knows which is not now being made available."

The SCCRC recommended in June 2007 that Megrahi should be granted a second appeal hearing following a four-year investigation into the case against him.

It identified six grounds "where a miscarriage of justice may have occurred" and referred the case to the court of appeal in Scotland. It includes evidence not made available to Megrahi's defence and which is still to be made public.

In a press release headed The Scottish Criminal Cases review Commission (Permitted Disclosure of Information) Order, the SCCRC announced last week that it had not been able to obtain the consent of all the parties involved, including Megrahi, the Foreign Office and the police, to allow it to publish its report.

Gerard Sinclair, the SCCRC's chief executive, said: "It has become obvious that there is no likelihood of obtaining the unqualified consent required ... and consequently the Board decided at its last meeting to discontinue the discussions at this time."

The Scottish Government said in a statement it would now look at altering legislation to try to "overcome the problems presented by the current consent provisions".

But the crown office, the Scottish equivalent of the crown prosecution Service, said the SCCRC had spurned an invitation to help to obtain the necessary consent to enable the report to be published – a claim that has baffled the SCCRC but will further fuel speculation of a cover-up.

The intense frustration felt by victims over the dropping of the appeal is exacerbated by the Coalition's decision not to hold an independent inquiry. Families had repeatedly requested an inquiry during the Labour governments of the past 13 years but had hoped a change of Government might have also prompted a change of heart.

But in a letter to families, Mr Hague, said: "We have looked carefully into this issue, bearing in mind the sensitivity of the case. However, having reviewed this in detail the Government believes a public inquiry would not be in the public interest."


  1. This saddens me greatly. So many of us want answers and it hurts that one man has to bear the brunt of the vengeance and hatred of so many because our Scottish Courts found him guilty of playing a part in the 'Lockerbie Bombing'

    The TRUTH is bigger than all of us.


    Must come an "Economic Al Jihad" over Great Britain ?
    Wann wird der "Economic Al Jihad" über Great Britain verhängt ?

    The damage for the Libyan People, by the Lockerbie-Affair, amounts to US$ 40 billion!
    Der Schaden für das Libysche Volk, durch die Lockerbie-Affäre, beträgt US$ 40 Milliarden !

    on English in treatment >>
    Nur eine Androhung von Leader of Libya Muammar Al Gadaffi an United Kingdom, die Handelsbeziehungen mit "Building Business Bridges" (LBBC) abzubrechen, kann Bewegung in das Scottish Parliament bringen; sollte nicht eine längst fällige Untersuchung in der "Lockerbie-Affair" erledigt werden.
    Der Bann über der Schweiz, des libyschen "Economic Al Jihad", zeigt seine finazielle Wirkung...

    Mr Abdelbaset und das Libysche Volk haben vor der Welt das Recht, durch das Ergebnis der Wahrheit, Ihre Ehre zurückzuerhalten !

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

  3. Today's revelation by The Sunday Telegraph that Foreign Secretary William Hague has declared a public inquiry into Lockerbie to be against the "public interest" does not in any way absolve the Scottish Government from replying in detail to the JFM e-petition.

  4. Errrrrrrrr Patrick, it also fails to acknowledge it is none of Hague's damn business. He should butt out. The crime happened in Scotland, was investigated in Scotland and the trial held under Scots Law.

    In my view it isn't just the Scottish Government who are guilty here however but the entire Scottish Parliament who, since 2007, have treated the findings of the SCCRC not as one elephant in the room, but SIX.