[This is the headline over a long and detailed article about the Lockerbie case by Steven Raeburn just published on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm. The first few paragraphs read as follows:]
“Lockerbie”, whatever that word now means, is a stain on Scotland, its justice system, and its institutions. Since the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, “Lockerbie” has allowed Scotland to bear the scorn of US senators, the angst, bloodlust and ire of bereaved families who feel they have been denied justice, and has become both a hot potato and a political football between Edinburgh and London. Governments around the world are prepared to condemn Scotland for the international embarrassment of Lockerbie.
Whatever that word now means.
I’ve been covering the Pan Am 103 debacle for a number of years now. A tragic event that became a 22 year long rolling news story. It’s a story that won’t go away, because the answers thus far yielded by due process satisfy no one.
For this reason, Scotland sadly deserves its shame, disgrace and international condemnation. But certainly not for the reasons offered and repeatedly churned.
The story of the Lockerbie events has been allowed to be drowned out by one version, promoted, if not manufactured, by US intelligence and repeated by our own prosecution service and our government, in denial of later revelation, who maintain even to this day that they "do not doubt the safety of the verdict against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi,” despite it being utterly discredited, in addition to adjudged a possible miscarriage by our Criminal Cases Review Commission. It continues to be upheld, with every opportunity to address it spurned or frustrated. Perhaps its last chance for resolution rests with the Scottish [Government], who have until 10 December to respond to the public petitions committee and advise if they will hold an inquiry that may bring some clarity to what has become an international scandal.
The scandal is not that Scotland released a mass murderer. It is that we allowed a man to be convicted as one in the first place, and have done nothing to erase the stain of what could be the greatest miscarriage of justice ever perpetrated by our courts.
[The full article can (and should) be read here.
Lockerbie trial UN observer Professor Hans Köchler and Justice for Megrahi signatory member Professor Noam Chomsky have written to Steven Raeburn to congratulate him on this article.]