Saturday, 19 February 2011

Clear message for all voters in Scotland

[What follows is the text of a letter from Dr Jim Swire published in today's edition of The Scotsman.]

There is a clear message for all voters in Scotland in May. It is a bedrock of any civilised society that it offers its people a justice system that is impartial and seen to be impartial by them.

A substantial tranche of people, including some of the UK's most respected lawyers, together with a UN official observer of the Lockerbie trial (Professor Hans Koechler of Vienna), and so many others, including myself, the committee of the Justice for Megrahi (JFM) group and all the signatories to its petition, question the safety of the verdict at Zeist convicting Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi of the Lockerbie bombing. Our number grows and grows.

On top of that, and more important to Scottish voters, our Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission, after three years work, decided that the verdict might be a miscarriage of justice. As things stand, we cannot be sure we got that verdict right.

I urge therefore that voters ask of any candidate for office, no matter which party he or she belongs to: "What action do you propose to take over the Lockerbie verdict if elected?" Afterwards hold him or her to the answer.

If the answer does not include a fully empowered review of the verdict, then your vote may contribute to appalling consequences for all of us in Scotland.

Our legal system may become confirmed in putting its own reputation above delivering justice impartially to the rest of us, as already seen so clearly in the McKie fingerprint case.


  1. I fully agree with Dr Swire: "The Scottish General Election 2011 should focus on Lockerbie."

  2. Scotland is not the only place where elections may play a role. The day can now be envisioned where elections could be possible in Libya - a change in leadership and power there in the future is a real possibility.

    What if change in Libya led to shedding of new light on Lockerbie matters? The thought of this alone should have incumbent SNP politicians shaking in their boots.

    What if any new information comes out in the middle of the Scottish election campaign? How much damage could that cause the Government seeking re-election?

    It has to be better for the Scots Government to deal with matters before the election rather than rolling the dice.

    It's going to be interesting for sure, but having all candidates go on record with their position about justice as Dr. Swire suggests is an absolute must for Scotland.

    If the Scots people don't pay attention to this matter and how important a good justice system is they will be inviting the type of system that people in the Middle East are now trying to overcome.

  3. Oh I think the West will be regretting what it wished for in the Middle East. Its now looking decidedly ominous. Wait til tensions start over the effects on oil ............what price more military intervention out there when it all gets completely out of control?

    As for western "democracy", its lovely that Cameron has paid attention to voters in the south over his plans to lease English forests and dumped the plans. What a pity the millions who demonstrated over the illegal invasion of Iraq were ignored and the many who have made representations over Lockerbie over the years were ignored too.

  4. Full, do you want to expand on this? What sort of new information are you suggesting might exist? Is it about Megrahi's guilt? Libya's involvement?

    I think you should elaborate if possible. If it is simply wild speculation I really think it isn't helpful here.

  5. Jo:

    President Clinton and the leader of Libya made some sort of deal which brought on the Camp Zeist trial after so many years of delay. USA has made the details of such deal top secret so no telling what that deal was. Why? A regime change in Libya (which I am not sure can occur at the present time) could change things and allow the nature of that deal to come out.

    Megrahi's position as an agent of Libya has never been made clear. Clarification of this plus similar matters could be possible. Pretty much all we know now is what Giaka testified to for God's sake!

    The majority people of Libya really feel Megrahi is innocent. In my view most Libyan people would want the truth to come out. Libyans are mostly very honest folk (this I know from personal experience) and most in my view would welcome the chance to change how the world views Libya.

    Oil drives the economy of Libya certainly, but to a lesser degree in several of the Middle East countries where demonstrations for change are occuring, and in some of these oil is hardly a factor at all. Nobody in Libya will mess around with oil supply/revenues regardless of who is in charge.

    Libya's oil industry is well established with foreign companies involved in many cases, quite unlike Iraq's which had not been managed properly for some time and was fully nationalized and was therefore ripe for the picking by US oil companies and BP. Libya's oil industry took a bit of a hit in the early years of sanctions but such industry recovered quite well with minimal US involvement and absent BP thank you very much. Of course we now know BP wanted back in the game in Libya and that is a principle reason why Mr. Megrahi is home.

    I'm on the record as firmly believing Megrahi's guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    That does not mean I know he is innocent or guilty. Perhaps only Megrahi himself knows that for sure. I only seek the truth, and I think we both agree that Scotland's Goverment is hiding plenty, and is probably not alone.

    I don't engage in wild speculation. My opinions are formed by personal knowledge and / or research, and are not arrived at lightly.

    I've worked in the Middle East including Libya much of my life. Whatever your beefs are with British democracy it's a far cry better than in the Middle East and could descend a lot further than its current position if citizens let it.

    In the meantime if you don't like where your tax dollars go via the military I suggest buying some BP shares.

  6. Thank you Full. That makes a lot more sense to me and explains in detail what was said in your earlier post.

    Oh I don't know if our "democracy" is better here in the West. I believe we created the problems in the Middle East right from the start through our own greed and the creation of an Israeli State that is answerable to no one. We sailed round the world with flags claiming territories everywhere for ourselves. We partitioned here there and everywhere, tore peoples apart and literally dragged many across the world as slaves. We sit on the Security Council ready to veto any action taken against Israel when it breaks rules but we ignore the rules when it comes to illegal invasions of countries like Iraq. We also ignore Palestine. For more than 60 years now we have ignored Palestine. Yes, we are great examples of democracy here in the west.

    I worry about what is happening right now in the Middle East tho. The US and the UK have been egging everyone on except its getting much more serious now. If this escalates .......well, let's not go there. For if it escalates I can see Israel nuking people.