Saturday, 19 February 2011

What we ignore about Megrahi

[This is the headline over a section in Richard Ingrams's column in today's edition of The Independent. I am grateful to Caustic Logic for drawing it to my attention. The section reads as follows:]

In accordance with my campaign for the more widespread use of inverted commas, I am pleased to note that some papers are now putting the word marriage, as in the expression gay marriage, in inverted commas.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the expression Lockerbie bomber, as it is applied to Mr Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who is still the subject of fierce controversy following his return to Libya. There is indignation in some quarters that Mr Megrahi is still alive and scarcely veiled suggestions that he may not have been suffering from cancer at all – though most of us know how difficult it is for doctors to predict life expectancy in cancer patients.

What is extraordinary is how little attention has been given to the strong grounds for thinking that Mr Megrahi is not only innocent, but that he was framed with the connivance of the British and American governments. The chief witness for the prosecution, the highly unreliable and inconsistent Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, was subsequently paid millions of dollars by the CIA and forensic evidence against Mr Megrahi was provided by two scientists working for the British government who had been previously discredited in trials of IRA suspects falsely accused of bomb-making. Anyone interested should read campaigning lawyer Gareth Peirce's long account of the story, now reprinted in a little book, Dispatches From The Dark Side (Verso).


  1. In The Observer of 11 December 1988 Richard Ingrams wrote about my letter of 7 December 1988 to The Guardian, and described it as a splendid kamikaze attack on Mrs Thatcher.

  2. I doubt Gareth Peirce actually wrote this article. It reads like the work of one of the dimwits who write similar garbage for Private Eye and contains many of the same fabrications.