Monday, 14 November 2011

Twenty years on

[Here is a post from this blog dated one year ago today:]

It was on 14 November 1991 that the prosecution authorities in Scotland (the Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC) and the United States (acting US Attorney General, William Barr) simultaneously announced that they had brought criminal charges -- principally murder and conspiracy to murder -- arising out of the destruction of Pan Am 103 against two Libyan nationals, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Fhimah, who were alleged to be members, and to have been acting throughout as agents, of the Libyan intelligence service.

According to the Scottish and American prosecutors, what had happened was this. The two Libyans had manufactured, or caused to be manufactured, a bomb using a Toshiba cassette recorder, Semtex explosive and a digital electric timer (supplied and manufactured by a Swiss company based in Zurich, MeBo AG, the principals of which were Erwin Meister and Edwin Bollier). The device had been placed in a brown Samsonite suitcase in Malta, along with items of clothing purchased for the purpose from a particular shop (Mary's House) in Sliema owned by the Gauci family. Using stolen Air Malta luggage tags, the Libyans (one of whom -- Fhimah -- had occupied the post of station manager for Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta) introduced the suitcase at Luqa Airport into the interline baggage system as unaccompanied luggage on Air Malta Flight KM 180 from Malta to Frankfurt, with directions for its onward transmission (first) on to a feeder flight (PA 103A) to Heathrow and (second) on to Pan Am flight 103 from Heathrow to J F Kennedy Airport in New York.

[The US grand jury indictment announced by the acting Attorney General is the basis of the current US contention that Megrahi should be extradited from Libya to the United States. This, of course, blithely ignores UN Security Council Resolution 1192 and the Zeist trial at which two US Justice Department lawyers formed part of the Lord Advocate's prosecution team.

In this context the following Written Question to the Scottish Government should be noted:]

Question S4W-04021 - Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (Scottish National Party) (Date Lodged 11/11/2011) :
To ask the Scottish Executive whether the (a) Cabinet Secretary for Justice or (b) Lord Advocate had received any communication from the (i) US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, (ii) Home Office or (iii) interim Libyan government concerning proposals to extradite Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi to the USA.

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