Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland meets FBI over Lockerbie bombing probe

[This is the headline over a report published today in the Daily Record.  It reads in part:]

Scotland's top lawman has held talks with the FBI over plans to step up new inquiries into the Lockerbie bombing.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland met FBI director Robert Mueller and US Attorney Gereral Eric Holder in Washington last night.

It came as both countries prepare to send investigators to Libya to seek new evidence and speak to witnesses inthe hope of staging a second trial over the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Mulholland said: “The meeting was to renew rapport over the joint inquiry into state-sponsored terrorism and explore the opportunities we have to bring others to justice.”

It is understood a number of potential witnesses have been identified. Negotiations are taking place to insure they are interviewed.

Hopes are high that vital evidence needed to convict those who acted along with Abdelbaset al-Megrahi will be uncovered.

One target is Lamin Khalifa Fhimah, who stood trial with Megrahi but was acquitted.

Mulholland has already set up a Lockerbie inquiry unit aimed at uncovering new evidence against Fhimah, 55.

The move came after Holyrood scrapped the double-jeopardy law which prevented people being tried twice for the same crime. (...)

Fhimah recently backed the Libyan rebels as the Gaddafi regime fell.

It was thought to be a desperate bid to persuade them not to hand him over for a re-trial.

Former justice minister Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, who claims to have evidence of Gaddafi’s involvement in Lockerbie, is a prominent figure in the new Libyan regime.

Scottish police have also questioned former foreign minister Moussa Koussa, who defected from the Gaddafi regime and is said to hold key information about the 1988 attack.

Other suspects include Gaddafi’s brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi, who headed Libya’s intelligence services, and Ibrahim Nayili, Libya’s former head of airline security.

[A report (behind the paywall) in today's edition of The Times contains the following paragraph:]

The US authorities were furious when Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary, allowed al-Megrahi to be released on compassionate grounds more than two years ago, but, in a sign that relations are improving, the Lord Advocate has been working with the FBI in recent weeks on a detailed plan to find others who were involved in the attack.

[More public relations puffery from the Crown Office. There is not the slightest sign that the Crown Office or the FBI are pursuing the copious evidence that exonerates Abdelbaset Megrahi. On this of all days, the relatives of those who died in the Lockerbie disaster deserve better.]

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