Monday, 5 March 2012

Deception at heart of Megrahi case

[This is the headline over a letter from Dr Jim Swire in today’s edition of The Scotsman.  It reads as follows:]

Maybe I am just getting too old to relish the challenge, but recent noises from the No 10 direction could hardly be more hostile, with David Cameron claiming that John Ashton’s book Megrahi: You Are My Jury is an insult to “the relatives” of the Lockerbie bomb victims – and that before he could possibly have read it: is he Prime Minister of the UK or the US?
The inquiry route, as that proposed by the Justice For Megrahi campaign group, remains before the Holyrood justice committee. How else can we support JFM? My personal view is that there are sufficient material and powers within Scotland to unseat the Scottish verdict and that until that is done Whitehall, let alone the international arena, will remain obdurate.
But pending the day when the verdict does crash, it is a great idea to have made our underlying needs abundantly clear to Whitehall now.
We must not emulate Bonnie Prince Charlie, in turning back at Derby, even as the English king was panicking and putting his valuables aboard ship in the Thames – particularly now we have been given a fresh supply of ammunition to fight with.
The relatives seek answers to the question of who did carry out the atrocity and why were they not prevented from doing so, rather than the simpler question of “was Megrahi guilty or not?”
But the verdict is the obstruction that bars our progress, and the heavy lifting gear to get rid of that obstruction is within Scotland.The two entities needing to be in the cross-hairs are the Crown Office and the Dumfries and Galloway Police. Ashton’s book puts both of them on the back foot.
Once the court proceedings at Zeist, in the Netherlands, are shown to have been corrupted – no matter by whom – it should be for Scotland to set aside her verdict. There is a scientifically verifiable divide between the fragment PT35b and the Mebo timers. Let us not waste time on wondering where the fragment came from and who made it. It appears the differences between the two types of circuit boards are scientifically irreconcilable. If that’s so and can be made to stand up in court, there is no other evidence of a timer used to enable the long journey from Malta to the skies over Lockerbie.
With full analysis of the proven genuine fragment, the prosecution case collapses. Once that happens, Whitehall and the Americans ought to have to answer for their roles in all this, but that probably won’t happen in my lifetime.
Besides, it is wrong that an innocent man, Megrahi, and his family should remain under such overwhelming and unjustified blame a day longer. That also is evil and it has been done in the name of Scottish justice. Addressing the far greater evil of the murders themselves must follow the destruction of the verdict, surely?
We shall all be guilty of failing to fight both those evils if we do not rise up in Scotland to overturn the verdict now.
We can lighten feelings of guilt by realising that the false fragment’s origin clearly was not within Scotland. The book shows that it was the English forensic guys who first pointed out to the Dumfries and Galloway Police in 1999 that the fragment could not have come from a Mebo board. That makes it unlikely that the origin of the fragment lay within the UK either.
All we in Scotland have to answer for is why that information lay hidden within police/Crown Office files from 1999 to 2009, and was never shared with the defence or the Zeist court. Even our careful Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission missed it. Responsibility for that crucial omission lies squarely within Scotland.
Public opinion may be our strongest sword. Though our case as relatives is in some ways less poignant than that of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi as he lies dying, this great deception has meant that all those of us relatives who care to seek the truth have all died a little too, we also carry a life sentence of grief, and it is hard not to be bitter over the way we have been deceived.
Sometimes it is hard also to resist the temptation to seek revenge against those who have misused the trust we placed in them to solve this case, but revenge was the fuel for Lockerbie, and to succumb to it would be to hand a further victory to those who murdered and those who have deceived. That cannot ever be right.


  1. Did David Cameron actually say this? As far as I can see there is some claim that a No 10 spokesman said this - to whom I do not know.

    I do agree with Dr Swire that this issue is not simply was Megrahi guilty or not which I suspect will be the sole focus of John Ashton's book which I will be reviewing in due course.


    Congratulations to writer, researcher at TV producer JOHN ASHTON for the extensive research in Mehgrahi's book: YOU ARE MY JURY
    This book proposes a fresh approach in the "Lockerbie-Affair"-- and please 'SCCR-Commission' open the rest of the "Pandora Box"...
    The case has been littered with phony evidence, we should expect more.
    It won't alter the fact that the prosecution case is destroyed, more importantly, that Abdelbaset Al Megrahi is innocent.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: