Monday, 19 March 2012

Lockerbie: Crown owes explanation

[This is the headline over a report in today's edition of The Herald.  It reads in part:]

The Crown Office owes the country an explanation for its handling of the Lockerbie bombing, former MP Tam Dalyell has claimed.

Mr Dalyell, who believes that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is innocent of the atrocity, said the Crown had "misbehaved" during the prosecution and that the trial judges "seemingly were deceived".
The veteran politician and former Father of the House of Commons has been a prominent figure in attempts to uncover the truth about the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in which 270 people were killed.
Mr Dalyell, taking part in the Glasgow's Aye Write! literary festival, said during several of his 16 adjournment debates in the House of Commons, he raised the questions contained in a report by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) and revealed in The Herald last week.
He said: "The Crown Office have been really culpable in my opinion in that they misbehaved, and misbehaved in relation to the judges.
"I realise that the judges find it difficult to go back on previous cases but in these exceptional circumstances, I really wonder what Lord Coulsfield [one of the trial judges], is thinking because the judges seemingly were deceived."
Mr Dalyell, who has previously said that he was "mystified" at how the judges could have arrived at a verdict other than not guilty or not proven, added: "I am quite prepared to concede that the judges didn't know all the evidence at the time, but the Crown Office did. And the Crown office really do owe the rest of the country an explanation."
He said that after John Major left Downing Street, the former Prime Minister told him he had spent an hour after an adjournment debate questioning officials on whether "Tam Dalyell could be right" in his concerns about the Lockerbie trial.
At the Aye Write! festival Mr Dalyell was asked about Holyrood's handling of the return to Libya of Megrahi and he said he believed the dying, convicted bomber was released because the Scottish Government "knew he was innocent".
Mr Dalyell's latest book, The Importance of Being Awkward, an autobiography, includes details of his hard-fought Lockerbie campaign.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the former FBI officer who oversaw the Lockerbie investigation has claimed that the SCCRC did not consult anyone from the Bureau when it was compiling its report.
[If the SCCRC consulted the lead investigators – the Scottish police – and had access to the records of the investigation, why should it be expected to consult all the other national police forces working in the lead investigators’ team? Are Messrs Revell and Marquise suggesting that the FBI had incriminating material that it did not share with the rest of the team?] 

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