Sunday, 25 March 2012

Statement by John Ashton on the release of the SCCRC report

[What follows is the text of an item just published on John Ashton’s Megrahi: You are my Jury website:]

I am today publishing, in conjunction with the Sunday Herald, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s report on that conviction. It will be available for download here at midday and can already be viewed on the Herald’s website.

Mr Megrahi wishes it to be published because he believes the public has a right to know what the commission uncovered during its four-year investigation. Publication also gives the lie to the claim that he is blocking the report’s release.
The report makes shocking reading. The commission concluded that Mr Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice on no fewer than six grounds. One of these is that the guilty verdict was, in the report’s words, ‘at least arguably one which no reasonable court, properly directed, could have returned’. By any measure, this was a remarkable rebuke to the three senior law lords who heard the case.

However, it is the Crown who will be most embarrassed by publication. This is because four of the six grounds concern its failure to disclose important evidence to Mr Megrahi’s lawyers. There were seven such documents, which are described, in chapters 23 to 25. Those chapters and chapter 26 describe numerous other significant undisclosed documents.
Three of the seven concern reward payments to two key Crown witnesses, Tony and Paul Gauci. The commission established that after Mr Megrahi’s conviction each were ‘paid sums of money under the “Rewards for Justice” programme administered by the US Department of State.’ Police correspondence reveals that the Crown was prevented by its own rules from seeking this reward, yet did not stop the police from doing so.

The Crown’s failure to disclose all of this evidence is a disgrace, for which it must be held to account.
I am sending a copy of the report to the justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, who has acknowledged that he has not seen it. When he has read it, he will no longer be able to cling to the fiction, which continues to be promoted by his government colleague the Lord Advocate, that Mr Megrahi’s conviction is safe.
The only redactions we have made are to protect the identity of certain people and the privacy of Mr Megrahi’s family and his co-accused, Lamin Fhimah. Mr Megrahi does not agree with all of the report’s conclusions, some of which are not favourable to him, however, he has nothing to fear from their publication.
Now that the report is published, the focus of public debate on Lockerbie should shift away from the rights and wrongs of Mr Megrahi’s release to the scandal of his conviction.

1 comment:

  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2012, (google translation, german/english)
    The first impression of the contents of the SCCRC-files:

    The 800-page Scottish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission Report (SCCRC) is in crucial parts superficial with reference to inadequate.
    But the report supports clear Al Megrahi's miscarriage of justice and a new investigation is in the "Lockerbie affair" of urgent necessity !
    What in the 'SCCRC' report immediately is conspicuous, is the silence on intelligence work and the questionable activities of officials from the Swiss Federal Police (Intelligence "BUPO") in cooperation with engineer. U. Lumpert, the FBI, CIA, MI-5/6 and Scottish Police - especially up between January 1989, until September 1990, before the request came from the Scottish Lord Advocate, for international legal assistance,on 1st October 1990, to the Swiss Federal Office for Police Matters (BAP) on 1st October 1990 ?!

    +++ more soon...

    Der erste Eindruck über den Inhalt der SCCRC-Files:
    Der 800 seitige "Scottish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission" Report (SCCRC) ist in entscheidenden Teilen oberflächlich bezugsweise mangelhaft.
    Der Bericht unterstützt aber klar Al Megrahi's Fehlurteil und dass eine neue Untersuchung in der "Lockerbie-Affäre" von dringender Notwendigkeit ist !
    Was beim SCCRC- Bericht sofort auffällt, ist die totale Rücksichtnahme bezugsweise das Schweigen über die fragwürdige Tätigkeit von Offiziellen der Swiss Federal Police (Nachrichtendienst "BUPO") in Zusammenarbeit mit Ingenieur U. Lumpert, der FBI, CIA, MI-5/6 und Scottish Police-- speziell zwischen Januar 1989 bis September 1990, vor der Anfrage von Scottish Lord Advocate, für internationale Rechtshilfe, am 1. Oktober 1990, an das Schweizerische Bundesamt für Polizeiwesen (BAP) am 1. Oktober 1990 ?!

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: