Monday, 16 April 2012

"I accuse..."

[This is the headline over an article by me published today on the website of Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm. It consists of verbatim extracts (in translation) from Émile Zola’s famous public letter “J’accuse...” on the Dreyfus affair.  The final two paragraphs of my article read as follows:]

With the substitution of Megrahi for Dreyfus, Scotland for France, and the office of First Minister for that of President of the French Republic, every word can with equal justice be addressed to Alex Salmond. The magnitude of the Scottish miscarriage of justice and the flaws in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication that led to it have been exposed in the SCCRC’s Statement of Reasons published by The Herald; in John Ashton’s book Megrahi: You are my Jury ; in David Wolchover’s monograph Culprits of Lockerbie; and in Dr M G Kerr’s article An overview of the Lockerbie case.  There is now no shred of justification for continuing to maintain that all is for the best in the best of all criminal justice systems or  -- the coward’s fallback position -- that, while there may have been a few technical, procedural defects in his trial and conviction, Megrahi was clearly guilty anyway, so what does it matter?

Zola’s letter was headed “J’accuse”.  Although the Lockerbie investigation, prosecution and conviction occurred under UK Conservative and Labour administrations, it is Mr Salmond and the Scottish Government that today have the power to put right the disgraceful miscarriage of justice that occurred on the watch of two of their political opponents; and it is accordingly the Scottish SNP Government that today stands accused. The only honourable course of action open to that government is to institute an independent inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 into the performance of the Scottish criminal justice system in the Megrahi case, as a matter which has caused grave public concern. 

[I am grateful to Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer, author of the encyclopaedic 174-part Lockerbie series Diary of a Vengeance Foretold, for drawing my attention to an article entitled The Dreyfus Affair: Enduring CI Lessons published in the March 2011 issue (vol 55, no 1) of the journal Studies in Intelligence.]

No comments:

Post a Comment