Friday, 11 May 2012

An exchange of views

[There has been an interesting exchange of views on the website of Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm arising out of the publication of Robert Forrester’s article The Damned Crown and the accompanying news item Crown Office under fire over “corruption of the trial court” in Pan Am 103 case. The exchange reads as follows:]

Mr Forrester should read paragraph 252 of the Appeal Court's judgment. That court said the evidence would have made no difference but that fact does not suit his, and this magazine's, agenda.
2 days ago, 07:33:08

Robert Forrester
Perhaps there is a flaw in my logic but I fail to see how an Appeal Court decision justifies the withholding of evidence from a trial court.
2 days ago, 12:26:06

Logic? How does a Crown statement which repeats what the Appeal Court said constitute "corruption of the trial court"? Yes the evidence should have been disclosed but it was heard in the appeal and dismissed.
If the break in evidence had never featured at all I could see your point or are you suggesting the Appeal Court was wrong to dismiss it? I think I can guess your answer. All these pesky judges eh!!
Yesterday, 15:03:10

Robert Forrester 
Nothing whatsoever to do with 'pesky judges' actually but everything to do with the fact that the spokesperson is using an event which occurred after the fact (conviction) to say that it (the conviction) was a foregone conclusion because of an appeal judgement which quite obviously hadn't even been produced at the time. From this twisted and convoluted, backward reasoning we are expected to accept that the withholding of evidence from the court of fact is justifiable. It isn't. In the same way that denying the court knowledge of testimony produced on the back of a financial inducement to a witness who was 'not quite the full shilling' wouldn't be either. There is no argument. Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary passed the evidence concerning the Heathrow break in to the Crown (albeit in an unusual manner), the Crown subsequently failed to avail the defence of this knowledge. So no, not judges, facts.
Yesterday, 18:15:16


  1. I would be interested to know when the Crown Office and indeed the Police investigators became aware of the "Manley" break-in. Was it something Mr Manley himself raised with the defence after the Camp Zeist Trial? As far as I am aware the Heathrow investigation was delegated to the Metropolitan Police who came up with a politically convenient conclusion based not on evidence but flawed logic that the Trial Judges themselves rejected! This saved them having to take over responsibility for the entire investigation.

  2. I find that idea that the Met didn't want responsibility for Lockerbie very interesting. I think the converse may also be true. This was the biggest thing that had ever happened to the D&G and they totally did not want to lose their ticket to fame and glory to the Met.

    So both groups may well have been equally motivated to come to the conclusion that wherever the bomb went on board it wasn't Heathrow.

  3. "Yes the evidence should have been disclosed but it was heard in the appeal and dismissed."

    A piece of evidence usually needs further support before it has significant weight.

    Had the defense known about the break-in they could have called in witnesses from Heatrow. How often do such break-ins occur? How easy would it be, given that a lock was broken open, to place a bomb in the luggage? Were any suspicious people seen? Etc.

    It should be clear to anyone that answers here could change the case completely.

    But without the defense having the knowledge about the break-in, no witnesses will be called and the questions will never be asked.

    The argumentation that "it wouldn't have made a difference anyway", based on a verdict of an appeal court, is more than ordinarily stupid.

    I can't imagine that there is a single law student in Scotland who would not agree to that?

  4. The Metropolitan Police presence covering Heathrow is based at Heathrow Police Station. The Met operation is largely funded by BAA and by BA and in the past there have been complaints about alleged crimes at Heathrow not getting the invesitgation they deserved.