Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Scottish police are accused of acting illegally

[This is the headline over a report published today in the Maltese newspaper The Times.  It reads in part:]

The Scottish police acted illegally in the course of investigations over the Lockerbie bombing, according to the campaign group Justice for Megrahi.

Members of the group yesterday gave details of the allegations listed in a letter they sent the Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill last month.

Robert Black, a lawyer, said the group made six allegations of criminal misconduct by the Scottish police in the course of investigations. (…)

Members of the prosecution team are accused by the group of presenting a scenario to the court “which was known to be false”.

They also accuse the Dumfries and Galloway police of concealing a witness statement in relation to an airside break-in at Heathrow airport on the same day the bombing happened.

The Scottish Justice Ministry responded by saying reports of criminal activity should have been reported to the police.

“The reason we did not do so was because the allegations concern police officers within the Dumfries and Galloway police,” Prof Black said. The group has now filed an official report and will “wait and see” what action the police will take.

Pan Am flight 103 blew up on December 21, 1988, over the Scottish town of Lockerbie after leaving Heathrow airport. The terrorist attack killed 270 people.

The case put forward by the prosecution argued the suitcase in which the bomb was placed left Malta on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt before being transferred to another flight to Heathrow.

Libyans Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah were accused of the bombing. At an international trial in Camp Zeist, The Netherlands, only Mr Megrahi was found guilty.

However, campaigners such as Prof Black and Jim Swire, the father of a Lockerbie victim, have insisted Mr Megrahi was innocent.

In 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission concluded that a miscarriage of justice may have taken place.

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