Thursday, 31 January 2013

Lockerbie bombing: Scottish police to visit Libya

[This is the headline over a report on the BBC News website.  It reads in part:]

Police officers investigating the 1988 Lockerbie bombing are to visit Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

The new Libyan government indicated in December it was prepared to open all files relating to the bombing. (...)

Megrahi was released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds, suffering from terminal prostate cancer.

He remains the only person ever convicted of the bombing, but Scottish police hope to pursue other suspects in Libya following the country's revolution and downfall of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

Mr Cameron announced at a joint news conference in Tripoli with his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan that officers from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary had been granted permission to visit the country.

He said: "I am delighted that the Dumfries and Galloway police team will be able to visit your country to look into the issues around the Lockerbie bombing."

The officers are expected to travel to Libya in March.

A spokesman for the police force said: "Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary welcomes the support of the Libyan authorities for the ongoing investigation.

"Travel details and dates cannot be released for security reasons, and to protect the integrity of the investigation."

The father of one of the victims of the bombing welcomed the news but said officers must travel "with an open mind".

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora, believes that Megrahi was wrongly convicted.

Scotland's top prosecutor had previously written to the new Libyan prime minister for help and the UK government had said it was pressing Tripoli "for swift progress and co-operation" on the Lockerbie case.

In April last year, Scotland's Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland travelled to Tripoli with the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, requesting co-operation after the fall of Gaddafi.

This was followed in May by a meeting with Libya's interim prime minister in London to discuss further inquires into the bombing.

A statement from the Crown Office in Scotland said it welcomed Libyan support for the ongoing investigation.

A Crown Office spokesperson said: "The investigation into the involvement of others with Megrahi in the Lockerbie bombing remains open and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary continues to work with Crown Office and US authorities to pursue available lines of enquiry."

[A similar report on the STV News website can be read here.

The Herald’s report on David Cameron’s statement contains the following perceptive comment from Justice for Megrahi‘s secretary:]

Robert Forrester, secretary of the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which wants an independent inquiry to look again at the conviction, said: "As far as I am concerned, the conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice and the efforts the police and Crown Office are making to locate other Libyans who may have colluded in the bringing down of Pan Am flight 103 amount to little more than eye-wash.

"In other words, I think it's a thoroughly cynical attempt to deceive the public into thinking the conviction was justified."


  1. This case remains a school example of government and press misinformation.
    A completely failing system.

    An insane verdict, a non-retrial, SCCRCs decision, loads of evidence coming up which contradict the verdict, and a accusation from serious sources of criminal wrongdoing by Crown and investigative forces.

    No problem at all. I suppose we should be thrilled that Jim Swire is even mentioned.

    What else is new?

  2. Could SM elaborate on what he means by "SCCRCs decision"? I found parts of the summary of their conclusions very disturbing.

  3. Dear Baz
    By "SCCRCs decision" I simply referred to

    "Having considered all the material issues, the Commission has decided to refer the applicant’s case to the High Court...."

    in their "Statement of Reasons".

    You wrote:
    "I found parts of the summary of their conclusions very disturbing."

    Sure, as could be expected!? It is now your turn to elaborate!