[This is the headline over an article (behind the paywall) in today’s edition of The Sunday Times. It picks up on an item posted on this blog over a week ago. The article (with its eccentric spelling of Gaddafi) reads in part:]
Colonel Gadaffi’s former lawyer has said that a Scottish police visit to Libya to investigate the Lockerbie bombing will yield no credible evidence implicating the country.
David Cameron announced last week that the Libyan government was to allow officers from Dumfries and Galloway to travel to north Africa to seek fresh evidence about Britain’s worst terrorist attack.
Scottish prosecutors believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan agent convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, could not have acted alone.
Investigators are interested in interviewing other Libyan suspects about the atrocity which killed 270 people and in viewing Libyan files relating to the attack.
However, Francis Boyle, a professor of international law who represented Gadaffi at the world court in the 1990s, said he was convinced that Libya was not responsible.
He added that the dictator’s personal files were “blown to hell” during the 2011 uprising which led to Gadaffi’s death in October that year.
Boyle said families of those who died in the 1988 attack stood a better chance of discovering the truth if Cameron ordered Britain’s intelligence agencies and police to release their own files.
Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, said he had warned Gadaffi’s regime that, while Iran was viewed as the prime suspect for the attack, Libya would be used by the American government as “a convenient scapegoat”.
He claims that British files held on the case before British and US investigators switched their focus on Libya “would get closer to what really happened in this terrible tragedy”.
“My client Muammar Gadaffi had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing, he was not involved with it, he did not order it and Libya had nothing to do with it. Megrahi was just a scapegoat,” said Boyle.
“The truth as understood by the British government is in the files of MI5, MI6 and Scotland Yard and I believe that is where the next stage of the investigation should be.
“David Cameron should order up a paper — what evidence did they have, what were their working premises prior to the decision to blame it all on Libya?”
Boyle said he believes Gadaffi’s presidential files were destroyed when his Bab al-Azizia military barracks and compound were reduced to rubble in the uprising. While he believes files from the foreign ministry, security minister and ministry for justice may remain, he also voiced concerns about the authenticity of any files found.
However, news of a likely visit by Scottish police next month was welcomed by Susan Cohen of New Jersey, whose daughter Theodora was killed in the atrocity.
Cohen, who is convinced Libya was to blame, said: “I am encouraged by it. I don’t know how many files monsters like Gadaffi kept but that the police are going is very good.” (...)
[A letter from William Burns in The Scotsman of Monday, 4 February reads as follows:]
The announcement by David Cameron (...) in 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 and examine all files relating to the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, looks like a thin excuse to try to find a loophole to vindicate bringing to trial Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah.
This new, apparently puppet-regime of the western powers in Libya should be demanding, more appropriately, that officers from Libya visit Scotland to examine all files relating to what was, in the eyes of many, and for all practical purposes, a “show trial” of two innocent Libyans.
It was well documented in the earliest days that the bombing was largely financed by Iran and carried out by Syrians. It was to Britain and America’s advantage to turn a blind eye to Iran’s involvement at the time because Iran sided with the so-called Allies in the Desert Storm offensive against Iraq. On the other hand, Libya’s Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, verbally supported Iraq.
However, if the Prime Minister is allowed to use this ploy to pull the final curtain down on the Lockerbie trial, he will be doing a grave disservice to the victims of the bombing and to their families, and not least to the people in Scotland who are fighting to expose the deep-rooted corruption that permeates the Scottish legal system.