Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lockerbie jet was set for the scrapheap after law chiefs’ decision

[This is the headline over a report published in today’s Scottish edition of The Sun.  It reads as follows:]

The wreckage of the bombed Lockerbie jet was almost SCRAPPED — even though it is vital evidence in the hunt for the terror attack’s plotters.

Law chiefs planned to destroy the remains of Pan Am Flight 103, which was blown out of the sky with the loss of 270 lives.

The move was only ditched because Crown Office officials had no idea who owned the ravaged fuselage.

Last night a legal source said: “If anyone else does end up on trial, it wouldn’t have looked good that they allowed evidence to be disposed of or destroyed.

“The defence would have had a field day. The wreckage had been stored at an Air Accident Investigation Branch hangar in Farnborough, Hants for almost 25 years.

We told how it was brought to Scotland in April.

But in 2009, weeks after dying bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi dropped his appeal and was freed on compassionate grounds, a senior official wrote: “The Crown no longer has any interest in retaining the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103.”

However, efforts to get rid of the wreck were hampered because of problems establishing who owned the remains.

And while the wrangle dragged on, Libyan despot Colonel Gaddafi was overthrown — prompting a change of heart by prosecutors. Campaigner Robert Forrester, secretary of the Justice for Megrahi group, blasted the Crown for trying to scrap the jet.

He said: “It is material evidence and it shouldn’t be messed around with, let alone destroyed.

“That would have been an absolute scandal and would have landed the Crown in quite a lot of difficulty.

“It must have been apparent in 2009 that it could have been used in further legal proceedings.”

Last night a Crown Office spokesman said: “This is a live investigation into the others who acted with Megrahi in the bombing of Pan Am 103.

“It is necessary to retain the fuselage which was used as evidence in the Lockerbie trial.” 

[Perhaps it is appropriate to draw attention once again to How do you solve a problem like Crown Office?]

1 comment:

  1. It has certainly survived longer than the debris from 9/11 that was shipped to China for scrap immediately after the three towers were destroyed by two planes!

    But there’s no point keeping the wreckage unless the defence is prepared to re-examine the cause of the crash to debunk Megrahi’s conviction.

    But if not then the extraordinary miscarriage of justice can be overturned due to lack of evidence against Megrahi without having to re-examine the wreckage.

    With the truth about Pan Am 103 being left for posterity to reveal, like the Hindenburg.

    And there’s no chance of anyone else being prosecuted for the ‘bomb’, following the compensation payments and destruction of Libya.