Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Lord Advocate and Justice Secretary reported to UN International Association of Prosecutors

[What follows is the text of a press release issued yesterday night by Justice for Megrahi:]

In an unprecedented move, Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland have been reported to the United Nations International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) by the Justice for Megrahi Group (JfM).

The group is challenging the objectivity and independence of the ongoing investigations into serious criminal allegations against the Crown Office and Police over their handling of the Lockerbie atrocity.

Justice for Megrahi has informed the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee of its decision and has also informed the Committee that the Crown Office has ordered the Police to stop investigating three of the most serious of these allegations.

The new move is part of JfM’s ongoing campaign for an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

The Justice Committee will consider its submissions later today (Tuesday 24 September 2013).

In furtherance of its Petition PE 1370, Justice for Megrahi has updated the Justice Committee on two recent developments related to their petition.

*        JFM has lodged formal complaints with the United Nations International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) against the Lord Advocate, Mr Mulholland, and the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Mr MacAskill, for flouting sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of IAP’s Standards of Professional Responsibilities and Statement of Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors.

*        The Crown Office has ordered Dumfries and Galloway police not to investigate three of the 8 criminal allegations recently made against the Crown  Office, Police and others involved in the original ‘Lockerbie’ investigation.

In a submission to the Justice Committee Robert Forrester, Secretary of the JfM group, states:

“At a time when there is growing concern about the Crown Office and police handling of the whole Lockerbie enquiry, this latest international complaint makes it even more important that our petition remains a live issue within the Scottish Parliament.

“Not only are the Crown Office and police engaged in acting in their own interest by investigating the 8 criminal allegations we have made against them and others but, as we informed you in a previous submission, the Crown office has, without explanation, ordered the police to stop investigating  3 of the most central allegations.

“As the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie tragedy approaches, the Scottish Government has apparently washed its hands of any responsibility for further action in relation to our concerns.

“It is therefore of paramount importance that this affair remains a live issue within the Scottish Parliament and that the Justice Committee continues in its duty to ‘scrutinise the policies and performance of the Scottish Government and its agencies in matters related to justice’ and ensures that this massive stain on our justice system is not buried in the cause of the unaccountable self-interest of our major prosecution agencies.”


1          The report to IAP concerns the Scottish Justice Directorate's and Crown Office’s flouting of sections 1 through to 4 of the IAP's Standards of Professional Responsibilities and Statement of Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors; link herewith for info:

2          10.15 hrs Tuesday 24 September: Scottish Parliament Committee Room 1 – Justice Committee meets to consider the above and other matters associated with their Petition PE1370.

The petition should  be considered some time after 10.30 am. Members of the Justice for Megrahi Committee and its signatory membership will attend the meeting and will be available for interview in the Parliament’s main reception area after the meeting.

[The story has been picked up on a number of news media websites, including that of the Belfast Telegraph whose report also contains the following official responses:

'A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Mr al-Megrahi was convicted in a court of law and the Scottish ministers are clear that a court is the only appropriate forum for considering all the evidence in the case and determining his guilt or innocence. Following consideration of all relevant matters, only a criminal court has the power to either uphold or overturn Mr al-Megrahi's conviction."

'A Crown Office spokesman said allegations made by Justice for Megrahi are being considered by Deputy Chief Constable Patrick Shearer, the former top police officer in the old Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.']

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