Saturday, 21 December 2013

The case didn't follow the rule of law, says Hans Köchler

Today is the 25th anniversary of the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.  Unsurprisingly, the news media are full of articles about the disaster.  Most of these are commemorative human interest pieces and some of them are extremely moving. Of the reports that focus on hard news, the following are worth noting: 

CIA held Syrian militants responsible for Lockerbie bombing in The Telegraph;
Lockerbie mystery still unsolved after 25 years in Deutsche Welle from which the following is an excerpt:

Hans Köchler goes a step further in his assessment of the incident. The Austrian philosopher was sent to The Hague in 2000 by the UN Secretary-General to observe the Lockerbie trial. He was present when Scottish judges acquitted a Libyan intelligence officer and sentenced the other accused suspect, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, to life imprisonment." From what I know and have seen," says Köchler, "this is a miscarriage of justice." (...)

‘There is only speculation about the real masterminds behind the Lockerbie bombing. Iran is always named, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was involved in many attacks at the time. But the evidence is contradictory, and 25 years after Lockerbie, there is apparently no one who wants to know the truth. (...)

‘Former observer Hans Köchler is one of those demanding the case be reopened. "It's necessary in order to restore confidence in government and the judiciary," says Köchler, "since many in Scotland are convinced that the case didn't follow the rule of law."’

Finally, here is a link to a bonkers piece by Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph in which he argues that the Scottish Government should apologise for the compassionate release of Megrahi because the medical advice that they, quite properly, followed turned out to be inaccurate; and a link to a typically ill-informed and blinkered article in The Times by that well-known Dr Pangloss of the Lockerbie case, Magnus Linklater.



    Thank you Professor Dr. Hans Köchler that you still support the campaigning for truth.
    Good health and a successful 2014

    Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd.. Switzerland. Webpage:

  2. Strictly speaking Alan Cochrane is right the Scottish Government should apologise and resign for their criminal decision to release a mass murderer.

    To pretend his release was for compassionate reasons was obvious spin to make a virtue of a vice, because you don’t release a mass murderer even if they only have days, let alone months (years) to live.

    And thus no sane Scottish Government would have done it, unless they knew the truth and had been given the all clear by US/UK governments, who would condemn the move in public, but agree in private.

    Thus Megrahi’s shocking release reveals the shocking truth that he is innocent, because he wouldn’t have been released unless he was.

    Something that would have been clearer to all if his appeal had been heard, which is why it wasn’t.

    Also as it appears the State is now getting ready to overturn the conviction, Unionists would be wiser to support JfM, to ensure they end up on the winning side on this justice issue.

  3. I hardly ever write on facebook, but it was a good occasion to post the below.

    Hardly a single person would have the slightest clue that there would be any doubt that there would be problems with Megrahi's conviction.

    - - -

    In these minutes, 25 years ago, PANAM103 had just taken off from Heathrow, and well on its way to JFK Airport. It should not get that far. About half a kilo of modern explosives, hidden in a suitcase, went off. 270 people, of these 11 on the ground in the tiny Scottish town Lockerbie was killed.
    In the years that followed, two people from Libya was indicted. Libya was embargoed, bringing economy to its knees. Gadaffi finally released the two, A-Megrahi and Fhimah.
    The case was a scandal in every way. Fhimah was acquitted.

    Two witnesses identified Megrahi. One, Giaki, was discarded already at trial, as totally untrustworthy. He had been caught in a number of lies.
    The other, Tony Gauci from Malta, changed his story a number of times, showing increased willingness to say what the prosecution wanted him to say.
    He was later found to have been promised money, and after the trial he received 2 million USD. Further investigations showed, that the police had edited in his original statements, but had forgot to destroy the copies made by the Maltesian police.

    As if this was not bad enough, it turned out that there had been a break-in into the luggage area at Heathrow. This could have had nothing to do with Megrahi.

    In 2007, the Scottish Criminal Case Revision Commission found that the conviction would not stand, and referred the case back to court.

    This was dynamite. The case against Megrahi was now completely dead. The scandal of a retrial was unbearable. Fortunately, Megrahi had terminal cancer. "Drop the appeal and we will let you go home to die with your family."

    While the world expressed outrage, Megrahi went home where he died last year.

    Further scandals were revealed. The timer-fragment, that should prove that Libya was involved was proven to be fake and could not have been coming from the factory claimed by the prosecution.

    And finally it was proven that the suitcase could not have come from Malta, but could only have been loaded in Heathrow.

    Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, 'the Lockerbie bomber' was innocent.

    Ever since, a group of people, many of them parents and other relatives, have fought to get the verdict overturned. One of them is Dr. Robert Black, a top-ranking Scottish lawyer, the same person that got the case running in the first place.

    - - -

    In these minutes, the plane was falling to the ground, unjustifiably killing 270 people and Libya, being made a scapegoat, was sacrificed too.

    Soren "Frank"