Friday, 31 January 2014

A thirteen-year travesty of justice

It was thirteen years ago today that the judges of the Scottish Court at Camp Zeist delivered their verdict of Guilty against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (and Not Guilty against Lamin Fhima) for the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. The Opinion of the Court justifying the verdicts can be read here. In the version originally issued on 31 January 2001, in the very first sentence, their Lordships mis-stated the date of the disaster. This is indicative of the quality of the Opinion as a whole. My critique of the judgment can be read here.


  1. A very useful summary particularly in respect of the Appeal. were they playing to lose?

  2. I found this very informative particularly in respect of the Appeal. I find it hard to comprehend the defence's strategy.

  3. Looks like a monumental error of judgement. Mr Taylor seems to have believed that, since the judges' reasoning had been published, their decisions could not be found to be unreasonable, so he claimed instead that the court had misdirected itself.

    To found on Section 103(b) is to observe that when the judges acted as a three-man jury they were in the same boat as the rest of us, and capable of returning an unreasonable verdict. On the other hand, to found on the claim that they misdirected themselves is to ask an appeal panel of senior judges to agree that their fellow-judges were at fault when acting as judges. Not going to happen.