Tuesday 6 May 2014

Lockerbie bombing: Megrahi conviction review sought by families

[This is the headline over a report by Lucy Adams published today on the BBC News website.  It reads as follows:]

Twenty-five relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims have agreed to support a new application to clear the name of the only man convicted.

They will give the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) their new application in the next few weeks to try to overturn the conviction.

It has been prepared by legal expert Prof Robert Black. [RB: What I have prepared is a draft, which must now be finalised and improved for submission to the Commission.]

The Crown Office said it would "rigorously defend" Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's conviction.

He was the only man convicted of the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people, died in 2012.

The application will focus on new evidence garnered since he dropped his appeal almost five years ago and the six grounds on which the SCCRC concluded it might have been a miscarriage of justice in its previous 2007 report.

Megrahi dropped his appeal to expedite his return home to Tripoli after he learned he had terminal cancer.

He was released from Greenock prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds and died in Libya two years ago.

Dr Jim Swire and John Mosey both lost children in the tragedy.

They met with Prof Black in Glasgow to finalise the plans for the application. [RB: The meeting in Glasgow was with lawyers who will be involved in presenting the application to the SCCRC.]

Any applicant must have a "legitimate interest" in the case and the SCCRC would normally consult the deceased's family before accepting an application. 

The BBC understands that Megrahi's family have given their tacit approval.

Last year Megrahi's brother Abdel-Hakim al-Megrahi told the BBC they wanted a "fresh appeal and for the truth to be revealed".

Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the bombing, said he was confident the SCCRC would be sympathetic to a request from UK relatives of Lockerbie victims.

He said the relatives wanted answers.

"I have a privilege of representing about 25 British relatives," Dr Swire said.

"These are people who want to know the truth about who murdered their family. They want the public to know the truth about how, they believe, they have been deliberately kept from knowing the truth themselves by our government."

If the commission agrees to review the application and agrees the conviction could constitute a miscarriage of justice, they would then refer the case to the High Court.

The court could agree to hear the appeal or veto the referral.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "We do not fear scrutiny of the conviction by the SCCRC.

"The evidence upon which the conviction was based was rigorously scrutinised by the trial court and two appeal courts after which Megrahi stands convicted of the terrorist murder of 270 people.

"We will rigorously defend this conviction when called upon to do so. In the meantime we will continue the investigation with US and Scottish police and law enforcement."

[The Crown Office is up to its old tricks again. It knows very well that the evidence on which the conviction was based was not “rigorously scrutinised” by two appeal courts.  The court which heard the first appeal held that it was barred by the grounds of appeal submitted by Megrahi’s then legal team from considering whether there was sufficient evidence to convict or whether, on the evidence, any reasonable court could have done so. Hardly a rigorous examination of the evidence; indeed, no examination of the evidence at all. And the second appeal was abandoned long before any rigorous examination of the evidence could take place. The Crown Office knows all this perfectly well. But it persists in putting out untruthful statements to the media. Its behaviour throughout the Lockerbie saga has been uniformly disgraceful.]


  1. "They would say that, wouldn't they."

    I'd sack the lot of them. There seems to be no thought whatsoever of truth or justice in the entire boiling.

  2. When is your people going to wake up and kick out the mafia you have over there?
    If it was 'only' in Lockerbie matters, well, passivity today might be understandable.
    But dishonest people are dishonest people. God knows what else goes on.

  3. Not till after 18th September 2014 at the earliest. Probably not till after 24th March 2016, realistically. Even then, who knows?

    People don't believe it's possible that a body can be as self-serving, blind and even corrupt as the Crown Office. So it just carries on, with the people who become concerned regarded as maybe a bit eccentric at best.

  4. "People don't believe it's possible that a body can be as self-serving, blind and even corrupt as the Crown Office."

    Maybe that is somehow a natural development of a democracy.

    I have been told that new scuba-drivers rarely have accidents as they keep close to the book. But later they feel knowledgeable and start relaxing.

    Could it be that in the early development in a democracy, the people are on the street and damned conscious about who they give the power to. It's the time for constitutions and heated debates in the parliament.

    Then, as time goes by, people live a safe and rather undisturbed life, which of course has great advantages.

    And the few with power learn to play the democracy-game, how to please a majority, as this is what it is all about. Nobody ever needed to fool all the people all the time.

    The owners of the press is in that power-group too, of course. What do they really have to gain by having their writers blowing whistles?

    I don't know. I just find it incredible how little people seem to care about absolutely fundamental values, and how little it costs to lie.