Sunday, 25 May 2014

Predictable American reaction solicited to James Robertson story

[Today’s edition of the Sunday Post contains an article headlined Mother’s fury over Lockerbie story, in which Susan Cohen reacts predictably to James Robertson’s recent jeu d’esprit.  The article reads as follows:]

The mum of a Lockerbie bombing victim has slammed a top author after he appeared to mock the law chief who led the investigation into the atrocity.

Best-selling Scots writer James Robertson has campaigned in the past to clear the name of the only man convicted of the terrorist attack, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Last week — to coincide with the second anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s death in Tripoli — the writer published a short story charting the appearance of “Lord Cummerbund” at an inquiry examining the questionable conviction of “Henry Ingram”.

The character is clearly based on the late Lord Fraser of Carmylie, who as Lord Advocate brought the case against Al-Megrahi.

Four years after the conviction Lord Fraser, who died at home in Arbroath last June aged 68, cast doubt on the reliability of the main prosecution witness, Tony Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper who had sold the clothing used to pack the suitcase containing the bomb, labelling him “an apple short of a picnic”.

In the tale Lord Cummerbund, the “former most senior law officer of the land”, is asked about evidence given by a key witness in the case. He describes it as “crucial” to the conviction even though the witness was, he says, “as thick as two short planks”.

Asked why he “continues to disparage this witness, without whose evidence the guilty verdict could not have been reached”, he responds: “Oh, come on, it’s all over now. We all know Ingram did it.”

Last year, the award-winning author released The Professor of Truth, billed as “inspired by the Lockerbie Bombing”.

It told the story of a university lecturer whose wife and daughter died in the terrorist atrocity in 1988, mirroring the life of Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was one of the 270 victims. But the story prompted a furious backlash by many of the Lockerbie families.

Last night, Susan Cohen, whose daughter Theodora, 20, was on board the Pan Am 103 flight, said: “There’s a sizeable pro-Gaddaffi faction in Scotland, including people like James Robertson.

“I’ve read this story and apart from it being an unflattering reflection of the man who headed up the investigation it’s part of a creeping assertion that Megrahi is innocent.

“Conspiracy theories are always more interesting than the mundane truth.”

Mr Robertson was unavailable for comment.

[Journalists who feel the need to write such a “Lockerbie families outrage” story when scepticism is expressed over the Megrahi conviction know that they can always rely on Susan Cohen to oblige. They also know that they won’t get such outrage and fury from UK Lockerbie relatives which, presumably, is why they don’t go to them for quotes.]


  1. The Nazis cast the Jews as the enemy and anyone who sided with the Jews were unpatriotic and an enemy of Germany.

    The neo-cons [Zionists] cast the Arabs as the enemy and anyone who sides with the Arabs are unpatriotic and an enemy of America nee Israel.

    Thus to seek the truth becomes unpatriotic if it means ‘siding with the Arabs’ and illustrates the influence of this neo-con narrative on American government, media and society.

    And this is why some US families find closure in believing ‘an Arab did it’, because this patriotic response makes their victim a casualty of war, rather than of a State cover-up.

    Also the US Government have used the well-worn tactic of ‘buying off dissent’ by compelling Libya to pay very high compensation payments to the victim families.

    This implies Libyan guilt, but also deters the families from asking pertinent questions that would bring the validity of the payments into doubt!

  2. Whilst I am deeply sympathetic with Mrs Cohen's loss, as I am with all of the 103 bereaved, there is a massive gulf between the bereaved on the UK side of The Pond and the US side. I know this personally as I have been requested to intercede between the UK and USA groups. All I ever got from the US was insults.

    Has there never been a miscarriage of justice in the States? Ever? Never? This was one case involving 270 murders, supported by a flawed police investigation and dismally parlous and discredited forensics. We have a prosecutorial service and a government in Scotland which is currently hell bent on producing even more travesties of justice via scandalous legislation. Thankfully, we do not sanction the death penalty here, yet. Otherwise you and your like in the States could make a murderer out of me by default.

    Read the FACTS then come back and avail us of your considered opinion rather than your emotion.

    I don't know what you listen to, but we are exemplars of reason..

    Robert Forrester (JFM)..


  3. MISSION LIFE WITH THE LOCKERBIE AFFAIR, 2014 (google translation, german/english.

    Attn. Mrs. Susan Cohen:
    We have exculpatory evidence that Abdelbaset al Megrahi and Libya had nothing to do with the bombing of PanAm 103.
    Why Mrs. Cohen does not take the risk for a forensic audit of the MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35) at the Scottish Justiciary ?
    Because you are afraid of a possible blood money receiving over US$ 10 million.

    Sorry Mrs. Cohen, we have exculpatory evidence - you only have allegations ...
    So please use your power for the truth finding and making pressure of Scottish Justiciary.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO LTD. Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage:

  4. RF wrote:
    "...I am deeply sympathetic with Mrs Cohen's loss..."

    Having sadly dead relatives, and then believing that this earns you the right to act with disrespect is a quite common matter.

    Mrs Cohen is a closed-minded individual who does nothing to investigate the matters which people endlessly much better informed than her find highly important in the matter of determining the guilt of Megrahi.

    "There’s a sizeable pro-Gaddaffi faction in Scotland, including people like James Robertson."

    Oh, brilliant. Naturally, questioning Megrahi's conviction qualifies you to be 'pro-Gadaffi' (whatever that would mean).

    The death of her daughter gave her obligations. She continues to fail disgracefully.

  5. There's a reason why a relative of a murder victim would not be allowed to serve on a jury trying someone for that murder. I think everyone needs to remember that.

    I have actually seen someone say, in an internet forum conversation, that we should leave this to the relatives. What on earth makes anyone think the relatives would automatically know what happened, better than anyone else?

    It's about familiarity with the evidence, not personal connection to the crime. And even with the familiarity, we have to be careful taking too much account of anyone with an emotional investment in the affair.

  6. Oh and another thing. The assertion that Magrahi was innocent isn't meant to be "creeping". It's meant to be strident, confident and robust. If it seems to be "creeping" it's only because of a bunch of journalists who are too dim to realise what they've got.