[A letter from Bob Taylor in today’s edition of The Scotsman reads as follows:]
Is it right at this stage to draw any parallel between the controversy over the Lockerbie bombing and the disaster involving MH17?
Dr Jim Swire has drawn attention, correctly, to the anguish of the victims’ relatives, and to key questions over the Malaysian airliner’s flight path, and the source of the lethal rocket, if that is the real cause of the carnage.
But we should heed, too, the views of Keir Giles. His main point is that investigation of the detail of that carnage is being hampered by local activity of secessionist gunmen and untrained volunteers.
The Lockerbie probe, though by no means flawless, was conducted by the appropriate police authority, together with intelligence services.
The area around which it happened was not, as in the Ukraine, the subject of national and international controversy. A task of investigation which looked utterly formidable was completed and a case made for prosecution of individuals.
We now know that perhaps all the evidence was not looked at, that the Al-Megrahi conviction was controversial, perhaps others were involved, and that even they may be a convenient scapegoat.
It remains the case that a coherent investigation took place as did a trial under Scots law, albeit outwith Scottish territory.
A miscarriage of justice may have taken place, but at least a semblance of legal procedure was followed.
The tragedy in eastern Ukraine is that lawlessness threatens to prevail over an international outrage. Unless pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime to act continues, the reputation of international justice and diplomacy will be destroyed.
[RB: There are credible reports that the integrity of the Pan Am 103 crash scene at Lockerbie was not scrupulously maintained.]