Thursday, 18 September 2014

UK Government blocks release of evidence to Megrahi lawyers

What follows is an item posted on this blog six years ago on this date. On this historic day I do not expect anyone, at least in Scotland, to read it.

Court rules Lockerbie timer details to stay secret

This is the headline over an article by Lucy Adams in The Herald. The story reads in part:

'The Appeal Court in Edinburgh has decided to appoint a special defender to view confidential documents thought to contain vital information about the electronic timer that detonated the Lockerbie bomb.

'The decision follows an unprecedented hearing, held behind closed doors, at which the UK Government argued that revealing the documents would compromise security.

'The advocate general, who represents the UK Government in Scottish courts, asked the court to appoint a security-vetted lawyer who could look at the documents on behalf of the defence team of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing.

'This special defender would then argue which parts of the document should be published - although judges would make the final decision about how much, if anything, should be revealed.

'So far the court has not published its decision, but Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has written a letter confirming that the court has decided to appoint a special defender.

'It will be the first time such a course has been taken in Scotland, although some English courts have appointed special defenders to examine evidence in terrorism cases.

'There has been no official comment from Megrahi's legal team, although it is thought it is planning an appeal to the Privy Council, arguing that the move will violate his human rights.'

The full article can be read here.


  1. It would take until June 2012 for the content of the above document to leak out.

    It was written by an un-named official or intelligence agent in Jordan and claimed that the Jibril group was involved in the Lockerbie attack.

    When the Scottish Herald discovered its contents and wanted to publish, the British government threatened legal action, asking the Herald editors to sign a gagging order.

    An un-named source told the Herald “The document itself is historical... so it is hard to believe it presents any risk at all to national security. It originates from Jordan and incriminates the Palestinian terror group the PFLP-GC. This is a most remarkable piece of evidence. It does not rule out the Libyans but it does indicate that others were involved. It also shows the lengths the UK Government was prepared to go to in order to ensure that any evidence undermining their case against Libya would never see the light of day."

    The Herald also revealed that the SCCRC team that investigated Megrahi's conviction discovered the existence of the document during their four-year investigation, completed in 2007.

    The commission was only able to access the document after signing a special agreement not to divulge the contents.

    Their investigative team were allowed to read it only within the confines of Dumfries police station, and were not allowed to take notes or make copies.

    The SCCRC then ruled that the contents were so disturbing that an appeal court might conclude that Megrahi’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

    It is still the case that only the Scottish Crown, UK Government and SCCRC team know the contents of the document.

    A spokesman for the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "The Government entered into a dialogue with The Herald in line with its long-established practice, supported by successive governments, to seek to prevent publication of any material that could cause significant harm to the UK's international relations and national security."

    This attempt to again conceal important evidence is a clear admission that the priority is and always has been to conceal the corrupting intelligence trade between Britain, the United States, and a range of countries across the world.

    In such a process, the murder of two hundred and seventy human beings and the destruction of the lives of their families remain of little consequence.

  2. I forgot to add that the statement from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth office slyly redefines the word "dialogue". It is usually defined as a conversation between equals.

    However, what he really means is "If you publish we will prosecute you under the official secrets act."

    Orwell would be pleased to see his prophecies coming true.