Around this time in October 2009 the Crown Office announced that there would be a review of the evidence in the Lockerbie case with a view to ascertainining whether persons in addition to Abdelbaset Megrahi should stand trial. On 25 October 2009 the following item was published on this blog:
Dr Swire doubts sincerity of Crown Office announcement
[In an article written for Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm, Dr Jim Swire casts doubt on the sincerity of the Crown Office's announcement of a review of the evidence in the Lockerbie case. He writes:]
Naturally the UK Lockerbie relatives would love to see a fully enabled objective criminal investigation re-examining all the currently available Lockerbie evidence.
But how can an objective criminal investigation not impinge on the verdict against Megrahi? The Crown Office's case against Megrahi depended on the evidence of identification by Gauci.
Yet we now know that when the clothing was in fact bought from Gauci's shop, Megrahi was not even on the island of Malta, but Abu Talb was. We also now know that Harry Bell of the investigating Scots police recorded that the Americans wanted to give Gauci $10,000 'up front' with $2,000,000 to follow if conviction was successful. Clearly they must have thought the identification evidence critical.
It was in Talb's flat in Sweden that the Swedish police found further items of clothing from Gauci's shop. The Crown currently has no known explanation for this.
Yet if Talb, not Megrahi, bought the clothing, the verdict against Megrahi would have to be quashed. Are those currently and previously forming the Crown Office, as well as Colin Boyd, (the most implicated Lord Advocate), prepared to see their 'new investigative directions' lead to such an outcome? There is of course no evidence that any of them offered any inducements to Gauci or anyone else, but surely their careers and reputations depend on their past conduct of this case? So would the new criminal investigation be objective, I ask myself?
I cannot free my mind of the words of Prof Hans Koechler, the UN's appointed special International Observer at the court: he thought the verdict so incomprehensible that it could only have been reached through (his words) 'deliberate malpractice’ by Scotland's Crown Office.
So what to do? Observers should remember that under current Human Rights legislation and the Inquiries Act 2005, we the relatives have a right to a full and objective enquiry.
Meanwhile those who swear by the Megrahi verdict might like to visit the London Review of Books website and search for 'Megrahi' they will find a devastating analysis as to the conduct of the trial written by Gareth Peirce, one of England's most noted miscarriage of justice and human rights lawyers.
Further, if the Crown Office are really to refer matters as alleged (for I personally have no communication from them) to 'forensic experts' it is to be hoped that they will never again try to use the thoroughly discredited Hayes and Feraday.
[In another article in the magazine, headed 'Cynicism and doubt over latest Crown Office “spoiler”', the following paragraph appears:
"Dr Jim Swire told the Firm that - contrary to their usual practice - the Crown Office have not even contacted him to advise that any new investigation was planned. He said the coincidental timing of the Crown’s announcement had unavoidably distracted attention from the same day announcement by UK Families [Flight] 103 that they had delivered a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to instigate a full independent inquiry into the Lockerbie event under the Inquiries Act 2005. He described the Crown’s act as a “spoiler,” pointing out that any investigation would be useless as long as the Crown refused to quash the outstanding guilty verdict against Megrahi."]