Sunday, 23 November 2014

Pan Am 103, Iran Air 655 and Christine Grahame MSP

[Christine Grahame MSP has over many years fought staunchly to have the truth about Lockerbie uncovered. Here is just one example taken from an item posted on this blog on this date in 2009:]

An SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament has called for an international inquiry to be established to examine the full circumstances that led to the blowing up of Pan Am 103 in December 1988 and the shooting down of Iranian Flight 655, by the US navy five months before the Lockerbie attack.

Christine Grahame MSP believes that the two incidents are “inextricably linked” and expressed a hope that an internationally backed inquiry would lead to the real perpetrators of both attacks being brought to justice. Ms Grahame said:

“Amongst all the furore surrounding Abdelbaset al Megrahi’s release from prison in August, the wider substantive issues have been left obscured.

“I and many others who have examined this case believe on the evidence we have seen that the murder of 270 people over Lockerbie in December 1988 was a revenge attack sponsored by the Iranians in response to the shooting down of one of their passenger jets, Flight 655, five months earlier by the US navy. That vessel, the USS Vincennes, entered Iranian waters in a deliberately provocative move, before firing a surface to air missile at a schedule passenger flight taking Iranian pilgrims [to] Mecca.

“The US claim that this incident was an ‘accident’ simply does not hold water. It was, like the attack on Pan Am 103 five months later, a crime against humanity that targeted civilians and in the Iranian incident led to the deaths of 290 passengers.

“I am today calling on an international inquiry to be established to consider and examine these two inter-related atrocities and I would hope that ultimately this may lead to some effort being made to bring to justice those responsible.

“I accept that the US failure to be a signatory to the International Court of Criminal Justice makes it unlikely that the officers of the USS Vincennes or their Commander in Chief at the time of the blowing up of Flight 655, will face any due legal process. That will also be the case for the Iranian Government officials who authorised and sponsored the attack on Pan Am 103. Nonetheless such an inquiry would help expose the reality of what took place and the hypocrisy of those who are arguing that justice has been served in the Pan Am 103 attack by the wrongful conviction of Abdelbaset al Megrahi.”

Ms Grahame has today (Monday) lodged a parliamentary motion at the Scottish Parliament which calls on an independent inquiry to be established and urges relevant Scottish public authorities, such as the Crown Office and police, to co-operate fully with it.

Text of parliamentary motion:

International Inquiry, Pan Am 103 and Flight 655

That the Parliament supports the establishment of an international inquiry into the circumstances that led to the blowing up of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988 that murdered 270 passengers and urges all relevant Scottish authorities to co-operate with it; further supports that such an inquiry should also consider the relationship of that atrocity to the shooting down of Iranian flight 655 over the Straits of Hormuz five months before by a US warship, which claimed the lives of 290 passengers, and urges the international community to pursue, investigate and bring to justice all those ultimately responsible for these two terrorist attacks, which it considers constitute crimes against humanity.

[RB: The motion appears to have received support only from the following MSPs: Dave Thompson, Bill Wilson, Bob Doris, Bill Kidd, Jamie Hepburn.]

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