Sunday, 11 January 2015

First Scottish judge to meet Lockerbie accused dies

[What follows is taken from an obituary published in The Herald on 10 January 2015:]

Graham Loudon Cox.
Born: December 22, 1933;
Died: December 27, 2014.

Graham Cox, who has died aged 81, was a young army lawyer who went on to play a key role in the initial stages of the Lockerbie bombing case.

By then a veteran sheriff, who had already presided over the Lanarkshire Fatal Accident Inquiry into what was then the world's worst outbreak of E.coli, he was Sheriff Principal of the jurisdiction that covered the site of the atrocity and the first member of the Scottish judicial system to come into contact with the two Libyan suspects.

He sat on the bench at Camp Zeist, the temporary court set up in the Netherlands to hear the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, when they made their first appearance in private there on April 6, 1999. The pair, alleged to be behind the 1988 blowing up of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie which left 270 dead, faced charges of conspiracy, murder and violations of aviation laws.

The following week, April 14, Sheriff Principal Cox committed them for trial, a court case from which the reverberations still echo, more than a quarter of a century after the bombing. Fhimah was acquitted in 2001. Megrahi was convicted of the killings and sentenced to life imprisonment. He maintained his innocence and died of cancer in 2012 after being released on compassionate grounds.

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