[What follows is taken from a report published today on the website of The Ellon Times:]
President [of Ellon Probus Club] Norman Davidson then introduced guest speaker George Esson CBE, a North-east ‘loon’ from Alford, who carved out a highly successful career in the police service.
From being a lowly beat policeman in Aberdeen, George rose to the level of chief constable for Dumfries and Galloway.
It was during his spell in charge at Dumfries that the Pan Am 103 disaster occurred over Lockerbie on December 22, 1988, resulting in the deaths of 259 passengers and 11 local residents.
As this incident occurred in the Dumfries and Galloway policing area, George was automatically in charge of all investigations into the crash cause.
Pan Am 103 had been en route from Frankfurt via London to Detroit and sabotage was suspected.
Detailed investigations and intensive liaison were carried out involving MI5, FBI and CIA and their German equivalents.
Painstaking forensic examination of everything found within many miles of the crash site was carried out and its origin traced.
Eventually sufficient evidence was gathered to allow the procurator fiscal to proceed with a prosecution.
All evidence pointed to the involvement of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. [RB: “All evidence”? In mid-1990 reputable newspapers in the UK and the USA ran reports quoting sources within the investigation disclosing who the culprits were -- and it wasn’t Libya or Megrahi.]
At a specially-convened Scottish court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001, all three sitting judges found Megrahi guilty of murder.
Subsequently, at an appeal hearing in 2002 five further law court judges unanimously also found him guilty. [RB: This old canard again. Here is the true position: "As far as the outcome of the appeal is concerned, some commentators have confidently opined that, in dismissing Megrahi’s appeal, the Appeal Court endorsed the findings of the trial court. This is not so. The Appeal Court repeatedly stresses that it is not its function to approve or disapprove of the trial court’s findings-in-fact, given that it was not contended on behalf of the appellant that there was insufficient evidence to warrant them or that no reasonable court could have made them. These findings-in-fact accordingly continue, as before the appeal, to have the authority only of the court which, and the three judges who, made them."]
The Pan Am investigation is subject to continued speculation on Megrahi’s involvement.
Prior to his retirement, George was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for his distinguished service in the police force.