[What follows is excerpted from an article published on the website of Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm on this date in 2011:]
Claims given to selected media by the Crown Office that a retrial of acquitted Pan Am 103 co-accused Lhamin Khalifa Fhimah is the "top priority" of their double jeopardy unit have been dismissed as "public relations puffery" by Professor Robert Black QC, the architect of the unique Zeist trial of Fhimah and Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.
The newly appointed Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, has also briefed sections of the media about raising a prosecution against Libyan Leader Colonel Gadaffi, despite the fact that the entire Lockerbie trial arrangement was brokered under the auspices of the United Nations under an internationally agreed legal arrangement which did not include the possibility of proceedings against Gadaffi.
Professor Black, who earlier this year highlighted the legal errors contained in the former Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini’s advice to the Scottish Government over the case has said that "the evidence does not exist" to try Fhimah.
"There will be no re-trial of Lhamin Fhimah or any trial of Colonel Gaddafi for the bombing of Pan Am 103," Professor Black said this morning.
"The Crown Office is perfectly well aware that the evidence simply does not exist to make a conviction a realistic prospect; and that the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi on the evidence led at Zeist was a travesty perpetrated by a credulous court which has long since been exposed, by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission amongst many others."
In February this year Black and members of the Justice for Megrahi Committee said the "misinformation" promulgated by the Crown Office was "symptomatic of a culture of self interest where openness and accountability is seen as threatening that interest."