Sunday, 14 June 2015

A travesty perpetrated by a credulous court

[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."


  1. A good reminder that Mulholland should be allowed nowhere near the saga now. Faint hope.

  2. I just can't believe that Scottish people care so little.

    It is too late to start acting until something happens to you, family and friends.
    And it is not only that remote possibility.

    Poor justice robs the country. You! Today!
    It is THE core matter in the health and success of any society.

    Nobody is asked to dedicate their life to the matter.
    But speak up a little now and then, and tell your local candidate that to get your vote he/she must show she is trying to do something about it.

    At times I post about such matters on my facebook account. Silence is deafening.
    But if put up a picture of a beautiful sunset, the "likes" streams in.

    "With law shall the country be built"
    said king Valdemar of Denmark, year 1241

    It seems like this line of thinking has gone out of fashion since then.

  3. Most people I encounter know Megrahi was railroaded and the justice system didn't deliver justice. I don't know why they accept it so passively. Cynicism seems to be the answer. Injustice happens, you tolerate it like bad weather, or a dose of the flu. Nobody really seems to imagine it could seriously impact on them personally. I don't suppose Shirley McKie thought that until it happened.

    My local candidate is Christine Grahame (well, probably), so that one's a done deal anyway.

    You touch on something more profound though. The amount of utter trivia infesting the internet is astounding. I follow Emergency Kittens and the like on Twitter too, just for a wee smile among the seriousness, but the amount of interest generated by the fluff seems enormous in contrast to the interest shown in serious matters. Some people don't take in anything but the fluff.

    I suppose it was ever thus. Bread and circuses. Scotland is waking up though, and I notice that many of the people who are now politically active are indeed incensed about Lockerbie.

  4. Thanks, Rolfe. There were an element of encouragement in it. I have learned not to ask for more. :-)

  5. In yesterday's Bangkok Post this article was printed, and it is right on the spot.