[This is the headline over a letter from Dr Jim Swire published in today’s edition of the Sunday Herald. It reads as follows:]
It was of course a bitter blow when the High Court in the form of Lord Carloway and two other judges refused 24 UK Lockerbie relatives' application to the SCCRC to investigate the need for a further appeal against the Megrahi verdict ('Linking Megrahi to a new Lockerbie bombing suspect won't work ... he was innocent and his conviction is a stain on Scottish justice', News comment, October 4).
We have been advised that Scotland offers no process for appeal against Lord Carloway's decision.
We have hitherto avoided any public reaction to that decision primarily because it is of paramount importance not to impinge on the need of Police Scotland's ongoing investigation, Operation Sandwood, for freedom from improper external pressures. Sandwood is investigating allegations of criminality lodged by the group Justice For Megrahi in connection with the preparations for, the conduct of, and the sequels to, the Zeist trial.
In addition we are grateful that the Justice Committee of the Holyrood Parliament has retained a petition on its books (petition PE1370), to which many of us relatives signed up. It seems that any action which the Justice Committee may decide upon now over PE1370 must also logically await the findings of operation Sandwood.
John Ashton's article appears very well informed and is known to be heavily reliant on material prepared for use in the defence of Megrahi in Scottish courts. It also relies upon much material that was excluded, for whatever reasons, from use within the Zeist court, or which has emerged since Zeist, but which would certainly have been of critical importance to the SCCRC had the latter been enabled to pursue the request of the UK relatives for a further appeal.