[What follows is the text of a letter to the editor of The Times by Len Murray (a committee member of Justice for Megrahi who has been described by a Scottish High Court judge as the most distinguished pleader of his generation) following Magnus Linklater’s most recent Lockerbie article in that newspaper. As with James Robertson’s letter, it has not been selected for publication:]
Why does Magnus Linklater insist in keeping his head buried in the sands of Libya? Why does he not face up to the facts of the scandalous conviction of Abdul Basset Al-Megrahi?
The judges found that the unaccompanied suitcase containing the bomb was put on a flight to Frankfurt from Malta when there was not even a scintilla of evidence to justify that finding. What made that finding worse (if that were possible) was the fact that the records at Luqa Airport accounted for every single piece of luggage and there was none which was unaccompanied.
Their Lordships also held also that this same suitcase managed to make its way, still unaccompanied, from Frankfurt to Heathrow when there was no adequate evidence to justify that conclusion.
Gauci, without whom the Crown had no case, never positively identified Megrahi as the purchaser of the clothing wrapped around the bomb. His earlier descriptions of the purchaser were so far out in age, height and colouring that they surely constituted proof that Megrahi was NOT the purchaser.
What do you say, Mr Linklater, about the $2 million dollars paid to Gauci by the CIA and which was never mentioned at the Trial? Or the break-in at the Pan Am hangar right next door to Air Iran only 16 hours before Pan Am 103 took off?
Or what does he make of the finding that the purchase was made on 7 December when Megrahi was on Malta when the preponderance of the evidence was that the purchase was made on 23 November when he was not?
What do you say, Mr Linklater, of the subsequent discrediting of the forensic scientists who gave evidence at Megrahi’s trial?
Why was it that every single inference unfavourable to Megrahi was drawn when there were so many innocent explanations available?
These are the facts of the disgraceful conviction of Megrahi, a conviction utterly condemned by, amongst others, the UN observer at the trial.
But Mr Linklater does not stop at ignoring the facts. He goes on to say something that is nothing short of astonishing. He says: “….every thread of evidence has been examined to distraction and has led nowhere.” An astoundingly misleading assertion. Examined where and by whom?
Certainly not the Appeal Court who have never had the opportunity of looking at Megrahi’s conviction. The first appeal was taken on the wrong grounds and so the evidence was never examined; the second appeal was abandoned before any hearing and Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds.
The nearest the case got to a judicial tribunal was when the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission examined the conviction and referred it to the Appeal Court since they detected no fewer than six possible grounds of a miscarriage of justice.
Even some of the relatives of the victims wanted SCCR to examine the case since they are unhappy about the conviction.
These are the facts of the Megrahi case. May I respectfully suggest to Mr Linklater that he lift his head out of the sands of Libya and face up to the truth of this national disgrace. We of Justice for Megrahi would welcome his considerable abilities.