Thursday, 21 January 2016

A Lockerbie trial "must be seen to be fair and just"

[What follows is the text of a statement issued by Nelson Mandela on this date in 1992, just over two years before he became President of South Africa:]

The ANC has consistently condemned all acts of terrorism. The Lockerbie Disaster was a tragic incident which resulted in the unfortunate loss of innocent lives. The ANC once again takes the opportunity to express deep-felt sympathy to the families of the deceased.

It is in the interest of peace, stability and security that if there is clear evidence of the involvement of identified suspects they should be arrested and punished as soon as possible. In the present climate of suspicion and fear it is important that the trial should not be intended to humiliate a head of state. It should not only be fair and just, but must be seen to be fair and just. This must be in the context of respect for the sovereignty of all countries.

The ANC believes that if the above objectives are to be achieved, the following options should be considered:

  • If no extradition treaty exists between the countries concerned the trial must be conducted in the country where the accused were arrested.
  • The trial should be conducted in a neutral country by independent judges
  • The trial should be conducted at The Hague by an international court of justice.

We urge the countries concerned to show statesmanship and leadership. This will ensure that the decade of the Nineties will be free of confrontation and conflict.

1 comment:

  1. How like the African National Congress to spot the main issue nearly a decade before the trial happened!