Saturday, 23 January 2016

John Ashton responds to Magnus Linklater's latest article

On 6 January 2016 an article by Magnus Linklater headlined We can be confident that the Scottish prosecutors got the right man appeared in the Scottish Review. John Ashton has now responded to that article on his Megrahi: You are my Jury website. Mr Ashton’s response gives the full text of the Linklater piece, interspersed with Ashton’s comments and corrections. John Ashton’s article can be read here.


  1. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2016 >> visit BBC NEWS, Link:

    Now we can speculate whether there is also confidential arrangements collusion in the 'Lockerbie Case'...? The PLO was suspected to main at the beginning...
    On the flight PanAm-103, there was also a Swiss victim, Mr. Alexander, Ronald Ely, a businessman.
    2016 wants in Switzerland, an extraordinary prosecutor, the supervisory authority over the Federal Prosecutor's Office (AB-BA) take a major criminal investigation for find the truth in the "LOCKERBIE COMPLEX", but he will not take it in his hand ... WHY???
    New evidence and questionable backgrounds that will soon by MEBO Ltd, published. Now MEBO is asked, in a personal letter, to U.S. Department of Justice, Mrs. Loretta E. Lynch, in Washington, to influence in this matter...

    by Edwin Bollier & MEBO AG, Telecommunication. Webpage:

  2. I am getting seriously tired of being attacked in print by Mr. Linklater, with to right of reply or obvious redress, and no way to compel him to engage with my rebuttals to his attacks. This is the latest one.

    ... suggestions that Heathrow Airport was where the bomb was loaded again have no concrete evidence to back them; an entire book has been written on the Heathrow connection, but nothing has emerged to give it the kind of validity which would stand up in court.

    The "entire book" is the concrete evidence. The SCCRC did not mention this in its 2007 report for the simple reason that the analysis of the evidence in question wasn't done till 2012-13 and so wasn't available to the SCCRC during 2003-07. The commission of course refused even to look at this evidence and analysis in 2014-15. Therefore, the SCCRC is of no relevance to this particular issue.

    Magnus knows that the book in question was published at the very end of 2013. He has claimed to have read it but frankly in my opinion he is lying about this. His only rebuttal seems to be "... nothing has emerged to give it the kind of validity which would stand up in court." What the bloody blue blazes does he expect to "emerge" and from where? The SCCRC hasn't looked at it. Does he think Frank Mulholland is just going to read a book and declare, "oh well that's it then, we got it all wrong and Megrahi was innocent," without putting up any sort of fight?

    The entire Scottish prosecutorial establishment is ignoring the book for all it's worth, in the hope that nobody will notice and maybe it will all go away or can at least be buried. For a journalist who is talking about the Sunday Times "Insight" level of investigative journalism to dismiss a closely-reasoned and entirely evidence-based publication apparently on the grounds that it's being ignored by the establishment (who have every reason to want to consign it to the depths of the Pacific Trench) is actually quite shocking.

    The material in the book should be argued on its merits, or lack of them. It's not rocket science. In fact it's distressingly simple. A moderately bright schoolboy should have been able to figure out that the evidence showed the bomb was in the suitcase that was loaded at Heathrow. Once explained, it's pretty obvious. So, does Magnus have anything to say about that? Some error in logic? Some alternative interpretation of the evidence that might still allow the bomb to have been on a suitcase that came in on the feeder flight? No, just "... nothing has emerged to give it the kind of validity which would stand up in court." That's cowardly, evasive and frankly quite appalling.

  3. "I am getting seriously tired of being attacked in print by Mr. Linklater, with to right of reply or obvious redress..."
    But that is exactly how it works.

    "...but frankly in my opinion he is lying about this."
    Linklaters are not in the time-consuming business of reading (or even less writing) books (themselves).
    He can supply hundred articles in the time saved, with massive impact on the public opinion. That is his job.

    Journalists are hired for a purpose. Press is business.

    "For a journalist who is talking about the Sunday Times 'Insight' level of investigative journalism ... it is actually quite shocking."

    Only if you expected something else.
    I got wiser at the time of Saddam's WMDs, 'sexed up' claims, and seeing the whistleblowers persecuted if they could not be ignored, we had one in Denmark too:

    And it turned out to be all lies and that the respective governments had gone out of the way to serve them to us.

    With the press as a willing tool. A mere handful of Judith Millers were all we saw.

    "...cowardly, evasive and frankly quite appalling."
    As other structures based on power is. Like the castles, from which the lords could attack and issue taxes at will the surrounding people with impunity with no chance for them to hit back.

    But of course you knew all this already.

    1. Yes. I'm just musing as to whether Magnus has actually read the book. It's not all that long.

      After his previous flustered claim on Twitter that he had, I simply didn't believe him. This was on account of the fact that he was attacking the book on the basis of things it didn't say. He was peddling the line that the book was based on Manly and the break-in, and thus he contended that this had all been dealt with by the first appeal and was therefore irrelevant. Of course the book doesn't rely on Manly at all.

      Now, however, I note that he seems to have given up that line. Maybe that's because I have told him straight that Manly has nothing to do with my argument, or maybe he has actually bestirred himself to read the book. I would suspect that Frank Mulholland has read it, it would seem inconceivable that he hasn't. Magnus, of course, like Ken Dornstein, is Frank's useful journalistic mouthpiece for things he can't say on his own account.

      So, if we assume that Frank and (possibly) Magnus have read the book, the lack of substantive response is quite interesting. They have both shown every propensity for replying with specific rebuttals when they thought they had them. Now all we're getting is vague handwaving, obfuscation and evasion. They've got nothing, and they know it.

      Or rather, they've got nothing in the area of reason, logic or evidence. What they do have is power. I worry a lot that Frank Mulholland is sitting in Chambers Street knowing perfectly well that we have him by the short and curlies in the evidence department, and plotting how to use his power to make sure the evidence is buried.