Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Campaigners’ Lockerbie plea to government over Lord Advocate's comments

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The National. It reads in part:]
A campaign group whose members believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing has urged “political intervention” from the Scottish Government.
The call from Justice for Megrahi (JfM) comes after the outgoing Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland speculated about a possible new trial for the bombing – which JfM said showed he had “gone rogue”.
Investigators from Scotland and the US said last year that they had identified two Libyans as suspects over the 1988 atrocity.
Mulholland had previously indicated he would stand down after the Holyrood elections and, in an interview to mark the occasion he told STV there was a “realistic possibility” of a second trial over bombing, which killed 270 people.
JfM told The National: “The time has come for political intervention by the Scottish Government as the Lord Advocate appears to have gone rogue in relation to his speculation about Lockerbie. It is particularly difficult to understand his statements given that we are awaiting the result of a three-year Police Scotland investigation into criminal allegations related to Lockerbie which, if proved, will cast severe doubt not only on Mr Megrahi’s original conviction but by implication on the guilt of the other ‘suspects’ Mr Mulholland claims to be pursuing.
“It was only in March this year that leading legal commentators criticised Mr Mulholland in relation to this report and yet he continues to publicly undermine the police inquiry.
“This makes it quite clear that he has made his mind up and will not be diverted from making his views public at every opportunity.
“Given this unprecedented stance it is a constitutional disgrace that the Crown Office will have the final say in relation to any prosecutions resulting from the police inquiry.
“The time is long overdue for the Scottish Government to intervene on behalf of the Scottish people.”
In his interview, Mulholland said he had been to the Libyan capital Tripoli twice, and had established “good relations” with the country’s attorney general.
“We’re currently at a stage where there are a number of outstanding international letters of request, one of which is seeking the permission of the Libyan authorities to interview two named individuals as suspects,” he said. “I hope that the Libyans will grant permission for that to be done. I obviously can’t say too much publicly but a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make that happen.”
Mulholland and the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced in October that there was “a proper basis in law” to treat the two Libyans as suspects. Authorities did not name the men, but they are known to be Colonel Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, and Abouajela Masud.
Both are being held in Libyan jails, where Senussi is appealing against a death sentence and Masud is serving 10 years for bomb making.

No comments:

Post a Comment