Sunday, 8 May 2016

Desperate to see his family - so ... that's the priority

[The following are extracts from media reports published on this date in 2009:]

From The Herald: The Lockerbie appeal continued yesterday despite the Libyan Government's request to transfer the man convicted of the bombing back to Tripoli.
Legal experts warned that the deal has not yet been agreed and that, although the Libyan Government has made the application, it cannot go ahead without the agreement of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.
Maggie Scott, QC, told the court that Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, would be undergoing tests today and next week and that he will not be able to watch but "he wants the matter to proceed".
In order for the transfer to take place, there can be no proceedings active, so Megrahi would have to drop the appeal.
The Crown Office appeal against the length of the 27-year sentence imposed on the Libyan would also have to be dropped. It, too, is currently still live.
Professor Robert Black, one of the architects of the original trial at Camp Zeist, said: "The application is a government-to-government application. The only indication of what Mr Megrahi's attitude towards it is from the mouths of other people. For the transfer to go through, it is Megrahi who would have to agree to drop the appeal."
Megrahi, 57, whose condition is said to have deteriorated considerably, could also re-apply for bail on the basis of his health.
Last year, when three appeal court judges turned down his request for interim liberation, they left it open for him to apply again.
"He is in considerable discomfort," Ms Scott told the court yesterday. "It is anticipated he will be undergoing tests tomorrow and in the course of next week, so it is not anticipated he will be able to witness proceedings over the next series of days. He does, however, want matters to proceed. It is appropriate I point that out to the court."
Dumfries Labour MSP Elaine Murray yesterday expressed concerns that past and current comments made by First Minister Alex Salmond may be considered by the Libyan Government as Scottish ministers having predetermined their application for the transfer of Megrahi to a Libyan jail. She also provided the Libyans with grounds for judicial review should the application be rejected by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
From STV News:  First Minister Alex Salmond has cast doubt on whether Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will be able to rule on the prisoner transfer request from Libya of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.
Libyan authorities have applied for Megrahi to be moved to Libya under a treaty between that country and the UK. The process should be completed within 90 days.
However, Mr Salmond has said it may be a problem to fulfil the agreement in that time frame.
Mr Salmond said: "In the prisoner transfer agreement, it says this process would normally take 90 days but of course there are unknowns, including the judicial process in Scotland which is not completely under our control."
Meanwhile, a MSP has said Megrahi is in deteriorating health and "absolutely desperate" to see his family.
Christine Grahame, who met the Libyan in Greenock Prison on Friday, refused to say if he intends to abandon his appeal which is now underway in Edinburgh.
Ms Grahame, SNP MSP for South of Scotland, paid an hour-long visit to Megrahi in Greenock, where he is serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people.
She said: "I found it quite upsetting. The man is obviously very ill and he is desperate to see his family - absolutely desperate to see his family - so, whatever it takes, that's the priority."
She went on: "I am absolutely more convinced than ever that there has been a miscarriage of justice."
Asked if Megrahi plans to press on with his appeal, she said: "I can't say that - that is for him to say through his lawyers."

No comments:

Post a Comment