Friday, 20 May 2016

"I am an innocent man”

[What follows is excerpted from a report published on the BBC News website on this date in 2012:]
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing above Scotland which killed 270 people, has died at his home in Libya.
Megrahi, 60, was convicted by a special court in the Netherlands in 2001.
He was freed from Scottish jail in 2009 on compassionate grounds because of cancer, stirring controversy when he outlived doctors' expectations.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a day to remember the 270 victims of "an appalling terrorist act". (...)
Megrahi's release sparked the fury of many of the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster. The US - whose citizens accounted for 189 of the dead - also criticised the move.
But others believed he was not guilty of the bombing.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died at Lockerbie, called Megrahi's death a "very sad event".
"Right up to the end he was determined, for his family's sake... [that] the verdict against him should be overturned," said Dr Swire, who is a member of the Justice for Megrahi group.
His brother Abdulhakim said on Sunday that Megrahi's health had deteriorated quickly and he died at home in Tripoli.
He told the AFP news agency that Megrahi died at 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT).
Megrahi's sister told the Libyan Wal news agency that his funeral would take place at Tripoli's main cemetery on Monday, following early afternoon prayers.
Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, always denied any responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988. [RB: The only evidence at his trial that Megrahi was an intelligence officer came from Abdul Majid Giaka whose evidence on every other matter was rejected by the court as incredible and unreliable. The judges gave no reasons for accepting his evidence on this single issue.]
Investigators tracing the origins of scraps of clothes wrapped around the bomb followed a trail to a shop in Malta which led them, eventually, to Megrahi.
He and another Libyan, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, were indicted by the Scottish and US courts in November 1991.
But Libya refused to extradite them. In 1999, after protracted negotiations, Libya handed the two men over for trial, under Scottish law but on neutral ground, the former US airbase at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. [RB: There were no “negotiations”. The United Kingdom and the United States adamantly refused to negotiate with Libya and accepted a “neutral venue” solution only when it became painfully obvious that the UN sanctions regime against Libya was crumbling because of their intransigence.]
Their trial began in May 2000. Fhimah was acquitted of all charges, but Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.
He served the first part of his sentence at the maximum-security prison at Barlinnie, in Glasgow, but was transferred in 2005 to Greenock prison.
He lost his first appeal against conviction in 2002 but in 2007, his case was referred back to senior Scottish judges. He dropped that second case two days before he was released. (...)
Scottish and American officials have been to Tripoli, trying to persuade the new Libyan government to grant visas to detectives from Dumfriesshire.
They are still searching for the answers to the questions of who ordered the bombing and who else was involved, our correspondent says, but it is not clear whether the Libyans will co-operate.
However, a spokesman for the interim government in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council (NTC), told Reuters that that Megrahi's death would not end its investigations into Lockerbie.
"The Libyan government will continue to investigate the crimes committed by the Gaddafi regime using other witnesses," NTC spokesman Mohamed al-Harizy was quoted as saying.
Last September, it emerged that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had raised Megrahi's case in talks with Gaddafi in 2008 and 2009 in Libya, shortly before Megrahi was freed.
At the time, Libya was threatening to sever commercial links with Britain if Megrahi was not released.
But Mr Blair's spokesman told Col Gaddafi it was a case for the Scottish authorities and no business deals were discussed.
In his last interview, filmed in December 2011, Megrahi said: "I am an innocent man. I am about to die and I ask now to be left in peace with my family."


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  2. Rest in peace Basset in paradise
    we all fighting for you and your family we are nearly there in finding the truth of what happened to the 270 people who fell from flight PA 103 that evening of the21/12/1988.

  3. The following comment is from Peter Biddulph:

    "But Mr Blair's spokesman told Col Gaddafi it was a case for the Scottish authorities and no business deals were discussed." Hmm...

    Straw confessed around the time of al-Megrahi's release, in response to journalists questions, that it was in truth about trade and oil. He said he was not ashamed of that.

    Now we have a former justice minister confirming absolutely that it was about trade and oil. He left out intelligence cooperation and illegal renditions of anti-Gaddafi plotters with the help of MI6, the CIA and Moussa Koussa, but who the hell cares?

    Oh what a complex web we weave....

  4. I wonder if Blair knew all this if he did he should be arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice at once.

    1. I believe ppl in the Clinton administration should be put on trial too... A former secret service guy for Bush H told me "my boss never put an innocent man on trial" ..... the whole thing is just beyond sad & scary that the American people are totally clueless. Maybe not totally clueless there's a reason why 66% of ALL American's don't trust Hillary.