[What follows is excerpted from an article that was published in The Herald on this date in 1993:]
One of Scotland's most distinguished legal figures is retiring.
Sheriff Principal John Mowat, QC, of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway, will be succeeded by Sheriff Graham Cox, at present a Sheriff at Dundee.
The appointment of Sheriff Cox, 59, by the Queen on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Scotland, will take effect from October 1, the Scottish Courts Administration said yesterday.
Among Mr Mowat's duties in recent years was the task of conducting the fatal accident inquiry into the Lockerbie disaster in which 270 people died.
During the £3m hearing he heard millions of words of evidence over a 61-day period.
He was born in Manchester 70 years ago and educated at Glasgow High School and Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh before graduating at Glasgow University.
[RB: The Fatal Accident Inquiry into the 270 deaths resulting from the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie opened in Easterbrook Hall, Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries on 1 October 1990. The Sheriff Principal’s 47-page findings were issued on 18 March 1991 and can be read here. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the evidence related to the positioning of the bomb suitcase in luggage container AVE4041. By the time of the trial at Camp Zeist the Crown’s stance (and its evidence) had altered significantly. For further details, see Dr Morag Kerr’s Adequately Explained by Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies.
John Mowat’s successor as Sheriff Principal, Graham Cox QC, presided at Camp Zeist on 6 April 1999 at the first appearance of Megrahi and Fhimah before a Scottish court.
Abdelbaset Megrahi’s Scottish solicitor up to and including the first appeal, Alistair Duff, is now a sheriff and is currently Director of the Judicial Institute for Scotland. Norman McFadyen who was the procurator fiscal in charge of the Lockerbie case (and was one of the two members of the prosecution team who viewed the infamous CIA Giaka cables) is now a sheriff in Edinburgh.]