Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Media reports of launch of Justice for Megrahi campaign

[What follows is excerpted from an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2008:]

The Scottish "heavy" daily newspapers have good coverage of yesterday's launch of the Justice for Megrahi campaign.

The Scotsman concentrates on the experiences of the parish priest of Lockerbie at the time of the disaster, Father Pat Keegans. The report reads in part:

'Father Patrick Keegan, 62, said he believed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, was innocent and should be freed on compassionate grounds before an appeal against his conviction.

'"I wrote to Mr Megrahi offering him my support, telling him that I was convinced he was innocent, and that I would willingly offer support to him and his family," said Fr Keegan, who was living in Lockerbie at the time of the bombing, just yards from where a wing section of the Pan Am flight crashed in 1988.

'Describing the Libyan and his family as "victims" of the bombing, Fr Keegan said he believed there had been a mellowing of opinion, even among those previously convinced of his guilt.'

The comments from members of the public that follow the story are also well worth reading.

Lucy Adams in The Herald has an article headed "Priest claims police interference in aftermath of Lockerbie bomb". It reads in part:

'As the Justice For Megrahi campaign was launched yesterday, Father Patrick Keegan, the priest in Lockerbie at the time, revealed that he had been visited by police during the inquiry and asked to keep to the official line - that Libya was responsible. (...)

'"I really became convinced of his innocence when the whole thrust of the case shifted from Syria and Iran to Libya alone. Interference in my own life by the investigation team convinced me.

'"A police officer asked to come along and speak to me. I listened to him for quite a while and then I said: Have you come here to ask me to be silent? He said that the point was that when you speak people listen and we would appreciate it if you could follow our line of Libya alone.

'"I complained to the Lord Advocate about it at the time and got a very bland response. The very fact that they interfered and took the trouble to come to talk to me made up my mind that I was on the right track. Other people had similar experiences."' (...)

The Press and Journal has a good account by Joe Quinn. The BBC News website's report of the launch can be read here.

[RB: Eight years later, the Justice for Megrahi campaign is still alive and kicking.]

1 comment:

  1. The original objections against the verdict will have been known by very few - I was certainly not among them. Matters have changed dramatically, so anyone who does anything further than reading the most superficial press (and even many of those) will certainly know that there is very significant opposition.
    Reading a little further, well, when did we last time see a knowledgeable defender for the verdict? When did we last see a person saying "I doubted whether Megrahi was innocent or not, but now I am sure he is?"