Monday, 30 January 2017

Fresh look at Lockerbie report 'would honour memory of Tam Dalyell’

[This is the headline over a report by Greg Russell in today’s edition of The National. It reads in part:]

The Crown Office has been urged to honour the memory of Tam Dalyell by ensuring that a police report into criminal allegations against those involved with the Lockerbie investigation and subsequent trial is given an “objective analysis”.
Iain McKie, a leading member of Justice for Megrahi (JfM), whose members believe Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was innocent of the bombing, was speaking to The National after our sister paper the Sunday Herald published details of Dalyell’s last interview.
In it, the former Labour MP said he would go to his grave believing Megrahi’s conviction was a “massive injustice”. (...)
Dalyell, who formerly represented Linlithgow, died last week, and was convinced Megrahi was innocent.
“I had great admiration for Tam Dalyell,” said McKie. “I really respected the way he stood up for his principles, and Lockerbie of course was one of the biggest he stood up for.
“It’s a major loss when you lose someone of the integrity and standing of Tam Dalyell.”
McKie said that while the MP’s death was a loss for JfM, it would also keep Lockerbie in the public eye, although he did not think it would affect the Operation Sandwood report on the group’s nine criminal allegations against police, Crown Office officials and forensic scientists involved in the Lockerbie investigation and trial.
He said: “It’s an awful thing to say in the tragedy of someone dying, but when something like this happens it keeps whole Lockerbie case open. It says that even in death he is speaking out to people and saying he believed in the innocence of Megrahi and he continued to believe in that until his dying day.
“It won’t directly affect the police report, but I think it affects the atmosphere in which it will be received and one would hope it would make the Crown Office open their eyes for once and realise that this is an issue which does matter to people; and when they receive the Operation Sandwood report that they give it an objective and fair look, because certainly the previous Lord Advocate had made up his mind that wasn’t going to happen.”
McKie said JfM hoped that Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, who replaced Frank Mulholland last summer, would ensure Sandwood was considered “objectively”.
“People like Tam Dalyell have held it close to their heart for many years – and there are others like him – and the Crown Office could honour him by ensuring that the police report gets an objective analysis,” said McKie.
Meanwhile, The National understands that Megrahi’s wife Aisha is likely to lead a new appeal by the family to clear his name, and is preparing to lodge a dossier of documents with the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.
The commission had ruled in 2007 that there were several grounds that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.
The Megrahis will be backed by British relatives of those who died in the bombing.
However, Glasgow lawyer Aamer Anwar, who has represented the Megrahi family, yesterday would not comment on the move.
He said: “I can only say that things are at a highly critical and sensitive stage and it would be inappropriate to comment at the moment.”`

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