Sunday, 26 March 2017

Megrahi scapegoated

[What follows is the text of a column by George Galloway that was published in the Daily Record on this date in 2012:]

I've never believed the Lockerbie verdict that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty of the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
Now the long hushed-up, 800-page report on the case by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has concluded that a miscarriage of justice almost certainly occurred.
The contents of the report had been known to those in the know - the Scottish government, senior lawyers, the dogs in the street even - for more than five years.
It hasn't been published on the spurious grounds that there were data protection issues involved.
I ask, in passing, has anyone ever been convicted under the Data Protection Act?
The report details six different grounds on which Megrahi could have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. I prefer the words fitted-up.
The whole report is now available on various websites, but basically the conclusion is that crucial evidence was not disclosed to the defence.
This includes a cover-up of secret intelligence ­documents and uncertainty over the date on which Megrahi was supposed to have bought clothes in Malta.
And the fact that the key witnesses against him had been paid £1.9million to testify, and one of the two Maltese brothers had a seen picture of Megrahi stating he was the bomber before he picked him out at an identification parade.
It's right that the report should be belatedly published, the follow-up should be an investigation of those who conspired to have Megrahi scapegoated.

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