[This is the headline over an article about the Megrahi family’s forthcoming application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission posted today on Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer’s Intel Today website. In the article he quotes an email that I sent to him earlier today. Here is what I wrote:]
I am optimistic about the outcome of the Megrahi family's forthcoming application to the SCCRC. In June 2007 the SCCRC decided, on six grounds, that there might have been a miscarriage of justice. Since then even more evidence has come to light casting doubt on the verdict (not least Dr Morag Kerr's masterly analysis of the bomb-damaged luggage, which demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the bomb suitcase was ingested at Heathrow, not Luqa in Malta).
My only slight worry is how the SCCRC will apply the "interests of justice" requirement (ie not only must the Commission be satisfied that there might have been a miscarriage of justice, it must also be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice for there to be a fresh appeal). It is possible to envisage the SCCRC saying that there have already been two appeals (the first of which Megrahi lost and the second of which he abandoned) and that it is not in the interests of justice for there to be a third bite at the cherry. I am reasonably optimistic that the Commission will not adopt this approach -- the Megrahi conviction still casts a dark shadow over the Scottish criminal justice system and is far from being generally accepted as just by the public in Scotland and elsewhere. I would expect the SCCRC to take the view that it is in the interests of justice in Scotland that an appeal take place that can remove this dark shadow, one way or the other.