Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Judges to view confidential Lockerbie papers

[This is the headline over a report published on this date in 2008 on the website of The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. It reads as follows:]

The judges sitting in the latest stage of the Lockerbie bombing appeal are to read the documents that the UK Government wants kept from the defence.
The Lord Justice General, Lord Hamilton, Lords Kingarth and Eassie yesterday ordered the documents to be delivered to the court within the next week.
A decision on whether to conduct further hearings in relation to the documents in private, and whether to appoint a security-vetted special advocate to represent Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan appealing against conviction of planting the bomb, will be taken after the judges have seen the two sensitive papers.
Both documents are the subject of public interest immunity certificates by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who has stated that disclosure would cause real harm to national security. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, on whose reference the case is now before the appeal court, considered that failure to disclose one of the papers was a ground on which the court might consider that there had been a miscarriage of justice.
In court yesterday Advocate General Lord Davidson QC, for the UK Government, denied that he was prepared to agree to a suggestion by Crown counsel Ronald Clancy QC that summarised or redacted versions of the documents could be given to the defence.
Defence counsel Maggie Scott QC objected to the proposal for a special advocate to represent Megrahi, claiming it would deny him a fair hearing. 

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