Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Doubts over new Lockerbie trial

[This is the headline over a report published on the website of The Independent on this date in 2011:]

Experts cast doubt on claims yesterday that the Libyan airline employee cleared of the Lockerbie bombing could stand trial under double jeopardy laws.

Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah was found not guilty of assisting his friend and colleague Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in planting the bomb on board Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 that claimed 270 lives.

Families of those who died had said they hoped that a new prosecution could shine fresh light on the case following the original trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001.

But Professor Robert Black QC, the architect of the legal process which led to the conviction of Megrahi, said it was highly unlikely that a new unit set up to examine unsolved cases under Scottish Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, would go ahead with a prosecution.

[RB: Almost six months later speculation was still rife about the possibility of the Crown’s seeking to re-indict Fhimah. I commented at the time:]

I would be astounded if prosecutors sought to re-indict Lamin Fhimah.  The Crown Office is just as aware as the rest of us are that the astonishing thing about the Zeist trial was not the acquittal of Fhimah but the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi.  Any "new evidence" that has emerged since 2001 points clearly towards the innocence of the accused Libyans rather than their guilt, as the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission amongst others has pointed out. 

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