Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The opportunity to corrupt the evidence

[The following are the final four paragraphs of an article by Gwynne Dyer headlined Libya, Bulgarians and Lockerbie published on this date in 2007:]

On 21 December, 1988, Pan American flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. Most were Americans, and it was initially suspected that Iran carried out the operation — possibly with the help of its Syrian ally — in revenge for the killing of 290 Iranians six months earlier aboard a civilian Iran Air flight that was shot down by a US warship in the Gulf. (The United States was backing Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, and the American warship mistakenly believed that it was under attack by the Iranian air force.)

US and British investigators started building a case against Iran and Syria — but a year and a half later Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, turning overnight from an ally to an enemy of the United States. In the US-led war to liberate Kuwait that was being planned, the cooperation of Iran and Syria was vital — so suddenly the Lockerbie investigation shifted focus to Libya, and in due course (about ten years) two Libyan intelligence agents were brought to trial for the crime.

In 2001 one of them, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Scotland, where the plane came down. Libya paid $2.7 billion in “compensation” to the victims’ families, without ever admitting guilt, but the verdict always smelled fishy. Jim Swire, father of one of the victims on Pan Am 103, said: “I went into that court thinking I was going to see the trial of those who were responsible for the murder of my daughter. I came out thinking (al-Megrahi) had been framed.”

Late last month, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission declared al-Megrahi’s conviction “unsafe” and granted him the right to appeal the verdict because “the applicant may have suffered a miscarriage of justice.” That may well be true, and it may not have been an accident either. But, as former British ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles told the BBC recently, “No court is likely get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence.” And so it goes.


  1. And so it goes is not good enough. This is supposed to be a country who prides itself on its Justice system. Allowing intelligence agencies to corrupt the evidence is not justice. If it is to be like that then we can dispense with the legal profession as it is clearly "not fit for purpose" We can dispense our own justice based on common sense as to what is right or wrong and no doubt will have a much better and fairer system than our present farce.

  2. this article mentions Buck Revell