Friday, 5 January 2018

Time for the Scottish justice system to accept Megrahi verdict was wrong

[This is the headline over a letter from Iain McKie that appears in today's edition of The Herald. It reads as follows:]

I found Jim Swire’s timely reminder that 29 years after the UK’s worst terrorist atrocity was perpetrated over Lockerbie justice has still to be delivered extremely sad and humbling (Letters, January 2).

Year after year this committed father, after losing his daughter Flora in this outrage, retains the strength and integrity, with other relatives, to challenge the Scottish justice system to finally do the right thing and value justice over incestuous self-interest.

Dr Swire rightly highlights how Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General Lord Carloway, has played and continues to play a central part in the national scandal which is Lockerbie. His 2015 declaration that the relatives of the victims did not have a “legitimate interest” in challenging the conviction might have had a certain legal logic but lacked the humanity and wisdom that the Scottish people have a right to expect from those interpreting the law.

It could be argued that as more and more evidence has been adduced Scotland’s legal system has buried its head ever more firmly in the sand.

Year after year the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for this horrendous crime is shown to be weaker and weaker. With the [2007] Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission findings ringing in his ears, and the conclusions of the four-year Police Scotland criminal enquiry about to be handed over to Crown Office, it is time for his Lordship to lift his head and listen.

How sad if our judiciary should remain the sole barrier to justice for the 270 souls who perished and the loved ones they left behind.

The people of Scotland are looking to Lord Carloway and his learned colleagues, after carefully weighing the evidence, to finally acknowledge this monstrous injustice and show that the Scottish justice system has the heart, humanity and courage to finally right this monstrous wrong.

Martin Luther King stated: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The tragedy of Lockerbie matters and it is time for the Scottish justice system to accept this and act.

Justice without humanity is indeed an empty vessel.

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