Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Sandwood: no prosecutions but material relevant to potential future appeal

[The Operation Sandwood inquiry is now complete and its findings have been communicated to the Lord Advocate. A letter today from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone to Justice for Megrahi contains the following sentences:]

I have written to the Lord Advocate to inform him Operation Sandwood is now complete and that there is no evidence of criminality and therefore no basis to submit a standard prosecution report.

The material collated during the inquiry and the findings and conclusions reached have relevance to both the ongoing live investigation and the potential appeal against conviction lodged on behalf of the late Mr Megrahi. The materials have therefore been handed to Crown Office officials.

[Justice for Megrahi has today issued a press release in the following terms:]


In 2012 when JfM made nine criminal allegations in connection with the Lockerbie investigation and trial, related to possible malpractice by Crown Office personnel, police and other prosecution witnesses, our main aim was to shine a light into the darkness that surrounded the investigation and trial related to the UK’s worst ever terrorist outrage.

Some six years later this light has been shone and we welcome Chief Constable Livingstone’s announcement that, while there will be no criminal prosecutions following from the Police Scotland enquiry, the findings of that enquiry will be of importance to many of the issues being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) as it carries out a review of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's conviction to decide whether it would be appropriate to refer the matter to the Appeal Court.

We have always believed that it was via the Scottish Appeal Court that the truth would finally emerge and we have faith in the Scottish Justice System to ensure this is done.

The Operation Sandwood investigation has resulted in a seminal report which has examined many of the controversies which have arisen over the past thirty years. We believe that Police Scotland conducted their enquiry with thoroughness and integrity and we thank them for the work they have carried out.

We would also like to thank the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament for their oversight of the criminal investigation and trust that they will continue that oversight until an SCCRC decision is made and the outcome of any appeal is known.

JfM states: “As the 30th anniversary of this tragedy approaches we feel there is a very real possibility that the truth behind the UK’s worst ever terrorist outrage will finally be revealed. We have confidence that the Scottish criminal justice system will welcome this light that has now been shone into the darkness that surrounds Lockerbie and will ensure that the truth is finally revealed to those who lost their loved ones on the 21st December 1988.”

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