Saturday, 22 December 2018

Investigation not static, but no guarantee enough evidence for further proceedings

[What follows is excerpted from a report headlined Lockerbie bomb plotters still hunted, 30 years on published in today's edition of The Times:]

The solicitor-general for Scotland has pledged to work in close co-operation with US authorities if new evidence about the involvement of people in the Lockerbie bombing comes to light.

Scottish prosecutors said they had a number of strands of investigation that were producing intelligence and information which supported the findings of the trial that the bombing was state-sponsored terrorism by Libya in which Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi was a main figure. (...)

The Crown Office said the investigation was also contributing evidence to the pursuit of other people involved in the conspiracy. Prosecutors insisted that the investigation was not static, but said they could not guarantee that it would uncover enough evidence to support further criminal proceedings.

Speaking in Washington at a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the disaster which claimed 270 lives, Alison Di Rollo, QC, the solicitor-general, said: “Within the Scottish prosecution service we have nine prosecutors who are involved to varying extents in the investigation; one who was involved in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, three who have been with the case since 1999, two who joined the team in 2007, two in 2012 and one in 2015.

“We have resilience and succession planning for this challenging investigation, ensuring that the team contains a range of prosecutorial expertise in counter-terrorism, major crime investigations, forensic analysis, international co-operation and mutual legal assistance.

“As a prosecutor I cannot guarantee that the investigation will uncover enough evidence to support further criminal proceedings, but I can — and do — promise that the lord advocate and I, along with the prosecution team and the Police Service of Scotland, will remain committed to this investigation and to working as closely as we ever have with our US colleagues.”

She said that the Crown Office would not give details about the progress of the case team’s investigation work because of the rules about publicity and its potential to prejudice a criminal case. But she added: “Please be assured, however, that doesn’t mean that the investigation is static, or that progress is not being made.” (...)

In Scotland, the family and friends of Lockerbie victims travelled to the town for a memorial service. (...)

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora, 23, in the explosion, attended the memorial service in Lockerbie for the first time after years of spearheading campaigns by bereaved relatives for a full inquiry into the atrocity.

Mr Swire, 82, said: “I found it very moving. Partly because I felt so out of touch with the people of the town and I know that my campaigning inevitably results in the town’s name being talked about again and again and again.

“I felt that they might be resenting that, but I haven’t found that to be the case at all.

“The people I’ve met here have all been extremely warm and welcoming and they seem to respect the fact that this must never be forgotten and this is part of making sure it isn’t forgotten.”

No comments:

Post a Comment