[What follows is a translation by the distinguished Libyan journalist and analyst Mustafa Fetouri of a comment posted by him on his Facebook page after the announcement of the SCCRC's reference of the Megrahi conviction back to the High Court of Justiciary. I am grateful to Mr Fetouri for allowing me to reproduce it here.]
The SCCRC has decided to allow al-Megrahi’s appeal to go ahead three years after his family requested it and eight year after he passed away.
The SCCRC admitted the appeal on two grounds one of which is very critical: that al-Megrahi was the person who bought the clothes found in bag that was said to have carried the bomb from Frankfurt to London en route to JFK in New York.
The SCCRC said that the verdict was “unreasonable” since “no reasonable trial court could have accepted that Mr Megrahi was identified as the purchaser".
As we recall Tony Gauci, co-owner of Valetta clothes shop claimed that al-Megrahi was the one who bought the clothes but years after the conviction of al-Megrahi it turned out that Mr Gauci had received money from either the CIA or US department of justice as a witness and he then disappeared from Malta.
I have been following the Lockerbie case very closely from the beginning and I wrote about it many times. I was panelist in an episode of the BBC’s flagship show The Doha Debates in 2009 with Dr Jim Swire, on one side, and Juma Al-Gamatti and a British conservative MP on the opposing side. We defended the compassionate release of al-Megrahi against their accusations and falsified claims.
I have also discussed the case with many foreigner observers including the United Nations appointed court observer, the Austrian, Hans Köchler. He expressed his reservations about the court right after it ended. He repeated the same reservations to me over a phone call while I was studying for my masters degree in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
I have and will always be convinced that Libya and al-Megrahi are innocent of this terrible crime. After the SCCRC decision I would really like to hear from the Libyan scumbags like Juma and ask them where is your evidence that Libya was to blame for the tragedy? How could you accuse your country just because you hated Gaddafi?
I can imagine the late Moammer Gaddafi screaming at the face of those who accused him of being behind the Lockerbie tragedy. It is enough that the SCCRC raised suspicions about the verdict even if it is not overturned. The fact that SCCRC referred the case to the Scottish High Court is in itself an admission of miscarriage of justice and to me is a vindication of both Libya and its citizen al-Megrahi.
Great salute to Dr Swire and Mr Kenny MacAskill the former justice minister in Scotland, who took the brave and legal decision to release al-Megrahi despite UK and US governments’ objections.
A bigger salute to al-Megrahi’s family who struggled to clear his name. I also salute to Al-Jazeera English team who produced that important documentary which made it easier for the wider public to understand the complicated judiciary process that should have led to different verdict. A great salute to the defense team who defended Libya despite all difficulties.
Shame on those who accused their country (particularly after 2011) without any proof and without actually understanding anything of the facts of the case.