The death has been announced of Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC (Anthony Lester). He was among the substantial number of distinguished English lawyers who refused to accept the justice of the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Here is what he wrote in a letter to The Times on 23 May 2012:
I acted for Abdul Baset al-Megrahi in his unsuccessful application to the European Court of Human Rights complaining of a breach of his right to a fair criminal trial. I did not appear in the Scottish proceedings, but, after reviewing all the transcripts and judgments, I came to the conclusion that there had been a serious miscarriage of justice.
When I met al-Megrahi in HMP Barlinnie, I asked him whether he thought the Libyan government would stand by him. He replied, “they ought to do so but I am not sure whether they will”.
He told me what it had been like in Tripoli when sanctions had been imposed to secure his extradition to face trial. He said that in the midst of a huge media campaign his mother had asked him if he had any more bombs in his possession. He said he realised that if even his own mother believed he was guilty it was unlikely that he would have a fair trial.
It is regrettable that, despite the concerns expressed by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, after a three-year examination of the evidence, he was persuaded to abandon his further appeal before being released and returned to die in Libya.
In my view, he was not the perpetrator of the barbaric Lockerbie atrocity.
Lord Lester's comments on the case in a debate in the House of Lords on 12 October 2009 can be read here.