[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Victoria Cummock on the Lessons of the Pan Am 103 Litigation published yesterday on the website of Corporate Crime Reporter:]
It was December 21, 1988 and Victoria Cummock was in Miami awaiting the return of her husband John Cummock from London for Christmas. (...)
Victoria Cummock was the mother of three young children, aged three, four and six.
Her husband never made it home.
Pan Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, killing all 259 people on board. A bomb was put on the plane before takeoff and detonated over Lockerbie.
John Cummock was at the front of the plane in seat 3A.
Victoria knew her husband was on the plane when she saw the iconic photograph of the crashed nose cone of the plane lying in a field in Lockerbie.
In front of the plane on the ground, Victoria could see John’s attache case. She had given it to her husband as a gift.
For thirty-three years, Victoria Cummock has been seeking justice for her husband and for her family.
She is the founder and CEO of the Pan Am 103-Lockerbie Legacy Foundation.
“On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky,” Cummock recalled to Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last month. “It was a flight from London to New York that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. It scattered the contents of the plane and the people in the plane over 845 square miles. Eleven people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland were killed when two residential neighborhoods were set ablaze.”
“This attack against America created the largest recorded crime scene and remains the oldest cold case of mass murder in US and UK history.”
“Terrorists have targeted the United States for decades. And threats still remain a constant today. The response by our government to this attack has impeded due process, justice and accountability for those who perpetrated this act.”
“Tragically, the US government has never led the investigation or prosecuted anyone regarding this case. The US government abdicated the lead role of the investigation and prosecution to the Scottish police, which happened to be the smallest police force in the UK as well as the least funded.”
“There was a criminal trial in 2003 at the International Court at the Hague, under Scottish law. That was in 2003.” [RB: The trial ran from 3 May 2000 to 31 January 2001 and was held in a Scottish court sitting at Camp Zeist near Utrecht.]
“I have always wondered, with America’s vast reach, power and might, why that wasn’t utilized to pursue justice and accountability for the murder of American citizens aboard Pan Am 103.”
“Aside from issuing criminal indictments in 1991 and criminal charges in 2020, the US has never pursued, arrested or prosecuted any suspect.”
“The family members wonder why the US quietly abdicated the lead role to Scotland, not even to the UK, and handed over full authority to Police Scotland, which had the smallest staff and least funded police force in mainland Britain, to lead an investigation and prosecution of international scope into multiple state terror sponsors and dozens of inter-continental suspects.” [RB: Police Scotland was formed on 1 April 2013. The Lockerbie investigation was conducted by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.]
“Knowing the limitations of Scottish law, the differences between Scottish and American law in terms of admissibility of evidence as well as witnesses, and the fact that the terrorists did not attack Lockerbie, we have always wondered why allow Scotland to ultimately decide who, how and when to criminally prosecute the mass murderer of Americans.”
“To date, only one Libyan suspect – al-Megrahi – was convicted and then released after eight years on compassionate grounds.”
“There is still an ongoing posthumous appeal to this conviction. No one believes that if al-Megrahi did have a hand in this, that he could have acted alone to perpetrate an attack of this magnitude. But after decades of US pragmatic foreign policy, the true perpetrators of this attack will probably never be known. Informants and witnesses die, memories fade, and evidence deteriorates or disappears.”
“We wonder if the real culprit for all terrorism is capitalism and the corruption and violence it fosters? Is political expediency for commerce, or business as usual, the only brand of American justice? Is this a case of deflected culpability for US military attacks such as the July 3, 1988 USS Vincennes warship missile shooting down of Iran Air flight 655, which killed 290 civilians in Iranian airspace?”