Friday 4 May 2012

Mulholland and FBI in secret Libya mission

This is the headline over a report in Wednesday's edition of The Herald regarding the Libya visit of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC and FBI Director Robert Mueller.  The report can be read here. The report on the BBC News website can be read here; Thursday's edition of The Scotsman also runs a story which can be read here; The Herald on Thursday has an article which can be read here. It also has a report about the failure of the police to hand over to the defence (and only very much later than it was discovered to the Crown) details in their possession about the Heathrow break-in in the baggage build-up area just hours before the destruction of Pan Am 103.

The Firm's report on the Mulholland visit to Libya, headlined "Mulholland's visit to Libya a 'charade'", and featuring a statement from Justice for Megrahi can be read here.


  1. From that piece in The Firm:

    The Crown Office issued the following statement in response; "Even if the evidence about Heathrow had been heard by the trial court, it would not have reached a different verdict."

    Do you know, that's probably true. The verdict on Megrahi is independent of evidence - he is guilty by fiat. Reminds me of the judge in Erewhon when he tells the accused:

    "You may say that it is your misfortune to be criminal; I answer that it is your crime to be unfortunate."

  2. Aren't there laws about informing the defense about matters relevant to it?

    I recalled something like this, and after searching I found the text under the '---'.

    It is nothing less than reasonable. A trial is about reaching the truth, I assume?
    Not about playing hide and seek with evidence, and not a game of luck ("Hopefully they don't discover this in time?!").

    Of course, we can hardly expect lawyers (and plaintiffs/defendants) not to 'take side' whenever they can - but we can prosecute them if they break the law.

    But the police?? The judges?? They should bow their head in shame. Why would hiding this important information not be a criminal offense?


    "The prosecution also have a duty to disclose material they do not intend to use - this can be useful for the defence as they must disclose evidence that may undermine the prosecution case or assist the case for the defendant. This means that if they hold evidence helpful to the defence they must inform them. "

  3. To the question of whether a court official can get away with concealing evidence, we have this ongoing case -;contentBody

    - where a prosecutor is likely to be sued in a case that lead to a 20-year imprisonment of a man, who is now exonerated beyond reasonable doubt.

    Sad, that Megrahi will never be able to take similar steps.