Saturday 31 January 2015

The announcement of the verdict

[What follows is a transcript of the proceedings in the Scottish Court at Camp Zeist on this date fourteen years ago:]

Proceedings commenced at 11.04 a.m.

THE CLERK: Call the diet, Her Majesty's Advocate against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah. Take your seat, gentlemen, please. My Lords, have you reached a verdict in respect of each accused on the second alternative charge as now amended?
THE CLERK: Would you give me, please, your verdict in respect of the first named accused, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.
LORD SUTHERLAND: Guilty. There are certain deletions to the indictment. In subhead (e), in line 4, delete from the words "and you" to the end of that subhead. In subhead (g), in the fourth line, delete the words "said suitcase, or"; and in the following line, the word "similar."
THE CLERK: That is all the deletions, My Lord?
LORD SUTHERLAND: These are all the deletions.
THE CLERK: Is that verdict unanimous, or by a majority?
THE CLERK: Would you give me, please, your verdict in respect of the second named accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah.
THE CLERK: Is that, My Lords, unanimous, or by a majority?
THE CLERK: I will now record the verdict, My Lords. My Lords, is the verdict truly recorded as follows: The court unanimously find the accused Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi guilty on the second alternative charge, but that under deletion of the words "and you Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah did there and then cause a suitcase to be introduced to Malta" in lines 4 to 6 of subhead (e) of the said charge, and under deletion of the words "said suitcase, or," in line 4 of subhead (g), and deletion of the word "similar" in line 5 of subhead (g), unanimously find the accused Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah not guilty.
Is that a true record, My Lord?
LORD SUTHERLAND: That is correct.
THE CLERK: Thank you.
LORD SUTHERLAND: Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, in view of the verdict of the court, you are now discharged and are free to go.
MR KEEN: My Lords, in light of the verdict of the court, I would move on behalf of myself and my junior counsel for leave to withdraw.
LORD SUTHERLAND: Certainly, Mr Keen.
MR KEEN: I'm obliged, My Lords.
THE LORD ADVOCATE: My Lords, I move for sentence. Megrahi is 49 years of age, his date of birth being the 1st of April 1952. So far as is known to the Crown, he is married and has children. A petition warrant was granted for his arrest on the 13th of November 1991. He was delivered to the Netherlands on the 5th of April 1999, when he was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant issued by the Dutch authorities, and having waived his rights to contest extradition, he was arrested by Scottish police officers the same day. He was committed for further examination in custody on the 6th of April 1999. He was fully committed on the 14th of April 1999 and has been in custody since that date. My Lords, in accordance with normal practice, as he is a non-British citizen, he has been served with a notice under Section 6(2) of the Immigration Act 1971, and it is open to Your Lordships to recommend in terms of Section 3(6) of that Act that he be deported if and when he is released from custody in the future. My Lords, the names of those who died were read to the court on the 5th of May 2000. In any ordinary case, Your Lordships would have heard something of the circumstances of the deceased and the family left behind. In this case it is not possible to do that, and I don't intend to try. I need hardly say to the court that each one left relatives, wives, husbands, parents and children. Something of the scale of the impact can be gleaned from the fact that more than 400 parents lost a son or a daughter; 46 parents lost their only child; 65 women were widowed; and 11 men lost their wives. More than 140 lost a parent, and seven children lost both parents. My Lords, they, together with the other friends and their relatives left behind, are also victims of the Lockerbie bombing.
LORD SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Lord Advocate. Mr Taylor, I should say at the outset that as you will appreciate, having regards to the nature of this offence, the court may have to consider a recommendation under Section 205(4) of the 1995 Act. We should say that the written reasons for the verdict will be available shortly, by which I mean within the next half hour or so. We do not know if you would wish to see these reasons before addressing the matter of a possible recommendation, but if you should so wish, obviously we shall be only too glad to give you time to do so.
MR TAYLOR: I am grateful to Your Lordship for that indication. I have given, as Your Lordship would anticipate, some consideration to the matter, and I am content that Your Lordships should proceed.
LORD SUTHERLAND: Very well. Thank you, Mr Taylor.
MR TAYLOR: There are two matters that I should draw to Your Lordships' attention. The first is in relation to my client. He maintains his innocence, and therefore there is nothing I can say by way of mitigation.
The second is in relation to the point at which Your Lordships will require to determine the sentence has to run from, and the submission I make to the court is that it should be from the 5th of April 1999.
Your Lordships are entitled to make recommendations on how long -- given the mandatory nature of the life sentence is concerned -- how long the individual should remain in prison prior to release being considered, and I have taken the view that that's a matter within Your Lordships' discretion, having heard all of the evidence in the case, and I have no submissions to make on it
LORD SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Mr Taylor. We shall take time to consider the matter of a recommendation. The court will adjourn until 2.00, when sentence will be pronounced.

Proceedings recessed at 11.18 a.m.
Proceedings resumed at 2.00 p.m.

LORD SUTHERLAND: Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the mandatory sentence for the crime of murder is imprisonment for life, and that is the sentence that we impose. That sentence will be backdated to the 5th of April 1999. In view of the horrendous nature of this crime, we think it right that we should make a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to the minimum period which you should serve before being considered for release on licence, but for the age that you will have attained at the time of your release and the fact that you will be serving this sentence in what is to you a foreign country, the period that we recommend is substantially less than it would otherwise have been. However, we consider that the appropriate recommendation to the Secretary of State is that a period of 20 years should elapse before you are considered for release. You will also be recommended for deportation at the end of the sentence.
That is all.

Proceedings recessed at 2.04 p.m.

[RB: And then the struggle began to correct this monstrous miscarriage of justice.]


  1. Living with the "Lockerbie Affair", 2015, No Explosion Inside Container AVE 4041 PA !

    In the world's biggest criminal lawsuit - the Lockerbie Trial - the special Scottish Court in the Netherlands was working on false premises.
    Before the start of the Lockerbie trial, Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. declare in a letter to Lord Advocate:
    "Those bizarre metal fragments that became teared loose from the skin of the fuselage on position No. 700, can only derive from explosive substance positioned in the immediate vicinty of the fuselage" !
    (See: evidence photo from the offical AAIB report 2/90, figure B-15, detail of shatter zone of fuselage)

    Had the explosion occurred - as claimed by the AAIB-report - inside the container AVE 4041 PA with a distance from center of explosion to the shatter zone given as 25" (63.5 cm), such atypical fragments would never have occurred. Further, such bizarre fragments would never have occurred in the event of any explosion inside the container, as the schock wave would have been quelled by the Toshiba radio recorder, the fibre glass wall of the alleged Samsonite suitcase, the metal wall of the container itself and the fibreglass seperator panels. Thus, no explosion could have taken place inside the luggage container !

    Trail news on this time on BBC::
    A key prosecution witness in the Lockerbie trial has been accused of miscalculating the location of the bomb which destroyed Pan Am Flight 103.
    Defence advocate Richard Keen suggested to Professor Christopher Peel that a correct figure for the distance from the bomb to the skin of the aircraft would be three inches less than he had indicated.
    But Professor Peel, a UK Government scientist who was giving evidence for a third day, insisted his 24-inch figure was correct, which was based on a formula using data from the damage to the plane's fuselage.

    Mr Keen, for Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, said if the witness had used an earlier calculation then the stand-off distance of the bomb could be as small as 17 inches.
    Professor Peel, 54, a chief scientist with the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera) in Farnborough, told the trial on Thursday that his research showed the 1lb bomb was some 24 inches from the skin of the fuselage.
    On Friday, he insisted he had used a more accurate figure, which was qualified by further tests.
    Under intense cross-examination, his complex calculations came under attack with the defence accusing him of misapplying government software.
    His definitions were also scrutinised by Mr Keen who repeated eight times in reference to a picture: "Can you see evidence of shatter at the top of the petal edges?"

    Different theories
    Re-examined by the prosecution's Alan Turnbull QC, Professor Peel defended the different reports he had produced after the bombing.
    He accepted that using different figures and theories the stand-off distance of the bomb could be as small as 12 inches placing it outside the baggage container.
    But the court heard how Professor Peel remained confident he had used the more reliable methods.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage:


  2. The well-known explosive expert Professor Dr. Hitmar Schubert from the Fraunhofer Institue of Technology and Science in Germany. says on this time, the Scottish Court in the Netherlands is working on false premises. His assumption originates to the alleged position of the explosive device aboard Pan Am flight 103.