Saturday, 25 April 2015

The public has a right to know the truth

[What follows is the text of a press release from this date in 2002:]

London, 25 April 2002/P/RE/17666c-is
The President of the International Progress Organization, Professor Hans Koechler, earlier today held a meeting at the House of Commons in London with Mr Tam Dalyell, MP, “Father of the House” (the longest-serving member of the British Parliament), and Mr Ross Cranston, MP, former Solicitor-General of the United Kingdom. He briefed the members of the British Parliament on his report on the Lockerbie appeal proceedings which he had submitted earlier last month to the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council, to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

In his capacity as international observer of the Lockerbie trial, appointed by the UN Secretary-General, Professor Koechler discussed with Mr Tam Dalyell basic issues of the fairness of the Lockerbie trial and appeal proceedings. In a statement made at the adjournment (Easter) session of the House of Commons on 26 March 2002, Mr Dalyell had raised serious doubts about the handling of the Lockerbie case by Scottish judicial authorities. In his report on the Lockerbie appeal proceedings, Prof Koechler had expressed reservations about the fairness of the trial and had further explained his position that the proceedings were not in conformity with the requirements of the European Human Rights Convention.

Prof Koechler agreed with Mr Dalyell that the Lockerbie case should be further investigated and that the public has a right to know the truth. He reiterated his suggestion that the British Parliament should undertake a comprehensive investigation into the Lockerbie affair – particularly in regard to the detrimental role played by international power politics. Prof Koechler stated that the Lockerbie case is of exemplary nature in regard to the future development of international criminal justice and that the independence of the judiciary has been at stake in the highly politicized context of the trial. He explained that, for this reason, he considers a comprehensive public inquiry into the background of the Lockerbie case and into its handling by the Scottish judicial authorities of utmost importance.

[RB: It was exactly two years earlier, on 25 April 2000, that Professor Koechler was appointed by Kofi Annan as one of the UN observers.]

No comments:

Post a comment