Friday, 5 February 2016

Was this really the best we had to offer?

[What follows is the text of a letter from Dr Jim Swire that was published in The Herald on this date in 2010:]

Flaws in evidence at Lockerbie trial

The Chilcot Inquiry has examined the role of the Blair government’s Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, allegedly converted to believing the Iraq war to be legal following “consultations in the USA”.

Should not the Lockerbie inquiry, when we get it, examine why the government of the day chose to ignore the words of its Lord Chief Justice, and appointed [Alan] Feraday to supply the forensic input to the Lockerbie trial?

Mr Feraday was criticised by the Lord Chief Justice in the case of R v Berry (1991). He declared that the nature of his evidence was dogmatic in the extreme and that he should not be allowed to present himself as an expert in this field. Also, the Home Office has paid compensation from the public purse to Mr Berry because he was jailed on the erroneous evidence of Mr Feraday.

The Lockerbie case depended heavily upon a piece of timer circuit board allegedly recovered from the wreckage and labelled “PT35B” presented to the court by the same Mr Feraday, who also had consultations with the USA.

Assuming the British Government wanted the Lockerbie trial to reach a fair verdict, was this really the best we had to offer?

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