Saturday 24 September 2016

New legal team for Megrahi and Fhima

[On this date in 1998 there were media reports about a change in the Libyan legal team representing the Lockerbie accused, Megrahi and Fhima. What follows is taken from Asharq al-Awsat:]

Dr Ibrahim al-Ghuwayl [Legwell] lawyer of 'Abd-al-Basit al-Miqrahi and al-Amin Khalifah Fahimah, the two Libyans accused in connection with the Lockerbie case, has refused to join a new team formed by the Libyan Government to defend the two Libyans suspected of blowing up a PanAm plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.  In a statement to Al-Sharq al-Awsat yesterday Al-Ghuwayl attributed his refusal to disagreements over "strategy."

Dr al-Ghuwayl added that the new team is headed by Kamil Maqhur, a former foreign minister, and includes lawyers from a number of law practices in Libya.

Asked about the reasons for this official Libyan action, al-Ghuwayl said:  "I do not know the reasons; you should ask those who made the decision."  Dr al-Ghuwayl stressed that it was al-Miqrahi and Fahimah who chose him as a lawyer to defend them, "and I am still safeguarding their interests and will continue to do so until they decide otherwise." Al-Ghuwayl had objected to the US-British initiative for his clients to stand trial in the Netherlands.

[RB: A few days later a letter from me was published in The Scotsman in response to that newspaper’s report on the matter. The letter reads as follows:]

Your report  ("Lockerbie suspects' lawyers sacked", 24 September)  claims the new Libyan defence team had been appointed by the Libyan Government (or by Colonel Gaddafi). What evidence is there for this?

I met five members of the team in Tripoli last Monday. The chairman, Kamel Hassan Maghur, said he and his colleagues (who include the present President of the Tripoli Bar Association and the most senior past-President) had been appointed by the two suspects themselves; that their sole concern was with representing the interests of their clients;  that those interests did not necessarily coincide with the wishes or interests of the Libyan Government; and that if the Government sought to interfere in their work or to influence in any way the advice which the lawyers might render to their clients, they would not hesitate to publicise this fact in the international media.

Mr Maghur (who as well as being a former Foreign Minister, is also a retired Libyan Supreme Court judge) said nothing to indicate that his team wished to dispense with the services of Alistair Duff, the Edinburgh solicitor who for many years has represented the two suspects in Scotland: indeed, quite the reverse.

If, as you state, Dr Ibrahim Legwell is claiming (a) still to represent the suspects and (b) that the new team has been foisted on them without their consent, then this conflict should be speedily resolved by direct consultation with the accused themselves. I was deeply impressed by the professionalism, commitment and independence of the Libyan lawyers. If they do indeed now represent the suspects, I am convinced that their interests are in capable hands.

1 comment:

  1. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2016 > google translation, German/English:

    Why a feasible criminal investigation against an employee of the Intelligence Service (NDB) and unknown in Switzerland was not taken in the hand - and why the lawsuit from Edwin Bollier / MEBO AG, was legal delayed, deliberately until the statute of limitations occurred - and why a criminal investigation in the Switzerland for finding the truth in case 'Lockerbie / Pan Am 103' is so important?
    All these issues should be disclosed by a new indictment because of abuse of authority. against public servants of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office.
    In German:
    Warum eine realisierbare Strafuntersuchung gegen einen Mitarbeiter des Schweizerischen Nachrichtendienstes (NDB) und Unbekannte in der Schweiz, nicht an die Hand genommen wurde - und warum die Strafanzeige von Edwin Bollier/MEBO AG, vorsätzlich verschleppt wurde, bis die Verjährung eintrat - und warum eine Strafuntersuchung in der Schweiz, für die Wahrheitsfindung im Fall 'Lockerbie/PanAm 103', so wichtig ist ?
    Alle diese Fragen, sollten durch eine neue Anklage wegen Amtsmissbrauch gegen Staatsbedienstete der Schweizerischen Bundesanwatschaft, offengelegt werden.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage: