Sunday 6 May 2018

Scottish prosecutors in secret meeting with Libyans about al‑Megrahi and Lockerbie

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Sunday Times. It
reads in part:]

A clandestine meeting between the Crown Office and Libyan officials has taken place as part
of efforts to bring those behind the Lockerbie bombing to justice.

The Sunday Times has learnt that Scottish prosecutors want to interview at least one suspect
about the 1988 atrocity, and they met their Libyan counterparts in March to enlist their help.
It is understood the suspect may be linked to the purchase of a suitcase that concealed the
bomb. The Crown maintains that the suitcase was loaded onto a plane in Malta and
transferred onto Pan Am flight 103, which took off from Heathrow for New York. (...)

Scottish prosecutors maintain that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who was accused of buying
clothes in Malta that were packed in the suitcase, did not act alone and have vowed to bring
his accomplices to justice. Megrahi is the only person convicted of the bombing.

According to a diplomatic source, Libyan officials visited the UK at the invitation of
Scottish prosecutors and are “keen” to assist the Lockerbie investigation.

“Megrahi is regarded as unfinished business because the inquests determined that he
was not acting by himself,” said the source.

“Investigators have been looking at the people who were involved in the purchase of
a bag in Malta. This is something they have been trying to follow up and they have
leads which still need to be fully explored.”

He added: “Police Scotland have been pursuing the possibility of questioning
individuals in Libya and they have some information relating to an individual ... They
will be looking to the prosecutor [to see] if they can be tracked down and interviewed
on their behalf.”

The disclosure follows a decision by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
(SCCRC) to review Megrahi’s conviction. (...)

The SCCRC said last week that it was in “the interests of justice” to accept the
application by Megrahi’s family. The move has been welcomed by campaigners who
believe Megrahi was innocent. A separate police investigation into claims that
prosecutors, police and forensic officials perverted the course of justice is expected
to conclude shortly.

The Crown Office declined to comment.

[RB: A comment by John Cameron under this article on The Sunday Times website reads as follows:]

My Italian friends were deeply embarrassed by the judicial shenanigans of the Meredith
Kercher murder trial which showed their nation's Byzantine legal system at its worst.
But the fact is the Italian system was self-correcting and in the end, the manifestly innocent
students Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were released.

The conviction of Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi for the Pan Am bombing raised a similar international
outcry. From the UN observer to Nelson Mandela, from the UK relatives' leader Dr Swire to
the Scottish churches, from his prison inmates and staff to every journalist who investigated
the case, no-one believed he was guilty.

Megrahi and co-defendant Lamin Fhimah were remanded into custody by my dear old friend, the late Sheriff Graham Cox in whose jurisdiction Lockerbie lay. He later confided, "I'm sure they've got the wrong men" adding that in the event of a miscarriage of justice, the Scottish judiciary was "too small and too inbred" to sort it out.

We shall see!

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