Showing posts sorted by date for query Alistair Duff. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Alistair Duff. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Sunday 28 September 2014

The winding path towards a Lockerbie trial

[On this date sixteen years ago a letter from me was published in The Scotsman. It read as follows:]

Your report ("Lockerbie suspects' lawyers sacked", 24 September [1998]) 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.

[This letter appears no longer to feature in The Scotsman’s online archives. It, and other material relating to the change in Megrahi and Fhimah’s Libyan legal team, can be found here.]

Monday 14 July 2008

The Charles McKee/Monzer al-Kassar theory

The aangirfan blog today publishes a lengthy article flowing from the piece in yesterday's Sunday Express. It favours the "CIA operation against Charles McKee" explanation for the destruction of Pan Am 103. The article contains a useful list of Lockerbie dramatis personae (but once again repeats that defence counsel Bill Taylor QC has become a sheriff: he has not, but his instructing solicitor, Alistair Duff, has). The full article can be read here.

Saturday 12 April 2008

Where are they now?

As far as I can see from a trawl of the internet and the blogosphere, there were no developments of any significance regarding Lockerbie during my trip to Namibia.

However, it has been reported that Megrahi's junior counsel at the Zeist trial, John Beckett, has been appointed a sheriff (a judge in Scotland's lower court system). Beckett became a QC in 2005 after the trial, and served briefly as Solicitor General for Scotland (deputy to the Lord Advocate, the chief Scottish Government law officer and head of the prosecution system) in 2006 to 2007. See

As far as the other lawyers involved in the trial are concerned, most remain in practice but two of the prosecutors, Alastair Campbell QC and Alan Turnbull QC, have become judges of the Scottish supreme courts (the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary); Megrahi's solicitor, Alistair Duff, has become a sheriff; and Richard Keen QC, the senior counsel for the acquitted co-accused, Lamin Fhimah, has been elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (leader of the Scottish Bar). The then Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC (later Lord Boyd of Duncansby) has taken the highly unusual step of resigning from the Faculty of Advocates and becoming a solicitor. He is now a partner in a large Edinburgh law firm.

The three judges who presided at the trial, Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and MacLean, have all now retired from the bench.

Monday 26 November 2007

From Terrorism blog

Here are links to two posts, dated 07 September and 11 October 2007 respectively, that I have just discovered on the Terrorism blog. Both contain matter directly or indirectly relevant to Lockerbie.


As far as the information contained in the second item is concerned, it should be noted that Bill Taylor QC has not become a sheriff, but Alistair Duff has.