Saturday, 4 December 2010

This Could Be the SNP's Legacy

Every government has a wish to be remembered for something.  It's unfortunate that the SNP Scottish government hasn't managed to make their desire for a change in the current council tax possible.

But all is not lost.

Gaddafi has heaped embarrassment on the Scottish government in the past 24 hours.  Via a video link to staff and students at the London School of Economics, Gaddafi insisted Megrahi's "Health was not looked after in prison.  He didn't have any periodic examination.  I wish him a long life.

After he passes away, his family will demand compensation because he was deliberately neglected in prison."

Naturally there is outrage in Scotland at the suggestion anyone is mistreated in prison and Megrahi was neglected, although the deplorable Labour justice spokesman attacked the SNP for releasing Megrahi.

If the SNP wanted to win next year's election then there must be a proper inquiry into the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.  Alex Salmond insists he supports the verdict.  Why?  A powerful committee in the Scottish Parliament has backed a Lockerbie inquiry.  Dr Jim Swire has said that, "Without an inquiry the name of Scottish justice will lie in the gutter."  Other very eminent Scottish legals have joined with the call for an inquiry.

This post is nothing to do with the release of Megrahi which I think was taken within the Scottish prisoner guidelines.  Most of the UK know there is doubt about the conviction of Megrahi yet the First Minister continues to insist that there is none. The post is about an inquiry into Megrahi's conviction.

Obviously there is something behind the issue for Alex Salmond to continue to insist he believes the verdict and perhaps, for reasons only known to the political establishment, he's troubled it will be discovered during an inquiry, but it's time the SNP bit the bullet and made the decision for the world to know the facts.  More and more evidence has appeared over the years yet ,when Megrahi dropped his appeal prior to his release, our political masters seemed to sigh with relief thinking the matter was concluded.

It's not finished by a long chalk if Alex Salmond has the courage to instigate an inquiry.  Yes, maybe the SNP Scottish government has shown, like all governments, to have some faults, but the public would forgive them if the truth about the Lockerbie bombing was exposed.

Time to show some true Scottish backbone Alex and call for an inquiry.  If nothing else it would ensure the SNP had a good chance to be re-elected in May next year.  It could be the SNP's legacy.


Joe Public said...

If 'he'd been looked after', he'd have been in good health, and, still languishing in prison.

Ironic eh?

subrosa said...

It is ironic. There's so much more to this than meets the eye and I think it's time we stood up to Libya. But will we? Have we too much to lose?

RMcGeddon said...

Imagine the can of worms that would be opened if Alex questioned the verdict on Megrahi.
Just don't go there SR ;)
It's like mass hypnosis. Everyone knows Megrahi wasn't guilty and if he was then why are we doing business with his controllers.
But it's just too much hassle to bother about it really.

subrosa said...

My suggestion doesn't appear to have caused any food for thought RM, or is it because it's exactly as you say?

Quincey Riddle said...

Gott im Himmel Edwin! For once could you possibly address the post?

I agree entirely with the sentiment of this post. JFM is no different from any other pressure group that calls into question the power structure of our establishment. Despite the drop off in election turn out figures over recent decades, a sufficient body of the population, not simply those who operate in the corridors of power, still seems willing to be complicit in maintaining this charade of popular support for the Devil we know by adding a new coat of varnish to the beast every four years. The problem for those who see the Lockerbie/Zeist case as emblematic of something deeply wrong in our civil service and our judiciary, which has a reach and consequence far greater than that case itself, is that come next May they will find themselves in a situation where they can turn to no political party in Scotland in the hope of resolving these fundamental issues.

Whilst I feel I could quite happily wring his neck at the moment, I have always had a lot of time for Alex Salmond, not because I have any links to the SNP, but because I like his style. He is a sharp, witty, percentage player, who can knock spots off most opposition (not just in Scotland) even on a bad day. He seems to have that great political acumen which so often accompanies a substantial ego. Perhaps he is fulfilled now that he has become First Minister of a country with no foreign office. Maybe it is just the result of his physiognomy but he does look rather like the cat that’s got the cream whenever doing the handshake rounds on official duties like meeting the Pope et al. This is a pity. It must be particularly galling for those who work to get the SNP elected only to now find its leadership generating legislation which concentrates even more power in the hands of the civil service, and in doing so places in jeopardy justice and the electorate itself. When the SNP took the reins of power, they did so with clean hands on this issue, the cabinet now seems quite comfortable to enter the May arena just as, if not more, tainted than any other snake oil salesman in the market square.

Anyway, I mustn’t get ahead of myself, the government has until the 10th of December to come to its senses and see the political advantage, limited though it may be, in granting an inquiry. That is, of course, assuming they really do want the power to create a fully independent Scotland.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

On the nail Quincy.

I'll just add a small postscript.

It's not inconceivable that Gaddafi surrendered the two for his own political purpose - namely to start the long process of getting Libya out from being the pariah state.

He may even be naive enough to have believed, since there was no plot, or at least none that the two sacrificial lambs were involved in, their innocence would be proved. And if it wasn't? Well tough, he'd still shown willing. Whatever the verdict it was a win for Libya.

It's sad that the questioning of the integrity of Scottish justice should be seen as beyond the Pale by a government that declares its commitment to open and accountable democracy.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

As a PPS.

"Wha's like us," chants the SNP.

"Every other political party." say's the voters.

Strathturret said...

An Inquiry would be lengthy and costly and pointless unless the USA and UK government opened their files. They won't; look at the reaction to Wikileaks!

The FM has to back the verdict because we can't have elected politicians questioning the judiciary.

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Strathturret,

There is precedent for judicial judgements being put before inquiries. This is not a constitutional problem therefore. It is only a problem because of the nature of this case in particular, it seems. Why? Moreover, you talk of money. No one but those who question the Zeist verdict seem overly concerned that in excess of £1,000,000 and three years of investigation by the SCCRC is now to be tossed to the four winds. Finally, the JFM campaign is only concerned to have the documents etc that fall under Scots jurisdiction opened. In other words, everything covering the investigation and all the judicial processes involving the case. The international aspect is an irrelevant distraction.

Quincey Riddle said...


"it's just too much hassle to bother about it really."


I sincerely hope that your 'pragmatic' approach to politics one day finds you behind bars having been convicted of something you did not do only to find that your application for appeal is turned down by the very institution that sent you down in the first instance! For that is precisely what you are advocating by preferring to defend the reputation of the civil service by not opening this "can of worms". Whilst in gaol, you ought to have plenty of time to reconsider your stance.

I refer here, of course, to the emergency legislation fired through parliament on the 27 of October 2010(the day after JFM formally presented its petition to the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee): the Criminal Procedure (Legal Assistance, Detention and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 2010.

Or perhaps I have got it wrong. Are you saying that JFM has created this problem by raising the issue of Zeist?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Strathturret: uncovering the truth pointless?

Your comment regarding the UK and US may well be correct; but for it not to be tested and the results exposed makes the cause of democratic governance, independent or otherwise, pointless.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Subrosa. (And good comments, Quincy.)

cynicalHighlander said...

There needs to be a proper 'independent' inquiry into this whole affair otherwise we let political decisions run all over us as they have been doing for years.

Wendygate – Electoral Commission Reveals ‘Illegal Donation’ Name was Altered.

RMcGeddon said...


I hope you're wrong and I'm not put in prison for something I didn't do. What a sad person you are. Hoping to heap misfortune upon people whose views you don't agree with.
But sadly this is the way that things are in today's society. Put forward your views and people like yourself damn you if they don't agree.
I don't think Scottish Justice is any better or any worse than any other justice.
This rush to enact emergency legislation wasn't to do with the Megrahi affair but was on the back of the ECHR's ruling 2 years ago that we should have access to a solicitor when arrested. The rest of Europe complied but we didn't.
Megrahi was an Intelligence agent who will have done some horrible things. He never disclosed what he did so I don't have much faith in him.
Any inquiry will be staffed by the usual folk. Evidence that puts the SNP in a bad light will get 24/7 attention. Evidence that puts them in a good light will get no attention.
If the SNP did question the conviction of Megrahi then they would be guilty of keeping quiet while a man rotted in jail. So I can't see why they would want an inquiry.
We're lucky in Scotland. Despite some obvious deficiences our justice system is generally fair. Paying for a pointless inquiry that will discover nothing, cost millions and ruin the reputation of the Scottish Government while bolstering a vicious regime is totally pointless

subrosa said...

I too have a lot of time for Alex Salmond and his team Quincey and unfortunately this issue may be his downfall. Too many now want something done.

subrosa said...

That's true RA. The SNP aren't being seen as transparent or open these days.

subrosa said...

Why can't elected politicians have an inquiry about such a matter Strathturret? The Iraq war was given the go ahead by the UK chief justice minister. That's been questioned several times.

subrosa said...

Obviously the JFM campaign think that having Scottish documents opened would be enough Quincey.

Being clueless about judicial process I have to accept that these records would be suffice for any inquiry purposes.

subrosa said...

Thank you bensix. Quincey has indeed added succinctly to the discussion.

subrosa said...

CH, I do wish Newsnet would put dates on articles and also provide an email address for readers.

subrosa said...

That's the problem though RM. Ask anyone interested in justice and they'll mention the Megrahi affair.

The point of the post was, are we prepared to spend millions fighting the Megrahi family if they decide to sue or are we prepared to get to the bottom, as best as we can, of the whole business.

Either way we spend millions.

cynicalHighlander said...

SB your wish is....

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear RMcGeddon,

Not sad, just miffed. I have had to contend with the type of arguments that you advance frequently, and find them irksome.

You appear to understand the background to the legislation in question, therefore, you might be able to illuminate the chair of the SCCRC on the questions of why it was an emergency and what warranted the inclusion of section 7, because she is in the dark on this, as are many other members of the legal profession. Section 7, of course is the part of the legislation which gives the final say so to the High Court to reject applications for appeal, thus rendering the SCCRC and the independent scrutiny it offered in such matters a thing of the past. Clearly, you do not consider this to be a conflict of interests, hence my suggestion that you may benefit from some practical experience of the implications of section 7 in order to focus your mind. This particular section could have very serious consequences for any opportunity that the bereaved families, resultant from the 103 tragedy, may have for taking legal action to question Mr al-Megrahi's conviction in the interests of justice.

You persist in saying that our justice system is fair and now add that an inquiry would be pointless and ruin the reputation of the Scottish Government. Given that you suggest in your initial comment on this post that we all know Mr al-Megrahi wasn't guilty, I take it that you regard a possible miscarriage of justice to be fair. Furthermore, it is not the place of JFM to support the Scottish Government if it chooses to commit political suicide.

RMcGeddon said...

Dear Quincey...

No I'm not an expert on the recent legislation. I expect Section 7 can be easily challenged if it is unfair as you say. Scottish Justice like English Justice is subservient to the ECHR who will have the final say on the matter.
The legislation had to be rushed through because the Scottish govt lost a legal challenge in the ECHR by a prisoner who hadn't been allowed access to a lawyer. This ruling invalidated hundreds of ongoing cases and any future cases in the Scottish courts.
The SNP had buried it's head in the sand when a ruling on a case in Turkey 2 years ago had laid the ground rules for procedures during arrest.
Looking at the Iraq inquiry and Kelly inquiry etc do you really think any new evidence will emerge that will throw light on the case ?
I don't think it's fair that a miscarriage of justice was carried out but it's what all parties concerned were happy with at the time. Including Megrahi who took the wrap and kept quiet.

subrosa said...

Thanks CH. I still think they should have a contact email visible rather than tucked away though. People like to know they can contact writers.

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Subrosa,

JFM has been campaigning specifically for Mr al-Megrahi's conviction to be investigated by means of an independent inquiry since September of 2009. In that time it has variously been accused of being a front for a terrorist organisation and an asset of the CIA, amongst others. JFM does not, nor has it ever, received support from any outside bodies. The entire campaign is supported solely out of the time, effort and goodwill of its committee and its thirty plus signatory membership. It does not exist to enhance the electoral potential of any political party. If, as you suggest, this issue could be the downfall of Alex Salmond, it will certainly not be of JFM's doing. You also suggest on Robert Black's Blogspot that it is quite possible that Mr Salmond, in his capacity as a Privy Councillor, may be acting at the behest of the British establishment. If so, this too is not something that JFM has asked him to do. He must make his own choices. It is not too late for the Scottish Government to open an independent inquiry, and personally, I feel that this course of action would be politically advantageous for a party whose raison d'être is independence.

Yes, in addition to subpoenaing witnesses who fall under Scots jurisdiction, for JFM, it is wholly sufficient for material which falls only under Scots jurisdiction to be made available to an independent inquiry. Furthermore, JFM does not attribute blame for Lockerbie nor does it demand retribution for any possible shortcomings during the investigation into the downing of Pan Am 103 or the subsequent judicial processes.

Currently, the Scottish Government does not appear to be giving the impression of being interested in independent scrutiny (see comments above on section 7 of the emergency legislation). If, in the unlikely event that the government concedes to the opening of an inquiry and that inquiry does not appear to be squeaky clean in terms of its independence, I can assure you that JFM will go into full attack mode again.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Forrester (Sec, justice For Megrahi).

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear RMcGeddon,

Yes, I agree with you on the issue of the origins of the legislation. However, this does not explain the inclusion of section 7. For Justice Secretary, Mr MacAskill, to indicate that the situation may be temporary and any conflict of interest brought about by this act will be dealt with under Lord Carloway’s review of criminal procedure begs the question of why section 7 was included in the new bill in the first instance. This is akin to giving a child the keys to the sweetie shop and then asking the child if it feels like returning them! If it is simply a stop gap stalling action, which the government fully expects Europe to bounce back at Scotland, am I wrong to be getting the impression that the SNP fully expects to be out of office after the next election and, therefore, won't have to be dealing with that particular problem?

Yours sincerely,
Robert Forrester (JFM).

Quincey Riddle said...


Mr al-Megrahi has never sat back and accepted guilt on this issue nor has Libya. There have been two appeals; the second dropped in circumstances when it was not required to do so. By the way, please do not write back on the subject of Libyan payments to the bereaved as I will shot the argument down before your ink is dry.

subrosa said...

I've heard of JFM Quincey and understand a little more of their objectives.

In my post I didn't say the Megrahi issue would be the SNP's downfall, or if I implied that then it wasn't intentional. Current, if polls are to be believed, Labour is far ahead of the SNP for next May. My suggestion is that if an inquiry was instigated it would boost the SNP government's ratings.

No I didn't suggest that on Robert Black's blog Quincey. Someone else did. I only comment they may be right.

I do think, apart from the political advantages which could occur, that an inquiry would be a major benefit to Scotland as I understand more and more evidence has become available in past years.

Eddie said...

Hello again Subrosa, and many thanks for this excellent post, which in my opinion highlights a crucial issue that lies at the very heart of our political, and judicial, establishment while questioning the very aspirations held dearly by all citizens alike regardless of political persuasion. You may recall I posted some time ago relating to these very matters.

One of the principal functions of any Government is to maintain the integrity of the justice system and this is been abandoned, apparently, along with those 270 poor innocent souls who died on 21st December 1988, by successive Westminster governments and now by the Scottish Nationalist government in Holyrood. This should be of great concern to everyone.

However, I must also take strong issue with RMcGeddon's comments on the subject at hand. The assertion blithely stated that "everyone knows Megrahi isn't guilty", which may be the case for those who have even made a cursory glance over the Kamp Zeist conviction, but it simply not applicable across the wider public arena, while "a pointless inquiry that will discover nothing" will only serve to "bolstering a vicious regime" is as contradictory as it is irrelevant to anyone who should care for the values of government and society. First, I find this fork of argument and attitude quite appalling, and would think many of the victim's of 103's families would also take great offense at the suggestion that questions surrounding the validity of the conviction of Megrahi, and consequently their loved ones deaths nearly 22 years ago, are "just too much hassle to bother about". It would seem that in the place of principles and moral convictions to justice and truth, we're instructed to adopt the mantle of crushing apathy, to dumb down with the best of them, and to splash our tootsie toes in the fountain of blind indifference. The litany of government deceit goes on and why should anyone give a stuff? Well I'm sure if that's true, the champagne corks will be popping down in Whitehall and in Holyrood for a job well done.

They would much rather the whole sorry saga simply went away while denigrating those of a dissimilar mindset in tones not unknown to tabloids and championed by successive Conservative and New Labour kleptocrats. It should be of great concern to us all that an attitude which adheres to the ditching all the baggage and controversy surrounding Megrahi's conviction at the earliest opportunity and getting on with the serious business of espousing political glittering generalities is just as acceptable within the Scottish government as has been for decades in Westminster while all the time derided by this current SNP administration as the reason to support independence from the union.

For it is the shibboleth of the all political parties and those who have a vested interest in seeing that Megrahi remains the "convicted Lockerbie bomber". This stance makes for some seriously depressing reading if you are so inclined. I wonder, it's a curious mentality, and in my opinion one borne of that Scottish trait, the "cringe factor".

Eddie said...

Yet another assertion that "Megrahi was an Intelligence agent who will have done some horrible things" and thus the inference that, even where there is no evidence whatsoever linking Megrahi to the bombing of 103, he could, and should, not be given any consideration to any possible miscarriage he may have suffered, as the SCCRC themselves concluded, as he had probably "done some horrible things" anyway. This is something I expected was discarded as justification by any rational adult since primary school. Megrahi, the sole bomber was convicted with no previous record of terrorist activity or intent, no accomplices as Fhimah [the accused accomplice] was found 'not guilty', no discernible personal motive, a man implicated by no solid evidence of any kind: forensic, circumstantial or even testimonial. He had no reason for doing it, yet he did it; that’s what we’re supposed to believe. And now because he was *obviously* doing something possibly not nice in his alleged capacity with the Lybian intelligence, then a conviction based no evidence is still justified!?? Dear God, have we all went stark raving mad? Perhaps as Lord Denning remarked about the controversy around the Birmingham Six could have been avoided if they'd been hanged in the first place, then we could have survived face in Megrahi's case by reintroducing capital punishment.

The ordinary man who has any intellectual aspirations, we are told, must turn his face away from such horrors lest he or she be fouled by the vacuous reek of the Lockerbie conspiratory loons who simply serve to infect the mind.
Is it too much for broad social and political aspirations to be exhibited in the conviction of ones morals and principles of truth and justice rather than that of innocent people? For when the former is abandoned, then the fundamental pillars our democratic society is denied to all and finds itself truly built upon a façade of no more than of sand and straw.
The idea of Scotland with a politicalised and principled populus, looking to release themselves from the shackles of anglo-US unionism and it's double-dealing, double-speak, illegal invasions of sovereign nations and numerous miscarriages of justice, is apparently an anathema to those who wish the whole nation would succumb to their Disney World theme park ideal. It has no place in their vision of an easily controlled bovine herd content to exist on a diet of puerile celeb gossip and reality TV shows while party political fervour admonishes hypocritical politicians and all the while remaining unaccountable. This is a very strange notion of democracy indeed.

With God on their side, MacAskill, Blair, Bush et al have been only too happy to impose their granted divinity upon the masses, they too, and their advocates, will be I assume judged on their actions by this same 'higher authority' on their departing this mortal coil. Good luck with that one..

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Subrosa,

I apologise for misrepresenting what you said on Robert Black's Blogspot. I conflated the comment above yours with yours in error without taking full account of the subtle distinction.

Despite the impression my polemic in this thread may give, I am greatly heartened by the voices of support for the need for an inquiry.

cynicalHighlander said...

I think 'spamming' could be the reason as it has a 'profanity filter' imposed on it by the BBC.

I think that it is good to see an increasing interest in al-Megrahi and his obvious stitch up.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I for one am glad you posted that last post QR.

The conviction of Megrahi wasn't of any particular interest to me until I saw an interview given by Dr Swire after the first appeal.

Dr Swire's integrity and humanity so impressed me, it caused me to download the findings of the trial, the subsequent appeal, the reports of Hans Keochlar and Robert Black, amongst many others.

Throughout my reading, and aware of my propensity to sympathise with the underdog I tried to imagine myself as a jury member and whether the evidence laid before me was enough to warrant a guilty verdict?

In truth, the opposite applied; and,then as now, still does.

Since then I have written privately on a number of occasions to the Scottish Justice Department stating my concerns which, as you have made patently and cogently clear through your posts, are much in sympathy with mine.

However the point I would make is as follows. Your cause has many sympathisers most of whom are lay people. You, I suspect are a professional, and while the clarity of your argument is welcome and informative, the arrogance of your delivery is not; and, could as a consequence be counter productive to the justice you seek.

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Crinkly & Amp,

I am delighted to hear that you have written to the Justice Department on the Zeist verdict. I hope that all the others who post comments on the subject on the various blogspots also do as you have done.

It is extremely rare for me to involve myself in blog threads like this, so perhaps, due to my lack of practice, you are right in saying my delivery comes over as arrogant. Normally, I concern myself with matters such as policy, press releases and maintaining and building up the campaign. Nevertheless, taking into account the normal protocols regarding register and good manners etc, I hope I have treated all comers as equals. We started the campaign for an inquiry from nothing just over a year ago and now have a very strong signatory membership list(34), which is still increasing in size, a Friends of JFM (89) and a parliamentary petition signatory list of 1,646 (gathered in an extremely short space of time, which was subject to two lengthy periods when the parliamentary site was not accepting signatures). Everyone who involves themselves at whatever level in this campaign, whether they are lay people or professional, are ultimately just ordinary folk who think that something is very wrong here. So, we seem to be getting something right.

Perhaps my reaction to statements that seem to suggest and some actually say: "let's move on and forget about it", "think of the expense", "what about the poor SNP" and "we all know he wasn't guilty but Scottish justice is fair" and that sort of ilk, I feel deserve to be treated firmly. I apologise if that is taken as arrogance. By the way, the above are not actual quotes from this tread, simply an impression I have of the flavour of some contributors' comments.

Anyway, thanks for your candour. I appreciate it.

yours sincerely,
Robert Forrester.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

QR:Fair enough, the work and effort included in your campaign is appreciated.

As a fairly regular reader and commentator to Rosa's blog I'm fairly certain she wouldn't mind it being used for updates on the developing campaign.

Meanwhile, since you have declared your name and purpose, if you can furnish an e/mail address I'll gladly reply with mine and annotate the list of failings (such as they are)of the trial and subsequent appeal.

Sincerely RA.

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Crinkly & amp,

I have just passed my contact details on to Subrosa for your benefit. If the Dundee Wifey doesn't have your details, I recommend that you get in touch.

subrosa said...

It is most unfortunate that the SNP are so directly involved in this issue Eddie, but as I said, if they invoked an inquiry then they would be seen to be doing their very best to ensure our justice system et al was fit for purpose.

subrosa said...

Auch Quincey, easily done. I remember answering the comment because I hadn't thought of that circumstance.

Quite a few of my friends would welcome an inquiry, mainly because they hold Dr Swire in high regard.

subrosa said...

It's all part of trying to keep such issues in the public eye isn't it CH.

subrosa said...

RA and Quincey, I will forward relevant details with your permissions.

Jo G said...

Professor Hans Koechler, the UN observer at the original trial, called the delaying of Megrahi's second appeal, "tantamount to the obstruction of justice". Take a deep breath people. That comment was made about the Scottish Judiciary. More worrying still is that Prof Koechler was right. For more than two years the Scottish Justice System, and the Scottish Parliament, ignored the findings of the SCCRC report. They highlighted SIX grounds to suggest a miscarriage of justice may have occurred at the original trial. In addition to that further facts, yes facts, had emerged about the payment of millions of dollars to the Gauci brothers for their testimony at the trial. In any court in the land such testimony for cash would not be permitted to stand. Because its called bribery!

Salmond could, and should have, taken the whole issue of Lockerbie and the truth to the people of Scotland and wiped the floor with any of the opposition Parties at Holyrood who want the dirt to stay under the carpet. Even if we got the wrong guy! Even if the truth behind the biggest atrocity ever to happen over UK skies since WW2 is never known. Salmond could have shamed them all with all of Scotland behind them. And our reputation and the reputation of our justice system could have been rescued from the cesspit that was the Lockerbie trial.

Salmond is the only politician in the UK who could have brought this off. There is still time. For starters he should stop, along with Macaskill, saying the original verdict was sound. Six grounds raised by an independent judicial body say otherwise.

Jo G said...

Crinkly and RA (great name)

"Throughout my reading, and aware of my propensity to sympathise with the underdog I tried to imagine myself as a jury member and whether the evidence laid before me was enough to warrant a guilty verdict."

There was no jury, only "learned judges" who, had there been a jury, would have been required to caution a jury against convicting against the evidence presented.

In fact the judges went against the advice they impart possibly on a daily basis and chose THEMSELVES to indeed convict despite the evidence presented contradicting their conlcusions over and over. Even a lay person like me, unconnected with the law, when reading the transcripts of that trial was left open-mouthed at the conclusions reached by these so called learned judges.

Jo G said...

Subrosa, you mention the high regard in which Jim Swire is held.

Here is something that occurred to me in recent weeks: his position is no different to those US families who lost people in the Lockerbie atrocity. He too could have accepted the original verdict as they did but was clearly driven, by something, in another direction altogether. To take that other path, as he did, was, I think, much harder. It would surely have been easier for him to say, "No, the authorities couldn't lie about this." and go on to get that "closure" thing Americans go on about? Accept the verdict and leave it. He has taken a more painful path because he wants the truth. He believes his daughter deserves the truth and so he should. We all deserve the truth about Lockerbie. And if enough of us demanded it successive governments who worked to keep the truth hidden would be exposed for the monstrous people they are.

When it comes to justice, lets forget about what we think of Libya as a country. This is a Scottish Court, a Scottish Parliament, a UK Parliament and successive UK governments since Thatcher's time who almost certainly were involved in a massive cover up. And even after so much evidence of that cover up has come out the political and judicial establishments are still trying to keep the truth buried. Only one thing can change that: people telling them they are not getting away with it.

subrosa said...

Thank you for your comments Jo G. Yes I think Dr Swire did take a harder path but he was driven by his convictions and has gained much respect for his actions.

That's true Jo. Time Scotland had an investigation and let the world see we are a people who are not afraid to do so.

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