Monday, 21 May 2012

Now Will We Get Some Answers?

Abdelbaset al Megrahi is dead, three years after being released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds because doctors said he had only three months to live.

All 259 people on the Pan Am 103 airliner died and 11 others on the ground in the Dumfries and Galloway town of Lockerbie in Britain's biggest terrorist atrocity.  Megrahi was the only man ever convicted for the terrorist attack.

Dr Jim Swire does not believe Megrahi was to blame for the 1988 bombing and says his conviction had been an 'obstruction' in the search for the truth about the attack. Dr Swire also believes it will be proved that Megrahi was not guilty.

David Ben-Ayreah, a spokesman for the victims of Lockerbie families said: "As someone who attended the trial I have never taken the view that Megrahi was guilty."

David Cameron insists the conviction was sound.

“This has been thoroughly gone through. There was a proper process, a proper court proceeding and all the rest of it. We have to give people the chance to mourn those that were lost. I’m very clear that the court case was properly done and properly dealt with.”

An attempt by the British PM to close the subject once and for all methinks, because the Westminster government has no wish to upset its American friends.

But Alex Salmond is slightly more forthcoming despite criticism from the Justice for Megrahi group.

“The Lockerbie case remains a live investigation, and Scotland’s criminal justice authorities have made clear that they will rigorously pursue any new lines of inquiry.
“Scotland’s senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, recently visited Libya, and we have been offered the co-operation of the new Libyan authorities. It has always been the Crown’s position that Mr Megrahi did not act alone but with others.”

He also added that it was up to Megrahi's relatives to apply to the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission to seek a further appeal, adding that his death 'ends one chapter of the Lockerbie case, but it does not close the book".

One politician who will be relieved to hear Megrahi has died will be Kenny MacAskill whose judgement for Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds was questioned more and more.

Will we get some answers now or will the Scottish justice system be too afraid to examine its shortcomings - of which there are plenty.  I would like to think Dr Jim Swire, after 25 years of campaigning against the conviction, could eventually acquire some peace in his later years.


JRB said...

Will we ever get to know the truth?

Or will Lockerbie and all the events surrounding it simply join that growing list of the great ‘unknowns’ like the assassination of JFK, the death of Diana, etc.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

This whole carnival of arcane blackwash is a damning indictment of political and judicial obfuscation.

Magrahis' release on compassionate grounds was to Scotland's credit. The judicial malpractice combined by its distortion of justice and bureacratic treadmill of esoteric hurdles to exposing the truth and shaming the devils of the international murder game is not.

There are two petards in this sorry fiasco -on one hangs truth and on the other hangs justice.

It saddens me to say this; but on this issue the Scottish Government has shown its commitment to the sovereignty of the people has only inched away from that provided by Westminster.

RMcGeddon said...

The doctors never said he only had 3 months left to live SR. That's just the mantra that was repeated by the media to attack the SNP.
I doubt if we'll ever get the answers to who was responsible for the bombing.
The SNP keep putting hurdles in the way of us seeing the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s statement of reasons for the second appeal (a document that cost tax payers in excess of £1m to produce).
So something's fishy.

Brian said...

I thought Prof Karol Sikora said there was a 50 per cent chance Megrahi would live longer than three months, and "there was always a chance that he would live for 10 years, 20 years". How long is a piece of string? How long do you want it?

Apparently the estimate ignored the extended life expectancy that treatment with drugs that were denied until recently even to Scottish patients.

I agree there is something fishy - Iran and the Syrian PLFP-GC were ignored because realpolitik demanded their acquiescence on Iraq, which the big boys had decided was the supergun enemy.

How about an inquiry for the passengers and crew of the Iranian Airbus shot down by the negligent USS Vincennes, the incident that prompted Iranian retaliation?

Anon said...

Reportedly, the CIA brought down PanAm 103 over Lockerbie.

Reportedly, the CIA were in Lockerbie moments after the plane came down.

A retired Scottish police chief gave sworn testimony that the CIA faked the evidence in the Lockerbie trial.

Reportedly, the evidence against Iran was also faked. (It should be noted that the Ayatollahs were put into power by the CIA)

- Aangirfan

Barbarian of the North said...

Anon, the CIA were not in Lockerbie moments after the plane came down.

It is extremely difficult if not impossible to predict precisely where an aircraft will land if it disintegrates in mid-air. The wreckage was spread over hundreds of square miles - I know that for an absolute fact as I was involved in the coordination of the clear up.

I wish people would stop throwing spurious conspiracy theories as an excuse for an anti-American rant.

Jo G said...

Barbarian, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is not a "conspiracy group". Its remit is to scrutinise cases brought before it for review as this case was. The result was that it found SIX grounds to suggest a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. And it does not deal in conspiracy theories, it deals in evidence.

Not one ground, SIX. Not one elephant in the room an entire herd of the things.

Its full report should have been published at the time and was not because the Scottish Government, via a Statutory Instrument, stopped it from publishing. The report was only published when a book written about Megrahi revealed the findings of the SCCRC. The Herald then published and only then did our Justice Minister cave in.

By then he had brought through "emergency legislation" allegedly to cope with the implications of Cadder which, incredibly, included plans to clip the wings of the SCCRC and in future prevent it from passing cases straight back to the Appeal Court. He stripped the SCCRC of that power. He handed that responsibility back to a judge. Now, if we consider the SCCRC was created to scrutinise cases "free of political and judicial interference" what would you call a Justice Minister deciding he'd put a judge back in charge? I'd call it absolute political and judicial interference which defeats the whole purpose of having an SCCRC in the first place. Now consider what else was being mooted: that after Megrahi's death someone else would bring a new appeal. Was MacAskill already preparing the way for a judge to kick any new appeal into touch? Sure looks like it.

This case stinks. No two ways about it. IN 2007, just weeks after the SNP took office, the SCCRC announced it had found those six grounds. For me it was great news. Why? Because I was convinced Salmond et al would kick aside the lies of Westminster over Lockerbie because that's where the lies began, with Thatcher. To this day I remain shocked that the SNP actually went further than any of their Unionist counterparts to keep the truth buried. Megrahi's appeal was dropped in circumstances that still haven't been made clear. But, we have been told, he was informed his request for release on compassionate grounds would be difficult if he didn't drop it. That was a lie. The appeal could have continued. Who told him that lie?

The bottom line, for me anyway, is that the Scottish Justice System is, on the evidence of this case, utterly corrupt and bent as a nine bob note! The facts prove it. When another country can pay $2 million dollars to a witness at a Scottish Trial and this is accepted there is something terribly wrong because once upon a time in Scotland we called that bribery and that witness would have been rejected along with his testimony. When the Metropolitan Police withhold details of a break-in at Heathrow on the very morning of the day Pan Am 103 went down over Lockerbie so that this fact isn't raised at the trial, there is something wrong.

When judges at a trial can see documentary evidence from Air Malta that NO luggage left Luqa unaccompanied and still decide one piece of luggage did just that, there is something wrong.

"Spurious conspiracy theories" are not part of this scandalous case. We don't need conspiracy theories when the facts are there for all to see.

Jo G said...

As for this:

"“This has been thoroughly gone through. There was a proper process, a proper court proceeding and all the rest of it. We have to give people the chance to mourn those that were lost. I’m very clear that the court case was properly done and properly dealt with.”

Cameron is a liar and he knows it. How a serving PM can say such a thing knowing that the SCCRC findings disprove every word he's uttered is absolutely shocking. Their findings were about the very "court case" he claims was "properly done and properly dealt with".

I doubt Mr Megrahi's family will feel up to bringing a new appeal but I hope Dr Jim Swire will take the opportunity to do that himself. And if he does then I am certain public backing will follow because if one person has shown dignity and integrity throughout this sorry debacle it is Jim Swire. It is still not too late for the Scottish Government to do the honourable thing and stop barring the way.

subrosa said...

Apologies for the delay in replying JRB. No internet for much of yesterday.

I notice the Scottish Review is concentrating on this today. Have a look.

subrosa said...

This is Scotland's shame Crinkly.

subrosa said...

RM they said 'likelihood' I think, but when I saw him undertaking the the aeroplane steps I knew he had longer.

Something's very fishy indeed.

subrosa said...

Now that is an idea Brian but the US won't touch it. They don't want the conviction investigated either.

It may show something quite unhealthy in the US justice system too.

subrosa said...

Aangirfan, I've followed your research into this and the US do have some questions to answer.

subrosa said...

Barbarian, there is something someone somewhere is trying to hide about this whole case though.

Didn't the Americans pay a witness quite a large sum of money after his testimony?

subrosa said...

Excellent comment Jo.

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