Lockerbie conference invitationLEGAL AND POLITICAL CONCERN GROWS AS CROWN OFFICE PREPARES TO CONSIDER NEW LOCKERBIE REPORT
Media Conference: Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS - Wednesday 16 March 2016 at 1.45pm
The above media conference and discussion will be held in the Biosphere at the Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 16 March.
At this event, a panel of top legal experts and politicians will discuss why the imminent Police Scotland report on its three-year investigation into 9 criminal allegations related to the Lockerbie Pan AM investigation and trial should not be considered by the Lord Advocate and Crown Office.
Given the importance of these matters we have been pressing the Scottish Government to take action. Unfortunately Michael Mathieson has refused to intervene.
All forum readers will be made welcome.
any concerns over the impartiality of Police Scotland investigating the 9 criminal allegations?
I can't see how Police Scotland are independent to investigate these allegations. System has a habit of sticking together at all costs.
Good work by JFM for continuing to raise awareness of this injustice.
We have been in consultation with Police Scotland since their enquiry started three years ago. We have received regular updates on their progress -although not their findings - and have faith in their integrity and ability to carry out a robust and thorough investigation.
The problem doesn't lay with the police but with the Crown Office who would normally receive the report. Here we are dealing with a completely secretive and unaccountable organisation who have a vested interest in ensuring the contents never see the light of day.
All forum readers are welcome at Wednesday's conference.
The conference received excellent media coverage and hopefully will help achieve the aims set out above.
See below links to coverage.
The Friends of Justice for Megrahi Facebook Page contains press links and much comment by Members and Friends:
The Lockerbie Case Bolgspot, as ever, contains excerpts from the media on the event:
See here direct links to major items in the press today.
Ruth Wishart Blog
Glasgow Evening Times
Independence Live's recording of the complete conference:
About bloody time a group or somebody put pressure on this unaccountable Lord Advocate.
To use a well known phrase, I believe he has got away with murder for too long now in relation to this case and past cases that people don't know about.
He will be scurrying along to the bench shortly I'd imagine, like past controversial Lord Advocates.
Look forward to the police report.
The Scottish Justice System is a complex but self serving animal. Besides the issues with the Lord Advocate the administration of justice in our courts is a national disgrace,.
This is a letter published in the Herald recently:
|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sheriff Court Shambles
As I read your article explaining how “radical digital transformation” could reduce the thousands of hours wasted in court by witnesses attending unnecessarily, (Herald 26th February), I sighed a deep and heavy sigh.
Yet again we have a plaster administered to a gaping wound.
No amount of technical wizardry is going to overcome a central principle of change management that before change is contemplated the current overall health and efficiency of the organisation must be carefully determined through a detailed workload analysis and assessment of efficiency of the Courts as they stand.
I see no evidence that this has been carried out and our court system is very very sick.
Some important questions remain to be answered before contemplating this so called ‘digital transformation’.
To what extent has unrealistic plea bargaining, inappropriate Fiscal fines and manipulated court waiting times masked workload and efficiency problems? How many victims, witnesses, potential jury members and accused persons have being sent home because some aspect of their case is not ready? How often is information previously in the hands of court officials, which would allow witnesses to be countermanded, not being passed on until the witnesses are in court? How often is Ineffective precognition of witnesses leading to their turning up at court unable or unwilling to give reliable evidence or speak to the testimony already passed onto the police or procurator fiscal?
Shambolic court administration and case management is a malignant disease which infects anyone unlucky enough to enter our court system.
The courts (both civil and criminal) provide a classic example of the emperor having no clothes on but certainly yet those who administer them have yet to realise their nakedness.
They provide a inefficient and expensive’ service where delay and cost have made access to justice a lottery. Digital change introduced into an already struggling organisation can only serve to further destabilise it, lower the efficiency and morale of those working within it and undermine what might be a potentially valuable reform.
Iain A J McKIe
27 Donnini Court
South Beach Road
Ayr KA7 1JP
just another day in the scottish courts
A SHERIFF has threatened to lock up a procurator fiscal for being in contempt of court by delaying proceedings.
Christopher Shead made the extraordinary threat after a lengthy hold-up at Perth Sheriff Court and being told no-one at the fiscal’s office was answering the phone.
The incident follows recent warnings that prosecutors are facing additional pressure for court cases due to budget cuts and increasing workloads. Sheriff Shead threatened to storm along personally to the prosecutor’s office to find someone to come to court to deal with custody cases.
The sheriff then told the solicitor and sheriff clerk, who were waiting in court, that they should consider sending “a carrier pigeon” to speed up the court process.
And he said he would be lodging a formal complaint about the delay to the senior procurator fiscal for the north of Scotland.
Sheriff Shead made his criticism after recent changes meant papers are no longer marked in the Perth fiscal’s office 100 yards from the court, but are dealt with 30 miles away at a central unit in Stirling.
He came on the bench with no representative of the Crown present and said: “As I understand it there is no procurator fiscal in attendance at court.
“Apparently, no-one will answer any communication with the sheriff clerk’s office so I have raised the matter. But I have yet to understand why, when the court was due to convene at 2pm, it is 2.50pm and no representative of the public prosecutor is in attendance.
“People are in custody and their cases ought to be dealt with. It may be that some of the people in custody should have been dealt with yesterday.” He added that the delay was regrettable.
Sheriff Shead added: “I imagine, since there were prosecutors in this court this morning, that that person might still be in the office, but where that person might be I don’t know.
“I will adjourn for a few more minutes to see if there is any prospect of this state of affairs being dealt with. “Perhaps that message could be transmitted by somebody, by the police officer, or maybe even by carrier pigeon.
“It is a five-minute walk along the road to the fiscal’s office. I would go myself, but there are probably rules to prohibit me from doing that.