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david



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 502


Location: edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Lockerbie relative: Grieve MH17 through love, not revenge

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/22...rbie-opinion/index.html?hpt=hp_c3
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Finality & Certainty Reply with quote

http://www.sccrc.org.uk/viewfile.aspx?id=612

NEWS RELEASE

Application on behalf of Mr Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has been made aware today that it will receive an application shortly, at the request of Dr Jim Swire on behalf of himself and several others, to review the conviction in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi.

Mr Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the murder of the 259 passengers and crew on board Pan American World Airways flight PA 103 from London to New York, and 11 residents of Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.

He subsequently appealed his conviction and his appeal was refused by the High Court in 2002. Mr Megrahi previously applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of his conviction in 2003, and his case was referred by the Commission to the High Court for a new appeal in 2007.

Mr Megrahi subsequently abandoned his appeal in 2009.

Gerard Sinclair, the Chief Executive of the SCCRC, said today:- “There are
several important matters which will clearly affect the timescale within which the Commission will be able to deal with a fresh application.

Even before deciding whether to accept this new application for review, the
Commission will require to consider a number of preliminary matters relating to the application.

These include whether Dr Swire has a “legitimate interest” to pursue, on behalf of Mr Megrahi, an application to the Commission and any subsequent appeal, as required by S303A(4) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. In order to address this matter the Commission may require to petition the High Court for a formal opinion under S194D(3) of the 1995 Act.

If it is decided that Dr Swire has a “legitimate interest” in this matter the
Commission will also require to address whether it is “in the interests of justice” to accept for a further review the conviction of Mr Megrahi, taking account of the statutory requirement for “finality and certainty” in criminal proceedings under s194C(2) of the 1995 Act. In considering this matter the Commission will be required to address the fact that Mr Megrahi abandoned his appeal in 2009 after a referral from the Commission and that neither he nor any member of his family lodged an application for a further review of his conviction prior to his death in May 2012. Consideration of these matters could take some time.

As this is a fresh application, if it is then accepted for review, the Commission will have to allow some time for Board Members to acquaint themselves with the terms of the application and the basis for the previous review and referral, as none of the present Members of the SCCRC were Members at the time the matter was previously referred in 2007.

Likewise, if this case is accepted for review, the Commission will require to
address the various grounds of review, taking account of any changes in the law since the application was previously reviewed and carry out relevant enquiries and investigations.

It is anticipated therefore that, if there is to be a further review of this conviction, any such review will take some time to complete”.
No further comment will be made by the Commission at this time.

Notes for Editors

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission was established as an
independent body on 1 April 1999 to review alleged miscarriages of justice in Scottish convictions and/or sentences. Under section 194A–L of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, as inserted by section 25 of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997, the Commission may refer a case to the High Court if it believes that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred and that it is in the interests of justice that a reference should be made.

Once the Commission refers a case to the High Court, the case will proceed as a normal appeal. Where a convicted person has died, court rules allow the High Court to consider an appeal where it considers the person taking the appeal has “legitimate interest” in the case. The determination of whether a person has a “legitimate interest” is a decision for the High Court to make. The Commission may petition the High Court to establish whether Dr Jim Swire is a person with a legitimate interest who could pursue an appeal on behalf of Mr Al-Megrahi in the event that the Commission was to refer the case back to the High Court.

The Commission will disclose the fact that a case has been referred to the High Court, and will provide a short summary of the reasons for this. However, as the Commission operates under statutory non-disclosure provisions, the Commission does not consider it to be appropriate to disclose any additional information about such cases.

The Commission will not release any information about cases in which no referral has been made or in respect of cases under review.
For any further general information about the Commission, please contact Mr. Chris Reddick, Director of Corporate Services, SCCRC, 5th Floor, Portland House, 17 Renfield Street, Glasgow; telephone: 0141 270 7030; e-mail: creddick@sccrc.org.uk; or visit the Commission’s website at www.sccrc.org.uk
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Iain McKie



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the anniversary of the Lockerbie Pan Am disaster approaches the Crown Office and Lord Advocate ,with predictable cynicism,yet again attempt to rewrite history and cover up the truth.

You would have thought that the recent revelations about the illegal actions of the CIA might have given them cause for thought but apparently not.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30560364
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Iain McKie



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the anniversary of the Lockerbie Pan Am disaster approaches the Crown Office and Lord Advocate ,with predictable cynicism,yet again attempt to rewrite history and cover up the truth.

You would have thought that the recent revelations about the illegal actions of the CIA might have given them cause for thought but apparently not.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30560364

http://www.shirleymckie.com/documents/Times_20_12_14.pdf
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:33 am    Post subject: Frank Mulholland At His Misleading Best Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30560364

Quote:
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said no Crown Office investigator or prosecutor had ever raised concerns about the evidence used to convict Megrahi.


Wait a minute this cannot be true.

What was it Lord Fraser said about Gauci again ?

Let me just refresh your memory Mr Mulholland:

Quote:
LORD Fraser of Carmyllie, the former lord advocate who issued the arrest warrant for the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, has cast doubt on the reliability of the main witness in the trial.

The former Conservative minister described Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper whose testimony was central in securing a conviction against Abdelbasset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, as “not quite the full shilling” and “an apple short of a picnic”.

Fraser, who as Scotland’s senior law officer was responsible for indicting Megrahi, says he is now not entirely happy with the evidence against Megrahi during his trial in 2001 and in his subsequent appeal.


As a former Lord Advocate did he not work for Crown Office ?

Frank Mulholland at his misleading best.
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=632

SCCRC seeking permission from the court to allow the Families of Lockerbie to appeal.

Bound to go down like a lead balloon with Lord Carloway.

I can just hear him now "There is a need for finality and certainty"
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Frank Mulholland At His Misleading Best Reply with quote

Big Wullie wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30560364

Quote:
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said no Crown Office investigator or prosecutor had ever raised concerns about the evidence used to convict Megrahi.


Wait a minute this cannot be true.

What was it Lord Fraser said about Gauci again ?

Let me just refresh your memory Mr Mulholland:

Quote:
LORD Fraser of Carmyllie, the former lord advocate who issued the arrest warrant for the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, has cast doubt on the reliability of the main witness in the trial.

The former Conservative minister described Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper whose testimony was central in securing a conviction against Abdelbasset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, as “not quite the full shilling” and “an apple short of a picnic”.

Fraser, who as Scotland’s senior law officer was responsible for indicting Megrahi, says he is now not entirely happy with the evidence against Megrahi during his trial in 2001 and in his subsequent appeal.


As a former Lord Advocate did he not work for Crown Office ?

Frank Mulholland at his misleading best.


Just thought I would add Megrahi's defence QC's opinion of Lord Fraser's comments:

Quote:
William Taylor QC, the man who led Megrahi’s defence, said Fraser should never have presented Gauci as a crown witness: “A man who has a public office, who is prosecuting in the criminal courts in Scotland, has got a duty to put forward evidence based upon people he considers to be reliable.

“He was prepared to advance Gauci as a witness and, if he had these misgivings about him, they should have surfaced at the time.

“The fact that he is now coming out many years later after my former client has been in prison for nearly 4½ years is nothing short of disgraceful.”

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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since Frank Mulholland is quoted in today's Daily Record as having met the head of the FBI over Lockerbie, I thought this would be an appropriate article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20...ence-keeping-criticized.html?_r=1

F.B.I. agents in every region of the country have mishandled, mislabeled and lost evidence, according to a highly critical internal investigation that discovered errors with nearly half the pieces of evidence it reviewed.

The evidence collection and retention system is the backbone of the F.B.I.’s investigative process, and the report said it is beset by problems. It also found that the F.B.I. was storing more weapons, less money and valuables, and two tons more drugs than its records had indicated.

The report’s findings, based on a review of more than 41,000 pieces of evidence in F.B.I. offices around the country, could have consequences for criminal investigations and prosecutions. Lawyers can use even minor record-keeping discrepancies to get evidence thrown out of court, and the F.B.I. was alerting prosecutors around the country on Friday that they may need to disclose the errors to defendants.


Many of the problems cited in the report appear to be hiccups in the F.B.I.’s transition to a computer system known as Sentinel, which went online in 2012 and was intended to move the bureau away from a case-management system based on paper files. But other problems, including materials that disappeared or were taken from F.B.I. evidence rooms and not returned, are more serious.

“A majority of the errors identified were due in large part to human error, attributable to a lack of training and program management oversight,” auditors wrote in the report, which was obtained by The New York Times.

F.B.I. officials on Friday said that they decided on their own to conduct the review after discovering during an internal audit that there might be issues with the record keeping for evidence.

“The FBI identified issues primarily related to the migration of its earlier record-keeping process to its updated case management system,” said Michael Kortan, the F.B.I.’s chief spokesman. “The bureau is now strengthening procedures in field offices across the country to improve administrative consistency and record-keeping.”

The F.B.I. is separately dealing with the fallout from a case at its Washington office, where an agent is under investigation for tampering with evidence. That has led to the dismissal of convictions in some drug cases. Though the internal review is unrelated to that matter, the issues are so entwined that the F.B.I. plans to distribute the report to dozens of lawyers involved whose cases were affected by the Washington investigation, officials said.

The errors cited in the audit range in severity from computer glitches and duplicate bar codes to evidence that could not be located. The investigation found that federal agents had removed 1,600 pieces of evidence from storage and had not returned them for more than four months. One piece of evidence in a drug case has been signed out since 2003. Another piece of evidence has been out since 2006, the report found.

Because the audit was based on a sample, the actual number of items that have been checked out and not returned is probably much higher.

The results also varied by field office. In Newark, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Washington and Richmond, Va., for instance, auditors found problems with the handling of more than 70 percent of firearms in evidence. By comparison, offices in El Paso, New Haven and Sacramento turned up error rates in the single digits.

When Sentinel went online, the bureau said it would streamline investigations and make it easier for analysts and agents to “link cases with similar information through expanded search capabilities.” It was also supposed to make information more quickly available to investigators in different field offices.

A report released in September by the Department of Justice inspector general found Sentinel had, over all, reduced the number of lost documents and made it easier to share information. That inquiry, however, cited problems with Sentinel’s search function.
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We reject lord advocates claims:

http://www.glasgow-lawyer.com/loc...mber-reject-lord-advocates-claims

LOCKERBIE BOMBER- WE REJECT LORD ADVOCATE’S CLAIMS

Published December 21, 2014. | By Aamer Anwar.


Press Release by Lockerbie Defence Legal Team- 21st December 2014

We reject Lord Advocate’s claims over ‘Lockerbie Bomber’

Statement by Solicitor Aamer Anwar


On the eve of the anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, Scotland’s Lord Advocate has once again rejected claims that Mr Megrahi could be innocent stating that:-

“During the 26 year long inquiry not one Crown Office investigator or prosecutor has raised a concern about the evidence in this case. We remain committed to this investigation and our focus remains on the evidence and not speculation and supposition. Our prosecutors and police officers, working with UK government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing to justice those who acted along with al-Megrahi.”

When Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, 270 people from 21 countries perished. It remains the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK.

But the trial of the “Lockerbie Bomber” remains the UK’s worst miscarriage of justice, whose consequences are still being felt 26 years later whilst the truth remains elusive.

The Lord Advocate’s speech in Washington makes for great sound bites with an American audience but lacks analysis of the essential facts.

In June 2014 we lodged an application with the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) seeking to overturn the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for murder. That has absolutely nothing to do with conspiracy theories but is based on a solid assessment of the ‘so called evidence’ against Mr Al-Megrahi.

It is claimed that the Crown Office and Police Scotland have carried out a review of the evidence used to convict Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi which ‘confirms beyond doubt that he was responsible for the killings.’

Such reviews repeat an ‘age old mantra’ of the Crown never doubting the safety of the conviction. It would be better to place such reviews in context, despite many miscarriages of justice over the years it is noticeable that prosecutors have never accepted that they have made mistakes, so why would it be any different now?

The application to the SCCRC was submitted on behalf of :-

i)      Six immediate family members of the late Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

ii)     Dr Jim Swire, Rev’d John F Mosey and 24 other British relatives of passengers who died on board Pan Am Flight 103.

An essential fact missing from the Lord Advocate’s speech is that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) had already determined on the 28th June 2007 that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice in relation to his conviction and identified six grounds for referring the case to the High Court.

The Chairman of the SCCRC Graham Forbes at the time said:-

“The Commission is of the view, based upon our lengthy investigations, the new evidence we have found and other evidence which was not before the trial court, that the applicant may have suffered a miscarriage of justice.”

Following Mr Al-Megrahi’s death and our subsequent instructions for a posthumous appeal we have asked the Commission to reconfirm these six grounds.

We have also requested that the Commission consider referring the case:-

i)  On the ground of the Crown’s non-disclosure to the defence of evidence relating to the difference in metallurgical composition between the fragment of circuit board PT35b and the circuit boards in the timers supplied by MEBO to Libya. New evidence claims that the fragment of a circuit board and bomb timer, “discovered” in the Scottish countryside could not have been responsible for the bombing.

ii)  On the ground of the evidence uncovered which demonstrates that the bomb suitcase was already in Pan Am 103 luggage container AVE4041 before the feeder flight from Frankfurt arrived at Heathrow with, as the Crown contended and the trial court accepted, a suitcase from Malta which contained the bomb. It was submitted that there is evidence which will show that it was impossible for Megrahi to have bought clothes that were found in the wreckage of the Pan Am aircraft.

iii)    New evidence claims the impossibility of the bomb beginning its journey in Malta before it was ‘transferred’ through two airports undetected to Pan Am Flight 103.

iv)   There is a multitude of serious question marks over material evidence, and most worryingly, allegations of the Crown’s non-disclosure of evidence which could have been key to the defence.

v)     Mr Megrahi was convicted on the word of a Maltese shop owner who claimed to have sold him the clothes, then gave a false description of him in 19 separate statements and failed to even recognise him in the courtroom.

Documents have claimed that Scottish police officers and FBI agents had discussed as early as September 1989 ‘an offer of unlimited money’ to the Maltese shop keeper Tony Gauci.

Gauci was central to Megrahi’s conviction because the clothes recovered from the suitcase that carried the bomb onto Pan Am 103 at Heathrow, bound for New York, were traced back to his shop.

Various reports have claimed that Tony Gauci received more than $2m and his brother more than $1m in reward money.

This completely contradicted guarantees given by Richard Marquise, of the FBI who led the US wing of the Lockerbie investigation- ‘no witness in this case was ever promised or paid any money in return for their testimony’.

I would submit that if it is unacceptable to offer bribes, inducements or rewards to any witness in a routine murder trial in Glasgow then it should have been unacceptable to have done it in the biggest case of mass murder ever carried out in Europe.

What is unusual about our application is that this is the first time in legal history in the UK that relatives of murdered victims have united with the relatives of a ‘convicted’ deceased to seek justice by means of a referral to the Appeal Court.

The case of Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi is described as the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history for a reason. A reversal of the verdict would mean that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom stand exposed as having lived a monumental lie for 26 years, by imprisoning a man they knew to be innocent.

The Appeal was commenced but following the diagnosis of terminal cancer it was suddenly abandoned in 2009. The application we lodged with the SCCRC deals with the circumstances that led to Mr Megrahi abandoning his appeal.

To date both the British Government and Scottish Government have claimed that they played no role in pressuring Mr  Megrahi into dropping his appeal as a condition of his immediate release.

The Governments in England and Scotland stand accused of effectively blackmailing a dying man into dropping his appeal as a condition of his immediate release, and the backdrop to all of this was ‘strategic oil interests’.

The reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system has suffered badly both at home and internationally because of widespread doubts about the justifiability of the conviction of Mr Al-Megrahi.

It is in the interests of justice and of restoring confidence in our criminal justice system and its administration that these doubts be addressed.

The Lord Advocate was right when he said that the only place to determine guilt or innocence was in a court of law, where the evidence could be subjected to “great scrutiny, cross examination and testing”.

That is exactly what we intend to do if the SCCRC as a result of our application refers the original conviction back to the Court of Appeal believing that there may have been a miscarriage of justice.

END OF STATEMENT BY SOLICITOR AAMER ANWAR



STATEMENT BY DR JIM SWIRE FATHER OF FLORA SWIRE


“It has always been and remains my intent to see those responsible for her death brought to justice.  So by 1990 I was appalled by what I already knew concerning what appeared to me to be the betrayal of the trust which we should be able to place in our Government to protect us.

For me this case is about two families, mine and Abdel Baset’s, but behind them now are seen to lie the needs of 25 other families in applying for a further appeal 26 years after the event itself.

We need the truth and Scotland’s management of this case produced a verdict perfectly tailored for use by those who would seek to ensure that the full truth remains hidden.”
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Big Wullie



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Wullie wrote:
http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=632

SCCRC seeking permission from the court to allow the Families of Lockerbie to appeal.

Bound to go down like a lead balloon with Lord Carloway.

I can just hear him now "There is a need for finality and certainty"


SCCRC HAVE GOT IT WRONG:

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.co....s-response-to-sccrc.html?spref=tw

Monday, 22 December 2014

Applicants' lawyer's response to SCCRC announcement

[What follows is the text of a press release issued by Aamer Anwar & Co in response to today’s announcement from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission:]

It was extremely disappointing for the victim’s families to hear of the latest decision by the SCCRC through the media.

We understand that the Commission has now petitioned the High Court, in terms of s194D(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, to establish whether Dr Jim Swire or another member of the victims’ families might be classed as a person with a legitimate interest to pursue an appeal on behalf of Mr Al-Megrahi in the event that the Commission was to refer the case back to the High Court.

On 5 June 2014, the Commission received an application for a further review of Mr Megrahi’s conviction from my office. This application was lodged on behalf of two separate groups: the family members of the deceased victims of the Lockerbie bombing and 6 immediate family members of Mr Al-Megrahi.

The Commission stated today that since June it has:

“proceeded on the basis that Mr Megrahi’s family are involved in the present application. However, despite the Commission’s repeated requests, the members of the Megrahi family have failed to provide appropriate evidence to support this position. The Commission has now reached the conclusion that the current application is being actively supported only by the members of the victims’ families, who would no doubt be prepared to pursue an appeal if allowed to do so.”

With respect, we would submit that the Commission are wrong and that we remain instructed by members of the Megrahi family as well as the British relatives.

We have been in communication with the Megrahi family, both via intermediaries and directly.  Communication is hampered by an extremely dangerous situation in Libya, a situation referred to yesterday by the Lord Advocate, by way of an explanation for lack of any progress in relation to investigations into the Lockerbie atrocity.

Put simply, if the Lord Advocate with all the resources of the state cannot make progress, then it is highly unlikely that we can to travel to Libya in the near future to obtain the necessary documentation. Nor will we expect the Megrahi family to put their lives unnecessarily at risk to provide the required documentation in what can be termed as a ‘failed state’.

The Al-Megrahi family have advised of the risks that they face and that they will try to provide the documentation as soon as is possible. We will continue in our efforts to obtain what the SCCRC requires and in the meantime we will prepare for petition that has been lodged.

If the documents that are required by the SCCRC from the Megrahi family are provided in advance of the petition being heard, this will render the petition unnecessary and academic, as the SCCRC will be able to assure itself that the instruction does come directly from the Megrahi family.

Clearly the Court is unlikely to entertain a purely academic petition.

With regards to the rights of the victims’ families to pursue an appeal, we would submit that there is a fundamental duty on the State to protect the rights of victims of crime, which includes the national courts responsibility for the administration of justice.

If the long struggle of Dr Jim Swire, Rev’d John Mosey and many of the British relatives has indicated anything, then it is that they should not have to go through unyielding confrontations with the police and Crown Office just to get the necessary information in their fight for justice.

The families of the victims should not now be denied a referral to the Appeal court when the SCCRC had already considered there was a significant basis for doing so.

It is submitted that the families of the victims have as much right to make an application for referral as the family of Mr Al-Megrahi.

Finality and certainty in the Megrahi case is unlikely ever to be achieved unless a referral is made to the Appeal Court.  

Indeed, the Scottish Government has itself stated that this is the appropriate course to be followed (see http://www.heraldscotland.com/new...ce-probe-into-lockerbie.22954217?):

"Any issues raised in relation to the conviction itself must be a matter for a court of law - Mr Al- Megrahi was convicted in a court of law, his conviction was upheld on appeal, and that is the only appropriate place for his guilt or innocence to be determined.

As was made clear by the Justice Secretary in his statement to the Scottish Parliament last year, it remains open for relatives of Mr Al- Megrahi, or others, to ask the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer the case back to the court for a further posthumous appeal which Ministers would be entirely comfortable with."

Over the years the case of Abdelbasset Al- Megrahi has been described as the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history.

A reversal of the verdict would of course mean that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom stand exposed as having lived a monumental lie for 26 years by imprisoning a man they knew to be innocent.

There is also a very strong argument that, if there is a miscarriage of justice in a case, such circumstances ought not, for public policy reasons, to be exclusively for the Appellant or (their family members in the event of death) to determine as to whether or not the Court of Appeal gets to hear an appeal and decide whether or not there has been a miscarriage of justice.

In the present case, the Appellant, having abandoned his appeal, has left the Scottish legal system in a situation where a not inconsiderable part of the population believe that there has been a miscarriage of justice in the conviction of the Appellant.

Such views ought to be properly, and openly tested in the Appeal Court. If the Appellant is guilty, those who have concerns about it can have confidence that the matter has been impartially judicially considered and that the matter of guilt is beyond doubt.

If the Appellant is not guilty, the Appeal Court can restore confidence in the justice system by acquitting the Appellant.


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Last edited by Big Wullie on Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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