Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lockerbie Interference Claim

BBC report -

The Scotsman -

Today's third procedural hearing in the Appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi at the High Court in Edinburgh, continued with discussions on the matter of the foreign document which the Crown office, at the behest of the UK government at Westminster, have refused to disclose to the court, and more pertinently, to the defence lawyers representing Megrahi.

It would seem to the overwhelming consensus of independent and professional observers of the case, that, in order to fulfil a thorough appeal process and justice to be exhibited, the document must be disclosed. The Crown and the UK government are claiming a Public Interest Immunity (PII) in denying the document's disclosure and the foreign country from which the document originated do not want it's release. It is thought the document contains information relating to the timer device used in the bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Is the Public Interest best served by seeing justice done for those who died at Lockerbie and in the court of law in the conviction of Megrahi, or best served in the court acceding to international politics and their efforts to preserve secret agreements and information?

How can there be a more important public interest than that, in our society, the defendant should have a fair trial and that documents which might assist him to establish his innocence should not be withheld from him?

The PII claim made by the UK government should not outweigh this right no matter what possible damage it may cause to government or relationships with foreign governments. Perhaps the only exception to this would be if documents not disclosed under a PII would, if disclosed, serve no purpose in showing a defendants guilt or innocence in a criminal case. However, after viewing by the SCCRC during their 4 year investigation, the document in question in this case clearly represents, or has significant information constituting a possible 'miscarriage of justice'. In order to show any proof of the defendant's innocence or avoid the possibility of miscarriage of justice, the balance must come down resoundingly in favour of disclosure.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Transfer of Prisoners

Today's The Herald newspaper carries an editorial dealing with the implications of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement made between the UK government and Libya, and the consequences of it on Mr Megrahi's ongoing appeal. It would appear that if the Scottish Crown Prosecution team who have been withholding, at least one, pertinent document which casts doubt on the conviction of Megrahi, persist with their obfuscation and evasive tactics in the court, and the appeal process finally fails, Megrahi would be almost certain to be successful in an application for transfer under the agreement.

Yesterday's letter to The Herald newspaper by Jack Straw outlined his view that Scottish Ministers in the Scottish government would have final say on any possible transfer of Megrahi from Scotland back to Libya. However, Alex Salmond the Scottish First Minister has today in response claimed that in a secret letter sent just 4 days ago by Mr Straw he admitted that any decision made by Scottish Ministers could be overturned by a judicial court ruling.

It is clear that Libya, would not under any circumstances, have signed a recent agreement with BP plc (formerly British Petroleum) , and no doubt a number of other agreements which the British public are not privy to, had the assurance of Megrahi's transfer under the PTA not been made explicit by the British government.

It would seem the last hope of any kind of justice or truth for the families of those who died in 1988, lies firmly at the door of the Crown Office, and their disclosure to the court next week of the relevant documents that the Review Commission deemed last June so important that they considered it may constitute a 'miscarriage of justice'.

The Herald editorial here :

Other articles :
The Herald :

The Scotsman :

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jack Straw Denies Deal For Megrahi

Today, the Lord Chancellor and Minister of Justice in the United Kingdom Government, Jack Straw (left), has written a letter to the Herald newspaper in Scotland denying any deal with the Libyan government to repatriate the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

Responding to recent claims that Megrahi was a pivotal figure and perhaps the only consideration, in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Libya's Col. Gaddafi in May 2007 regrading prisoner tranfers, Mr Straw has reiterated that Scottish ministers will have final say as to the fate of Mr Megrahi. Additionally, Mr Straw has also stated that any prisoner transfer will only be considered after "all outstanding legal proceedings in the sentencing state have been completed. "

He continued, "The agreement will not provide for the transfer of any specific individual but will put in place a framework under which a prisoner may seek a transfer to serve his sentence in his own country. The overriding principle of prisoner transfer arrangements is that a prisoner does not have any automatic right to transfer." The BBC is reporting however that Mr Megrahi will not apply for any transfer under the agreement.

Jack Straw Letter to The Herald :

Herald Article:
BBC Article :

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Assurance Call On Bomber Transfer.

The BBC is reporting today that the Scottish Government, led by Alex Salmond, is seeking assurance from the UK parliament at Westminster that Al-Megrahi will not be part of any exchange deal agreed between the UK and Libyan government.

Yesterday, reports surfaced in the Financial Times of London, that completion of a deal for BP to expand it's oil exploration program in Libya had been suspended until certain conditions had been agreed. Crucial to the BP agreement, it appears, was the transfer of Megrahi under the prisoner agreement made between former UK prime minister Tony Blair and Libya's Col. Gaddafi.

With Libya's recent and slow re-integration back into the International market, the French have already concluded a massive arms deal, and there are those who wish to exploit Libya's huge oil possibilities. For the US, and more specfically the UK, they hold the ace card in developing these opportunities with Libya further. His name is Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.

Once again, political and financial imperitives for the UK government are afforded far more importance than the rule of law, justice and truth.

Financial Times Article -

BBC Article -

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