Author Topic: End this disgraceful appeal on behalf of Lockerbie bomber, say US bereaved.  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline John

End this disgraceful appeal on behalf of Lockerbie bomber, say US bereaved.

The Times (Scotland)
by Magnus Linklater

6 February 2015




Jim Swire is backing an appeal on behalf of the Lockerbie bomber.

American relatives of victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 are calling on campaigners to bin their petition calling for another court hearing


American relatives of victims of the Lockerbie bombing have objected to a fresh appeal against the conviction of the Libyan found guilty of carrying it out.


In a letter to the Lord Advocate they say they are against the petition being lodged by Jim Swire and fellow-campaigners who believe that Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi was wrongly convicted.


“While Dr Swire is a family member of a victim of the bombing, he speaks for himself and not for the US families of victims,” the letter says.


Writing on behalf of the US families, Mary Kay Stratis, whose husband, Elia, died when Pan Am flight 103 crashed into the town of Lockerbie in December 1988, says that they have confidence in the Scottish judicial system, and believe that justice was done when al-Megrahi was convicted.


“Our only objection, deeply felt and fervently held, concerned the release of Megrahi and his return to Libya for a hero’s welcome,” she writes.“It is past time for Dr Swire and the Megrahi supporters to end their disgraceful and expensive campaign.”


A High Court judge has been asked if families of some of the victims can launch a new appeal, despite al-Megrahi withdrawing his original bid to have the case re-opened.


The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is considering an application from the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which includes relatives of British victims of the bombing, including Dr Swire, to review the conviction.


A High Court judge, Lady Dorrian, will rule next month as to whether the campaigners have sufficient legal status to bring an appeal. Although members of al-Megrahi’s families are said to be behind the legal bid, the commission has said that so far they had failed to provide “appropriate evidence” supporting their involvement in the application.


Responding to the comments of the American relatives, Dr Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the bombing, said: “They are entitled to their opinion, but it really is time that all the relatives were allowed an objective look at all the evidence that is now available in this case.”


He added: “Much of the evidence that we want heard in open court was assembled for al-Megrahi’s second appeal, which he cancelled in order to be allowed home to die. It is time it was heard.”


Dr Swire said his desire to press ahead with the appeal was not an indication that he believed al-Megrahi was not guilty of the bombing. “I just want to hear all the evidence in open court,“ he said. “ I have never tried to tell relatives what they should think. I’m not saying he is not guilty. The American relatives aren’t motivated to look at the evidence. That’s fine for them, but it isn’t satisfactory to others involved in this.” (...)


n 2009 al-Megrahi was controversially released on compassionate grounds by the Scottish justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, because he had terminal cancer.


An application had also been made to transfer al-Megrahi to Libya through a prisoner transfer agreement between the UK government and Libya. To facilitate his transfer to Libya, al-Megrahi abandoned a second appeal against his conviction. He died on May 20, 2012, two years and nine months after his release.


[A report in today’s edition of The Herald reads as follows:]


A group of US Lockerbie relatives has become involved in a war of words with a leading British campaigner over his attempts to clear the Libyan convicted of the atrocity.


Dr Jim Swire's efforts on behalf of the late Abdelbaset al-Megrahi have been branded a "disgraceful and expensive campaign" by the Victims of Pam Am Flight 103 Inc in a letter to the chair of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).


The SCCRC has lodged court proceedings and are considering a joint bid by the Megrahi family and campaigners, including Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora was among the 270 victims of the disaster in December 1988.


The US families said: "We do not support this petition nor do we support the position of the UK family member, Dr Jim Swire and those with whom he stands on this matter.


"While Dr Swire is a family member of a victim of the bombing, he speaks for himself and not for the US families of victims.


"We believe that justice was done in the Scottish judgment and the appeal, and we believe that the Scottish judicial system is praiseworthy, despite the calumny visited upon it by Megrahi's supporters."


The letter concluded: "It will never really be ‘over’, but it is past time for Dr Swire and the Megrahi supporters to end their disgraceful and expensive campaign."


In an email to The Herald, Dr Swire said he was "saddened" by their view, but pledged to continue fighting.


He added: "I sincerely hope that this public expression of exasperation from US relatives will be seen in Scotland simply as a reminder, if one were needed, of the desperate misery that terrorist atrocities like Lockerbie inject into our communities, and profoundly wish that a genuine determination to established the facts will settle the burden for all of us."


A Crown Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that we are aware of the position of the US families board and we are intending to lodge answers to the SCCRC petition by March 6. It is not appropriate to comment further."


Megrahi died of cancer in May 2012.


www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article4345904.ece
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 01:40:02 PM by John »
A malicious prosecution for a crime which never existed. John Lamberton exposes malfeasance by public officials.
Check out my website >   http://johnlamberton.webs.com/index.htm?no_redirect=true     The truth never changes with the passage of time.

Offline Matthew Wyse

In the wake of the SCCRC's June 2007 decision it was suggested that if Megrahi's second appeal or any further appeal was successful and his conviction overturned that Libya would seek the return of the $2.16 billion compensation already paid to the relatives.  I would suggest that this factor alone provides much motivation for having the entire case archived once and for all.
Most people suspect the truth but few are able to admit it.

Offline John

In the wake of the SCCRC's June 2007 decision it was suggested that if Megrahi's second appeal or any further appeal was successful and his conviction overturned that Libya would seek the return of the $2.16 billion compensation already paid to the relatives.  I would suggest that this factor alone provides much motivation for having the entire case archived once and for all.

Police Scotland are supposed to be investigating allegations by the Justice for Megrahi Committee but as Robert Black QC points out, should there arise grounds for a prosecution, the Scottish Lord Advocate could find himself in a rather awkward situation.


Lockerbie, the Lord Advocate and conflict of interest

by Robert Black
4 February 2015

The Lord Advocate is the head of the prosecution system in Scotland. All serious (solemn) cases are brought in his name and prosecuted by him or one of his deputes (or, in the sheriff court, by a procurator fiscal who is a member of his department, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service). In the investigation of crime, the police are legally obliged to obey any directions given by the Lord Advocate or on his behalf.

Police Scotland are currently investigating serious allegations of criminal misconduct in the course of the Lockerbie criminal investigation, prosecution and trial. The allegations are directed against, amongst others, police officers, Crown Office personnel involved in the prosecution, and forensic scientists instructed and called as witnesses by the Crown Office. The current investigation is a rigorous and professional one. It is likely to be concluded later this year.

Under the current law the investigators’ report will be submitted to the Lord Advocate. Even if that report reaches the conclusion that there are grounds for prosecution, it is for the Lord Advocate to decide whether any prosecutions should in fact be brought. He could decide not to proceed.

Given that any charges would be against (i) police officers acting under the oversight of, and subject to direction by, the Crown Office; (ii) forensic scientists instructed and called as witnesses by the Crown Office; and (iii) members of the Crown Office’s prosecution team at the Lockerbie trial, there is an obvious conflict of interest involved in the current head of the Crown Office being the person to decide whether prosecutions should be commenced. This is all the more so when one considers recent statements dismissive of concerns about the Lockerbie investigation, prosecution and conviction made by the present Lord Advocate while Police Scotland’s investigation was still live and ongoing (not to mention older such statements).

In these circumstances it is submitted that now, before Police Scotland’s report is ready for submission, the necessary steps should be taken to avoid the Lord Advocate finding himself in the embarrassing position regarding conflict of interest that the report’s landing on his desk would place him and the Crown Office in. The police report should rather be handed to, and the decision whether prosecutions ought to follow should be devolved to, an independent lawyer outwith the Crown Office. Our American cousins in analogous situations make use of a special prosecutor or independent counsel. This is one area in which we can learn from them. Why not start putting the mechanism in place now?

www.lockerbiecase.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/lockerbie-lord-advocate-and-conflict-of.html
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 05:43:41 PM by John »
A malicious prosecution for a crime which never existed. John Lamberton exposes malfeasance by public officials.
Check out my website >   http://johnlamberton.webs.com/index.htm?no_redirect=true     The truth never changes with the passage of time.