Saturday, August 21, 2010

Scottish Justice should demand the appeal of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi resumes in a Court of Law, give him his day in Court, hear the evidence

Dear All

The Lockerbie Case has caused concern from the moment it started to the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi last year.

Those concerns haven’t been addressed because of a number of unanswered questions hang on the way the trial was conducted.

So, solutions are needed, the appeal of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi was dropped, that was a mistake.

This appeal should be resumed in the Scottish Courts; did Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi get a fair trial under Scottish law?

Many people including Dr. Jim Swire think not.

Another part of the Lockerbie mystery is Mohammed Abu Talb, a convicted killer who many believe is the real Lockerbie bomber.

Talb has been recently been freed from prison in Sweden after serving a life sentence for other terror attacks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam using explosive devices.

He was the original suspect for the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 until 1990, when attention switched to Libya.

The Egyptian-born militant was a prosecution witness at the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi but now the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) is understood to have uncovered new evidence that strengthens the case against Talb.

The question then is why this new evidence wasn’t acted upon at the time?

Talb, a committed extremist was allegedly funded by the Iranian regime to blow up the plane in revenge for the American cruiser USS Vincennes shooting an Iran Air flight out of the sky on July 3, 1988.

290 people died.

A full inquiry is needed but problem remains any inquiry would be fractured as the Governments of America, Britain and Scotland would have to form a joint taskforce to ensure information flowed freely.

Why does the appeal of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi need to happen because if successful it paves the way for Mohammed Abu Talb to be examine and if evidence leads to him arrested and brought in front of a Court of Law.

This can’t happen unless there is co-operation.

Eddie MacKechnie, Megrahi’s solicitor from 2001-2006, said:

“There was more evidence at the time to implicate Talb and his associates than Megrahi. I know that many police officers at the time were concerned that the investigation shifted to Libya when there was no evidence of Libyan involvement”.

Professor Robert Black, QC, the architect of the Lockerbie trial, said:

“I support Mr MacKechnie 100%. Clearly the Palestinian connection deserves to be looked at and a full inquiry needs to be held.”

Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer assigned to the Middle East said:

“I talked to the SCCRC and they were very clearly focussed on the Palestinians and the Iranian connection. There is no doubt that Abu Talb was an asset controlled by the Iranians and questions need to be asked about how he ended up as a prosecution witness. He was definitely not a reliable witness and what we need now is what the SCCRC report says, what intelligence there was, and what the connections were.”

The SCCRC report allegedly refers to the recovery of official records from various organisations in Italy which are thought to relate to Talb.

He was allegedly travelling between Cyprus, Rome, Malta, and Frankfurt in the run-up to the bombing.

Evidence not heard at the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands was the CIA thought Talb was the man responsible.

In Talb’s flat in Germany, police found clothes, including a blue babygro similar to one found at Lockerbie and also a calendar with the date “21 December” circled. A wire tap of Talb’s wife phone recorded in a warning to another unidentified Palestinian to “get rid of the clothes immediately”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

“We maintain that Megrahi should serve out the entirety of his sentence in prison in Scotland. We will continue to reiterate this position to the Scottish and Libyan authorities.”

I wrote to the Scottish Government on the 1st June 2009 and asked for Megrahi to be release on compassionate grounds while his appeal went ahead.

My view remains that the appeal of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi still needs to go ahead and he should be afford his day in Court.

It is not enough that justice is done; it has to be seen to be done.

He has always protested his innocence; let us see if the new evidence of his appeal stacks up.

Did we imprison the wrong man?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Charles said...

Dear Mr Laird,

Ovr the last 20 years I have considered as many aspects of the Lockerbie case as I am able.

I hve come to the conclusion that Mr Megrahi was framed by the CIA, that initially the CIA and Iran co-operated to carry out the bombing (there were two distinct explosions by the bway) and initially the CIA intended to blame the PPSF (Talb) or PFLP GC (Abu Nidal). The 1st Gulf War prevented this and forced the CIA to look for a third suspect, which was Mr Megrahi.

To get my full theory see or email me norriecb [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

good article George, if Megrahi had been release as you said for his appeal, this could have had a different ending for the SNP. They created a problem by not thinking this through properly.