Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Damning verdict on Scottish Justice as secret report states Megrahi was denied a fair trial, is Kenny MacAskill the man who cost Scotland indy?
One the themes I blog is that Scotland is a corrupt country.
Now a secret report on the Lockerbie bombing has revealed just how deep the corruption is, you cannot get a fair trial in Scotland.
The Lockerbie case is a case that will not go away as it is central to a wider theme, should Scotland be an independent country.
At present the last hope of innocent people wrongly accused rests with the UK Supreme Court.
The Court based in London delivers flawless judgment.
In the Lockerbie case conducted by Scottish prosecutors key documents were not disclosed to the defence team.
The upshot of denying Al Megrahi a fair trial which could have cleared the Libyan convicted of the atrocity is the whole system is now damned and unfit for purpose.
Everyone knows what is wrong but there is no political will to fix the system as the Scottish National Party members in Government are busy convincing themselves they are the ‘new establishment’.
Not willing to take on vested interests, this flawed and warped thinking will cost them the independence referendum.
The full 821-page Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) dossier uncovers serious discrepancies in the Crown Office's actions.
In Scotland, we don’t have a Justice Minister because if we did, that person would be and should be a beacon of what our principles stand for.
When Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) took on the Megrahi case, the Scottish Government should have had the courage to launch an independent inquiry, not led by a friendly placeman but by someone of Lord Hope’s standing.
It failed to deliver it.
As SCCRC started its work, it quickly ran into problems, as the Crown was warned warning it would take legal action if the prosecution did not hand over important documents and speed up information sharing.
Isn’t the Crown Office interested in justice?
Apparently not because they have the Justice Minister in their corner but a better description would be in their pocket.
As SCCRC looked through the appeal it rejected many of the defence team's submissions but upheld six different grounds which could have constituted a miscarriage of justice.
You only need one for a miscarriage of justice.
As well as the above problems that SCCRC encountered, the Crown failed to disclose seven key items of evidence.
This evidence would have led to the Lockerbie case being referred back for a fresh appeal.
This raises serious questions why are any the people employed in the denial of justice allowed to be in post?
The SCCRC has made it abundantly clear that, had such information been shared with the defence, the result of the trial could have been different.
In my opinion, the case against Megrahi would have collapsed, but instead of focussing on justice, they were hell bent on conviction at any cost.
Robert Black, QC, one of the architects of the Camp Zeist trial, said:
"I don't think there could possibly have been a guilty verdict if the Crown had disclosed to the defence all the material they had in their possession and they were obliged to disclose, even as the law on disclosure stood in 2000/01.
"Why didn't the Crown disclose? Was it because they convinced themselves getting a guilty verdict was more important than obeying 'technical' rules – after all, this was a terrorism case?
"The law about disclosure was clarified after the Zeist trial. But even in 2000/01 the law as it stood would have required the Crown to disclose all the material they withheld. I am delighted The Herald is unveiling this information."
A Crown Office spokesman said last night:
"We note the Commission reported delays in obtaining materials from the Crown but also accepted that the Crown's responses to requests were often detailed and helpful in this uniquely large and complex case."
"Mr Megrahi was convicted unanimously by three senior judges following trial during which the evidence was rigorously tested and his conviction was upheld unanimously by five judges, in an appeal court presided over by the Lord Justice General."
No justice will mean No independence for Scotland.
Alex Salmond will not be able sell the idea when everyone patently knows that our justice system is so utterly corrupt that we need the UK Supreme Court.
It’s time to sack Kenny MacAskill for failing to deliver justice; he is a weight that cannot be carried anymore.
When are we going to get a Justice Minister in Scotland?
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University