Saturday, August 22, 2009

A nice can of worms

I really didn't want to post about this but then again I'm one who supports the truth no matter how ugly. So here goes.

The Lockerbie bomber was just let out of prison. The world response was to have him carved up limb from limb and let him rot in a jail cell. But with a little detective work everyone should know that Megrahi would have been let out of prison anyway even if he hadn't been on the grounds of compassion. What's that you say? That is correct. Megrahi was in the process for filing a second appeal and for that reason would have been let out to defend himself again. Seems there's a few snags in the way the case was prosecuted and I'm not talking about some minor technicality here. And to add to the confusion he could still legally file that appeal but with only three months to live that is doubtful. So here's the gist from the wiki entry on him:

On 28 June 2007 the SCCRC concluded its four-year review and, having uncovered evidence that a miscarriage of justice could have occurred, the Commission granted Megrahi leave to appeal against his Lockerbie bombing conviction for a second time.[15] The second appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal was abandoned in August 2009, as an impediment to the legal power to release him to Libya under the Prisoner Transfer Scheme then operating in the United Kingdom. Ultimately, he was not released under this scheme, rather, on compassionate grounds due to his ill health. There was in the event, no requirement to drop his appeal against conviction.
New information casting fresh doubts about Megrahi's conviction was examined at a procedural hearing at the Judicial Appeal Court (Court of Session building) in Edinburgh on 11 October 2007:
His lawyers claim that vital documents, which emanate from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and relate to the Mebo timer that allegedly detonated the Lockerbie bomb, were withheld from the trial defence team.[16]
Tony Gauci, chief prosecution witness at the trial, is alleged to have been paid $2 million for testifying against Megrahi.[17]
Mebo's owner, Edwin Bollier, has claimed that in 1991 the FBI offered him $4 million to testify that the timer fragment found near the scene of the crash was part of a Mebo MST-13 timer supplied to Libya.[18]
Former employee of Mebo, Ulrich Lumpert, swore an affidavit in July 2007 that he had stolen a prototype MST-13 timer in 1989, and had handed it over to "a person officially investigating the Lockerbie case".[19]
On 1 November 2007 Megrahi invited Robert Black QC to visit him at Her Majesty's Prison, Greenock. After a 2-hour meeting, Black stated "that not only was there a wrongful conviction, but the victim of it was an innocent man. Lawyers, and I hope others, will appreciate this distinction."[20]
Prior to Megrahi's second appeal, another four procedural hearings took place at the High Court of Appeal in Edinburgh between December 2007 and June 2008.[21][22]
In the June 2008 edition of the Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm, the UN Observer at the Lockerbie trial, Professor Hans Köchler, referred to the 'totalitarian' nature of Megrahi's second appeal process saying it "bears the hallmarks of an 'intelligence operation'."[23][24] Pointing out an error on the FCO's website and accusing the British government of "delaying tactics" in relation to Megrahi's second Lockerbie appeal, UN Observer at the Lockerbie trial Dr Hans Köchler wrote to Foreign Secretary David Miliband on 21 July 2008 saying:[25]
As international observer, appointed by the United Nations, at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands I am also concerned about the Public Interest Immunity (PII) certificate which has been issued by you in connection with the new Appeal of the convicted Libyan national. Withholding of evidence from the Defence was one of the reasons why the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred Mr. Al-Megrahi’s case back to the High Court of Justiciary. The Appeal cannot go ahead if the Government of the United Kingdom, through the PII certificate issued by you, denies the Defence the right (also guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights) to have access to a document which is in the possession of the Prosecution. How can there be equality of arms in such a situation? How can the independence of the judiciary be upheld if the executive power interferes into the appeal process in such a way?
The FCO corrected the error on its website and wrote to Köchler on 27 August 2008:[26]
"Ultimately, it will be for the Court to decide whether the material should be disclosed, not the Foreign Secretary."
On 15 October 2008, five Scottish judges decided unanimously to reject a submission by the Crown Office to the effect that the scope of Megrahi's second appeal should be limited to the specific grounds of appeal that were identified by the SCCRC in June 2007.[27]
In January 2009, it was reported that, although Megrahi's second appeal against conviction was scheduled to begin on 27 April 2009, the hearing could last as long as 12 months because of the complexity of the case and volume of material to be examined.[28] At a preliminary High Court hearing in Edinburgh on 20 February 2009, Megrahi's Counsel, Maggie Scott QC, was informed that a delegation from the Crown Office was due to travel to Malta to "actively seek the consent for disclosure" of sensitive documents that could determine the outcome of the second appeal.[29]
Scottish ministers denied in April 2009 they had clandestinely agreed to the repatriation of Megrahi before the start of his second appeal on 28 April.[30]

The Lybian government had paid several hundred million dollars (about 8 million of which went to the victims' families) to have the UN and US sanctions lifted. Had Megrahi lived long enough and won his appeal which looked very likely then the UN, the US and yes even the families of the victims would have had to pay back that money. So in a strange way Megrahi is a hero. He may have done some unsavery things in his life. I don't know but by dropping the appeal he did one last act of compassion for the families. They can blame him even if he's not guilty and have closure.


Randal Graves said...

Blah blah blah. It's my Reagan-given right to have a scapegoat, you filthy hippie.

Holte Ender said...

There is a lot of evidence out there that is credible and not just conspiracy theory gone wild.

If only that dick Gadaffi hadn't have a welcome committee for him it wouldn't have been so inflammatory, it just shows you people believe what they want to believe and they don't let reasonable doubt get in the way.

If he had have been on trial in the U.S. he would have been dead for years.

The Blog Fodder said...

That is why they kill them in the USA. So there are no untidy messes left lying around to point out that maybe it was a frame up. Find some one, frame them and hang them. Case closed, back to business as usual.

BBC said...

I didn't read all that because it soon got boring to me.

And if I agreed with you we might both be wrong, he he he.

Roger Owen Green said...

Clearly it was more than one party involved and the fact that there was really but one conviction always reeked.

Brother Tim said...

Thanks for posting this. Far too many believe in government infallibility. In reality, there are many convictions that serve as a cloak for the vile, venal, and nefarious actions of 'government gone wild'.

S.W. Anderson said...

Interesting post. Much seems questionable about this whole matter. But without knowing more for sure, I find it hard to come to a firm judgment about it.

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