Monday, February 15, 2010

The Lockerbie Divide

May I direct everyone to a new blog created by Caustic Logic entitled "The Lockerbie Divide". This exceptional site is meticulous in it's examination of the Lockerbie trial conducted at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the evidence that was presented and the subsequent conviction of Libyan Al-Megrahi.

Those with little or no knowledge of the investigation and trial can take those first tentative steps into the the quagmire of whole Lockerbie case, while those with a more intimate knowledge, are presented and indeed invited, to dig deeper into the investigation and examine the conclusions that followed.

The Lockerbie Divide and it's author Caustic Logic provide an opprtunity to address the gulf which exists between many observers, and sadly also between many of the families of those who were so brutally murdered on Pan Am 103, and their opinions on Megrahi and how the court reached it's verdict at Camp Zeist.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Maltese Double Cross (1994) - Lockerbie

The Maltese Double Cross was written, directed and produced by the late Allan Francovich.

Faced with threats of legal action, it has been given scant exposure in the UK and the US. It was shown on Channel 4 in the UK in 1995 and was followed by a discussion on the issues the film raised. This was chaired by Sheena McDonald and included Allan Francovich, Jim Swire, Sir Teddy Taylor, Jim Duggan, David Leppard and Oliver 'Buck' Revel. Sadly, the discussion subsequent to the film is not included below.

This is however the best version of the 1994 film available.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Call for UN Enquiry into Lockerbie Disaster.

“Justice must prevail beyond all other considerations. Beyond politics, convictions, religion, even compassion (and certainly expedience), regardless of one's sympathies, JUSTICE must be the banner that unites us. This is more than pity for a dying man, this is a demand for justice.” (Danton de Vouvray)

Leading figures from politics, law, journalism and relatives of those who died over Lockerbie have today issued an open letter to the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations calling for an extensive and thorough public enquiry into all aspects of the Lockerbie disaster.

The published letter:

In light of the abandonment of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s second appeal against conviction for the bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie with the loss of 270 people, both passengers and citizens of Lockerbie, on the twenty-first of December nineteen eighty-eight, we, the undersigned, hereby formally submit that the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation institute a full public inquiry, under the provisions of Article 22 of its Charter, into:

• the investigation of the destruction of the aircraft,

• the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the event conducted in 1991,

• the subsequent trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifa at Camp van Zeist

• both of Mr al-Megrahi’s appeals and the circumstances surrounding the dropping of his second appeal.

We believe that a United Nations public inquiry into the above should call witnesses who have been both directly and indirectly involved to give testimony and account for their actions, decisions and opinions relating to these events.

Amongst others, such an inquiry ought ideally to draw on individuals from:

• Dumfries and Galloway Police and other UK police forces involved in the investigation,

• the security services and other governmental agencies of nations involved either at first hand or tangentially in the investigation,

• members of the legislatures of nations involved either at first hand or tangentially in the investigation,

• the Scottish Judiciary,

• the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission,

• legal counsel involved in the Zeist trial and subsequent appeals, to the extent permitted by legal professional privilege,

• witnesses from the original Zeist trial list, both those who testified and those who were on the list but not called to testify,

• forensic scientists involved in the investigation (particularly from the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment, UK),

• and informed experts whose independent research has led them to develop alternative theories concerning the destruction of the aircraft.

Whilst we are aware that, under the terms of Article 22 of the Charter, a United Nations General Assembly inquiry does not possess within its gift the power to subpoena witnesses to testify, we nevertheless feel that such an initiative could make a valuable and highly significant contribution towards removing many of the deep misgivings which persist in lingering over this tragedy.

Now that Mr al-Megrahi has dropped his second appeal and been repatriated to Libya to spend what time is left to him with his family, one of the last best hopes that existed to establish the facts of this disputed and sorry event once and for all has evaporated.

Whether or not he is guilty, the alleged abuse of Maltese sovereignty by foreign investigators employing illegal wire-taps, the question mark over the reputation of Luqa airport, the break-in to Heathrow airside shortly prior to Pan Am 103’s fateful departure, in addition to allegations of:

• tampering with material evidence,

• financial and other inducements in order to secure desired testimony,

• harassment of potential witnesses to dissuade them from coming forward at the Zeist trial,

• the with-holding of evidence from the defence counsel at Zeist,

• political obfuscation and serious economies with the truth have dogged this affair from the very outset and cast considerable doubt over the safety of the Zeist verdict.

We now appeal to the General Assembly of the United Nations, which we consider to be an eminently suitable platform under the circumstances given the international nature of events, to take the appropriate steps to set the record straight.

Although we are also fully cognisant that further investigation of this tragic occurrence over twenty years ago will yet again bring pain to the victims’ families and friends, we are confident that they too will wish to see matters concluded beyond reasonable doubt.

We do this in the hope of restoring the stature of justice following what has been described as being: ‘a spectacular miscarriage of justice’ (Professor Hans Köchler, International Observer appointed by the United Nations for the trail at Camp van Zeist).

Our faith in justice ultimately prevailing now lies in the hands of the United Nations.


Mr John Ashton(Co-author of Cover-up of Convenience: The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie).

Mrs Jean Berkley(Co-ordinator UK Families Flight 103 and mother of Alistair Berkley: PA103 victim).

Professor Robert Black QC(Commonly referred to as the Architect of the Camp van Zeist Trial).

Professor Noam Chomsky(Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Mr Tam Dalyell (Member of Parliament: 1962 – 2005, Father of the House: 2001 – 2005).

Mr Ian Ferguson(Co-author of Cover-up of Convenience: The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie).Mr

Robert Forrester(Justice for Megrahi Campaign committee member).

Mr Ian Hislop(Editor of Private Eye: one of the UK’s most highly regarded journals of political comment).

Father Pat Keegans(Lockerbie Parish Priest at the time of the bombing of Pan Am 103).

Mr Iain McKie(Retired Police Superintendent and justice campaigner).

Heather Mills(Reporter for Private Eye specialising in matters relating to Pan Am flight 103).

Denis Phipps(Aviation security expert).

Mr Steven Raeburn(Editor of The Firm, one of Scotland’s foremost legal journals).

Doctor Jim Swire(Justice campaigner. Dr Swire’s daughter, Flora, was killed in the Pan Am 103 incident).

Mr Abdullah Swissy(Former President of the Libyan Students’ Union in Scotland and Libyan Student Affairs of the Libyan Students’ Union, UK Branch).

Sir Teddy Taylor(Former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Member of Parliament from 1964 to 2005).

Mr Bob Watts(Businessman and Justice for Megrahi committee member).

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lockerbie letter to all 129 MSP's

A letter, sent to all 129 MSP's from solicitor Anthony Robson, has been published on the website of The Firm Magazine.

Dear all

This email is being sent to every MSP simply to express my disquiet at the reaction amongst many of you to the decision to release Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

What troubles me most is the censure of Kenny MacAskill. I am not an SNP supporter, but the vitriol poured Mr MacAskill's way seems somewhat misdirected. The simple fact of the matter is that the focus seems to have been placed on the release itself, of a man which we hear referred to often as 'a man CONVICTED of a terrible crime', rather than a man who IS guilty.

I'm well aware that a small number of you may know the real truth and are clearly therefore quite happy to lie to the general public.

But the questions being asked seem couched in nothing other than self- interest, appeasement of political alignment, and a strange feeling that you're trying to keep the Americans happy. What you're not asking (and this is directed towards Mr MacAskill as well who avoided the issue entirely) is this, "Was al-Megrahi actually guilty?" How many of you have read the report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission? I would recommend you also acquaint yourself with writing on the matter by Dr Jim Swire (whose daughter died on the Pan Am flight).

I'm sure each and every one of you went into politics thinking you could help people and make a difference (at least, I certainly hope you did). When the Scottish parliament came into being we were promised a new sort of politics, but I hate to have to tell you, all too often Holyrood descends into mini-Westminster. The unthinking way in which many of you have responded to the release of Mr al-Megrahi; the willingness to condemn an act of compassion, something sadly lacking in our world today; the political interference in what is, after all, a legal situation (separation of the judiciary and legislature anyone?); the rote repetition of words coming from across the water and from the head of the FBI (now if ever there was someone who would know the actual truth).

Not one of you appears to have asked the question. And if the television pictures or newspaper columnists didn't pick you up asking the question then you have not been asking loudly enough and I would urge you not just to ask, but to shout. Regain some integrity, show us that you are actually endowed with the intelligence that we like to think those in power actually have. As Joe Public we have little chance to get the message across, or ask the questions in ways in which they might be answered, or cause the truth to leak out. YOU DO.

So stop being a simpering coward (for, I am afraid, this IS simple cowardice). Forget about the safety of your seat or the disapproval of your peers, and remember why you got involved in politics in the first place.

I implore you to search your conscience, and to apply some rational thought, read the information which is out there, and instead of indulging in childish playground name-calling breathe some fresh air into the Scottish political scene and be HONEST, to us and to yourselves.

I have no idea if any of you will read this far, or if you will be happy for your staff filtering this out for you. If you have read this far then I can credit you with independent thought. Back that up now by looking at the facts, the evidence which was placed before the court which should not have been (having already been wholly discredited), the evidence that was NOT placed before the court that was made available but ignored, and wake up to the fact that covering up is simply papering over the cracks.

It does no credit to Scotland as a country; no credit to the judicial system; and no credit to you as a body. At present the hatred of many of the families MAY be directed at an innocent man (only a thorough, and open, investigation of the facts could show that either way), and I have no pride in being part of a system that effectively colludes to mask the reality from those who are still grieving. Whatever reason you have for either hiding the truth, or ignoring the holes in the case that stare up so clearly, that reason can never be as strong as the reason the relatives of those who died have for wanting, and deserving, the truth.

YOU are stopping that happening. Do something about it instead of grandstanding. Because at the moment you are complicit, and I for one could not look at myself in the mirror if I knew I was capable of raising merry hell about this in the way you can, but appear to be content not to.

STOP asking the wrong questions; STOP clouding the issue by diverting attention to Mr MacAskill; START acting like grown-up, intelligent, querying, adults.

Yours sincerely
Anthony Robson,_Parliament!_.html


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Libyan Takeaway

This weeks Private Eye magazine, who have long followed the Lockerbie case and Megrahi's conviction, carries a report on this weeks events.

Earlier this year the Eye predicted that the Scottish courts would hear only a small part of the appeal of Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi before it would be abandoned and he would return to Libya to die with his family. Meghari’s release was on the cards for some time.

That was ensured by Jack Straw, the justice minister, sticking up two fingers at parliament’s human rights committee and rushing through the prisoner transfer deal with our new best friend, Muammar Gaddafi.

After all, the deal suited all the main players, cementing relations with Libya as well as halting an appeal that threatened to prove a major embarrassment to both the UK and US governments.

News last week that Megrahi was to be returned on ‘compassionate grounds’, because he was dying of cancer, briefly raised hopes that his appeal could continue in his absence. But that was never going to be allowed to happen, and Megrahi, who had always said he would never return to Libya until his name was cleared, duly dropped his appeal.

The casualty is justice and the truth about the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, which claimed 270 victims. For as readers of the Eye’s special report by Paul Foot in 2001 are well aware, Megrahi’s trial was a travesty.

continued here -

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lockerbie : Abandonment of Appeal Granted

The only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, today had his application to drop his appeal granted by the Judges at Edinburgh's High Court.

It brings to an end a nineteen year claim of innocence by Megrahi. He is suffering from terminal cancer which his representative, Maggie Scott QC stated in court today, had deteriorated significantly recently and Mr Megrahi "has now reached the terminal stage and my client's condition has recently worsened very considerably." The court however, was astonished to learn that the Lord Advocate, despite being aware of the intention of abandonment since August 12th, is still to advise with regards to the Crowns appeal against sentence. A date was set for 3 weeks time to determine the decision. This is nothing short of scandalous, and in keeping with the whole judicial process and the crowns exploits during the appeal, does not surprise many observers.

After nearly 21 years, time and the truth, have finally ran out on justice for the Lockerbie victims.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Lockerbie and The Maltese Double Cross

Lesley Riddoch recalls the first attempts to show THE MALTESE DOUBLE CROSS. The film, derided by many and wholly rejected by the governments involved, suggests what many feel is a more plausible sequence of events and lays the blame for the Pan Am bombing at the door of the PFLP-GC.

First public showing in the UK, the Glasgow Film Theatre, 17.11.94

In 1994 the London Film Festival dropped its planned screening of the Maltese Double Cross – a documentary blaming Iran not Libya. I wondered why. And as Assistant Editor of the 'Scotsman' (newspaper) at the time, I felt an obligation to DO something. After all, Lockerbie, still fresh in Scottish minds six years after the bombing -- was the biggest ever terrorist atrocity on British soil. And back then, there was still no agreement about who was to blame.

So I suggested to the then Scotsman editor Andrew Jaspan that we should arrange to show it instead – and he agreed. That was just the start of the hard work to make it legally possible!

I sat with a reporter for a full week checking claims made by the controversial American film-maker Allan Frankovich.

Scotsman lawyers needed sight of relevant documents and sworn affidavits from interviewees – including one that was finally faxed through by a witness living in hiding in Sweden. After three small edits, the film was "legalled" and ready but our booked venue in Edinburgh had suddenly discovered a double-booking. The Glasgow Film Theatre stepped in -- though they too received phone calls threatening legal action from men purporting to be lawyers for one of the American Drug Enforcement Agency officials named in the film.

Continued here -


Recall of Scottish Parliament Over Lockerbie Rejected

Today's Guardian newspaper in the UK reports that "opposition politicians round on justice minister Kenny MacAskill as he prepares to decide whether to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi".

Full story here -

It comes as little surprise that this demand for a parliament recall, has been rejected.