Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lockerbie Interference Claim

BBC report -

The Scotsman -

Today's third procedural hearing in the Appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi at the High Court in Edinburgh, continued with discussions on the matter of the foreign document which the Crown office, at the behest of the UK government at Westminster, have refused to disclose to the court, and more pertinently, to the defence lawyers representing Megrahi.

It would seem to the overwhelming consensus of independent and professional observers of the case, that, in order to fulfil a thorough appeal process and justice to be exhibited, the document must be disclosed. The Crown and the UK government are claiming a Public Interest Immunity (PII) in denying the document's disclosure and the foreign country from which the document originated do not want it's release. It is thought the document contains information relating to the timer device used in the bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Is the Public Interest best served by seeing justice done for those who died at Lockerbie and in the court of law in the conviction of Megrahi, or best served in the court acceding to international politics and their efforts to preserve secret agreements and information?

How can there be a more important public interest than that, in our society, the defendant should have a fair trial and that documents which might assist him to establish his innocence should not be withheld from him?

The PII claim made by the UK government should not outweigh this right no matter what possible damage it may cause to government or relationships with foreign governments. Perhaps the only exception to this would be if documents not disclosed under a PII would, if disclosed, serve no purpose in showing a defendants guilt or innocence in a criminal case. However, after viewing by the SCCRC during their 4 year investigation, the document in question in this case clearly represents, or has significant information constituting a possible 'miscarriage of justice'. In order to show any proof of the defendant's innocence or avoid the possibility of miscarriage of justice, the balance must come down resoundingly in favour of disclosure.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home