Lockerbie bomber’s family launch posthumous appeal against mass murder conviction — Ex-CIA contractor says Pakistan’s leaders helped him escape murder charges — Saudi Arabia has ‘clear link’ to UK extremism, report says — North Korea missile test a ‘new threat to world’, says US amid show of military force
The family of the man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing which killed 270 people in 1988 has lodged a third appeal against his conviction.
Megrahi’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said “the reputation of Scottish law” had suffered due to doubts over the conviction.
He went on to say “the only place to determine whether a miscarriage of justice did occur is in the appeal court, where the evidence can be subjected to rigorous scrutiny”.He confirmed that “six main grounds have been lodged”.
The move has the support of Dr Jim Swire and Rev John Mosey, who both lost daughters in the bombing.
A former contractor for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, who was released from a Pakistani prison in 2011 despite being implicated in a double murder there, says he was freed with the help of senior Pakistani officials. Raymond Allen Davis was a CIA contractor posted in the US consulate in Pakistan’s Punjabi capital, Lahore, which is also the country’s second-largest city. It has been suggested that, for a while, Davis was the CIA’s acting station chief in Lahore, thus technically the most senior American intelligence officer in Punjab.
After years of silence, last week Davis announced the publication of his book, The Contractor: How I Landed in a Pakistani Prison and Ignited a Diplomatic Crisis. In it, the former CIA contactor says he decided the two Pakistani men were a threat after they approached his vehicle brandishing a firearm. He also says that he had never killed anyone before, but “thankfully, all ten rounds [he] fired found their intended target”. Further on in the book, Davis claims that he was released from prison due to the intervention of senior Pakistani politicians and state officials. These, he says, included the country’s then-President, Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, and General Shuja Pasha, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence —Pakistan’s main spy agency. These men, claims Davis, arranged his release from prison, by using an antiquated sharia law, which permits the release of a wrongdoer by the relatives of a victim, if sufficient money is given to them. What is more, Davis claims that the $2.4 million given to the families of the deceased was provided by the Pakistani government, not by Washington. He also alleges that the families of the two men were effectively “coerced” by the government of Pakistan into accepting the money.
Saudi Arabia is the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK, a new report has claimed.
The Henry Jackson Society said there was a “clear and growing link” between Islamist organisations in receipt of overseas funds, hate preachers and Jihadist groups promoting violence.
The foreign affairs think tank called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.
The UK’s Saudi Arabian embassy says the claims are “categorically false”.
Ministers are under pressure to publish a report on UK-based Islamist groups.The Home Office report into the existence and influence of Jihadist organisations, commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, has reportedly yet to be completed amid questions as to whether it will ever be published.
The United States has ramped up pressure on North Korea after Tuesday’s successful intercontinental ballistic missile test, making a show of force off the Korean peninsula with a “precision firing” exercise and warning that any country harbouring North Korean workers was abetting Kim Jong-un’s regime.
The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, confirmed North Korea had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and called for global action to counter an “escalation of the threat” posed by the regime.
Kim Jong-un delivered his own message on Wednesday, with the state Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoting him as saying: “American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary.”
The news agency claimed the missile was capable of carrying a “large, heavy nuclear warhead” that could survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Kim was quoted as saying the North’s long confrontation with Washington had entered the “final stage” and that Pyongyang would not put its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles up for negotiation “unless the US hostile policy and nuclear threats come to an end completely”. A report in its state media said Kim urged his scientists to “frequently send big and small ‘gift packages’ to the Yankees”.
INTEL TODAY DIARY — July 5 2017