“In the meantime, yet to be completed and sent to the Crown Office is the separate police-led Sandwood inquiry into the actions at the time of police, prosecutors and forensic officials. The inquiry, which is investigating claims of attempts to pervert the course of justice prior to the Camp Zeist trial, started in 2014. Pronouncements have been made on its imminent conclusion, which has been much postponed. Although the SCCRC could conclude its findings without that report, I have no doubt that it would be difficult for it to fully conclude without it. Sandwood’s—to be kind—slow progress is cause for concern, because 30 years on, justice delayed is justice denied for the people of Lockerbie, the Syracuse students, every other one of the 270 who died and their families and friends—and, perhaps, even the Megrahi family.”
Christine Grahame MSP (October 2 2018)
“I found it quite upsetting. The man is obviously very ill and he is desperate to see his family – absolutely desperate to see his family – so, whatever it takes, that’s the priority. He did tell me things I can’t discuss with you. But I am absolutely more convinced than ever that there has been a miscarriage of justice.”
Christine Grahame MSP (May 2009)
October 11 2019 — Christine Grahame has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament since its inception in 1999. Grahame has been outspoken in her view that the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing is unsafe and represents a miscarriage of justice. Grahame has lodged several questions and motions on this scandalous case in the Scottish Parliament and continues to be involved with campaign groups on the matter. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: RELATED POST: Ambassador Andrew Ivy Killgore (1919-2016): Lockerbie Trial Was a Cover-Up
Update (October 11 2019) — On October 2 2019, Pr Robert Black posted the following tweet:
“After 26 years of involvement in
#Lockerbie I’m beginning to think it’s unlikely that I’ll survive to see #Megrahi officially exonerated. It really shouldn’t be this difficult to get an obvious miscarriage of justice rectified.”
A bit later, Aamer Anwar — who represents the family of the “Lockerbie bomber” — replied:
“Robert never give up hope – we need you there & I see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Flashback — On May 3 2018, The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission announced it would examine the case to decide whether it would be appropriate to refer the matter for a fresh appeal.
In July 2019, the SCCRC has announced that a decision is not expected before 2020.
Commenting on the delay, Megrahi family’s Scottish lawyer Aamer Anwar said:
“We presented significant material which requires robust investigation and a number of inquiries have unfolded after issues we raised.
The family want to insure every avenue is looked at and that no short cuts are taken. We have one chance and we expect this to go back to the appeal court.”
In an email to Intel Today, Robert Black QC FRSE – Professor Emeritus of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh and best known as the “Architect of the Lockerbie Trial” — wrote:
“While it is disappointing that the SCCRC will not be reporting by the end of the summer, the fact that their investigations are taking longer than anticipated is, in some ways, a hopeful sign.
My worry always has been that the Commission might find that, although there might have been a miscarriage of justice, it was not in the interests of justice that there be a third appeal (Megrahi having lost the first one and abandoned the second one in order to return home to die).
If this was going to be the ultimate decision of the Commission, I do not believe that they would be conducting such rigorous and lengthy investigations.
I’m reasonably confident therefore that the SCCRC will find that there may have been a miscarriage of justice, for the six reasons specified by their predecessors in 2007 and also on at least some of the further additional grounds advanced since then.
And, as I say, I think it unlikely that, having so concluded they would then say that it was not in the interests of justice for there to be a further appeal.”
Like Professor Black, I now believe that the SCCRC will pave the way for an appeal. I also believe that Aamer Anwar is right to be optimistic. Truth never dies.
END of UPDATE
What follows is the text of a speech made by Christine Grahame MSP during the debate in the Scottish Parliament on 2 October 2018 on the motion Cycle to Syracuse to mark the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster.
I declare an interest as a member of the Justice for Megrahi campaign. I congratulate Oliver Mundell on securing the debate and welcome his so-called Syracuse team to the gallery.
It is important to recall that dreadful night nearly 30 years ago, with the deaths of so many people. They included the young students who will be commemorated on the cycle journey. Their lives ended tragically, but now the cyclists are taking the journey to the destination that those students never reached. We are also reminded of the 11 Lockerbie residents who died that night, and the actions of the professionals who, through their sensitivity and kindness, then and over the years, have created a bond across the ocean between the families of those who were killed that night.
Lockerbie, like Aberfan before it and Dunblane, never wanted to be in the headlines for being a graveyard for so many, but it has dealt with the atrocity with grace and dignity. It should not have been Lockerbie, of course. The delay to flight 103 meant that the bomb, which was probably intended to detonate over the sea without evidential trace, did so over acres of bleak winter Scottish countryside.
Although I have nothing but admiration for the Lockerbie community, I feel that no line can be drawn under that night until the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is finally and fully tried on a last appeal. Members will recall that a second appeal on a referral from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission was abandoned by Megrahi. In my view, that was to secure his transfer from Greenock to Libya to be with his family as he succumbed to terminal cancer. The evidence has not been heard to this day.
I met him three times, and he made it clear at our last meeting that it was not for himself but for his family that he wished his name to be cleared. He did not want the name “Megrahi” to forever be part of the Lockerbie atrocity. At this moment, a third application for review, which has been lodged by his family, is in process with the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. I have been told by the SCCRC that the application has passed stage 1; in other words, the commission has accepted his reasons for abandoning the second appeal—in other words, because he thought that would help to secure his release. The process is now at stage 2; that is, the substance of the grounds for a new appeal are being considered. The commission hopes to report by summer 2019.
In the meantime, yet to be completed and sent to the Crown Office is the separate police-led Sandwood inquiry into the actions at the time of police, prosecutors and forensic officials. The inquiry, which is investigating claims of attempts to pervert the course of justice prior to the Camp Zeist trial, started in 2014. Pronouncements have been made on its imminent conclusion, which has been much postponed. Although the SCCRC could conclude its findings without that report, I have no doubt that it would be difficult for it to fully conclude without it. Sandwood’s—to be kind—slow progress is cause for concern, because 30 years on, justice delayed is justice denied for the people of Lockerbie, the Syracuse students, every other one of the 270 who died and their families and friends—and, perhaps, even the Megrahi family.
Scotland Tonight – Death of the Lockerbie Bomber
Published on May 22, 2012
The Lockerbie Bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has been buried in Tripoli.
He was the only person convicted of the atrocity, but tonight the possibility has been raised of fresh prosecutions.
A renewed investigation is underway to trace others who were involved in the bombing.
Three weeks ago, in Tripoli, the head of Scotland’s prosecution service asked the new Libyan Government for its help.
In his first interview since the visit, Frank Mulholland said he was sufficiently encouraged by the response to believe that at some point in the future, there could be fresh prosecutions.
FBI special agent Richard Marquise who helped build the case leading to Megrahi’s conviction is unsure.
Scotland Tonight spoke with him, and in the studio spoke with Clare Connolly from the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit who believes that al-Megrahi’s 2001 conviction was sound, and the SNP MSP Christine Grahame who is convinced of his innocence.
Christine Grahame — Wikipedia
Lockerbie — Christine Grahame MSP : “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied”
One Year Ago — Christine Grahame MSP : “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” [Lockerbie]