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LOCKERBIE LATEST
Issue 1245

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Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
POLITICIANS on both sides of the Atlantic who have been outraged at the release of the mass-murdering “Lockerbie bomber” should take time to read the many hundreds of pages of evidence and argument in the case, expected to be released by his lawyers over the next few weeks.

Even the most vociferous critic might be left in some doubt about the conviction of Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, freed from a Scottish jail to die with his family in Libya, and suspect that the Libyan was the victim of the most dreadful miscarriage of justice.

The fact that the wrong man was in the dock was evident to those few independent observers who sat through the entire travesty of a trial in the Netherlands nearly 10 years ago. One of those was Dr Hans Kochler, appointed by the United Nations, who concluded: "There is not one single piece of material evidence linking [Megrahi] to the crime… the guilty verdict appears to be arbitrary, even irrational.”

Flawed and glaringly contradictory evidence
Kochler’s report was a damning indictment of the three Scottish trial judges who sat without a jury. The bulk of their judgment pointed to a not proven verdict – and then they convicted Megrahi anyway.

As Eye readers will know, there were alterations to crucial forensic exhibits supposedly linking Libya and Megrahi to the bomb, for which police and scientists could give no proper explanation; there was a succession of flawed and glaringly contradictory evidence from key witnesses, at least two of whom were paid by the CIA; there was evidence of the striking similarity to the modus operandi of a Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist cell, operating out of Frankfurt, caught with devices equipped to bring down planes – one of which was missing. And then, of course, there was the crucial “identification” of Megrahi by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who sold the clothes identified as being packed in the suitcase with the bomb. In all his statements and evidence, Gauci only ever says that Megrahi bore a “resemblance” to the man who purchased the clothes – never that he was the man.

The judges performed a number of extraordinary leaps of logic to overcome these and all the other problems with the prosecution case, and it was evident to Dr Kochler even then that “foreign governments and secret governmental agencies”, directly or indirectly, influenced the trial.

More top stories in the latest issue:

DUNCAN DONUTS
Alan Duncan, with his history of working for a dodgy oil firm and taking money from dictators, is a surprise addition to the FCO’s ministerial team.

CALLED TO ORDURE
Gavel Basher sees an underwhelming gaggle of brown-nosers celebrate Theresa May’s coronation and then reap the rewards in her reshuffle.

FOLLOW MY LABOUR LEADER…
It’s only fair Jeremy Corbyn faces a summer leadership challenge: he spent decades himself trying to topple his predecessors as Labour leader.

ABBOTT’S TALE
Diane Abbott is an odd choice as shadow health spokesman given what she once said about ‘blonde, blue-eyed girls from Finland’ working in the NHS.

BET ON THEM
As calls grow for more regulation of betting shops, the Conservatives bank a £75,000 donation from Fred and Peter Done, founders of, er, Betfred.

HOUSING NEWS
The big gap in government support for renters and buyers… and why funding Help to Buy could cause a big headache for the new chancellor.

To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here. For all the latest news you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 2nd August 2016.
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Sun Shines on Brexit Britain! Daily Mail Exclusive… David Davis Hails Trade Deal With Narnia… Lives of the Saints No 94: Mother Theresa… Why Didn’t Police Have More Guns, Laments NRA… We Must Protect Turkish Democracy – or Else, Says Erdogan… UK to Teach Chinese Maths: Sample Questions from Tiananmen Square… ‘I’ve Always Admired Theresa’ Say All Tories… More Golfers Pull Out of Rio Over Wealth Concerns… Sarah Ferguson’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- The Headmistress writes… Meet the new head at St Theresa’s
- Spending $pree: MoD flashes the cash before the £ falls even further
- PLUS: Chilcot round-up; Dr B Ching on Govia’s Southern bellends; & more!

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Private Eye Issue 1422