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From the Eye archives
Lockerbie Latest
Issue 1245, 15th September 2009
megrahi.jpg
Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi

The break-in at Heathrow
It was supposedly a Scottish prosecution, but two US prosecutors sat alongside the prosecution team and appeared to Dr Kochler to be “supervisors” influencing what was released into open court and what was kept secret. Said Dr Kochler: "It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial. As an apparent result of political interest considerations, efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the court.”

More evidence has since emerged – such as a break-in at Heathrow near the Pan Am bay shortly before the flight took off, which was concealed from the trial. This might have explained evidence that was given at the trial by a baggage handler who said he saw that an extra Samsonite briefcase (like the one experts said contained the bomb) had been placed on top of a baggage container destined for the flight while he had left it unattended when he went for his tea.

Governments are still influencing the case
Further evidence, which the Scottish criminal cases review commission (SCCRC) has seen, and which formed one of the six grounds that it cited pointing to the fact that the wrong man had been convicted, remains secret. Even now, 20 years down the line, the government is still claiming public interest immunity on evidence that the SCCRC said should never have been withheld.

With Megrahi’s agreement to drop his appeal and his resulting release, it is clear that governments are still influencing the case. If Britain’s new best friend, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and his government have been welcoming Megrahi back in a way that seems to have offended so many commentators, it is because they owe him. He was a step in their country’s rehabilitation with the west.

As the Eye has said ever since we predicted that the appeal would not be heard, it suits none of the administrations – the US, the UK or Libya – to have the case reopened. The forthcoming release of the papers by Tony Kelly, Megrahi’s Glasgow-based solicitor, should prove that the Libyan was not responsible for the atrocity in the skies over Lockerbie. The papers will not prove, however, who was responsible, nor why the chance to bring the real bombers to justice was so evidently botched – or, worse, deliberately sabotaged. That is what the politicians should really be shouting about.

More top stories in the latest issue:

FARM FIX
Evidence emerges suggesting police may have helped cover up the “murder” of a man found crushed by a cement mixer on an Essex farm 14 years ago.

INSPECTING REBUS
Rebus Investment Group is the poacher-turned-gamekeeper offering to help those mis-sold dodgy tax schemes, including the infamous film LLPs.

A CRAPITAL IDEA
Scholars hoping to do post-graduate study at Strathclyde University are being encouraged to tailor their research proposals to the business interests of … Crapita!

PAST-IT MASTER?
The failed head passing on his wisdom to attendees at Bett2016, aka the British educational training and technology show.

ABOUT-TURN!
Only 32 people have so far qualified under former education secretary Michael Gove’s much-heralded Troops to Teachers initiative.

EPSOM FAULTS
How a catalogue of blunders contributed to the death of Adam Withers, 20, who fell to his death from a 130ft chimney at Epsom Hospital.

LOST AT SEETEC
Private probation provider Seetec is in trouble for poor performance in the South-east, but its owner-boss is laughing all the way to the bank.

CQC’S EPIC FLAIL
The care watchdog CQC’s ‘rigorous’ inspection regime is still failing vulnerable clients and their families – this time at three homes outside Bath. KING’S RANSOM
Taxpayers could have earned even more from the sale of the government share in King’s Cross Central LP had it not been part of a tax avoidance scheme.

TAPE DISPENSERS
Why health and safety rules for builders are to be relaxed because of the government’s devotion to ‘cutting red tape’.

MAN IN THE EYE
Meet Naguib Sawiris, the London-based Egyptian-American who somehow manages to do business with both North Korea and the US government.

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To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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