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:
ASK NO QUESTIONS
How British special forces are operating in Libya and elsewhere without Westminster approval, under the guise of carrying out humanitarian work.
DISRUPTED BLOOD FLOW
The Scottish government is trying to compensate victims of the contaminated blood scandal –but it can’t do it while Westminster dithers.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
An inquest rules that failures at a jail contributed to another young prisoner’s death – but the government is dropping a plan to address the problem.
DO US A FAVIER
More deals are being done to restructure ailing company pension schemes, at great cost to employees. The man behind them is doing just fine, though…
The National Trust for Scotland is facing financial ruin and as many as 142 staff may lose their jobs, less than a decade after a disastrous restructuring.
Why there’s rather more to the fight to save London’s Fabric nightclub than meets the eye.
The architect who won a high-profile constructive dismissal case last year is unlikely to see the vast majority of the £404,000 she was awarded.
A blind lecturer had to leave his job in the Highlands after useless bureaucracy prevented him from getting the support he needed.