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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:

SAUDI BRIBERY & THE HSBC CONNECTION
Leaked data of Swiss HSBC accounts includes familiar names linked to decades-long corruption on a UK-Saudi Arabian military deal.

MILITARY TWITTERS
‘Squarebasher’ on the new 77th Brigade, which will use social media to ‘wage propaganda war’ (er, just like the military does already).

WATERSPORTS FOR ALL?
How the Canal & River Trust got to share a canoe with high-profile donor Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond and his Desmond Foundation.

A HEAD FOR TROUBLE
The headteacher sacked for abusing a pupil and bullying staff in Manchester… who landed another job at a primary school 200 miles away.

BUNGLING BUPA
The Middlesbrough nursing home that’s not allowed to take new admissions until it improves the way it treats its vulnerable residents.

FREE MASONRY ALERT!
The prize-winning Environment and Sustainability Institute near Falmouth – bits of which are falling down less than three years after it opened.

ABMU LATEST
Five nurses face charges for falsifying blood sugar readings at two South Wales hospitals, but police believe ‘many more’ nurses did the same thing.

CLOUD ON THE HORIZON
MPs slam the Post Office’s handling of problems caused by its Horizon IT system, which critics say has led to unjust sackings, prosecutions and jail.

A BITTER PILL
Doctors and nurses whose blunders meant a prisoner dying from cancer was given paracetamol and ibuprofen still face no disciplinary action or sanction.

private eye issue 1386
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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Next issue on sale: 3rd March 2015.

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