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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:

THE LONGEST WAIT
A couple’s 13-year battle for an inquiry into blunders that led to the brain damage and death of their daughter is dealt another blow by NHS England.

CONGO DRUMS
Is your firm attracting bad publicity while oil prospecting in a national park in Africa? Then call in the legal and PR charmers from Schillings and Bell Pottinger!

PRINCESS UNDER PRESSURE
Calls mount for a full public inquiry after two more nurses are charged with wilful neglect at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

MONEY FOR NOTHING
Finding qualified court interpreters is hard enough since Capita took over the service, but the firm is also earning hundreds of thousands for… doing nothing.

THE BUTLER DIDDLED IT
The useless Gambling Commission looks on limply as yet another online gambling firm, Bet Butler, goes bust and runs off with punters’ winnings.

FIRSTPORT IN A STORM
Scandal-prone property management company Peverel tries to clean up its reputation – and changes its name to FirstPort.

GRAY-VY TRAIN
University pensions have a £13bn deficit, up from £2.3bn in 2011 – yet chief investment guru Roger Gray’s pay rose to £900,000 last year from £600,000.

CABIN PRESSURE PAYS OFF
Eco-lodge firm Forest Holidays pulls its planning application for 70 deluxe timber cabins amid the trees in Northamptonshire’s Fineshade Woods.

private eye issue 1375
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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