in the back
Issue 1245
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:

It’s not just foreign crooks who use the London housing market to launder their wealth: plenty of home-grown ones do too.

Despite claims that 85 percent of the new Trident submarines’ kit will come from the UK, the Successor fleet will rely hugely on foreign components.

No matter how much it costs to deal with eventual decommissioning and radioactive waste from Hinkley Point, a handful of firms are set to clean up.

Why Cardiff University School of Medicine’s slide down the league tables is no surprise to medics, academics or students following a ‘brutal’ restructuring.

Pubcos that rely on the oppressive ‘beer tie’ to extort inflated rents from their tenants aren’t going to let a minor legal obligation stop them raking it in.

Why experts who doubt the science of Shaken Baby Syndrome no longer dare give court evidence in defence of those they think wrongly accused of murder.

Supervision of offenders in Derbyshire by Ingeus has worsened since the government privatised parts of the probation service, a damning report finds.

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: 25th October 2016.
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Meeting Breaks Out at Ukip Fight… Erdogan Arrests Entire Country… Brexit Brings Best Weather to Britain Since Records Began… ‘We Are Now the Labour Party’ – Theresa May’s Shock Claim… God to Stop Production of New Galaxy… Tories Unite in Arguing About Hard or Soft Brexit… Ken Clarke’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

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- Lord Cashcroft: With Dave gone, look who’s back in the Tory fold
- PLUS: Momentum’s Man in the Eye; MoD at sea; a sucker Punch for publicans

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