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.
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Embarrassing court cases reveal what British special forces troops are up to in Syria – and have been for ages.
CHEQUES AND BANK BALANCES
Payment-by-results is creating a conflict of interest for Concentrix, the US firm conducting fraud and error checks on UK tax credit claims.
A SUSPECT MILITARY DEVICE
A scary leaked report on Russian military power reveals nothing new – but it may help the UK military secure some expensive new toys.
STRUCK RIGHT OFF
Three nurses who admitted falsifying medical notes at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend are told they will never care for patients again.
ARSENAL’S HOME LOSS
With Woolwich’s Firepower museum mothballed, plans for a new home for the Royal Artillery Regiment collection are on shaky ground in Wiltshire.
THROWING THE BROOK
A wetland restoration scheme in the New Forest could do more harm than good, warn locals.
In Norfolk, the Broads Authority is busy purging members who have the audacity to air their criticisms in public.
A legal spat over a re-insurance scheme sees insurance giant Aon having to report itself to the anti-corruption authorities in Romania.
TRICKS OF THE MIND
More on the educational psychologist, judged by regulators ‘not to be of good character’, who threatened to sue the Eye.