Private Eye logo
twitter
twitter
rss
rss
rss
gnitty
in the back
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:

GO FOR GOLD!
Contract for British Olympians’ kit in 2016 goes to a company bought by a director of the British Olympic Association.

SERCO STINK
Outsourcing giant fined over noxious pong at Portsmouth Naval Base.

REED BETWEEN THE LINES
Employment tribunal hears allegations that Bankers Almanac could be used to route payments for arms and weapons into sanctioned countries.

CPS COPS OUT
Questionable decision not to bring charges of perjury over testimony at the inquest of Sean Rigg, which was contradicted by CCTV footage.

SUDS THEY DON’T LIKE
Measures to prevent flash-flooding from over-used drains are likely to be lost in pre-election wash up.

BOTTON’S UP?
Events have taken an ugly turn in the Camphill Community in North Yorkshire.

private eye issue 1377
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
gnitty
More From This Issue
News
Top Stories
more »
News
Crossword
Win a £100 prize
more »
Crossword
A Message
from the New Coalition Academy
more »
A Message
Also Available Online
More From This Issue
Private Eye Issue 1377
private eye Only In The Magazine

Demon confesses to ‘inner Tories’… Joy in Africa as First White People Get Ebola... Story in newspaper not lifted from Cheltenham Festival… Toad and Friends Driven out of Wild Wood… Kevin Pietersen: An Apology… Dreary’s photo casebook: The Freud marriage has communication problems… John Cleese’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown.

And also...

- Trial of the Century: Postscript: Rebekah Brooks withdraws her application for costs.
- Keeping the Lights On: Why the new Hinkley Point plant is wallet-bogglingly good news for EDF.
- Dead Reckoning: Sceptics v Psychics.
For all these stories you can buy the magazine or subscribe here and get delivery direct to your home every fortnight.
Next issue on sale: 28th October 2014.

Private Eye Issue 1376
gnitty