Thursday 15 October 2015

US and UK name two more Libyan suspects

US and Scottish legal officers have named two new suspects: Abu Agila Mas'ud, who was named as the bomb-maker in a recent US documentary, and Abdullah al'Senussi, former head of Libyan intelligence.

Legal authorities have implied that the two men are in some way connected to the bombing along with  Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, the only man convicted of the atrocity. Over the last twenty six years, however, no new evidence has emerged against either of the two men.

The present chaos across Libya, with two competing governments and countless militias vying for territory, suggests that evidence will be difficult to obtain. Signed statements are likely to prove nothing in the Scottish legal process. The history of Lockerbie contains many such statements, all dismissed by trial and appeal judges at the time.

Over the years since the trial, which concluded in 2000, a great deal of information has emerged proving that Al Megrahi was not guilty as charged.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission took three years to carry out their own investigation. Their conclusion was that there were six reasons why there appeared to have been - in their words - "a miscarriage of justice".

Notable among the reasons was that the only identification witness, a Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, had been in discussions throughout the police investigation regarding - in the words of the US Department of Justice - "unlimited monies, including $10,000 available immediately". Gauci would receive a reward of $2m - again in the words of the US DoJ - "only if he gives evidence".

Since then, assiduous work by Al-Megrahi's solicitor, aided by two reputable scientists, has proved that the only forensic evidence claimed by the prosecution to link the bombing to Al-Megrahi was based on a falsehood, and that the scientist giving trial evidence, Alan Feraday, was aware of this at the time.

False forensic evidence
Speaking to journalists yesterday Jim Swire said: "I think there is a need for evidence to be made available as to why these two are suspects. We have recently been refused permission in Scotland to have to have a further appeal held into Megrahi's conviction, and many in this country simply don't believe Megrahi was involved and that this was a miscarriage of justice."

"To try and bolt two more names on top of that is a very difficult situation. It will need to be supported by better evidence than was produced to achieve the conviction of Megrahi." 

We invite readers to take a look at the nature of some of the evidence produced in the trial of Mr Al Megrahi. The falsity of the government case at that time is obvious. It will require a much higher standard of proof if this latest move by the Scottish Crown is to bear fruit. 

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