Megrahi is guilty of 270 Lockerbie PanAm deaths, says the Scottish Appeal Court. But that’s not where it ends.

15 January 2021 By Paul Martin

Expressing ‘deep disappointment and shock’ Ali Megrahi, whose father Abdelbaset Megrahi died in 2012, has told Correspondent.World through his lawyer that he is to launch an appeal to the UK Supreme Court within the next two weeks.

The Scottish Appeal Court building.

He is also demanding that the UK government release files on the case that are still kept secret — decades after the crime took place.

The lawyer acting for Megrahi’s son, Aamer Anwar, told Correspondent.World: “The family demand the release of secret evidence held by the UK Government, which they believe incriminates others such as Iran and the Syrian-Palestinian PFLP-GC group.”

Last month, during his last week in office, the US Attorney General William Barr opened an indictment against Abuagila Masud. The US Justice Department says Masud constructed the Lockerbie bomb. He has been held in a Libyan prison for an unrelated bomb-making crime. 

But Anwar said it could be illegal, under Libya’s new constitution, for Libya to hand him over for extradition.

Anwar also claims that the details of the US indictment against Masud may have actually sabotaged the case against Megrahi. It appears to allege, he says, that Masud, not Megrahi, bought the clothing in Malta that was allegedly used to wrap around the bomb as it was packed inside a suitcase.

The shopkeeper’s identification of Megrahi as the purchaser played a key role in his conviction, the Scottish Appeal Court said in its judgment today.

The shop in Malta where the clothing wrapping the bomb was bought.

Abdelbaset Megrahi

Ali Megrahi said his family were left “heart -broken” by the decision of the Scottish courts.

Masud’s confession to being involved in the conspiracy with Megrahi to blow up PanAm Flight 103 was allegedly extracted, the indictment said, by a ‘Libyan law enforcement agent’ in 2012, while Masud was in custody in a Libyan jail.

Scorched remains of clothing bought in Malta were found, wrapped around a tiny fragment of a bomb’s detonator, according to the key evidence that led to Megrahi’s conviction.

Ali Megrahi said today: “Our journey is not over. Libya has suffered enough, as has our family, for the crime of Lockerbie. We remain determined to fight for justice.”

Ali Megrahi added: “God willing, I will visit my father’s grave one day to tell him that justice was done and that I fulfilled my promise: to clear your name and to clear Libya’s name.”

The three judges would only have been able to overturn the original conviction of  al-Megrahi if convinced that no reasonable court could have reached a guilty verdict in 2001. 

Pan Am Flight 103 - Wikipedia

Reputed to work for Libyan intelligence, Megrahi was jailed for life for the murders, but was set free in 2009 when suffering from terminal cancer.  Greeted in Libya as a national hero, he died more than two years later.

The last foreigner to talk to Megrahi, who denied his guilt while on his deathbed, was Dr Jim Swire.  His daughter Flora was killed in the disaster a day before her 24th birthday.

Dr Swire condemned the Scottish Appeals Court’s decision. “It has rejected solid evidence. And the court, because of the strange rules of Scottish law, was not even allowed to consider large chunks of evidence that would have made any new trial set Megrahi free,” Dr Swire, 84, told Correspondent.World.

The longtime campaigner for what he describes as “justice for the murder victims” called for the case now to be referred to the International Criminal Court.  However he admitted that this may not be possible as it appears that after Brexit “the government has escaped from the shadow of the ICC”.

He claimed that while the trial and three appeals have dragged on for nearly two decades, “the real perpetrators of the murder of my daughter and 269 other people are allowed to walk around scot-free on the surface of this planet.”

Dr Swire, a former army Royal Engineer, believes the bombing was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist group in the pay of Iran. “The powers that be went down a false track,” he insisted.

“I’m sure my daughter would have wanted the real perpetrators brought to justice,” he said.  “I’ll fight on, but I will at least on my own deathbed lie there and feel I’ve done my best, for her, to get to the truth.”

Pages: 1 2