“More than 31 years after the atrocity the Government’s documents relating to it are still being sequestered in a special category of security in the National Archives where they are not accessible to requests under FOI [Freedom Of Information] nor from the media. Why would they do that? Government in secrecy is not democracy, any more than justice delayed is justice. Let us make the clearing up of these cruel mysteries our vision for 2020.”
Dr Jim Swire — Open Letter (The Herald – January 1st 2020)
January 2 2020 — In a recent document (dated December 9 2019) seen by Intel Today, Gerard Sinclair — the Chief Executive of the SCCRC [Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission] — states that he is hopeful that a final decision will be reached before the end of this financial year, which is the end of March 2020. A letter from Dr Jim Swire was published by The Herald yesterday. I fully agree with every word he wrote. In the heart of my heart, I hope that 2020 will be the Year of the Truth! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: INTEL TODAY — Top 10 Stories of 2019
RELATED POST: INTEL TODAY — Top 10 Stories of 2018
RELATED POST: INTEL TODAY — Top 10 Stories of 2017
RELATED POST: Lockerbie — An open letter from Dr Jim Swire
UPDATE (March 9 2020) — The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission will announce its decision in the current application in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi on 11 March 2020.
In accordance with its statutory obligations, the Commission’s statement of reasons for its decision in the case will not be made public.
However, at 14:00 on 11 March 2020 the Commission will issue to the media a short summary of its main findings by way of a news release.
Intel Today understands that the SCCRC has decided to refer the Lockerbie case back to the appeal court.
END of UPDATE
Intel Today is reasonably confident there that the SCCRC will find that there may have been a miscarriage of justice, for the six reasons specified by their predecessors in 2007 and also on at least some of the further additional grounds advanced since then.
To mark the 30th Anniversary of the Pan Am 103 tragedy and to warm you up to the upcoming decision of the SCCRC, INTEL TODAY ran a series of articles regarding the key piece of evidence — known as PT/35(b) — linking Lockerbie to Libya.
We are glad to report that most Intel Today readers (91%) believe that the Lockerbie verdict is a spectacular miscarriage of justice.
RELATED POST: Lockerbie & the Glorious ‘Conspiracy Theorists’
I regard the Lockerbie verdict against Megrahi as a ‘Grand Monument to Human Stupidity’.
Indeed, the written opinion of the Lockerbie judges is a remarkable document that claims an ‘honoured place in the history of British miscarriages of justice.’
If the SCCRC recommend a new trial, the infamous Zeist verdict does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving.
Lockerbie was Intel Today top story in 2019. I certainly expect that the upcoming SCCRC decision, and its consequences, will make this four decades long saga one of our top stories again in 2020.
Dr Jim Swire : “Let this be the year when the Scottish criminal justice system gives clarity on Lockerbie.”
As we enter a new decade, inevitably we carry with us uncompleted business from the past.
More than three decades ago an aircraft loaded with a terrorist bomb at Heathrow Airport exploded and fell upon the innocent town of Lockerbie.
Ever since then some of us UK relatives of those who died aboard that aircraft have diligently sought the truth.
Our requests for an inquiry to successive Prime Ministers have always been rebuffed.
Thus we have no explanation as to why a device about which Lady Thatcher’s Government had been warned in detail and in good time by the West Germans was allowed to be loaded onto the aircraft.
Following the heroic recovering of the bodies, and the deeply moving support of so many in that little town, in the face of the loss of its own 11 victims we felt the healing effect of their love.
It seemed that the fingertip searching of the disaster fields was a lesson in how a murder investigation should be conducted.
However, by the time the police inquiry had culminated in the trial and a guilty verdict at Zeist in 2001 it became impossible for many to believe that the truth had been revealed.
Certainly even for us laymen there appeared to be multiple and very serious defects in much of the evidence, even down to what might or might not have been recovered from the crash site.
Over the intervening decades there have been many delays, culminating in the withdrawal of an appeal by the convicted Libyan, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, associated with his precipitous, but for some of us hugely welcome, release to die at home from his prostate cancer among his own family.
This appeal ceased just before much new and apparently irrefutable evidence of the convicted man’s innocence could be heard.
Some of us relatives of the dead then applied to the High Court for a review of the entire case through a further appeal. This we were refused amongst allegations that we should be regarded as “a mischief”.
We then flew to meet with members of Megrahi’s family and found them determined to apply under solicitor Aamer Anwar for a further appeal themselves, convinced, as they too are, of his total innocence.
Now it may be that 2020 will be the year of clear vision over this dreadful and fully avoidable tragedy.
Our independent Scottish criminal justice system has had from 1991 when the indictments against two Libyans were first issued to decide the issue of whether the two accused Libyans did destroy the PanAm 103 aircraft along with all those on board and 11 on the ground in Lockerbie or not.
It has chosen to reject the request of some of those closest to some of the murdered passengers for a full review of the case including evidence accruing since the Zeist trial, through a further appeal.
We have been forced to the belief based on more than 30 years of study that there are aspects of our Scottish criminal justice system that are simply not fit for purpose.
We have never wanted revenge even against the actual perpetrators themselves, looking instead for what can be done to improve our world in the name of those who died so cruelly and avoidably back in 1988.
One of those improvements might be a full review of why the current system seems to defend itself against all criticism rather than address the deeply held doubts of those who have suffered from their marginalisation for so long.
More than 31 years after the atrocity the Government’s documents relating to it are still being sequestered in a special category of security in the National Archives where they are not accessible to requests under FOI nor from the media.
Why would they do that? Government in secrecy is not democracy, any more than justice delayed is justice.
Let us make the clearing up of these cruel mysteries our vision for 2020.
Dr Jim Swire — Open Letter (The Herald – January 1st 2020)
About Dr Jim Swire
Jim Swire, is an English engineer [electronics] as well as a medical doctor.
Dr Swire is best known for his involvement in the aftermath of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which his daughter Flora was killed.
Swire lobbied toward a solution for the difficulties in bringing suspects in the original bombing to trial, and later advocated for the retrial and release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.
Swire also carried a fake bomb onto an aircraft as a demonstration of lax security. [Wikipedia]
TOP INTEL TODAY 2019 STORIES — #1 : Lockerbie — Dr Jim Swire : “Let this be the year when the Scottish criminal justice system gives clarity on Lockerbie.”
TOP INTEL TODAY 2019 STORIES — #1 : Lockerbie — Dr Jim Swire : “Let this be the year when the Scottish criminal justice system gives clarity on Lockerbie.” [UPDATE : SCCRC Decision to be Announced March 11 2020]