Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter IX – Diabolical Endgame]

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

Montesquieu

“The Devil’s cleverest wile is to make men believe that he does not exist.”

Charles Baudelaire — “Le Joueur Généreux” (Le Figaro –1864)

“The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission’s decision to refer the Megrahi case back to the courts really isn’t a surprise. Issues of concern in the Lockerbie bombing trial include not least the witness payments to Tony Gauci. So back the case goes and while it may resolve some aspects relating to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, I won’t hold my breath that it’ll cast any more light on Lockerbie. Sadly, this review will clarify some questions regarding Megrahi, but I very much doubt it’ll provide closure on Lockerbie.”

Kenny MacAskill — Former Cabinet Secretary for Justice (2007–2014)

“No court is likely get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence.”

Oliver Miles — Former British ambassador to Libya

July 13 2020 — On March 11 2020, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission [SCCRC] decided to refer the Lockerbie case back to the High Court of Justiciary for determination.  As a result of the Commission’s decision, Mr. Megrahi’s family was therefore entitled to instruct an appeal against his conviction. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter I : A week in December]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter II : The Usual Suspects]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter III : Operation Autumn Leaves]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter IV : The ‘Wait & See’ Strategy]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter V : Blame it on Gaddafi!]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter VI : A spectacular miscarriage of Justice]

RELATED POST:  Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…![Chapter VII : The SLALOM Shirt]

RELATED POST: Lockerbie – Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter VIII : PT/35(b) — The Most Expensive Forgery in History]

Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!

QUICK NOTE — To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of this book, I have created a special page  “Lockerbie” where all the links to the chapters will be listed with a brief description. You can access that page directly as it appears at the far right of the top bar of this blog. END of NOTE

Chapter IX – Diabolical Endgame

The first procedural hearing has now been fixed to take place before five Scottish judges of the High Court of Justiciary on Friday August 21 2020. [1]

To many observers, the SCCRC decision marks the beginning of Justice. I am afraid that I share neither their joy, nor their hopes.

The Devil is in the detail. And a careful reading of the SCCRC statement of reasons indicates that all hopes of Justice have already been annihilated.

Two hundred and seventy souls were lost on December 21 1988. To this day, the true culprits have never been identified.

On March 11 2020, the TRUTH was murdered. And this time, the killers stand before our eyes. And it is my intention to name them.

The 11th hour

At 11 a.m. on March 11 — Perhaps to add a sense of drama? — the SCCRC delivered the full statement of reasons to the office of Aamer Anwar, the lawyer for the Megrahi family. [2]

As we shall see, “statement of unreasons” may be a more adequate expression. If the 15th had not fallen on a Sunday, they may very well have delivered the 419 pages report on the Ides of March.

The 11th hour is usually considered the final moment when change is possible. But in truth, the game is over. Most people simply do not understand this yet.

Former Cabinet Secretary for Justice (2007–2014) Kenny MacAskill is perfectly correct to write [3] :

“(The case) may resolve some aspects relating to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, I won’t hold my breath that it’ll cast any more light on Lockerbie.

Sadly, this review will clarify some questions regarding Megrahi, but I very much doubt it’ll provide closure on Lockerbie.”

And this was of course one of the reasons I have decided to write this book.

Family, friends, and lawyers overjoyed

Ali al-Megrahi, the son of the applicant, said:

“Finally, my family has hope that our father’s name will be cleared. I am grateful to all those who have supported my family in their long struggle for justice.”

Lawyer Anwar told a press briefing that the commission had delivered “a damning indictment of the process”. [4]

“The Commission have gone on to deliver a damning indictment of the process and believe that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred by reason of an ‘Unreasonable Verdict’ and the ground of ‘Non-Disclosure’.

These grounds incorporate many of the issues we had identified in our application.”

How many grounds?

Megrahi’s legal team submitted six grounds why the Lockerbie case constituted a miscarriage of justice. [5]

— Mr Anwar asked the Commission to find that its original reference grounds in 2007 remain ‘valid and compelling’ reasons for the Commission to refer the case again to the High Court.

— Mr. Anwar also asked the Commission to review the two grounds argued at the abandoned appeal, on which the High Court did not deliver its opinion: insufficient evidence and unreasonable verdict.

— Finally, Mr. Anwar raised two new matters: the suitcase ingestion and the infamous PT/35(b) timer fragment.

The Commission considered that all these points formed the following six broad grounds of review:

Ground 1: Insufficient Evidence

Ground 2: Unreasonable Verdict

Ground 3: Fresh Evidence: The Christmas Lights

Ground 4: Non-disclosure

Ground 5: Timer Fragment PT/35(b)

Ground 6: The Suitcase Ingestion

The commission only upheld two of these grounds: Ground 2: Unreasonable Verdict and Ground 4: Non-disclosure.

Thus, the commission concluding a miscarriage of justice may have occurred by reason of an “unreasonable verdict”, which allows an appeal on the basis that a conviction was based upon a verdict that no reasonable jury could have returned, and on the ground of “non-disclosure”.

There is simply nothing new to these grounds. The Commission simply reaffirms that no reasonable trial court could have accepted that Megrahi was identified as the purchaser.

TIMELINE

On July 4 2017, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed that it had received a new application to review the conviction in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi.

On May 3 2018, SCCRC chief executive Gerard Sinclair  stated that “the (SCCRC) commission has decided that it is in the interests of justice to accept the current application for a full review of his conviction.”

On March 11 2020, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission [SCCRC] decided to refer the Lockerbie case back to the High Court of Justiciary for determination.

In other words, it took the “Good SCCRC Investigators” 2 years, 8 months, and 7 days to confirm two of the six grounds their predecessors had already validated 13 years ago.

Let me put this in numbers. After 981 days, this crack team delivered a final report of 419 pages. That is about one page per person every 20 days. Working hard, or hardly working?

Towards a quashed verdict?

One would conclude from the SCCRC statement that the acquittal of Megrahi is a foregone conclusion. One could be wrong.

Again read carefully the statement:

“Because the court’s specific conclusion that he was the purchaser was integral to the court’s ultimate conclusion that he was guilty of the murders libelled, the Commission believes that, notwithstanding that the remaining chapters of evidence pointed to the involvement of operators of the Libyan state in the execution of the crime, a miscarriage of justice may have occurred because no reasonable trial court, relying on the evidence led at trial, could have held the case against Mr Megrahi was proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

In other words, the SCCRC has already narrowed the debate to a range from which any discussion regarding the TRUTH about Lockerbie is rigorously excluded.

According to the SCCRC statement, Libya is responsible for Lockerbie. End of the story.

All that is left for the Appeal Court to debate is whether Megrahi or another Libyan terrorist is responsible for the crime.

And even that fight could be tricky… The Crown could argue that Megrahi may not be the purchaser, but he could very well be the mastermind of the attack.

Does the identity of the purchaser matter for the verdict?

Megrahi is clearly NOT the purchaser, but does it matter to the case?

Law Professor Robert Black wrote [6] :

“This is huge. If the trial court hadn’t concluded that Megrahi bought the clothes in Gauci’s shop, he couldn’t have been convicted. This finding was absolutely crucial to the verdict.

So Kenny is saying that the court was wrong on a matter absolutely essential to its verdict.”

Dick Marquise — chief of the FBI’s Lockerbie task force from 1988 to 1992 —  still claims that Megrahi was rightly convicted. [7]

“The conviction was not just based on identification evidence. It is the preponderance of the evidence that led to the conviction.”

To answer this question, the Commission considered whether, leaving aside the evidence as to the date of purchase, there exists an alternative means by which a verdict of guilty could reasonably have been returned, based on the evidence not rejected by the court. [8]

“Given the importance of the date of purchase to the identification of the applicant as the purchaser, and the importance of that identification to his conviction, it seems to the Commission that this is a matter more appropriately determined by the High Court in the event that it arises at appeal.

It is sufficient to say that in the Commission’s view any finding that a reasonable court could not have inferred that the applicant was the purchaser would render the remaining evidence against him insufficient to convict.”

Thus, the Commission concluded that the verdict in the case is — at least arguably — one which no reasonable court, properly directed, could have returned. [9]

On March 11 2020, the SCCRC decided once more to refer the Lockerbie case back to the High Court of Justiciary for determination.

According to their statement:

“a miscarriage of justice may have occurred because no reasonable trial court, relying on the evidence led at trial, could have held the case against Mr Megrahi was proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

Thirteen years later, the SCCRC reached the same conclusion based on the same analysis of the very same irrefutable facts: the date of the purchase and the identity of the purchaser.

So, we can finally address the question. Does it matter that Megrahi was, or not, the purchaser of the clothes in Malta?

According to the SCCRC two reports (2007 & 2020), the identity of the purchaser is a critical part of the guilty verdict.

So FBI Richard Marquise is wrong and professor Robert Black is right. If the judges had not concluded that Megrahi bought the clothes in Gauci’s shop, he could not have been convicted.

However… Pay attention to the words of the SCCRC 2020 report: “relying on the evidence led at trial”.

It seems that the SCCRC is already paving the way for the Crown to reveal new evidence against Megrahi that could not have been disclosed 20 years ago.

Did you ever wonder who decided to leak the CIA Minerva files [About CIA interception of Libyan diplomatic cables] earlier this year? And why? [10]

Ground 5: Timer Fragment PT/35(b) “incomprehensibly” ruled out

PT/35(b) was the central piece of evidence of the Lockerbie Case. The fragment “unambiguously” linked Libya to the bombing of Pan Am 103.

As Richard Marquise — the FBI Agent who led the US side of the investigation — famously said:

“Without PT/35(b), there would have been no indictment.”

Today, we KNOW that PT/35(b) could not have been part of the MST-13 timers delivered to Libya. [11]

Yet, the SCCRC rejected that this ground may have caused a miscarriage of justice. How can this be possibly justified when the science clearly tells the opposite?

The SCCRC only relied on legal arguments — not science — to exclude this fundamental ground.

The applicants’ submissions under this overall ground were three-fold and were as follows:

(1) The Crown failed to disclose to the defence information about the difference in metallurgy between the timer fragment PT/35(b), recovered during the ground search, and the ‘control’ circuit boards (fragment PT/35(b) being, the trial court concluded, part of the MEBO-produced MST-13 timer used to trigger the bomb;

(2) There is fresh evidence about the difference in metallurgy between PT/35(b) and the control circuit boards which casts serious doubt on the trial court’s conclusion that PT/35(b) was part of the MEBO-produced MST-13 timer; and

(3) If there has not been a miscarriage of justice by reason of undisclosed information or fresh evidence relating to the metallurgy issue, the defence team’s decision not to investigate it amounted to a failure to present Mr Megrahi’s defence.

The Commission decided that the Crown did not fail to disclose the information in question to the defence. It decided also that the applicants have not provided a reasonable explanation as to why the fresh evidence concerning the metallurgy issue was not led at the trial. In other words, it did not believe that submissions (1) and (2) are arguable.

As regards submission (3), the conduct of an accused’s defence may be said to amount to a miscarriage of justice only where it has deprived him of a fair trial; a fair trial is denied to an accused where his defence was not presented to the court because counsel either disregarded his instructions or conducted the defence in a way in which no competent counsel could reasonably have conducted it.

The Commission decided that the decision by the defence team to proceed without investigating the metallurgy issue did not mean that Mr Megrahi’s defence was not presented to the court.

This is surely the most despicable legal trick ever produced to oppose Justice.

And, to add insult to injury, the SCCRC concludes:

“In any event, the Commission was not persuaded that the evidence obtained post-trial about the metallurgy of the control circuit boards called into question the trial court’s conclusion that PT/35(b) was part of the MEBO-produced MST-13 timer used to trigger the bomb.”

It is unfortunate that Anwar’s submission to the SCCRC only considered the information about PT/35(b) which was available 10 years ago. Although this information is very important, much more vital evidence has been uncovered since thenas I explained in the previous chapter.

And this information is damning: PT/35(b) is not part of a MEBO produced MST-13 timer!

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

The grounds for an appeal arising from a reference to the High Court must relate to one or more of the reasons for making the reference contained in the Commission’s statement of reasons. [12]

Megrahi’s legal team can appeal on the basis that a conviction was based upon a verdict that no reasonable jury could have returned, and on the ground of “non-disclosure”. [Grounds 2 & 4]

Can Megrahi’s legal team appeal on additional grounds? Let us first read the law.

(4A)  The grounds for an appeal arising from a reference to the High Court under section 194B of this Act must relate to one or more of the reasons for making the reference contained in the Commission’s statement of reasons.

(4B)  Despite subsection (4A), the High Court may, if it considers it is in the interests of justice to do so, grant leave for the appellant to found the appeal on additional grounds.

So yes, the law does not inhibit Mr Anwar to try to appeal on additional grounds. But I would not bet on the High Court considering it is in the interests of justice…

Why it matters?

The decision of the SCCRC to allow a very limited appeal of the Lockerbie Case and the excessive length of time it has taken to reach a decision is a textbook example of censorship as it is conducted in the UK, and Western countries in general.

As Chomsky has long observed:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

Indeed… Mr. and Mrs. Smith are now allowed to question the conclusion of the judges, but only as long as they do not step over the bounds defined by the State.

And the SCCRC message is very clear: Megrahi may or may not be the purchaser of the clothes, but Libya is responsible for Lockerbie. Full stop. End of the story.

And even within the limited framework defined by the SCCRC, I expect this pseudo-appeal to be no more than a diabolic trap.  Please, read carefully.

“The Commission, as part of the current review, obtained new information which, if believed, points at Libya, and Mr Megrahi as an operative in 1988 for that state, as being the culprits in the bombing of PA 103.

The Commission considered, however, that the foregoing material did not entitle the Commission to establish a compelling and unanswerable case indicating that Mr Megrahi is guilty.

As matters presently stand, the Commission was unable either to assess the nature or the circumstances under which this information was obtained or to form any conclusion about the credibility or reliability of the information.

It may be that, if such matters are able to be properly considered in the future in a court of law, appropriate conclusions could be drawn about this new information.”

Could the CIA Minerva Files help to assess the circumstances under which this information was obtained and to form a conclusion about the credibility of the information?

Chronicle of an Injustice Foretold — The Alex Salmond Show

On November 29 2017, following an interview with the former justice secretary on his chat show on the Kremlin-backed TV channel RT, Alex Salmond [First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014] said:

“Is it possible for someone to be guilty, yet wrongly convicted? Yes it is.

Kenny MacAskill was correct, the forensic evidence compiled by the Scottish authorities and the FBI clearly identified Libyan involvement and Malta as the place where the bomb was planted.

Mr Megrahi was a high ranking Libyan intelligence official on the scene at the time.

This supports the charge that he, acting with others, was part of the Lockerbie conspiracy.

However, his conviction was not just based on the strength of that evidence but on identification evidence which is, to say the least, open to question.

Back in 2009 Kenny MacAskill was aware of this, as was I as Scotland’s First Minister.”

Unless Megrahi’s lawyer manages to convince the court that the evidence regarding PT/35(b) must be allowed at the trial, this new appeal will not bring closure on Lockerbie.

Unfortunately, I do not expect this to happen and I am afraid that the future has been written long ago.

In conclusion, there is indeed some hope that the conviction will be overturned.

However, I fear that the grounds will be narrow and quite technical, leaving it open to the Crown Office and their presstitutes to continue to maintain that it really was Libya and Megrahi and that the conviction was overturned “on a technicality”.

I hope I’m wrong about this, but that’s my fear. And that is why I have decided to write this book.

Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!

Chapter IX – Diabolical Endgame

I wish to dedicate this story to Reverend John Mosey and Dr. Herbert ‘Jim” Swire.

Dr. 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.

Dr Herbert ‘Jim’ Swire

Reverend John Mosey is an international speaker and lecturer on “responsibility, blame and forgiveness” and theological subjects. He and Dr. Swire are the only two relatives who attended the whole of the trial at Zeist in the Netherlands and both of the following appeals. He has been keenly involved in the search for the truth concerning “Lockerbie” and is currently the coordinator for UK Families Flight 103, the support group for the British victims families. His nineteen-year-old daughter, Helga, died on Pan Am 103.

Reverend John Mosey

Both Reverend John Mosey and Dr. Herbert ‘Jim” Swire have been a constant source of inspiration for my research.

Their kind words often helped me to keep investigating the mysteries of the Lockerbie Case.

“Since Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer’s articles began to appear in 2008 I have felt so supported in my quest for the truth about my daughter’s death.

It is most encouraging to have someone with his background and experience standing up fearlessly and, with legal, political and scientific insight, supporting conclusions that we had come to by simply observing but had little solid evidence or proof.

He has helped to establish and give authority to those feelings that ‘something is going on here that isn’t quite right.’

Reverend John Mosey

“The work of younger people and groups such as INTEL TODAY with its tapping of objective professional expertise carries the responsibility of revealing the truth.

For example, search their brilliant coverage of PT/35(b) !”

Dr. Herbert ‘Jim” Swire

REFERENCES

1) A procedural hearing in the Megrahi appeal was due to take place on 17 April 2020, but was postponed when court business was suspended because of the Covid-19 emergency. A rescheduled procedural hearing has now been fixed to take place before five judges of the High Court of Justiciary on Friday, 21 August 2020 at 10 am. The hearing will be held using Webex. This means that parties will be in remote locations and will take part via video link. The technology used by the court allows members of the public to view and listen to the hearing. It is anticipated that this will be the first of a series of hearings to discuss the scope of the appeal and a provisional timetable for the appeal to be heard.

Lockerbie bombing: Appeal against conviction lodged — STV News (June 3 2020)

2) See: Application on behalf of Mr Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi — SCCRC (March 11 2020)

3) Lockerbie bombing: Megrahi case review may not provide closure but there are people who might be able to. — The Scotsman (March 19 2020)

4) Lockerbie bomber conviction ‘may have been miscarriage of justice’ — The Guardian (March 11 2020)

5) SCCRC March 11 2020

6) MacAskill concession destroys foundation of Megrahi conviction — The Lockerbie Case (May 17 2016)

7) Salmond uses RT show to question Lockerbie conviction — Scottish Express

8) SCCRC 2007 — 21.100

9) SCCRC 2007 — 21.101

10) The the CIA Minerva files

11) See Chpter VIII — PT/35(b)

12) Criminal Procedure — References to High Court

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Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter IX – Diabolical Endgame]

 

 

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1 Response to Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…! [Chapter IX – Diabolical Endgame]

  1. johnfmosey says:

    Brilliant but sad.
    Thank you, Ludwig.
    Reverend John Mosey

    Like

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