“Our argument is that public interest immunity [PII] certificate is not everlasting, it has been 31 years since the bombing and the UK Government represented by the Advocate General should justify why it is still asserting PII and denying full disclosure of this information to our team. We are disappointed that the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the United States and other foreign governments have refused consent to disclose matters which at this time remain redacted in papers disclosed to us.”
Appeal lawyer Aamer Anwar on behalf of the family of the late Al-Megrahi (August 2020)
“Sadly we have had to work for 6 years with no support from the Libyan authorities despite promises to back the case and now on the eve of the hearing, there is total silence.”
Aamer Anwar (August 25 2020)
August 26 2020 — Amer Anwar — the lawyer for Megrahi’s family — is repeating all the old mistakes that brought us this spectacular miscarriage of justice, including a grandiose press release, that is rid with nonsensical, erroneous, illogical, and counter-productive statements. I expect that the judges will unanimously uphold the guilty verdict. In the end, this appeal will do more harm than good. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!
QUICK NOTES — To make it easier for the readers to retrieve various chapters of my 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.
Lockerbie — Three Decades of Lies: J’Accuse…!
UPDATE (October 10 2020) — The appeal court’s written opinion has now been released. The secrets documents — Protectively Marked Documents (PMDs) — are discussed in paragraphs 29 to 32.
In this update, I will first reproduce these paragraphs, and then provide a few quick comments.
 The SCCRC were, no doubt correctly, very reticent about revealing the contents of the PMDs in their new Statement of Reasons; as they had been in the 2007 Reference. It is reasonable to conclude from the description of the PMDs in the new Reference, and the content of the new Public Interest Immunity certificate which was produced shortly after the Procedural Hearing with which this opinion is concerned, that they are documents
emanating from an agency of a foreign state. Beyond that, the court does not know what they contain or what their significance might be in the context of the non-disclosure ground of appeal. The abandoned appeal had contained a ground based upon the PMDs and they had formed part of the 2007 Reference. Although they are not part of the present Reference, the SCCRC has commented on their inability to reach a final view on the matter because they were hampered in their ability to investigate the information in the PMDs.
 On 29 May 2008, the court, which had allowed unrestricted grounds of appeal following upon the 2007 Reference, ordered the production of the PMDs to the court. It had planned to assign “closed sessions” to decide upon whether the PII certificate should be overruled and thus that PMDs should be disclosed to the appellant and be available for consideration in the appeal. This procedure would have involved submissions from the Advocate General, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and the respondent. The interests of the appellant would be looked after by a special counsel. Although a hearing in camera was fixed for 19 August 2008, a subsequent interlocutor of 28 November 2008 indicates that no decision had been taken even by then. That seems to have remained the position at the time when the appeal was abandoned in
 The Advocate General has produced a new PII certificate dated 17 August 2020 and signed by the Foreign Secretary. This states that the Foreign Secretary has considered whether there is a real risk that disclosure of the PMDs, in whole or in part, would cause serious harm to the public interest, notably national security and the international relations of the United Kingdom. The Foreign Secretary states that he has balanced public interest with that of doing justice in the present proceedings; noting that the ultimate decision is one for the court. The certificate continues:
“8 … I am satisfied that the production of the documents would cause real harm to the United Kingdom Government’s international relations. It would also cause real harm to the national security of the United Kingdom, because of damage to counterterrorism liaison and intelligence gathering between the United Kingdom and other States.
9. The documents were provided in confidence to the United Kingdom Government by another State. Disclosure of the documents would harm the United Kingdom’s international relations with that State. It would undermine trust in the United Kingdom of the State whose confidence were disclosed. It would reduce the willingness of that State (i) to confide information to the United Kingdom, (ii) to cooperate with the United Kingdom in various fields, including counter-terrorism liaison. It would raise serious questions in the minds of other Governments around the world about the confidentiality of their communications with the United Kingdom Government and therefore their willingness to make such a disclosure commitment. … [I]t is essential for the conduct of international relations, and for national security, that other States should be able to communicate with the United Kingdom Government in the knowledge that those communications will not be liable to be produced and discussed in open court.”
The Foreign Secretary explains that he cannot be more specific in the certificate, since to do so would undermine its purpose.
 In these circumstances, the court considers that it must see the PMDs before reaching a decision. The court will adopt the procedure which was planned in 2008 and order the production of the PMDs to the court. It will appoint a hearing at which the Advocate General and the respondent, who is in favour of disclosure, will be represented along with a special counsel to look after the interests of the appellant. Only after that hearing can it be
decided whether the PMDs should be disclosed and form part of Ground of Appeal 2.
I stand by my earlier predictions and conclusions. These secret letters do not help Megrahi’s case a bit. And worse, these documents quite possibly reinforce the case against Megrahi and Libya.
Moreover, it is already known that the material in these PMDs is secondary hearsay and thus inadmissible.
Not bad enough? In 2000, the Intelligence Agency that provided these documents told the Crown that the information in these two PMDs was not true.
These documents are a terrible distraction. Amer Anwar is simply repeating all the old mistakes that brought us this spectacular miscarriage of justice.
That is a tragedy! But, at least this time around, we know who is fully responsible for this foretold fiasco.
END of UPDATE
I — We already know the content of these documents, as I have explained long ago.
II — In truth, the UK Government — represented by the Advocate General — will have no difficulty whatsoever to justify why it is still asserting Public Interest Immunity.
III — How will the Crown and the Judges react to these documents? The Crown will be delighted if these documents are disclosed. These letters do not help Megrahi’s case a bit.
IV — Worse, these documents quite possibly reinforce the case against Megrahi and Libya.
I — What Do We Know About these Documents?
WHERE do they come from?
We know from the SCCRC (2007) that the two secret documents (under PII) came from one country. In June 2012, Lucy Adams had already identify Jordan as the country of origin of these letters.
WHO sent these two letters?
According to former Cabinet Secretary for Justice (2007−2014) Kenny MacAskill, the King of Jordan wrote these letters to John Major.
Do not forget that the King of Jordan was a CIA asset. Here is what TIME wrote about him:
“During his 46-year rule, the Hashemite monarch was frequently accused by his enemies — Israeli and Arab alike — of being a CIA stooge. The agency became his paymaster in 1957, inheriting that role from the British: Hussein received $1 million a year until 1977, when President Carter ended the payments.”
WHAT does the letter say in regards to LOCKERBIE?
The reasoning of the SCCRC  suggests that the “SECRET DOC” points to the PFLP-GC having received – one way or another – at least one MST-13 timer.
Whether this is true or not is of course a whole different story which I address in my book.
Both Letters were sent in 1996. The letter related to the MST-13 timer was sent in September 1996.
WHY would the King of Jordan send these documents at that time?
Well, obviously, this letter intends to link Lockerbie to the PFLP-GC and Iran.
At the time of these letters, a serious dispute had erupted between Jordan an Iran. Coincidence? Maybe not…
“In 1994 tension flared between Jordan and Iran when Jordan signed Wadi Arabah peace treaty with Israel and received sharp criticism from Iran. In response, Jordan expelled the Iranian Ambassador in Jordan at that time Ahmed Dastmaljan and 21 Iranian diplomats on charges of establishing a terrorist cell for Hamas and Hezbollah in Jordan. In 1996 Iran responded by accusing Jordan of housing members of Khalq Mujahideen and called Jordan to expel them in order to preserve relations between the two countries.”
II — Why is the UK Government asserting Public Interest Immunity?
The PII was justified because it could steer troubles in Jordan, not because of events contemporaneous to the Lockerbie tragedy — as Anwar appears to believe — but because of more recent events.
On Friday August 21 2020, a virtual hearing took place before the Lord President Lord Carloway, Lord Justice Clerk-Lady Dorian and Lord Menzies.
Ian Duguid QC, representing the Advocate General, said the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs continues to assert public interest immunity over the two protected documents.
III — How will the Crown (and the Judges) react to these documents?
The Crown will simply argue that “it has never been the Crown’s position in this case that the MST-13 timers were not supplied by the Libyan intelligence services to any other party or that only the Libyan intelligence services were in possession of the timers.”
Next, the Crown will remind the judges that:
“The suggestion that the PFLP-GC was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing was fully considered by the trial court following the incrimination of this terrorist group by Megrahi during his trial.”
Moreover, since the Zeist trial, other allegations — originating from a former CIA officer — regarding payments made by Tehran to the PFLP-GC have been investigated and fully rejected.
IV — How do these documents help Megrahi?
These documents do nothing to undermine the Crown’s case that Megrahi acted with others in the bombing of flight Pan Am 103.
There are two stories about Lockerbie: the tragedy and the cover-up. We know that the MST-13 timer is NOT part of the tragedy, only a central piece of the cover-up.
So the Secret Letter is totally irrelevant as far as the TRUTH is concerned.
Those who believe that this Secret Letter casts serious doubt on the safety of the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi are going to be seriously disappointed.
This appeal has barely started, but it is already a complete fiasco. I strongly believe that the legal battle for the TRUTH is already lost.
I suspect that the judges will swiftly dismiss this ground of appeal and I now expect that they will unanimously uphold the guilty verdict.
In the end, this appeal will do more harm than good. I can already see the title of US media stories: “13 Judges Can’t Get It Wrong!”
What a disgrace!
PS: In my next post, I will discuss Anwar’s other bright idea: “Undisclosed Payment to Witness”. This line of defense is even worse. Stay tuned!
UPDATE (August 27 2020) — Although I truly believe that Megrahi is innocent, I expect that the judges will unanimously uphold the guilty verdict.
Why? The defense strategy adopted by Mr Anwar can only backfire as it actually makes the case stronger against Megrahi. Let me explain.
The simplified case of the Crown against Megrahi is based on the following premises:
A — Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb activated by a timer (MST-13)
B — Megrahi had access to such timers and he personally put that bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103
In my book, I explain that scientific evidence — developed 30 years ago and recently confirmed — demonstrates conclusively that the fragment of the MST-13 timer found among the Lockerbie debris is a forgery that does not belong to a genuine MST-13 timer.
And yet, Mr Anwar’s defense strategy is to accept premise A and to merely try to deflect the blame on someone else — the PFLP-GC — based on a suspicious document that could indicate that this group may have had access to such a timer! So what?
This idiotic kindergarten like argument — “No Ma’am, it is not me, it is them!” has ZERO chance to succeed in convincing five experienced judges.
Mr Anwar only makes the case against Megrahi much stronger by giving credence to Premise A.
The right defense was of course to use all the scientific evidence to demonstrate that Premise A is obviously false!
Intel Today would like to know what you think. Do you believe that the judges will uphold the guilty verdict against Megrahi?
END of UPDATE
LOCKERBIE SECRET DOC – What Do We Know? — PT35B
The Lockerbie Secret Doc: Khreesat and the Swiss — PT35B
Lockerbie — Why Are Former STASI Officers Being Questioned? — Intel Today
UK — National Archives Release Prime Ministerial 1993 Papers, Withhold Lockerbie File // UPDATE — Intel Today
 Here are the key points of the SCCRC:
“In the Commission’s view the Crown’s decision not to disclose one of the documents to the defence indicates that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred in applicant’s case. In reaching this decision the Commission has taken into account paragraphs 49, 73 and 74 of the trial court’s judgment.” [SCCRC 25.6]
What does it mean ? Let us read these paragraphs.
 we are unable to exclude the possibility that any MST-13 timers in the hands of the Stasi left their possession, although there is no positive evidence that they did and in particular that they were supplied to the PFLP-GC.
 We turn next to the evidence in relation to members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (“PFLP-GC”). (…) the timers were of a type known as ice-cube timers. These were quite different from MST-13s, much less sophisticated and much less reliable
 There was no evidence that the cell had the materials necessary to manufacture an explosive device of the type that destroyed PA103. In particular there was no evidence that they had an MST-13 timer.
For the reasons given elsewhere, while a small quantity of such timers was supplied by MEBO to the East German Stasi, there is no evidence at all to suggest that any of them found their way into the hands of organisations such as the PFLP-GC.
Lockerbie Appeal 2020 — Fiction, Half-Truths and Downright Lies [PART I — The Secret Docs]
Lockerbie Appeal 2020 — Fiction, Half-Truths and Downright Lies — PART I : The Secret Docs [UPDATE : Prediction & POLL]
Lockerbie Appeal 2020 — Fiction, Half-Truths and Downright Lies — PART I : The Secret Docs [UPDATE : The appeal court’s written opinion]