The Lockerbie bomber is to be released on compassionate grounds, the Scottish Government has announced.
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 57, was jailed in 2001 for the atrocity which claimed 270 lives in 1988.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill revealed that the Libyan, who has terminal prostate cancer, would be allowed to return to his homeland.
The US Government said it "deeply regretted" the Scottish Government's decision to release Megrahi.
The only reason that the US Government regrets it is that they are shit-scared that al-Megrahi might reveal what a fucking stitch-up his trial was.
Still, this development will make Shane Greer very unhappy.
No really, shocking though it is, I can confirm that I agree with Hillary Clinton (about something at least): Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, should not be released from prison or transferred to Libya to serve out his prison term at home.
To listen to the commentary at the moment you’d think the Scottish justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, had a tough decision in front of him. Really? I mean, it looks pretty simple to me: a man convicted (only eight years ago) of killing 270 people would like to be released from prison because he’s ill. Solution: tough luck, you were convicted of killing 270 people.
How many of the people who were aboard Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 have been able to go home to see their families? Oh yeah, none.
Well, might I suggest, Shane, that instead of taking this shit at face value, you go and do some research into the evidence—or lack of it—and the conduct of the trial—which was condemned by independent UN observer as bringing "the entire Scottish legal system into disrepute".
There is, you see, a very simple reason why al-Megrahi should be released:
HE DIDN'T FUCKING DO IT.
Our government know that this man is innocent; the US government knows that this man is innocent; and the Libyan government knows it too. It is pretty certain that the Iranian government—which, entirely coincidentally, had a passenger airliner shot down by an American warship shortly before the Lockerbie bombing—also knows this.
I wrote about this some years ago, when I was just starting this blogging lark...
The excellent Private Eye special report written by the late Paul Foot, Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice highlights the considerable evidence for [Iran being responsible for the Lockerbie bombing] at the time.
Around the time of the first Gulf War, when we needed the Iranians onside, all investigations into the Lockerbie affair were quietly dropped. When they resumed after the war, it was found that several incriminating bits of evidence had been "misplaced".
Two things about the affair are certain: firstly, the man who is currently serving 27 years in a Scottish prison did not do it. Secondly, the politicians who organised, and the spooks who were present at, the trial (which was described by the UN observer, a Chilean professor whose report was printed in full in the Eye report, as having brought "the entire Scottish legal system into disrepute") know that he did not do it.
Libya agreed to go along with the whole thing because it would get them back onto the USA's trading list: that was the deal. And when you consider the amount that Libya could get out of trading with the US, the £6 billion compensation to the victims is a paltry sum.
The full report of another observer, Dr Hans Kochler, can be found online, but here are some broad points that he raises.
- It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that — as an apparent result of political interests and considerations — efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court.
By not having pursued thoroughly and carefully an alternative theory, the Court seems to have accepted that the whole legal process was seriously flawed in regard to the requirements of objectivity and due process.
- As a result of this situation, the undersigned has reached the conclusion that foreign governments or (secret) governmental agencies may have been allowed, albeit indirectly, to determine, to a considerable extent, which evidence was made available to the Court.
- A general pattern of the trial consisted in the fact that virtually all people presented by the prosecution as key witnesses were proven to lack credibility to a very high extent, in certain cases even having openly lied to the Court.
- Furthermore, the Opinion of the Court seems to be inconsistent in a basic respect: while the first accused was found “guilty”, the second accused was found “not guilty”. It is to be noted that the judgement, in the latter’s case, was not “not proven”, but “not guilty”. This is totally incomprehensible for any rational observer when one considers that the indictment in its very essence was based on the joint action of the two accused in Malta.
- The Opinion of the Court is exclusively based on circumstantial evidence and on a series of highly problematic inferences. As to the undersigned’s knowledge, there is not one single piece of material evidence linking the two accused to the crime.
- This leads the undersigned to the suspicion that political considerations may have been overriding a strictly judicial evaluation of the case and thus may have adversely affected the outcome of the trial. This may have a profound impact on the evaluation of the professional reputation and integrity of the panel of three Scottish judges.
- In the above context, the undersigned has reached the general conclusion that the outcome of the trial may well have been determined by political considerations and may to a considerable extent have been the result of more or less openly exercised influence from the part of actors outside the judicial framework — facts which are not compatible with the basic principle of the division of powers and with the independence of the judiciary, and which put in jeopardy the very rule of law and the confidence citizens must have in the legitimacy of state power and the functioning of the state’s organs - whether on the traditional national level or in the framework of international justice as it is gradually being established through the United Nations Organization.
- On the basis of the above observations and evaluation, the undersigned has — to his great dismay — reached the conclusion that the trial, seen in its entirety, was not fair and was not conducted in an objective manner. Indeed, there are many more questions and doubts at the end of the trial than there were at its beginning.
So, having quite deliberately made al-Megrahi a scapegoat for political power-broking—and imprisoned him not only as a sop to the families but also to stop people asking awkward questions—I think that the least that we can do is let the poor bastard go home to die, if he wants to.
Although I wouldn't be surprised if al-Megrahi conveniently pegged out long before he leaves these shores...