Thursday, August 13, 2009

A gross miscarriage of justice?

The proposed release, on medical and compassionate grounds, of the supposed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, is controversial and currently leads the TV news agenda here.

It is well known that GP Jim Swire, who lost his daughter in the atrocity, attended the trial in the Netherlands and became convinced that Al-Megrahi was innocent of the charge laid against him.

It is also most interesting to read a blog set up two years ago by Robert Black QC FRSE, Professor Emeritus of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh. His blog supports Swire's contention and discusses the way in which the legal case against Al-Megrahi was conducted. The very first post contains this paragraph:

It is my firm view that the crucial incriminating findings made by the judges were unwarranted by the evidence led in court and were in many cases entirely contrary to the weight of that evidence. I am convinced that no Scottish jury, following the instructions traditionally given by judges regarding the assessment of evidence and the meaning and application of the concept of reasonable doubt, would or could have convicted Megrahi. So how did it come about that the three distinguished and experienced judges who concurred in the verdict felt able to convict him?

Black summarises and comments critically on numerous points of evidence and the court's findings in relation to each. He posts again today and says:

The families of Pan Am 103, as victims, deserve justice; they deserve to know the truth. My own dark thought is that any decision made by Mr MacAskill will not really be based on compassion but on political expediency. There seems to be a desire to get Mr Megrahi out of the country and to have the appeal halted at all costs. Perhaps the Crown Office and governments fear what might be revealed as the appeal continues.

Black's blog stat counter shows that he has had only some 33,000 visits since October 2007. Perhaps, reader, you will look at what he has to say and encourage others to do so.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

I knew Robert Black in undergraduate days and for some years afterwards. Straight, measured and very clever - I take his view most seriously. As Sacks says, pass it on.