Monday, October 15, 2007

Lockerbie Defense Demands Documents

On Thursday, the procedural hearing for the second appeal of the Libyan convicted for the Lockerbie bombing opened at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. This first hearing since the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) decided to grant Abdelbaset Al Megrahi a second appeal lasted about one hour.
The judges [1] were Lord Hamilton (the Lord Justice General), Lord Kingarth and Lord Eassie. Megrahi, the only person convicted of murdering the 270 people who died in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, was represented by a team headed by Maggie Scott QC (Queen's Counsel). The Crown was represented by a team headed by Ronnie Clancy QC.
Scott requested to have disclosed secret documents. The Crown was shown these foreign secret documents on the condition that their content would not be disclosed. The nondisclosure agreement was signed by Norman McFadyen, then one of the leading members of the prosecution, on June 1, 2000.
"The documents in question were passed to the U.K. government on the basis that they were regarded as being confidential by the authority that passed them over," Clancy said." That being so, the Crown has always taken the position that, if possible, confidentiality should be respected and there are public interest considerations in regard to keeping the confidentiality of information that comes from a foreign source," Clancy added.
"The withholding of evidence by the investigators and the prosecution from the defense at the Lockerbie court is a serious breach of the fundamental norms of a fair trial," Hans Koechler told Gordon Brewer of the BCC's "Newsnight Scotland.
"The nondisclosure of this information to the defense is one of the grounds that the SCCRC has identified as reasons for holding that a miscarriage of justice might have occurred.The prosecutors have refused to make public the ultra secret document on the basis of national security.
"It is shocking to me that after 19 years of trying to get to the truth about who murdered my daughter national security is being used as an excuse," said Jim Swire. Read full story

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