More thoughts on Lockerbie, Compassion, and Truth

I came across a rather thought provoking article directed not at the question of Megrahi's guilt but at the wisdom (or not) of freeing him on compassionate grounds and at the hypocrisy of some of those who criticise this decision.

I tweeted a link to this "interesting" article and a number of fellow tweeters kindly re-tweeted my link. One re-tweeter, however, prefaced her re-tweet with the words: "The right decision". This is not a phrase I should necessarily go along with.

If I thought Megrahi were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murdering 270 people, I think my feelings about releasing him on "compassionate" grounds would be (at the very least) equivocal - especially given his complete failure to exhibit any remorse or repentance.

The problem is, I am not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Megrahi is guilty. Nor, I suspect, is Kenny MacAskill or anyone else in the higher echelons of the Scottish or British governments. Even if they are (or at one stage were) the impending second appeal - referred back by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission - must have been concentrating minds.

In a rather silly (for him) article and even sillier follow up comment, Michael White of the Guardian suggests that we should put our trust in the judges (NB not a "conviction by jury" as FBI chief Robert Mueller claims) who originally found Megrahi guilty and that anyone who suggests otherwise is some kind of conspiracy theorist.

In response to Michael White I think it should be pointed out that miscarriages of justice have (historically) been the rule rather than the exception in high profile UK terrorist trials (even going back to the days of the Angry Brigade trials after which one of those convicted said that at least, in his case, "they framed a guilty man") and that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission do not immediately strike me as being the sort of people who would concoct some kind of "it was all done by the CIA in league with the Martians" scenario.

As this article also argues, it is reasonable to assume that Megrahi was freed in order to avoid an appeal that. at the very least, would have raised serious questions over the Scottish justice system and the Lockerbie inquiry.

I tend to find that what politicians avoid talking about is more instructive than the things they do talk about. It is interesting that there is no mention whatsoever of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in Kenny MacAskill's statement on Megrahi.

Odd that, is it not?

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