Sunday, 20 September 2009

New legal papers to be released soon, says Megrahi lawyer


New legal papers to be released soon, says Megrahi lawyer

I don't usually go in for extended quotations, but there's something about this excerpt that's got me going...

The release of the documents will spur the long-running campaign, supported by some British relatives of victims, to have his conviction overturned. In today's Independent on Sunday, the civil rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, who has successfully represented clients including the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and the Tipton Three, says that Megrahi's conviction was a miscarriage of justice and calls for an inquiry to be set up.

She says there has been a lack of an independent, effective and transparent investigation. "In the absence of this, a number of the bereaved Lockerbie families have of necessity themselves become investigators, asking probing questions for two decades without receiving answers; they have learnt sufficient forensic science to make sense of what was being presented at al-Megrahi's trial and make up their own minds whether the prosecution of two Libyans at Camp Zeist near Utrecht was in fact a three-card trick put together for political ends."

The most important aspects of prosecution case against Megrahi were "hijacked" from the Scottish police investigating the bombing, Ms Peirce argues. The crime scene was violated she says, in part "because outsiders were conducting a desperate search for wreckage that it was important for them to find and spirit away".

I always thought that Gareth was a bloke's name, but I guess the Indy knows better than me!

However, we've got a claim here that the crime scene was contaminated. Evidence was removed from the crime scene? By whom? And how do we know this? And it's suggested that this was not the only act that made the forensic evidence dubious.

Peirce suggests that the conviction was politically motivated. On what ground, I wonder?

And then the Lord Advocate (note the retention of the masculine title, despite the fact that Elish Angiolini appears to be a woman), claims that Megrahi is attempting to clear his name, having abandoned his (second) appeal. Not cleared in Law, of course, but in the minds of the public. And apparently this matters to Angiolini.

And another thing: how do these documents demonstrate Megrahi's innocence? Because, as everybody knows, I'm a stupid guy, and I need stuff explaining to me in really fine, fucking detail.

You know, the more I think about this, the less important it seems to me? It really is a matter of stupendous indifference to me. I think I'll go and think about something more interesting.

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