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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Scottish politics , US-Libya relations , US-Scotland relations

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Old 28th August 2010, 08:07 PM   #721
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And I'll just repeat my astonishment that so many people are so aerated about the compassionate release, and yet almost nobody seems to want to take on board the obvious fact that the conviction was unsound (to put it extremely mildly).

Rolfe.
I'll comment on your previous post tommorw (bedtime here) but I think that the compassionte release issue and the guilt/innocence issue are totally separate.
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Old 28th August 2010, 09:45 PM   #722
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And I'll just repeat my astonishment that so many people are so aerated about the compassionate release, and yet almost nobody seems to want to take on board the obvious fact that the conviction was unsound (to put it extremely mildly).
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham, where those who released him were suckered into believing he is deathly ill, did people suddenly turn to considering whether or not he was actually guilty.

So I don't buy the claim that this concern about his guilt is motivated by concern for justice. It's merely an excuse, an attempt to change the subject, by those who having enthusiastically supported his release on "compassionate humanism" grounds -- and having lectured everybody who doubted the wisdom of such an action for their "cruelty" and "backwardness" -- were exposed as naive fools, as not only his embarrassing continued survival but also the disgusting hero's welcome he got in Libya showed.

It's a bit like the famous case of Norman Mailer and Jack Abbott, author of In the Belly of the Beast. Abbott, knowing full well what kind of sucker he's dealing with, wrote passionate letters to Mailer to help him get paroled, due to his "unjust incarceration by a brutal and unjust prison system" (these were collected in the book). Mailer naturally bought it all, and started a campaign that got him released. Everybody who thought Mailer is being suckered by a career criminal was just a racist who was supporting the unjust system or something.

Sure enough, weeks after he was released -- and a day before the star-struck suckers in the New York Times published a rave review of the book (because, you know, no books written by someone so boring as to be law-abiding were found to be worthy enough to compare with this masterpiece) -- Abbott killed in cold blood a waiter in a Cuban restaurant. Just like the evil racist supporters of the unjust system told Mailer in advance would probably happen.

So Mailer naturally started changing the subject -- it was no longer an issue that Abbott was unjustly treated, it was that his literary talent made it worth to "make some sacrifices" (but only of other people's lives, naturally).

Sucker!

Changing the subject when one's naivete had been exposed is the common strategy by those whose "advanced progressive and humanitarian compassionate" viewpoint got them suckered by criminal thugs like Abbott or, in this case, the Libyan government. Given the motivation behind this change of subject, it is reasonable to believe the "serious doubts about his guilt" story about as much as to believe the "three months to live" story.

Last edited by Skeptic; 28th August 2010 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 28th August 2010, 10:15 PM   #723
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham,
When this has actually been demonstrated, I might get around to reading the rest of your post.
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Old 29th August 2010, 12:00 AM   #724
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham, where those who released him were suckered into believing he is deathly ill, did people suddenly turn to considering whether or not he was actually guilty.
Of which 'people' do you speak here? Massive doubts about Megrahi's guilt were being freely investigated, reported and held by 'people' on this side of the pond for many years before his release.

It looks very much like you're projecting your own perception of the issue onto 'people'. Shoddy thinking.
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Old 29th August 2010, 01:44 AM   #725
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham, where those who released him were suckered into believing he is deathly ill, did people suddenly turn to considering whether or not he was actually guilty.

What GlennB said. It's not necessarily a shame to have been figuratively hiding under a rock for the past 20 years as regads this case, but to assume everybody else is in the same position is a bit silly.

Here's a link to an award-winning documentary (warning, film is over 2 hours long, this isn't a YouTube clip) expressing massive doubts about his guilt. It was made in 1994. The Maltese Double Cross. It wasn't even the first, but it's the earliest available online. Lester Coleman's 1993 book Trail of the Octopus is another early starter. (Note, the indictment was only issued in late 1991.)

There are many other publications, both print and AV, which go into a lot of detail about the case even before the trial and express the view that the authorities have got the wrong man. For example Silence over Lockerbie. And that's even before the CIA's "star witness", without whom the indictment would never have been issued in the first place, was exposed in court as a lying scumbag who made it all up for money.

Only a months after the verdict was annouced in January 2001, the official UN observer to the trial published a withering critique of the proceedings as a blatantly biassed miscarriage of justice. The earliest independent publication detailing the unsoundness of the conviction that I'm aware of is dated just the following month. The Lockerbie Trial: a perverse verdict. Paul Foot's famous analysis of the trial, Lockerbie: Flight from Justice, was published a few months later.

Moving on, the SCCRC report into the outcome of the trial which detailed no less than six identified grounds for appeal, on which a miscarriage of justice was suspected, was published in 2007. (Most convicts would be ecstatically happy with one identified ground.) Professor Robert Black QC started his Lockerbie blog at about that time. I myself started my first JREF thread questioning the soundness of the conviction in 2007.

The dismay expressed at the compassionate release by those who had been following the case over the years was based on the fact that the ongoing appeal was dropped at that time (for no good reason anyone can explain). It was widely believed that the appeal, which was scheduled to conclude last February, would have resulted in the conviction being quashed.

Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
So I don't buy the claim that this concern about his guilt is motivated by concern for justice. It's merely an excuse, an attempt to change the subject, by those who having enthusiastically supported his release on "compassionate humanism" grounds -- and having lectured everybody who doubted the wisdom of such an action for their "cruelty" and "backwardness" -- were exposed as naive fools, as not only his embarrassing continued survival but also the disgusting hero's welcome he got in Libya showed.

Skipping over your embarrassing misconceptions at the beginning of that paragraph, I'll merely point out that those who greeted Megrahi at the airport were welcoming someone they believed to have been unjustly convicted. In fact, they believed he was a "hero" for voluntarily surrendering himself to trial for a crime he didn't commit in order to bring to and end 8 years of US sanctions against Libya which cost thousands of lives.

You really need to get up to speed with some of this stuff before you make ignorant comments about the issue.

Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
It's a bit like....

I doubt it. Since it isn't even remotely like you think is was, I seriously doubt whether any comparison you make is likely to be a valid one.

Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Given the motivation behind this change of subject, it is reasonable to believe the "serious doubts about his guilt" story about as much as to believe the "three months to live" story.

Go read (and watch) just some of the mountains of original documentation and commentary expressing these serious doubts which date from well before the cancer was even diagnosed, before you make such an idiotic statement.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th August 2010, 01:49 AM   #726
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I'll comment on your previous post tommorw (bedtime here) but I think that the compassionte release issue and the guilt/innocence issue are totally separate.

I know this point of view has been expressed, but I'm struggling here. Even leaving aside the suspicions that the compassionate release might have been used as a bargaining chip (or blackmail tool) to get Megrahi to drop his appeal (so that the authorities could go right on claiming he was the "Lockerbie bomber and not have to look for anyone else), do you really think you can just ignore the fact that he actually didn't commit the crime and carry on lambasting the compassinate release regardless?

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Old 29th August 2010, 02:00 AM   #727
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham, where those who released him were suckered into believing he is deathly ill, did people suddenly turn to considering whether or not he was actually guilty.
That is just nonsense. Doubts about his conviction have been really widespread in this country almost from the beginning: and certainly after the trial. Jim Swire and other families of the victims have been at the forefront of that, and have campaigned for justice throughout

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/...ial/715658.stm

This article is quite sad because it shows that he had a misplaced faith that the trial eventually secured would be fair and would examine the whole issue properly: I find it makes me really angry that he was not correct in that assumption. And it makes him angry too

Quote:
Jim Swire

"I witnessed every piece of evidence in the court at Zeist and I don't believe for one moment Megrahi was guilty. I also witnessed at first hand the sleight of hand and deceit of the legal system Megrahi had been entrusted to. I was and remain embarrassed and angry. I feel a personal burden on my shoulders.
http://www.sacl.info/Lockerbie.htm

It may be new where you live:it is not new here.

ETA: post is redundant in face of Rolfe's much more detailed knowledge and evidence: I will leave it in place though, because I have not made a study of it as she has: I am more maintream in my knowledge of the issue and probably represent the views of a great many scots who have not made a specific study of it.

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Old 29th August 2010, 02:01 AM   #728
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Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
OI ROLFE! Good to see you.

For those just coming back and having not read the whole thread: What was unsound about it, and do you have links I could read? I'm not trying to be combative, I just know jack about the case.

There is so much documentation about this that it's hard to know where to start. Just reading the actual court verdict for comprehension leads inescapably to the conclusion that Megrahi is innocent, in not just my opinion. It has been suggested that one needs "a PhD in Lockerbie Studies" to understand the full ramifications, but actually the basics are fairly simple and come down to a biassed judgement based on circular reasoning.

Much of the popular commentaries deal with suspected fabrication of evidence by the forensic investigators. In my opinion it's likely this happened, but it's a difficult point to get newbies to accept - even though the forensic investigators in question were all implicated in doing similar stuff in other miscarriage of justice cases, including the Birmingham Six case.

However, a seminal point often overlooked is that even if none of the forensic evidence was in any way tampered with, the evidence still points to Megrahi not having committed the crime he was charged with. (And I should say that he wasn't even convicted as being the man who put the bomb on the plane, merely as being mixed up in it in some way.)

I would recommend Hans Kochler's reports on the trial and first appeal - he was the official UN observer to the trial who was horrified by the bias and illogic of the judges' findings. Also the writings of David Morrison, a journalist who published a couple of excellent analyses without mentioning any possibility of forensic dishonesty.

Kochler's report on the trial
Kochler's report on the first appeal
Morrison on the original verdict
Morrison on the first appeal
Morrison on the second appeal

Morrison is an easier read, and also more direct. Kochler has more official standing of course. I think Morrison is probably the best introduction to the case.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th August 2010, 02:32 PM   #729
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Much appreciated Rolfe, I will begin reading now. Thanks.
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Old 30th August 2010, 02:13 AM   #730
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You'll get through Morrison pretty quickly. For more detail, and going somewhat into the suspicions of forensic evidence being fabricated, Paul Foot's Private Eye publication Lockerbie: the Flight from Justice is a good read. That link goes to the page where you can purchase the pdf of the report for 5, and in my opinion it's worth it. I notice a link in Google to a Pirate Bay rip-off as well. but I wonder if that's just poorly-formatted text - the real thing is a nice illustrated booklet.

If you're still going after Foot, I would say it's time to read some original source material, such as the court judgement, the judgement of the first appeal, and the SCCRC press release of 2007.

Yesterday afternoon I met Buncrana in Edinburgh to attend the award-winning Fringe play Lockerbie: Unfinished Business. This took the form of a single-handed monologue by an actor playing the part of Jim Swire, taking us right from the break-up of the plane through to the present day, concentrating mostly on the evidence, the fact that all the evidence against Megrahi was discredited, the fact that a much more plausible set of suspects existed whom the authorities seemed strangely reluctant to pursue, and the verdict being entirely perverse.

Of course a lot of detail had to be left out for reasons of length and comprehension (many of the audience would be approaching the subject cold), but I thought the actor-writer did a remarkable job in putting the basics of the thing over in an understandable way. The thing is, anyone suspecting that the play was just conspiracy-theorising could easily access more detailed information on the internet and get confirmation of everything that was said - and more.

I'll post a more detailed review in one of the threads in the CT forum.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th August 2010, 03:30 AM   #731
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Well. Glad Rolfe is back . Is that one mean with a knock out in one round or a slam dunk ?
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Old 30th August 2010, 07:12 AM   #732
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Perhaps I'm being premature with this remark, and Alt+F4 and Skeptic will be back with reasoned comment. However, what has disturbed me about the Lockerbie threads for some time is the repeated disappearance without trace of people who were originally fulminating that Megrahi was obviously guilty and any suggestions to the contrary were pure twooferism. Only McHrozni had the grace to say that he had realised the evidence against Megrahi was in fact a lot weaker than he had originally assumed, before quitting the discussion. Everybody else, as far as I recall, has simply vanished without comment.

Where's the open-mindedness? Where's the willingness to take on board new ideas, and to change one's viewpoint according to the evidence presented?

Come to that, where's the absolute bloody outrage that the CIA, the US DoJ, the Scottish Crown Prosecution Service and the Lord Advocate fitted this guy up for one of the most notorious terrorist acts of the 20th century, and let the real perpetrators off scot-free? If the issue is worth getting worked up about from one side, then isn't it equally worth getting worked up about when one's perspective is forcibly changed by exposure to some facts?

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Old 30th August 2010, 12:05 PM   #733
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Come to that, where's the absolute bloody outrage that the CIA, the US DoJ, the Scottish Crown Prosecution Service and the Lord Advocate fitted this guy up for one of the most notorious terrorist acts of the 20th century, and let the real perpetrators off scot-free?
I presume it's stored in a secret government containment unit with the outrage over the false convictions of the Guildford four, Birmingham six, Judith Ward, Colin Stagg, Barry George........

Miscarriages of justice don't generate much outrage, just a lot of people denying that they were miscarriages at all.
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Old 30th August 2010, 12:21 PM   #734
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Where's the open-mindedness? Where's the willingness to take on board new ideas, and to change one's viewpoint according to the evidence presented?

Rolfe.
Agreed. To put it succinctly, the Scottish authorities screwed the pooch on the investigation, trial and the "compassionate release."
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Old 30th August 2010, 12:25 PM   #735
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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Agreed. To put it succinctly, the Scottish authorities screwed the pooch on the investigation, trial and the "compassionate release."

Funnily enough, I'm not going to argue with you on that one. Though on the last point, perhaps not for the reason you might be thinking of. (Why would you object in principle to releasing an innocent man?)

ETA: But what about the role of the CIA and the US DoJ in procuring the perjured evidence the Scottish authorities relied on for their indictment in the first place? You've somehow omitted that bit.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th August 2010, 12:30 PM   #736
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I presume it's stored in a secret government containment unit with the outrage over the false convictions of the Guildford four, Birmingham six, Judith Ward, Colin Stagg, Barry George........

Sally Clark, Donna Anthony, Angela Cannings.... and these weren't even crimes.

You missed the Maguire Seven, which is slightly ironic because that's the case Thomas Hayes was under investigation for fabricating the evidence in, when he was working on the controversial (possibly fabricated) Lockerbie evidence. He left RARDE soon afterwards and put his PhD in electronics to work by re-training as a chiropodist....

Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Miscarriages of justice don't generate much outrage, just a lot of people denying that they were miscarriages at all.

Lord Denning at the forefront....

Originally Posted by Lord Denning about the Birmingham Six
Just consider the course of events if their action were to proceed to trial ... If the six men failed it would mean that much time and money and worry would have been expended by many people to no good purpose. If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. ... That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, "It cannot be right that these actions should go any further."

Oh dear.

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Old 30th August 2010, 03:55 PM   #737
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Funnily enough, I'm not going to argue with you on that one. Though on the last point, perhaps not for the reason you might be thinking of. (Why would you object in principle to releasing an innocent man?)

Rolfe.
He wasn't released because he was innocent. He was released because he supposedly had three months left on this planet.
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Old 30th August 2010, 04:21 PM   #738
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Not quite, exactly. The "three months" part was only ever a guideline. It was stated at the time that of course he might live longer (or he might die sooner). Also, and again this was stated at the time, the three months estimate was based on how his condition was likely to progress if he stayed in prison, and it was recognised that a massive iimprovement in his environment and personal circumstances might result in a different outcome.

However, once it has been realised that he was in fact innocent, what's the objection in principle to releasing him? I object to Kenny and Alex continuing to assert that they have no doubts about the safety of the conviction when they obviously know as well as I do (or better, as they will have had sight of the 800-page SCCRC report we all rather wish would find its way to Wikileaks) that he didn't do it. That's rather different.

The outrage is that an innocent man was fitted up by the CIA and the US DoJ, that the Scottish Crown Prosecution Service didn't question the bona fides of their "star witness" as they should have done before issuing the indictments, and that worse still, when they found out during the trial that the man was a lying scumbag who was being both paid and threatened by the CIA and the DoJ to say what they wanted him to say, not only did they continue with the prosecution, the Lord Advocate lied to the court to try to prevent the defence from finding this out.

The scandal is that three judges were so appalled at the very idea that eight years of sanctions against Libya (causing thousands of deaths), eight years of declaring that there was "irrefutable evidence" these men were guilty, and all the expense and hoopla of the Zeist trial, should fail to secure any conviction, that they simply laid out all the evidence showing Megrahi didn't do it and concluded by saying they were going to convict him anyway.

The scandal is that five more judges, when appealled to, also saw the evidence that he wasn't guilty, but chose to fall back on the fact that the unique trial format had misled the defence into appealling on the wrong grounds to reject the appeal on a technicality.

The scandal is that after this point (which was reached in 2001), it took until 2003 to get an SCCRC investigation going, then it took the SCCRC a further 3 years to issue its findings and grant leave for a second appeal. The scandal is that by late 2008, when the prisoner was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, the appeal still hadn't come to court because the Crown was refusing to release a secret document the defence needed sight of, in spite of the court ordering its release.

The scandal is that in May 2009, when the appeal was finally before the court (and going very well for the defence), it was adjourned until November with the final outcome not to be decided until February 2010, even though the appellant was terminally ill and deteriorating.

And the biggest scandal seems to be that the appellant may have been blackmailed into dropping the appeal as a quid pro quo for being granted compassionate release, even though there was no legal requirement for this. And even that the appellant may have been led to believe he had a shorter time left to live than was actually the case, in order to facilitate this (I don't insist on that last, it's merely a suspicion).

However, it is in no way a scandal that he was actually released, and indeed it's in no way surprising that he received a warm welcome in Tripoli, from people who believed he was innocent, and had voluntarily surrendered himself for trial, being innocent, in order to get the killing sanctions lifted from his country.

Let's just point our outrage in the right direction.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th August 2010, 05:15 PM   #739
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
However, it is in no way a scandal that he was actually released, and indeed it's in no way surprising that he received a warm welcome in Tripoli, from people who believed he was innocent, and had voluntarily surrendered himself for trial, being innocent, in order to get the killing sanctions lifted from his country.

Let's just point our outrage in the right direction.

Rolfe.
Let's. Had Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill admitted he was releasing Megrahi because he was innocent, then at least there would be some small hope in salvaging some dignity and respect for himself and his government. However, MacAskill and the Scottish government do not get to vacuum their conscience and establish credibility by substituting pusillanimous perfidy for admitting error all around. You can't have it both ways. Either Magrahi was guilty and released on "compassionate" grounds, or he was innocent and released because there was a miscarriage of justice. Pick one.
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Old 30th August 2010, 11:14 PM   #740
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I have an idea. Why isn't this thread merged with the Amenda Knox one? Where zealots who agree absolutely that there has been a conspiracy by a First World government and judiciary to convict an innocent person can be in violent agreement? Two rather than one threads to avoid.
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:17 AM   #741
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have an idea. Why isn't this thread merged with the Amenda Knox one? Where zealots who agree absolutely that there has been a conspiracy by a First World government and judiciary to convict an innocent person can be in violent agreement? Two rather than one threads to avoid.
Wouldn't work: I believe this was a miscarriage and that wasn't. Or did you intend to remove content and just have a splutter-fest?
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Old 31st August 2010, 01:37 AM   #742
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have an idea. Why isn't this thread merged with the Amenda Knox one? Where zealots who agree absolutely that there has been a conspiracy by a First World government and judiciary to convict an innocent person can be in violent agreement? Two rather than one threads to avoid.

Well, you know, I haven't posted on the Amamda Knox thread since the first few pages, because I couldn't keep up and I decided I didn't care enough. But I don't go in and make flip remarks, because I'm not really in a position to comment, not being up to speed.

I imagine it matters to some people, probably quite a few people, who killed Meredith Kercher. The Megrahi affair seems to matter to a lot more people, judging by the recent furore. But actually, I think people who can't be bothered getting up to speed on it should just refrain from meaningless comment.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2010, 01:47 AM   #743
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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Let's. Had Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill admitted he was releasing Megrahi because he was innocent, then at least there would be some small hope in salvaging some dignity and respect for himself and his government. However, MacAskill and the Scottish government do not get to vacuum their conscience and establish credibility by substituting pusillanimous perfidy for admitting error all around. You can't have it both ways. Either Magrahi was guilty and released on "compassionate" grounds, or he was innocent and released because there was a miscarriage of justice. Pick one.

You seem determined to make this about the "dignity and respect for the Scottish government". Who the hell cares? OK, I agree some do and you just need to log on to Newsnet Scotland to meet them. Nevertheless, and I speak as an active member of the party of government in Scotland, I think it's a side issue.

I agree, the affair reflects extraordinarily badly on the Scottish justice system. And although the present Scottish government had precisely nothing to do with either the original indictment or the biassed trial, they have not exactly covered themselves in glory in their recent handling of the matter.

However, your "pick one" invitation is a false dichotomy.

Megrahi was innocent, but released under the compassionate release provisions because he had cancer, with a huge sigh of relief on the part of the Scottish justice system, because that course of action meant that his appeal, which was in progress at the time, could be halted. This was absolutely in their interests because it meant they could go on ignoring the fact that an innocent man was convicted, and avoid facing up to the consequences of having the miscarriage of justice made official.

What about this is so hard for you to understand?

Also, you keep sidestepping the start of all this, which is that it was the CIA and the US DoJ who fitted Megrahi up in the first place, by procuring perjured evidence against him. The Scottish Crown Prosecution Service went right along with it like good little poodles, but this was a US operation from the beginning.

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Old 31st August 2010, 08:45 AM   #744
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
My question marks were referring to your post about a "dog and pony show". You didn't say who should be involved.
No-onefrom my country anyway. If your senators want to play silly games in the sandpit then crack on. Don't drag us into your pathetic CT's.
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Old 31st August 2010, 08:47 AM   #745
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
That might have to do with the fact that only after the "compassionate release" turned out to be a sham, where those who released him were suckered into believing he is deathly ill, did people suddenly turn to considering whether or not he was actually guilty.
This is either stupendously ignorant or a ridiculous lie. It is jaw dropping in it's wrongness.
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Old 31st August 2010, 08:50 AM   #746
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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Let's. Had Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill admitted he was releasing Megrahi because he was innocent, then at least there would be some small hope in salvaging some dignity and respect for himself and his government. However, MacAskill and the Scottish government do not get to vacuum their conscience and establish credibility by substituting pusillanimous perfidy for admitting error all around. You can't have it both ways. Either Magrahi was guilty and released on "compassionate" grounds, or he was innocent and released because there was a miscarriage of justice. Pick one.
The Scottish govt already did. Same as they did with every prisoner that met the criteria so far. Now why would you want him to be treated differently?
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Old 31st August 2010, 10:28 AM   #747
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I have an idea. Why isn't this thread merged with the Amenda Knox one? Where zealots who agree absolutely that there has been a conspiracy by a First World government and judiciary to convict an innocent person can be in violent agreement? Two rather than one threads to avoid.
What prompts the "zealots" accusation? It's quite clear that Rolfe, in particular, has read, studied and digested the vast amounts of information on this case and has come to a conclusion based on the best evidence available. Why do you insist on painting this as a conspiracy theory forwarded by zealots?

Have you read the reports she's recently linked for Ducky? Perhaps once you have read them, you'll come back and let us know whether you still think only "zealots" think there's been a miscarriage of justice here?
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Old 31st August 2010, 11:18 AM   #748
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Originally Posted by funk de fino View Post
This is either stupendously ignorant or a ridiculous lie. It is jaw dropping in it's wrongness.

Pick one. I go for the former.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2010, 11:54 AM   #749
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Originally Posted by funk de fino View Post
The Scottish govt already did. Same as they did with every prisoner that met the criteria so far. Now why would you want him to be treated differently?

That's sort of my gripe with the government. They did pick one, when neither was applicable. They picked "guilty and released on compassionate grounds", completely ignoring the findings of the SCCRC report, and all the rest of the mountains of evidence that he wasn't guilty.

For anyone who has access to the full SCCRC report and the rest of the documentation to assert blandly that "the Scottish government has no doubts about the safety of the verdict" is simply ridiculous.

Creep.

I'm qute intrigued by the way Cicero keeps snipping out of my posts the sections where I point out the primary role the US played in the miscarriage of justice, though.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th September 2010, 12:36 PM   #750
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It's been ten days now....

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Perhaps I'm being premature with this remark, and Alt+F4 and Skeptic will be back with reasoned comment. However, what has disturbed me about the Lockerbie threads for some time is the repeated disappearance without trace of people who were originally fulminating that Megrahi was obviously guilty and any suggestions to the contrary were pure twooferism. Only McHrozni had the grace to say that he had realised the evidence against Megrahi was in fact a lot weaker than he had originally assumed, before quitting the discussion. Everybody else, as far as I recall, has simply vanished without comment.

Where's the open-mindedness? Where's the willingness to take on board new ideas, and to change one's viewpoint according to the evidence presented?

Come to that, where's the absolute bloody outrage that the CIA, the US DoJ, the Scottish Crown Prosecution Service and the Lord Advocate fitted this guy up for one of the most notorious terrorist acts of the 20th century, and let the real perpetrators off scot-free? If the issue is worth getting worked up about from one side, then isn't it equally worth getting worked up about when one's perspective is forcibly changed by exposure to some facts?

Nobody came back. Sigh.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st October 2010, 03:41 PM   #751
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Perhaps this is the best thread for this. The question of Megrahi being pressurised by the Scottish government to drop his appeal as a condition of being granted compassionate release (even though there was no legal requirement for him to do that) has surfaced again today.

Quite a long article in Scotland on Sunday, revisiting the alleged government whistleblower who has been alleging this for months now.

Originally Posted by Marcello Mega
THE man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was forced to abandon his appeal to secure compassionate release on the grounds of his terminal cancer, a justice department whistleblower claims.

Three senior sources close to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, who has now exceeded the three months he was expected to live by more than ten months, have confirmed the whistleblower's version of events. [....]

It was claimed at the time that the government had made the dropping of the appeal a condition of his release, in order to spare any damage to the reputation the Scottish justice system. The government has always denied the allegations.

The whistleblower's information appeared in an e-mail received last year by the Nationalist MSP Christine Grahame, who met Megrahi after viewing a documentary that convinced her of his innocence. She continues to lobby for justice for him. The message came from someone in the Scottish Government's Justice department. Although Grahame is protecting the identity of the writer, she says the e-mail was sent by someone "very senior" who had access to the top level discussions on Megrahi.

The e-mail reads: "The minister seemed set to do the decent thing, allow a dying man to go home and the appeal to continue. However the department has strongly intimated to the Libyans that if Megrahi is to be granted compassionate release he must first drop his appeal. This was the (sic) rammed home to the Libyans at their meeting with the minister yesterday.

"Megrahi is desperate and will do anything to get home, including dropping his appeal, as his prisoner transfer request demonstrates. The department knows it, as does the minister."

There's something not quite right about that. Megrahi did not apply for prisoner transfer. He couldn't, because the PTA wasn't written that way. Only the Libyan government could make such an application, and indeed Megrahi didn't even get a say in it. The Libyan government chose to make the application in May 2009, as soon as the PTA was ratified, even though it would have required the dropping of the appeal for it to be granted - and even though compassionate release was also a live issue at that time.

My take on that has been that it was his own government, at least as much as the Scottish government, who were leaning on Megrahi to drop that appeal. They have said many times they want to put the events on the 1980s behind them, and it seems as if that includes not wanting to open the Lockerbie can of worms again. However, this version from the insider, has the Scottish government pressurising Libya on that front.

Whichever way round it was, it did appear very much that Megrahi was being seriously leaned on. The unanimity among government entities that that appeal should not be heard is really quite striking.

Rolfe.
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