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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Scotland issues

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Old 4th January 2011, 01:55 AM   #201
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Mod Warning Address the argument, not the arguer, and be civil and polite.
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Old 10th January 2011, 09:06 PM   #202
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And the results are in. Try as they might...

Quote:
PUBLIC PETITIONS COMMITTEE: PE1370

Thank you for your letter of 12 November 2010 which asks the Government the following three questions in respect of this petition. I apologise for the delay in replying.

Will you open an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp van Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988 as called for by the petitioner and for the reasons given in the petition?

If not, will you provide a detailed explanation why not, specifying whether there is any legislation which would prevent you from holding such an inquiry, what this legislation is and how it prevents?

Who would have the power to undertake an inquiry in the terms proposed in the petition?

The Government’s response to these questions is as follows:

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice made clear in his response of 16 September to a Parliamentary Question (S3W-35844) from George Foulkes on this issue that the Government have no plans to initiate an inquiry on this issue.

The Government does not doubt the safety of the conviction of Mr Al-Megrahi. He was tried and convicted by a Scottish court before three judges and his appeal against conviction, heard by a panel of five judges, was unsuccessful. A second appeal, following a referral from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, was abandoned by Mr Al-Megrahi. The conduct of his defence during his trial and the appeals, including his decision not to give evidence at trial and the decision to abandon the second appeal, was entirely a matter for Mr Al-Megrahi and his legal advisors. The Government’s view is that the petition is inviting the Scottish Government to do something which falls properly to the criminal justice system i.e. inquire into whether a miscarriage of justice has taken place. The criminal justice system already provides a mechanism for that to happen. The fact that Mr Al-Megrahi chose to abandon his second appeal rather than pursue it is entirely a matter for him and it would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to institute an inquiry as a result.

The Inquiries Act 2005 provides that, to the extent that the matters dealt with are devolved, and criminal justice is devolved, the Scottish Government would have the power to conduct an inquiry. However, the wide ranging and international nature of the issues involved (even if the inquiry is confined to the trial and does not concern itself with wider matters) means that there is every likelihood of issues arising which are not devolved, which would require either a joint inquiry with or a separate inquiry by the UK government.

Separately, the Scottish Government intends to bring forward legislation to allow the SCCRC to publish a statement of reasons in cases such as Mr Al-Megrahi's where an appeal is abandoned, subject of course to legal restrictions applying to the SCCRC such as data protection, the convention rights of individuals and international obligations attaching to information provided by foreign authorities.



Karen Rodger
(emphasis added)

Last edited by Bunntamas; 10th January 2011 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 26th January 2011, 09:17 AM   #203
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Ahem, hold your horses there!

Originally Posted by PA
A petition calling for an inquiry into the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber has been kept open despite an earlier refusal from the Scottish Government.

The Petitions Committee after meeting with the JFM group for the second time yesterday have agreed that the Scottish governments arguments for refusal for any Inquiry have been quite unconvincing and inadequate.

Therefore the Committee continue to support JFM and will pursue the matter further with the Scottish Govt, the Lord Advocate, and will also seek further information and clarification from the SCCRC.

I feel the SCCRC are the key to unlocking this obvious impasse. There is clearly a reluctance from any of the political parties to fully investigate the many questions that still surround the original conviction of Megrahi at Zeist. To the degree that even legislation was introduced for no apparent reason that would restrict the publishing of the full SCCRC conclusion which found six reasons to refer the case back to the appeal court in 2007 for fear there may have been a miscarriage of justice.


The argument that from the Scottish govt that no Inquiry is required as "we do not doubt the conviction of Megrahi", is utterly at odds with the SCCRC conclusion, or that Megrahi dropped his appeal on his own volition and therefore relinquished any rights of the appeal process, itself flies in the face of the very premise in pursuing the ends of justice which is surely the priority of any society, more so when involving the deaths of 270 innocent people and such a high profile terrorist atrocity?


I'm not entirely sure why anyone, government or individual, would be happy to see their criminal justice system usurped by any convictee regardless of the situation we find ourselves.

Last edited by Buncrana; 26th January 2011 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 29th January 2011, 06:09 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I'm not entirely sure why anyone, government or individual, would be happy to see their criminal justice system usurped by any convictee regardless of the situation we find ourselves.
PRECICELY!!!! CONVICT. GUILTY. Should have remained in Scottish prison and / or given detailed evidence at trial and appeals about his involvement in the case (or not, as he alleges) or not dropped his appeal. HE loses, and the scottish people lose as a result of the CONVICT, now living (WELL beyon 3 months) in his palatial Libyan estate, no doubt financed by his swiss bank account, and who knows what / whom else.
Sorry Scots. You've been duped by your own, and the UK, just like the Lockerbie victims' families. Welcome to the "party".

If I were you, I would join Senator Menendez on his and the US governtment's inquiry about this, as opposed to pushing your silly, going nowhere petition to powerless, glad handing, smirked upon Scottish Parlimentary Committee.

Last edited by Bunntamas; 29th January 2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 29th January 2011, 06:53 PM   #205
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Ooops. Sorry for shouting that Guilty word again. I recognize how that sets you all into a tail spin, and I guess that's not a good way to build alliances. Apoligies again. We obviously have our differences, but that doesn't mean that perhaps there is not a possibility that we might be able to join together and push foward with our respective governments figure this out in a way that serves both our goals.
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Old 30th January 2011, 03:20 AM   #206
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Edited by jhunter1163:  Edited for civility.
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Old 30th January 2011, 01:33 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
With respect, Bunntamas, I've been (largely lurking) on this thread and its sisters for some considerable time. You have yet to present any susbtantive argument beyond the fact that the court found him guilty. Rolfe and others have pointed to some very serious questions regarding the quality of the evidence and integrity of the witnesses. You have been pointed in the direction of compelling comments made by senior legal figures and onservers. All you've done is hand-wave them away.

I'm very sorry for your loss, really. To lose a parent is a terrible thing, and in circumstances such as Lockerbie it must be about as bad as these things can get. But if you're just looking to keep shouting about what was, on any fair reading, a flawed verdict then you're in the wrong place.
I'm going to repeat this again because it remains relevant, especially in light of your most recent posts.

You have, over the course of many posts on this thread and elsewhere, supported the continuing incararation of Al-Megrahi on what appears to be the simple principle that he was convincted.

At no point, as far as I can see, have you come remotely close to adequately addressing the very real points put to you by Rolfe and others regarding the adequacy (or more specifically inadequacy) of much of the evidence. You have been particularly dismissive of many of the expert opinions by the likes of Black and others.

This is a forum for discussion and debate. An unsubstantiated argument, however dearly held and whether under very difficult personal circumstances or not, is of little worth. If you cannot engage in this manner, if you are not willing to look at the detail, then you are in the wrong place and merely putting yourself through more pain.

In short, for your own sake give it a rest. But in the meantime let me make one more point. Megrahi did indeed dropp his appeal on his own volition and therefore relinquished any rights of the appeal process, not - I would suggest - as a means of securing his release when a terminal diagnosis had been issued. To claim that this is some sort of tacit admission of guilt is simply naive.
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Old 30th January 2011, 08:50 PM   #208
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I believe others opposed to anything I've posted have done the "hand waving" anyone who posts anything about which you disagree,is either ignored, hand waved, or bullied, resulting in mod tags like the one abobe.
Knock yourselves out with the continued reiterration of nothingness, and after repeating it over and over you "think" it is evidence. If that is not nave, I don't know what is,outside of thinking that the Scottish petitions committee and the SCCRC have any power.
.
ZZZZzzzzzzz...

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Old 31st January 2011, 08:32 AM   #209
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Having read through the last page of this thread, I don't think I really have anything to say that I haven't said already.

Originally Posted by Rolfe
So maybe if Bunntamas says something comprehensible, we can move on.

So far, she's failed to provide any evidence that there was any unaccompanied luggage on KM180. She has failed to show that Megrahi bought the clothes from Tony Gauci, or even that the clothes were bought on 7th December. She has failed to show that Megrahi did anything at all on 20th/21st December that might have been related to smuggling a (non-existent) unaccompanied suitcase on to KM180.

Which means that she has absolutely zero evidence to connect Megrahi to the bombing of PA103. I think if she had any, she'd have told us about it by now.

Originally Posted by Rolfe
I said in a different thread that if you could persuade me that Megrahi was even likely to have been the purchaser [of the clothes from Tony Gauci], on the balance of probability (none of this "beyond reasonable doubt" stuff necessary), I'd agree that he was mixed up in the plot to bomb Pan Am 103. Several of us have gone over the identification evidence in excruciating detail, and have become even more convinced than we were before that is definitely wasn't him. You have barely participated in that discussion, and then only to make disconnected and often erroneous points.

You haven't been able to come up with a single shred of evidence suggesting the bomb travelled on KM180 from Malta, or that Megrahi had a hand in putting it there that morning - which is hardly surprising, because the court couldn't find a shred of evidence either. It was simply decided that since he'd bought the clothes, and he'd been at the airport when KM180 departed, somehow that must have been what happened.

But he didn't buy the clothes.

Now you can come back to the thread where we were discussing the clothes purchase and say something sensible. Or you can take us through the evidence regarding the Malta-Frankfurt-Heathrow route and show us something we've missed. Or you can go away and cling to your belief that court verdicts are never wrong.

But there's no point in coming here, stamping your foot, and expecting anyone on a sceptical forum just to agree with you that court verdicts are never wrong and can never be questioned.

The suggestion that court verdicts are never wrong and always reflect objective truth is so ridiculous as not even to be worth discussing. However, Bunntamas (despite her expressed desire to discuss the issues) doesn't seem able to get beyond this.

The Scottish government's attempt to "blame the victim" by castigating Megrahi for not giving evidence at his trial and then abandoning the appeal is despicable. Megrahi has stated he wanted to give evidence at Zeist but was advised against it by his legal team. Would any of us, finding ourselves on trial in an alien culture, be terribly keen to go against the advice of our lawyers who understood the court system in question? We also know that Megrahi was given to understand that he only had about three months to live, and that if he dropped the appeal his chances of being allowed to return home in that time would be much improved. Would any of us have chosen to remain rotting in jail in an alien country and culture, in order to continue an appeal we'd been given to understand we wouldn't live to see completed?

I doubt it.

I'm tired of pointing out that there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that the Lockerbie bomb was ever within 1,000 miles of the island of Malta. There is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that there was an item of unaccompanied luggage on Air Malta flight 180 that day. There is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL that Megrahi did anything at all untoward at Malta airport that morning other than using a coded diplomatic passport he held legally but which was not in his own name.

There is also no credible evidence to support the assertion that he bought any items from Tony Gauci on 7th December.

This all adds up to INNOCENT, INNOCENT, INNOCENT. And no amount of judges with their heads up their collective backsides changes that.

Until Bunntamas can deal with this and face these FACTS, we're not going to have much of a conversation. Nobody is hand-waving anything away. It's just that Bunntamas hasn't even come close to posting anything of substance on the crucial issues I have repeatedly outlined.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st January 2011, 08:54 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
We obviously have our differences, but that doesn't mean that perhaps there is not a possibility that we might be able to join together and push foward with our respective governments figure this out in a way that serves both our goals.

But what are your goals, Bunntamas?

My goal is to have the Zeist court process and verdict subjected to proper independent scrutiny. That includes both the behaviour of the US authorities in regard to bribing Giaka to invent incriminating evidence and in holding up the prospect of untold riches to the Gauci brothers if Tony's evidence supported a conviction, and the bench itself in ignoring the basic rules of evidence which are so essential to the justice process.

You seem to have achieved all your goals. The man you choose to believe to be guilty (against all rational logic) is legally convicted of the crime, and his appeal has been abandoned. You have received all the compensation money you campaigned for, both from Pan Am and from the Libyan government.

What more do you want?

If you want to persuade those of us who believe in Megrahi's innocence that we're mistaken, with all due respect you are not going about this the right way. (Hint: reasoned argument and facts are good.)

If you want Megrahi to be returned to Greenock jail on his deathbed, then I have to tell you that this is not going to happen. International relations simply don't encompass the possibility, so you might as well forget it.

If you want people to stop talking about it, then again, it's not going to happen. If you can't change anyone's mind with facts and logic, then you're not going to shut them up by complaining.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st January 2011, 09:22 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
the CONVICT, now living (WELL beyon 3 months) in his palatial Libyan estate, no doubt financed by his swiss bank account, and who knows what / whom else.

What do you know about Megrahi's living conditions? I know very little. I know that Lucy Adams visited him in Libya soon after his repatriation, and she described a pleasant, large house in the city of Tripoli, which was home to an extended family including Megrahi's elderly mother. I know that Jim Swire visited him late last year, at which time he was in hospital.

What palatial estate are you referring to? Do you know that he has been released from hospital? I don't.

As for the Swiss bank account, what is your implication? Megrahi states that he had access to considerable funds in foreign currency in relation to his job procuring aircraft parts in defiance of the anti-Libya sanctions. Even if that isn't true, and the money was actually his own personal property, do you have privileged information about how he came by it? No such information has been made available to my knowledge. He could have embezzled it or cheated on his taxes or won the Libyan lottery, who knows? One thing is certain, this bank account was never linked to Lockerbie in any way, and the prosecution declined to raise it in evidence at Zeist.

And talking of palatial estates and lives of luxury. How do you think Tony and Paul Gauci are getting on in Australia with their $3 million plus "rewards for justice"? Or should I say bribe money for Tony not coming out with the truth at Zeist - the truth almost certainly being that after more than ten years he had no clue what the mystery shopper looked like, just overlaid strata of memories of photofits and artist's impressions and more mug-shots of clean-shaven middle-aged Arab men than you could shake a stick at. Plus of course the half-dozen or so press articles, with photos, clearly identifying Megrahi as he looked in 1999 as the man he was supposed to be picking out.

Tony and Paul have their health and their money, and a lifestyle pretty much anyone in Libya would give their right arm for.

Then again there's Giaka. Whisked away to America in 1991 and given a new identity (with his wife and child) as a US citizen. More "reward for justice" - sorry, blatant bribery to induce him to tell a pack of lies about Megrahi and Fhimah that even the Zeist judges saw through. I'll just bet his lifestyle is pretty good too. California, I heard, with more millions from that reward cache.

Giaka has his health and a luxurious lifestyle too. All paid for by the US taxpayer, because the CIA wanted a conviction and to hell with the truth. Just like Tony and Paul's antipodean idyll.

All sanctioned in order to achieve false evidence that would support a conviction of Megrahi, because actual evidence there was absolutely none.

How do you feel about Tony, Paul and Abdulmajid, Bunntamas? And the way they achieved their luxury lifestyles?

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 31st January 2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 31st January 2011, 12:20 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
In short, for your own sake give it a rest. But in the meantime let me make one more point. Megrahi did indeed drop his appeal of his own volition and therefore relinquished any rights of the appeal process, not - I would suggest - by recognition of overwhelming evidence against him but rather as a means of securing his release when a terminal diagnosis had been issued. To claim that this is some sort of tacit admission of guilt is simply naive.

Corrected to avoid confusion over cut and paste problem.
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Old 31st January 2011, 12:57 PM   #213
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Rolfe! Good to see you're back! With all the news from Egypt I was getting worried about you.

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Old 31st January 2011, 01:09 PM   #214
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Got out of Cairo three days before the riots started, and left Sharm al Sheikh for home (via Luxor) on Wednesday.

Just glad we didn't choose a later package, as we rather nearly did! I wouldn't even have known anything had happened if my mother hadn't told me when I phoned home from Sharm to check she was OK!

And to think I was more concerned about sharks....

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Old 31st January 2011, 04:45 PM   #215
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Talking of which, you now have to make an appointment to meet me to look at drawings.
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Old 1st February 2011, 06:13 AM   #216
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You're categorising yourself as a shark now...?

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Old 1st February 2011, 01:10 PM   #217
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Bingo.

Surprised that Bunntamas hasn't picked up today's story regarding apparent collusion on the part of the Westminster Parliament to assist in Megrahi's release.

Personally I find this interesting because it appears to confirm understandable SNP concerns about Westminster seeking to do deals behind Holyrood's back. I am mindful, however, that the quotes in the Herald may be taken a little out of context.

It certainly made the front page on the Scottish broadsheets!
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Old 1st February 2011, 02:38 PM   #218
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It's the hypocrisy of the Labour party that gets me, not that it's a surprise. We know they were gagging to get Megrahi released, but afraid that if they played their cards wrong the SNP would refuse to release him just to avoid playing into Labour hands.

They kept absolutely quiet before the release, not saying a single word to suggest they thought it was either a good or a bad thing. They released Ronnie Biggs (still not dead yet) to provide a handy precedent. And now we know they worked behind the scenes to try to facilitate the release.

Then once it was a fait accompli, they turned on the SNP and tore into them for making a bad decision they would never have made, no siree.

Same goes for Cameron of course.

Rolfe.
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Old 4th February 2011, 08:03 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Having read through the last page of this thread, I don't think I really have anything to say that I haven't said already.
I've said a lot in my posts that this stuff has been re-hashed many, many times (how ironic).
For someone who has said it already, with nothing more to say than you've already said, you sure have alot to repeat say.

If you think you repeat yourself over and over again, do you really think that what you repeat will become evidence? I don't think so. But apparently you do. Is it pretty clear that Parliament, and the courts don't see the JFM blather as evidence either. Doubt they read the years of repeated posts here or on Black's blog. If they do, I wonder if they think (as do I and others with whom I've chatted about this): "have these people no life?" Or better put, comments from another forum, that kicked you guys out and called you CTs, it seems like a religion for you.

Ineresting that you all bash Frank Duggan (in the recent Black Blog comments) for supporting the families of the victims of PA103, and yet very few (if any) of you even know family members, yet you seem to think you have all the answers.

Though your blather does make for good "put one to sleep quickly" reading. Sorta like the failed petition.
ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.....

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Old 5th February 2011, 04:41 AM   #220
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Yes, I noticed the irony. I said I had already said what I wanted to say, but then I went on and said a heap more!

Yes, the flaws in the case against Megrahi have been rehashed a lot. You still haven't addressed any of the points made in any meaningful way though. Care to try some time?

The SCCRC clearly agreed with a substantial chunk of what we have been saying, when it announced that the case was potentially a miscarriage of justice and recommended that it be looked at again. However, the courts were stopped from doing that, and have had no opportunity to agree or disagree.

The parliament is running its own agenda, and I'm damned if I know what that is. However, the petition is still open and the petitioning process still active.

Get a life? We all have things that interest us. Soap operas, crossword puzzles, murder mysteries, breeding cats, gardening, hillwalking, flower arranging.... Right now, the Lockerbie conundrum interests me. It's no less of a hobby than anything else. So what? And I do know a couple of the victims' relatives, not counting you. The village where I live now was heavily involved in the rescue effort - some of the men went down to Lockerbie and the women raised money. As I told you, I drove past the crater 48 hours after the crash, and smelled the smoke and the burning. It leaves its mark, a bit. I wish we'd been able to nail the actual perpetrators instead of being side-tracked into this Malta rubbish.

I wish Frank Duggan would say something either true or sensible, but I'm not holding my breath.

You lobbied your government for the right to sue the Libyan government for millions. You won. Good luck to you. You've sneered at us in the past for inactivity. Now we're lobbying our government for an inquiry into how the hell the justice process could go so spectacularly wrong. We're still at it. You sneer at us for that, too. Make up your mind.

But is sneering is all you're going to to, it's your choice. You don't actually have to read anything we type, you know. I'm glad you do, actually, because I cling to a shred of hope that one day you'll read for comprehension rather than rejection. But if you're just going to be annoyed by it, there's a simple answer. Don't read it.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th February 2011, 09:58 AM   #221
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Given the front page headlines in the Scottish press over the last 48 hours, I can't believe no-ones returned to this.....
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Old 8th February 2011, 01:02 PM   #222
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Well, the e-petition is about the unsafe nature of the conviction, not about the issue of Megrahi's release. The petition is still open, as I said, and developments are continuing in that direction. I understand the JFM petitioners are to address the committee again in March. However, that isn't getting much media coverage at all.

The media have mainly forgotten all their high-profile doubts about the conviction in the rush to report a political scandal (which is extremely juicy even though the revelations are exactly the story we were telling about the release in the first place). There were several articles published last week about the shaky nature of the conviction itself, but these were op-ed pieces, not news.

If any threads were to be bumped at the moment, I would be expecting one of those started to rail against Megrahi's release to be one. Indeed, I'm mildly surprised that a new one hasn't been started (to be merged for the umpteenth time....) It suggests that some people might have become a little wary of raising the subject because they realise where it's likely to go.

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Old 9th February 2011, 03:54 AM   #223
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Another article about the unsafe nature of the conviction today, but again it's an op-ed piece. The embarrassing implications of this don't rate a mention in the news sections, which continue to fulminate about the political machinations surrounding Megrahi's release. This article is also mainly about the political machinations, but gets to the elephant in the room towards the end.

Truth lies hidden beneath the blather about Megrahi

Quote:
The fact that Labour has been found guilty of monumental hypocrisy is important in its own right, no doubt, but it is only one part of a larger argument. In the matter of mass murder, the question of guilt is paramount. Unless it is settled, beyond doubt, every other “row” is chatter, and distracting chatter at that. In the case of Megrahi, despite anything politicians claim, there is no certainty.

We do know, though, of $3 million paid by US authorities to Maltese brothers, Toni and Paul Gauci, for the sake of identification evidence. We know that Lord Peter Fraser, then Lord Advocate, would later describe the former brother, supposedly a star witness, as less than the full shilling and “an apple short of a picnic”.

We know, furthermore, that the forensic “experts” on both sides of the Atlantic, providers of still more “key evidence” at Camp Zeist, were later discredited thoroughly. We know Professor Hans Koechler, Kofi Annan’s UN observer, damned the trial as an outrage and an abuse.

There's an interesting wrinkle here. The anti-SNP press are trying to spin that the SNP "did a deal" with Labour over Megrahi's release, but the documents don't bear that out. The "deal" in question dates back to before Megrahi was diagnosed with cancer, so has nothing to do with the compassionate release. In fact Labour was trying very very hard to have Megrahi included in the Prisoner Transfer Agreement which was being negotiated with Libya in 2007. (Not much point in the agreement otherwise, because there were no other Libyan prisoners in jail in Britain at that time.) The Scottish government was dead set against that, and wanted Megrahi specifically excluded.

The deal is supposed to be that Labour offered the SNP a deal on legislation in relation to the prison "slopping-out" problem which was onging at the time (in particular, introducing legislation that would limit the SG's liability from claims from prisoners who had been made to "slop-out", under human rights legislation), and legislation to restrict the use of airguns. The quid pro quo was that although Megrahi was to be included in the PTA, the SG would be assured of an absolute veto over whether he could actually be granted release under that agreement. So in fact it came to the same thing - Megrahi could not be released over the heads of the Scottish government.

It's unclear whether this deal was actually accepted, but the documents suggest it wasn't, as they refer to MacAskill continuing to insist that Megrahi be excluded from the PTA. However, he was included in it, and I think the slopping-out legislation actually happened. The evidence suggests though, that rather than the SG agreeing to the "deal", the UKG just said, well, that's what's going to happen.

The really odd bit is that everyone and his aunt are dragging up something MacAskill said in the course of this correspondence about "going against something very deep in the Scottish psyche". It's apparently taken to mean that MacAskill was describing the release of Megrahi as being against something very deep in the Scottish psyche. This is improbable as it stands, because apart from one rogue BBC poll which got a lot of publicity, all the polls taken after Megrahi's release showed general support for releasing him.

Alex Salmond explained on TV that the "something deep in the Scottish psyche" was actually the firearms legislation, and that the atrocity behind this reference wasn't Lockerbie but Dunblane. After that, there has been very strong feeling against the posession and use of firearms in Scotland, and this is apparantly what was being referred to. This isn't going to stop every journalist in the land misinterpreting it though.

By coincidence, I was in Dunblane for a few days at the end of last month. Conversation tuned to the atrocity there, as we were sitting by a small mural of sixteen children and their teacher playing in an eternally sunlit school playground. At the same time Andy Murray was busy losing the final of the Australian Open. Someone remarked how much Andy had done to help Dunblane move on from the label of "Dunblane massacre", and commented that it would be good if something similar could happen to Lockerbie. Someone else suggested that one huge difference was that nobody was in any doubt who killed the children in Dunblane, and the whole appalling sequence of events was completely understood. It's easier to move on in that situation, she said, than when you don't have a clue what happened or who carried out the attack.

I just sat and listened.

Rolfe.
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Old 17th February 2011, 03:37 PM   #224
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No great new developments, but this current article confirms that the petition continues to make progress towards its objective.

http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/227...ed_appeal.html

Quote:
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has confirmed in correspondence released today that Abdelbaset Al Megrahi's dropped appeal could be picked up and heard once again by the High Court, paving the way for an unprecedented continuation of his case.

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Old 18th February 2011, 01:32 PM   #225
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The same journal has published JFM's response to the petitions committee.

http://www.firmmagazine.com/features...prints....html

Quote:
CONCLUSION

We hope that the information and argument provided in this letter will convince the Petition’s Committee that it is in the interests of justice that this petition remains open. Despite promises from Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill that legislation will be enacted, if and when they are re-elected and that the Carloway Review will right any wrongs, the whole Lockerbie affair is littered with years of deceit and broken promises.

What is clear is that the more information that is revealed the murkier the whole affair becomes and it essential that these matters remain under active consideration in the Scottish Parliament.

‘The Lockerbie bombing and the trial of the only man convicted of the outrage remain a lasting stain on the Scottish legal system and without greater openness, one which will not easily be removed – even when Megrahi dies.’ (The Herald – Leader: 12 February 2011)

This has been followed up by an article discussing the issue.

http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/227...vernment_.html

Quote:
The Scottish Parliament has been urged to undertake an investigation into the legal advice provided by the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, in her role as legal adviser to the Scottish Government over the Pan Am 103 debacle.

In a lengthy and detailed response to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, the Justice for Megrahi Committee have issued a devastating critique of the Lord Advocate’s handling of the case, highlighting errors in her legal assessment of the Megrahi case, and have challenged “the quality and accuracy of the advice and information being given to the Scottish Government by Scotland’s senior Law Officer.”

Interesting timing. Angiolini is scheduled to step down as Lord Advocate in a couple of months. Will she be accorded protected status given her short remaining tenure?

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Old 25th February 2011, 08:05 PM   #226
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Some enlightening comments about the Justice For Megrahi Campaign have been posted on R.Black's Blog, where Rolfe and CL got a bit of a "schooling". HA!

Quote:
-Suliman - Thank you, baz. We think it is only a matter of days, and the Gaddafi regime will be brought down. Watch it here. After that we will deal with Gaddafi's whores from Switzerland to Seattle, by way of Scotland. What Mr. Bollier did in the past, and what he is doing now is no more egregious than what Mr. Forrester and Prof. Black have done by lending credence to the Gaddafi terrorists. The thugs who are now shooting Libyan youth with 50 caliber weapons are the same ones whose support was sought by the Justice for Megrahi Campaign through its founder Abdullah Swissy.

Robert Forrester, Professor Robert Black, and Dr. Jim Swire should now be asked to defend their calls for support by "The sons of the Great Revolution," as their partner Swissy called them.

Prof. Black: I hope you are following what your comrades in the campaign for justice are doing. I hope you can face your conscience now and justify your affront to Justice before the people of Scotland and Libya.
To which CL replied in genuine adolescent fashion:
Quote:
Suli, what is different all of a sudden about what Prof. Blackk's comrades are doing? We have been discussing the same issues and fact, which you still ignore, this whole time, irrespective of what's going on in Libya.

The facts are still the same. He could gas his whole population, God forbid, and still have been framed for Lockerbie, allowing the real killers to go free. And you're still adding your voice to that escape cover, for your own vendetta.

But now you're looking to "deal with" the "whores" from Switzerland (where a certain clown no one here likes lives) to Seattle, which is pretty close to where I live. Huh! Wouldn't mind meeting you face to face some day, Suli not man
Rolfe Chimes in:
Quote:
- Rolfe - It seems very strange to me that some posters feel that pointing out that Gadaffi is an evil murdering bastard must prove he bombed PA103.

There are an awful lot of evil murdering bastards in the world. The question here is quite simply, which evil murdering bastard bombed PA103. Gadaffi and his regime are not solely responsible for all the evil (and terrorism) in the world.

...And the "schooling" begins:

Quote:
- Suliman - First of all, I should thank you Mr. Adam Larson (aka Caustic Logic) for correcting me on the precise location of Gaddafi whores, but otherwise the shoe apparently fits quite well.

Playing with my name will not change any of the facts.

(1) The Justice for Megrahi Campaign was co-founded by an officer of the Jamahiriya Student Union, who was also actively recruiting support in Gaddafi's media, on behalf of his Scottish comrades.

(2) JFM Co-Founder Abdullah Swissy, can also be found in Gaddafi's media calling upon "The Sons of the Great Revolution," to join his work for Megarhi.

(3) The JFM co-founder had disclosed on Gaddafi's media that he works in coordination with another Swissy, who is possibly a relative but definitely identified as the Consul General in Scotland.

(4) The JFM, through its co-founder Mr. Abdullah Swissy, was presenting itself in Gaddafi's media in a manner that is inconsistent with what they feed to the Western media as "basic tenets" of their campaign. Evidently, the JFM customizes both its message and its tenets to suit the local audience.

(5) What is left of the JFM Committee and Mr. Larson are trying to sweep their association with the Jamahiriya Student Union under the rug, leaving it unmentioned even in the pretense of documenting their history.

(6) And in his own contrivances to misinform the public, Mr. Larson doctored up his blog so as to erase his prior highlighting of Mr. Swissy's co-affiliation with JFM and the Jamahiriya Student Union, and he replaced it with an emphatically childish statement to the effect, "Look, Ma, no Libyans!"

(7) Mr. Larson deliberately puckered his lips, went out of the way, to credit Mr. Swissy solely with a statement issued by the JFM campaign as a whole.

(7) Mr. Larson also created a Category for Swissy in his blog, and it remains there now--but not for long--even though it points to no mention whatsoever of Swissy. All mentions of the JFM co-founder have been sanitized, but Mr. Larson forgot to burn all the evidence of his suck-up theater. How pathetic can a brown-nosed prospector be!

Mr. Larson: Did you forget your asinine defense of Gaddafi's dictatorship? Did you forget that--just to win a point against me--you said, "Libya takes care of its people"? I haven't forgotten, and the whole world now sees how well "Libya takes care of its people." I have no interest in meeting you and your likes face to face, Mr. Larson, because that would require me to...
comments edited out of fear of getting tagged by JREF mods. Go to the link above to read the rest of this statement. [/quote]

Quote:
- Suliman - Rolfe: As the Deputy Secretary of JFM, and one who has spoken here about its inner workings, please feel free to defend your outfit's association with the Gaddafi terrorist hatchery. On multiple occasions, JFM has refused to address its evident affiliation with Gaddafi tools parading as members of civil society. This is yet another opportunity.

When exactly did you discover that Gaddafi is a murderous bastard, before or after joining hands with his fronts?

Was the history of Gaddafi's henchmen not known to you? Or were you all duped by Forrester into thinking that Swissy's outfit was part of civil society? How in the world can intelligent, educated people with the slightest knowledge of Gaddafi's murderous bastard history overlook his executioners?

How can academics from respectable Western institutions join hands with an outfit that was born and reared by extrajudicial executions of Libyan students on university campuses? And what exactly is the cause that unites them? It is, they say, the pursuit of justice! It is an absolute disgrace, and anything but civil, to associate the pursuit of justice with the sponsorship of a terrorist outfit that is defined by its dedication to terrorism both in practice and in principle.

Would you be silent about associating with the KKK? Would you be silent about associating with the American Nazi Party? Go read what your partners said just last April in commemoration of their bloody history, and on the mob killings of students that were staged every April 7th for years. Libyan students were sacrificed by your partner organization on the Gaddafi's altar while other students were forced to watch. No court, no trial, no lawyers, no rights. Is that kind of justice what unites you all? Do you see no conflicts in that with your conception of justice?

Don't put words in my mouth, Rolfe, I doubt you would resort to that if you had a choice.
No one said "Gaddafi is responsible for all evil." The question is, how much evil must a murderous bastard commit before his executioner syndicates become unqualified from partnership in your Campaign? Please answer that question for me and your public. Even your signatories are added by invitation only. If you are so careful and deliberate about choosing your signatories, can anyone believe that your co-founders just fell from the sky? No, they didn't. You chose your co-founders at least as deliberately as you chose your signatories. So, what is the threshold that JSU met in your deliberations? Or do extrajudicial killings of Libyans not count in your deliberations?

Your group should look/read the reaction of LSE students to that university's despicable and disgraceful association with Saif Gaddafi's "charitable" syndicate. I wonder what those same students might think of your association with a terrorist outfit that also fronts as a civil-socity organization. Government corruption, I can understand, but Western NGOs lending a cover of "civility" and legitimacy to terrorist groups? That is just too much.
I think I'm in love with SuliMAN.

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Old 26th February 2011, 01:48 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Some enlightening comments about the Justice For Megrahi Campaign have been posted on R.Black's Blog, where Rolfe and CL got a bit of a "schooling". HA!


To which CL replied in genuine adolescent fashion:


Rolfe Chimes in:

...And the "schooling" begins:

comments edited out of fear of getting tagged by JREF mods. Go to the link above to read the rest of this statement.

I think I'm in love with SuliMAN.
Oh, the friggin' sleuth who has "exposed" JFM as a terrorist front group, with his amazing power of hyperbolic rhetoric and zero evidence. And hasn't the spine to debate me on the evidence he's so certain of (hence the "not man" which you've so awesomely inverted here into your dashing dissident Arab prince).

Love, eh? Won't Gaddafi's "justice" minister Abdel-Jalil get jealous?

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Old 26th February 2011, 02:36 AM   #228
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I marched with many others to protest against the war against Iraq.

Now among those protesters were many also advocating action regarding Israel/Palestine. I can't say I was entirely happy with that but it didn't stop me adding my voice to the many hundreds of thousands who thought the action against Saddam ill advised.

Similarly, I signed the petition re: Megrahi. I'm aware there may be those who have done so for reasons which don't necessarily chime with my own which is to re-examine the case against him, which with even the most cursory glance at the evidence, does not seem to prove beyond a reasonable doubt his guilt.

At the end of the day there are still too many unanswered questions in this case to leave it alone.
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Old 26th February 2011, 03:28 AM   #229
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Getting back on-topic, the next meeting at the parliament concerning the JFM petition is on Tuesday.

Rolfe.
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Old 26th February 2011, 04:10 AM   #230
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Yes indeed, the petition saga isn't over yet. It's still possible for something very interesting to come out of it. It seems to me that as far as they can, the SPPPC are being reasonable, and at least one member has voiced some personal support for Dr. Swire's position as seeming credible.
Quote:
I don't know if [Justice For Megrahi] have a point in claiming that Megrahi is innocent. What I do know is that it would be all too easy (and understandable) for Mr Swire to accept Megrahi's guilt and put all of his negativity energy in that direction. But he didn't accept it. He has been outspoken in his condemnation of the conviction and as you can see is campaigning for an enquiry into it. I guess it's important to him that they get the right person but how tempting must it have been to turn a blind eye and blame the man with the conviction? [source]
(to clarify, the JFM position is not that "Megrahi is innocent." Though it is everything short of that, with all responsible qualifiers attached).

The SCCRC were also among those apparently rare bodies that approached this reasonably. Some of us are consciously aware of what happened with that.

Professor Black did a superb job (aside from a stray adjective or two) in laying the same evidence that was so central them - the date of purchase - before the SPPPC. (see the video, around).

Another investigation could still possibly come of this, one that some people seem oddly unenthusiastic for, considering their stated certainty that any findings would only support their failure to doubt the previous ones.
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Old 26th February 2011, 04:55 AM   #231
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As best I can explain it, the JFM position is, legally, that the Zeist trial process and verdict were flawed and the conviction may not be soundly based. That is the correct, legal approach. It is not for a bunch of private individuals to substitute themselves for the legal process and declare Megrahi to be "innocent". The petition is not to have the conviction summarily overturned, but to have an independent inquiry to determine if the doubts about the conviction are justified. (Given the SCCRC findings it is hard to see how they could not be.)

On the other hand, if you were to question each member of the JFM committee individually, as private individuals, I believe you would find every one believes that there was no bomb on board KM180 that morning, that Megrahi did nothing but catch his plane for Tripoli, and that the clothes were bought from Tony Gauci on 23rd November by someone unknown, described as over six feet tall, heavily built, dark-skinned and about fifty years of age. That is, not Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

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Old 26th February 2011, 05:34 AM   #232
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The most recent response that JFM received from the SCCRC via the Petition Committee opens a door to restart the appeal which, although was already known to be possible but only after Megrahi's demise (and only by interested or concerned parties thought to be either Megrahi's immediate family or a relative of 103's victims) now appears to have firmly wedged open by the SCCRC comments that just about anyone can apply to the SCCRC to have the case reviewed again.

It would appear to me that the SCCRC are highly receptive to the opportunity to re-examine the case and would welcome, given the gravity of the case and it's significance to the fundamentals of our justice system, an appropriate application made.

This case led to the SCCRC conducting a 4 year investigation at considerable expense to the Scottish taxpayer, forming their conclusions with regards to the worst terrorist atrocity not just in Scottish but in British history and the man convicted. Only then to see everything completely undermined by the appeal being allowed to be dropped and the Scottish govt's continued refusal to examine or form an inquiry into their findings.

Not too mention being quite openly and publicy contradicted and disempowered by a succession of politicians stating 'there are no doubts surrounding the conviction of Megrahi'.

Excuse me?

I think it would be quite understandable that anyone in the SCCRC involved in that arduous 4-year international investigation would be furious at such barefaced prevarication.
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Old 26th February 2011, 06:22 AM   #233
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Very good points, Buncrana. They have generally said that another appeal can only be started after Megrahi's death, but I don't imagine he has much longer to live, even if he weren't physically located in the middle of Tripoli right now which can't be good for anybody's health. The city is pretty well blockaded.

We don't hear from the insiders who must have more knowledge than we have of some aspects. Bill Taylor, Tony Kelly, Maggie Scott, Eddie McKechnie - all these have been right inside there, paid to be doing what we're doing for free. They must make lawyers take Trappist vows. Of course Bill Taylor has been very heavily criticised, both as regards his handling of the original trial (especially his lack of scrutiny of Gauci's statements) and his absolute screw-up of the first appeal, but the later legal teams aren't in that position.

And as you say, the members of the SCCRC.

That has to be the most comprehensive investigation of the lot. It cost you and me over a million pounds. Nearly four years of work. They dug up all sorts of things that didn't make it to the original trial, and re-interviewed witnesses, and all in all did more work than the original investigation. They're people too, they surely have an opinion.

I hope they are well-disposed to another appeal. Even if it's only on the grounds they identified, who cares? The grounds they identified are surely the best-supported grounds, and once the conviction is quashed on the pretty obvious ground that it wasn't Megrahi who bought these clothes, it becomes possible to examine the rest without being shouted down.

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Old 27th February 2011, 12:18 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

And as you say, the members of the SCCRC.

That has to be the most comprehensive investigation of the lot. It cost you and me over a million pounds. Nearly four years of work. They dug up all sorts of things that didn't make it to the original trial, and re-interviewed witnesses, and all in all did more work than the original investigation. They're people too, they surely have an opinion.

I hope they are well-disposed to another appeal. Even if it's only on the grounds they identified, who cares? The grounds they identified are surely the best-supported grounds, and once the conviction is quashed on the pretty obvious ground that it wasn't Megrahi who bought these clothes, it becomes possible to examine the rest without being shouted down.

Rolfe.

The last statement the SCCRC issued from the Petition Committee on the matter of the Govt and Crown office's most recent responses, seemed to be to also contain a hint of real frustration and disquiet at the two pieces of legislation, or secondary instruments introduced, that raises fundamental questions over the SCCRC's legitimacy and purpose.

The SCCRC's statement appeared terse and concise to the point of someone, or in this case the commission, in a fit of pique. Not happy. Not happy bunnies at all.

Is it Tuesday for the next meeting with the Petitions Committe for the JFM?
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Old 27th February 2011, 02:53 PM   #235
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Yes, Tuesday afternoon. Ian Hamilton has joined the main signatories list today, though I think this should have happened some time ago but for some crossed wires.

I hope the current unsubstantiated dreck coming out of Libya at the moment doesn't distract too much. It shows the wisdom of the very focussed approach of the JFM committee, which is concerned with the procedures and evidence at Zeist and not about any other unrelated allegations.

The current rash of stories make no coherent sense in the context of the known facts, and have all the hallmarks of unscrupulous people making stuff up in the hope of gaining advantage in a very volatile situation. The gutter press, led by the Sunday Times as they have led this charge right from when Andrew Neil took over as editor and the Leppard changed his spots, are slavishly printing it as gospel truth of course, but in legal terms it's below tittle-tattle.

The issues under scrutiny are, did that bomb travel on KM180 that morning, and did Megrahi buy those clothes from Tony Gauci? Neither appear to be true, and that being so, Megrahi was unjustly convicted. None of the accusations flying around today has even touched on any of that.

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Old 1st March 2011, 12:09 PM   #236
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Len Murray, another very distinguished Scottish advocate and QC, also joined JFM a couple of days ago.

Rolfe.
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Old 1st March 2011, 12:13 PM   #237
Rolfe
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Today's meeting with the Petitions Committee appears to have gone well.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...30279727912157

Originally Posted by Robert Forrester
PE1370 has now won 3 out of 3 rounds at Holyrood. It was agreed today by the SPPPC to carry the petition over in their Legacy Paper to the next parliament which will follow the dissolution of the current parliament later this month and the general election to be held in early May of this year. This now means that those composing the SPPPC in the new parliament will have to decide whether or not to submit the petition to the Justice Committee to invite, in accordance with our recommendations, the Crown, the government and the SCCRC to testify before it regarding our call for an inquiry and other matters that we have raised, or to invite said representatives to give evidence directly before the newly formed SPPPC itself. [....] The contributions which swung today's decision in our favour concerned our accusation that the Crown had been misinforming the government on the status of the case and the current unsubstantiated allegations emanating from the upheaval in Libya.

The "dreck coming out of Libya" actually seems to have worked in the petition's favour. Nothing more will happen until after the election now, of course.

Rolfe.
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Old 1st March 2011, 12:39 PM   #238
funk de fino
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
If I were you, I would join Senator Menendez on his and the US governtment's inquiry about this, as opposed to pushing your silly, going nowhere petition to powerless, glad handing, smirked upon Scottish Parlimentary Committee.
The guy is a total imbecile.

Quote:
Though your blather does make for good "put one to sleep quickly" reading. Sorta like the failed petition.
ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.....
Says it all.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 01:44 PM   #239
Rolfe
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Here's a link to an article about the latest developments with the petition.

Breaking News: post-election Parliament to consider Pan Am 103 inquiry

Quote:
"We question how it was possible to arrive at a guilty verdict based on the evidence led by the Crown in court. We have never speculated on whether or not Mr al-Megrahi, or anyone else for that matter, carried out the act of bringing down Pan Am 103.

"It is our contention that Mr al-Megrahi was convicted of the crime he was charged with by a standard which did not conform to that of beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, we believe that, based on the evidence presented by the crown, no reasonable court could have convicted him since the rationale employed was not in keeping with what a cross section of 15 lay jurors would perceive to be a credible conclusion to reach.

"It a matter which lies at the very core of our society and one which puts us apart from the law of the jungle and the lynch mob. If we decide to ignore it for the sake of political expediency, the preservation of reputations, the saving of money, or for whatever other reasons that are unconnected with the facts surrounding what took place at Zeist, we are inviting a return to the likes of the show trial."

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 05:38 PM   #240
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Having read through the last page of this thread, I don't think I really have anything to say that I haven't said already.
Not mch anyway that needs said. We COULD jabber all day and night ...

I've been indisposed, but gearing back up.

Quote:
Nobody is hand-waving anything away.
That's not true of course.

On our side anyway, it's true. Oh, I admit I brush side clan affiliations and such (has anyone checked Abdel-Jalil's clan lineage, BTW, to ascertain whether he too must have been involved in the bombing plot?). But I do this for the reason that there's still no credible evidence of any bombing plot for anyone Libyan to be linked into by such affiliations.
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