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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Ahmed Jibril , Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103 , Scotland issues , US-Scotland relations

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Old 21st July 2010, 05:20 PM   #321
Rolfe
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Here's the clip. 20 minutes. Available for the next 7 days, to everyone in Britain and with a suitable proxy server.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t4pzh

Rolfe.
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Old 21st July 2010, 05:22 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Here's what's been bugging me about the withdrawal of the appeal. The official explanation, so far as there is one, is that Megrahi had applied both for prisoner transfer and for compassionate release. Since the former required the withdrawal of the appeal, he decided to withdraw it to maximise his chances of getting home.

This is slightly odd for a start. And you know what? A few pennies are dropping with me right now.

This simply doesn't make any sense though. Megrahi had a TV in prison, that was well-known. (Gadaffi bought him a large-screen plasma TV, and the other prisoners liked to watch football on it - this was a random news story years ago.) He also read newspapers. He gave an interview to a Herald journalist in which he said the Herald was his preferred newspaper. He had tried to persuade his fellow-prisoners of its merits, but they stubbornly favoured the Sun.

So, Megrahi was following the same news sources as I was. I knew all along that an SNP government would never grant him a prisoner transfer. Alex Salmond spoke out bitterly against it right at the start, tried (unsuccessfully) to have Megrahi exempt from it, and denounced it as a shabby deal for commercial interests. Just as Jim Swire said. It never got any better. SNP disapproval of the Labour Deal in the Desert never waned. It simply was not going to happen. If I knew that, Megrahi knew that.

So why bother with the prisoner transfer at all? It was quite obvious from 6th August (the release of Ronnie Biggs, the precedent that nobody seems to be mentioning at the moment) that Megrahi would be freed by compassionate release also. It was only a matter of time. And interested parties were all pleased that this would allow the appeal to continue. Which should have suited Megrahi as well.

At the very least, why not wait and see what happened? If compassionate release had been refused, he could always have withdrawn the appeal then and re-applied for the prisoner transfer. But he didn't do it that way.

So the "he wanted to maximise his chances of getting home by keeping the prisoner transfer option open" argument doesn't hold water. He wasn't going to get prisoner transfer and he must have known that. Not until a future time when the SNP was no longer in power, anyway.

Kochler thinks Kenny went to Greenock and twisted his arm, basically saying I'll grant the compassionate release if you withdraw the appeal, face to face with no written records to give away the deal. And this may be so. But Jim Swire's take on it has made me think of a completely different angle.

Someone asked, some time back, so they were dragging their feet on the appeal, what would they have done if Megrahi hadn't contracted cancer? I said, go on dragging, and hoped they were either out of office by the time it was finally decided, or that something would come up. And prostate cancer came up. I was making the astonishingly naive assumption that without the cancer, the appeal would have got to court in the end.

The penny that just dropped is that, no, that appeal was never going to make it. What was going to come up was the prisoner transfer agreement. The prostate cancer was just a complication.

Swire is right. Libya moved on from Lockerbie years ago. They wrote a weasel-worded letter "taking responsibility for the actions of our agents", and turned over a couple of Libyans for trial, and made all the Lockerbie relatives who could stomach to take his money even wealthier than they were already (they received millions in the 1990s from a lawsuit against Pan Am). This all happened gradually, as Libya was gradually rehabilitated back into the community of civilised nations.

The last of the money was paid over in 2008 I think, but even before that, the rehabilitation was proceeding apace. The Deal in the Desert in 2007 was an important milestone, oil deals for BP and prisoner transfer agreements and so on.

Obviously, Libya accepting responsibility for Lockerbie was always part of it. Making sure Libya went on accepting resonsibility would be an important part of it. Of course Libya wanted Megrahi home. But it was also in everyone's interests (except his and the people who would rather like the truth to come out) for the appeal to be stopped.

Libya applied for the prisoner transfer on Megrahi's behalf. We know that, and that's the way it would work anyway. Who knows what conflicts were going on between Megrahi, who wanted to stay in jail for the appeal to be heard, and Libya, who (I think) had come to an agreement as part of all these deals that the appeal would be withdrawn, urging going the prisoner transfer route?

I strongly suspect that's what a lot of the delay was about. Keep that appeal out of court, play for as much time as possible, so that the prisoner transfer agreement can eventually come into action.

There was stalemate in 2007 and 2008, as the Scottish government wouldn't wear prisoner transfer anyway, and Megrahi didn't want to withdraw the appeal. In September 2008, Megrahi was diagnosed with cancer. This opened the compassionate release route, which was acceptable to the Scottish government, but didn't require the appeal to be withdrawn.

In the end it came to the same thing. Megrahi was told, withdraw the appeal, and you can go home. The day after he flew out, his solicitor Mr. Kelly came on TV and said his client had been pressurised. Later, he himself said the same thing. He never said who pressurised him. Was it Kenny, as Kochler thinks, or Gadaffi, as Swire thinks?

It could very well have been both of them.

Rolfe.
Very interesting Rolfe, and I agree. Considering what we were also discussing just the other night in relation to Megrahi's defence during Zeist, and the Libyan advisors, it was something that had crossed my mind that may have also played a part in his decsion to drop the appeal.

My goodness, quite a price for one man to pay. And, not just for Megrahi, but the family name forever to be stained with the conviction of the murder of 270 ordinary innocent people.

I think though that MacAskill's visit to Greenock was very badly advised. No matter how high the stakes were perceived. Anyone who scratches the surface of the trial and 2nd appeal, and then following the steps leading up to his release, will be of the opinion that MacAskill went there with an ultimatum. You're never going to see the conclusion of the appeal, and if it were possible to make the situation for Megrahi even more immediate, you've about 12 weeks to live. So, either, die on your own in Scotland and never see the appeal concluded, or drop the appeal and go home to spend the final few weeks around your family.

Not much of a decision to make, is there? Quite clearly, and I'm certain just about everyone one else would make the same choice: Let me go home, I'll do anything.
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Old 21st July 2010, 05:34 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Megrahi seems to have been a semi-willing sacrificial lamb. He could quite probably have got an acquittal by being a lot more forthcoming to the court about what he was actually doing on 20th-21st December 1988. However, his acquiescence never extended to admitting guilt, and the appeal seems to have been very important to him. Interesting dilemma.
If everything you are saying is true Rolfe than Megrahi is at least guilty of obstruction of justice and concealing evidence in the murders of 270 persons. Eight years in prison seems like a fair sentence to me.

I have little sympathy for Megrahi even if he didn't physically plant the bomb. He knows more than what he's told and if he really is dying why not tell all now and help the families have some peace?
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Old 21st July 2010, 05:40 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Very interesting Rolfe, and I agree. Considering what we were also discussing just the other night in relation to Megrahi's defence during Zeist, and the Libyan advisors, it was something that had crossed my mind that may have also played a part in his decsion to drop the appeal.

Good point. Libya didn't really want him acquitted even at Zeist, so far as we can see.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
My goodness, quite a price for one man to pay. And, not just for Megrahi, but the family name forever to be stained with the conviction of the murder of 270 ordinary innocent people.

Who thinks that, who matters? Nobody in Libya. That wasn't a welcome for a successful terrorist, it was a welcome for an innocent man who had been wrongly imprisoned. If he's in Libya, he's probably quite well insulated from all that.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I think though that MacAskill's visit to Greenock was very badly advised. No matter how high the stakes were perceived. Anyone who scratches the surface of the trial and 2nd appeal, and then following the steps leading up to his release, will be of the opinion that MacAskill went there with an ultimatum. You're never going to see the conclusion of the appeal, and if it were possible to make the situation for Megrahi even more immediate, you've about 12 weeks to live. So, either, die on your own in Scotland and never see the appeal concluded, or drop the appeal and go home to spend the final few weeks around your family.

That was my immediate assumption. And I'm not at all sure it wasn't a bit like that. Except I'm starting to think it was also a lot like something else.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Not much of a decision to make, is there? Quite clearly, and I'm certain just about everyone one else would make the same choice: Let me go home, I'll do anything.

And that's what he did. He then started releasing some of his legal papers, but stopped fairly soon afterwards. I don't know if he's simply not well enough, or if he's been told, don't push it. I suspect the latter.

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Old 21st July 2010, 05:42 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You know, I posted a link and a quote from that this afternoon, but took it down when I read the full article. Most of it is extraordinarily good. But the bloody man is a Lockerbie no-Samsoniter. He thinks all the evidence of the suitcase and the clothes was planted. There are only about three sentences to that effect, but the trouble is, nonsense like that just allows the entire brilliant production to be dismissed.

Rolfe.
Hmmm..Yes, I see what you mean. I just took it they are just tossing everything into the ring and weren't really concentrating on the more obvious and publicly known facts that have come to light during and since Zeist.

It is odd however, that the editor is clearly comfortable in making such claims. It make me think back to an article in Private Eye last year where an article they printed really suggested that they themselves had seen or known of the existence of far more damning documentation which allowed PE to conclude that evidence was planted and/or fabricated. They made a specific reference to the clothing being fabricated and also asserted that Jafaar was himself a memeber of the PFLP.

Now I know PE also have a fairly long history, aside from exposing abuses of power and miscarriages of justice, but they're also known for making allegations that turned out to not be entirely true , but usually there is fire around the smoke that they sniff out.

It'd be interesting if Raeburn or The Firm Magazine could explain fully their allegations and present a plausible narrative that supports the known facts. If we do know the facts at all I suppose.

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Old 21st July 2010, 05:50 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
If everything you are saying is true Rolfe than Megrahi is at least guilty of obstruction of justice and concealing evidence in the murders of 270 persons. Eight years in prison seems like a fair sentence to me.

I have little sympathy for Megrahi even if he didn't physically plant the bomb. He knows more than what he's told and if he really is dying why not tell all now and help the families have some peace?

I think it's important not to get too misty-eyed over Megrahi, right enough. (The trouble was, Fidelio was on the radio the evening he was released, and it kind of seemed appropriate.) He was a Libyan secret agent of some sort. We don't know a huge amount about him. It's always easier to frame somebody with a murky past or something to hide.

He didn't ask to be accused though (and neither did Fhimah, who really seems to have been an ordinary little man doing an ordinary little job). He must have been in a bit of a bind when the trial was arranged. He was told it would be fair, Robert Black and Nelson Mandela assured him it would be fair, and then it turned out to be a kangaroo court.

He was obviously doing something clandestine for Gadaffi when he passed through Malta on his coded passport that day. He never said what. Maybe he could have been acquitted if he'd been able to prove he was engaged in completely separate business. But he certainly couldn't say that without Gadaffi's permission. How could he go back to Libya a free man, having grassed on whatever mission he was engaged in?

He trusted there wasn't enough evidence against him, even without that explanation. He was right. He trusted the court would acquit in that case. He was wrong. But if Gadaffi wouldn't let him divulge any more, what was he supposed to do? He's always said he didn't do it, and why should he have any information on who did?

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Old 21st July 2010, 05:56 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Hmmm..Yes, I see what you mean. I just took it they are just tossing everything into the ring and weren't really concentrating on the more obvious and publicly known facts that have come to light during and since Zeist.

It is odd however, that the editor is clearly comfortable in making such claims.[....]

It'd be interesting if Raeburn or The Firm Magazine could explain fully their allegations and present a plausible narrative that supports the known facts. If we do know the facts at all I suppose.

I don't know what to make of it. Robert Black often posts excerpts from his articles, without any more comment but "excellent" or something like that. The magazine is hard to fathom. On one hand there are links to ordinary legal articles, and advertisements from legit sources aimed at lawyers. On the other hand, the editor prints a helluva lot of CT material about Lockerbie.

Did you see this link?
http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/203..._The_Firm.html

Quote:
‘The Deputy Crown Agent John Dunn has confirmed that the Crown Office will no longer communicate with the Firm or engage with its legitimate media inquiries. The action comes as a direct response to prior concerns expressed by the Firm's editor to Parliamentary Justice Spokespersons over the Crown Office’s consistent failure to address media inquiries put to it.

The Crown Office have classified the Firm’s approach as “unacceptable” and accused the Firm of “persistent rudeness and abusive communication.”

“Accordingly, I write to advise you that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will not enter into further communication with you as an individual or in your capacity as Editor of the Firm,”

Something mildly odd going on there.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st July 2010, 06:23 PM   #328
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I was typing this response when the announcement came on about the Newsnicht feaure. Maybe some of the subsequent discussion has illuminated the points a bit?

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
I don't think the issue is that Libya wasn't involved but that al-Megrahi isn't involved.

Well, who knows. The smart money says a bunch of Palestinian terrorists based in Syria did it, because they were paid $10 million by Iran. See the USS Vincennes and IA655. There's a fair stack of evidence to that effect, but it hasn't been tested in court. The main problem is that nobody knows who actually placed the bomb into the luggage system (though where and when seem pretty certain, and it wasn't 9 am at Luqa airport either).

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
But if -- as it appears Rolfe is indicating -- the compassionate release was engineered to terminate an appeal that would probably have reversed the conviction, then I think Scotland is getting all the bad press is deserves.

Have the courage of your convictions (literally). If the guy is innocent, let the appeal play out. Don't abuse some other process (compassionate release) to avoid the embarrassment of having the conviction overturned on appeal.

I think you need to realise that the politicians are not the general public. That part of your post is so confused I hardly know how to respond. Are you talking to the Scottish people, or the politicians? You seem to think the ordinary people can just tell Kenny MacAskill what to do, and he'll do it. I'm probably as close to the Scottish government you'll get on the forum - long-time party member and activist of the party of government. And I'm absolutely furious with the government about this.

I don't know why the politicians are so hell-bent on covering up the Lockerbie affair, but they're all at it. The USA, the UK, Libya and probably Germany. Now the SNP, who had less than nothing to do with either the original investigation or Camp Zeist, seem to have joined in.

The compassionate release was engineered to bring the whole interminable saga to an end. Acquitting Megrahi would have achieved the exact opposite. The rest is international politics, in which the Scottish government seem to be co-operating to at least a limited degree.

I wish Kenny MacAskill had announced compassionate release free and clear, with the appeal to continue. I wish he'd instructed the court to refuse leave to withdraw the appeal, on the grounds of public interest, and waved Megrahi off with a smile.

Kenny decided to do something else. Who are you actually addressing in your post?

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
If Scotland wants to do the right thing, someone in the government should stand up and say, "We sent him home because he wasn't guilty. We knew it, and the appeal would have confirmed it. We didn't feel like waiting for our own appeals process to play out in the normal course, so we got a doctor to say al-Megrahi had 3 months to live, and used 'compassionate release' to justify it."

It might not stop the hoopla, but at least it would be honest and forthright. Right now, the Scottish government is stuck defending what appears to be a very shaky compassionate release determination, rather than upholding the more laudable concept of releasing an innocent man.

Why is it shaky? Merely, because Megrahi (now at home and with his family and getting international-grade oncology treatment) has outlived the original prognosis.

It was always recognised that the three months was an estimate, and that it might be longer - particularly if his environment underwent a marked change for the better. Kenny has never wavered. It was the right thing to do and all the advice he received said Megrahi was eligible for compassionate release. He said he'd do the same thing again.

I strongly suspect some very high-level opposition to the very suggestion that Megrahi was innocent. It's OK for us, we just want the truth. But the truth is Pandora's Box, if we're right. All the sanctions against Libya, unjustified. $2.7 billion paid by Gadaffi in blood money - under false pretences. 270 unsolved murders and a cold case to re-open 22 years after the event.

If you want honest and forthright, ask the US government why they paid Majid Giaka to invent a pack of lies about Megrahi and Fhimah planting that bomb, and went to court with a witness they knew was lying for money? Actually, ask them why they were running the prosecution case with their hands up the Lord Advocate's backside.

Ask them why they paid Tony and Paul Gauci $3 million and relocated them to Australia. You could even try asking them what happened to the baggage records at Frankfurt airport, and see if you get an answer.

The USA is into this a lot deeper than the Scottish government is.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st July 2010, 06:28 PM   #329
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By the way, one of the tabloids was shown at the end of Newsnicht crowing that Kenny had lied to get Megrahi released. Kenny explained this morning that the three-month prognosis was based on what was likely to happen if Megrahi remained in jail, and that it had always been possible that going home would give him renewed will to live. We always knew that. It was talked about at the time.

But no, Kenny "lied" about the prognosis, on the basis of that. So what do we do? Say the guy can never go home, because if we grant that concession, it might extend his life longer than our prejudices can cope with?

I don't think there's any sophistry the anti-SNP press will stoop to, to make a cheap point.

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Old 21st July 2010, 07:01 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think you need to realise that the politicians are not the general public.
I do realize that. I didn't know specifically the branch of the government responsible for choosing the compassionate release, so I used "Scottish" as a proxy.

Quote:
The compassionate release was engineered to bring the whole interminable saga to an end.
Didn't seem to work on that way, did it?

Quote:
It's OK for us, we just want the truth. But the truth is Pandora's Box, if we're right. All the sanctions against Libya, unjustified. $2.7 billion paid by Gadaffi in blood money - under false pretences. 270 unsolved murders and a cold case to re-open 22 years after the event.
That only emphasizes the cowardly nature of what they did. If he's innocent, all that's been done is confirmed in many people's eyes the nature of his and Libya's guilt.

Quote:
The USA is into this a lot deeper than the Scottish government is.
Let's not play the tu quoque game, okay?
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Old 21st July 2010, 07:10 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
I do realize that. I didn't know specifically the branch of the government responsible for choosing the compassionate release, so I used "Scottish" as a proxy.

And I still don't know whether you're aiming your criticism at me or Kenny MacAskill.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Didn't seem to work on that way, did it?

It's doing just fine. This current spat is an irrelevance compared to what would happen if Megrahi's conviction was overturned.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
That only emphasizes the cowardly nature of what they did. If he's innocent, all that's been done is confirmed in many people's eyes the nature of his and Libya's guilt.

Come back when you have the first clue what you're talking about.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Let's not play the tu quoque game, okay?

It's not tu quoque. The Scottish government didn't pay witnesses millions of dollars to provide perjured evidence to convict Megrahi. The CIA and the US DoJ did that.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st July 2010, 07:16 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And I still don't know whether you're aiming your criticism at me or Kenny MacAskill.
Since you're not "responsible for choosing the compassionate release" I'm not sure how you can continue to be confused on this point.

Quote:
This current spat is an irrelevance compared to what would happen if Megrahi's conviction was overturned.
Speculation.
Quote:
Come back when you have the first clue what you're talking about.
Now that's putting the "Educational" in the James Randi Educational Foundation!
Quote:
It's not tu quoque. The Scottish government didn't pay witnesses millions of dollars to provide perjured evidence to convict Megrahi. The CIA and the US DoJ did that.
That's a tu quoque. A tu quoque is deflecting from the topic (Scotland's action) by saying someone else (US) did something else that is as bad or worse. What you have done is precisely a tu quoque.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 01:40 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
It sounds like a horrible bit of FUBAR. Letting the US get involved with what sure seems like a dubious conviction doesn't make anybody look good. I think there really should be a thorough investigatory commission into all this new information. But....who would do it?


And one thing keeps gnawing at me though. Why? Why go through the mechanics of rigging things to get this guy? Why blame it on Libya if it was likely someone else that the US and UK hated?
It sounds like you're making progress away from the brainwash beams. The question of why is not answered,, but it pops up when you realize how huge this had to be to be a frame-up, which it seems like. . There are some good reasons, however.

We have a darn good greivance behind the attack, the Vincennes thing. Wrong foot to start on if you're gonna let it escalate. There is the Gulf War re-alignment issue where Iraq is the enemy, no time to tangle with Iran too. There's the embrassing security and intelligence failures, the clever plot and its propaganda value, the way Western infiltrators were co-opted and danced around (or were involved??)... heck, they couldn't evan say it was atotal clash of civilizations thing since the most likely bomber, Abu Elias, was Christian. It was one of those things that had CIA people rubbing their heads, cursing and fretting...

I'm not up to offering a better analysis than that, if it seems inadequate. Sry.
ETA: And that's the one list - why Libya would be easier is another whole other list of points ...

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Old 22nd July 2010, 02:11 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
I don't think the issue is that Libya wasn't involved but that al-Megrahi isn't involved.
That would be the main point to stick to at the moment, but IMO the Libya evidence is all fake and no one there had a lick to do with it.

Quote:
But if -- as it appears Rolfe is indicating -- the compassionate release was engineered to terminate an appeal that would probably have reversed the conviction, then I think Scotland is getting all the bad press is deserves.
But for quite the wrong reasons, don't you think?

Good points otherwise.

Sorry to be so drive-by these days, but I'm real busy here. Haven't even got to check out the new stuff from Dr. Kochler. I hope this helps a few people get some context.

[QUOTE-Buncrana]Not much of a decision to make, is there? Quite clearly, and I'm certain just about everyone one else would make the same choice: Let me go home, I'll do anything.[/quote]
But he is a shrewd man. He submitted his papers to the Cort of Public Opinion. That's awesome for me, as I'm a judge on that circuit and can make my OWN judgment, free of the normal rules on judges like never, ever, question what some "scientist" says, no matter how preposterous it is.

Rolfe: He might have stopped short on releasing docs to save the rest for his book, to raise money for his family in the process. I'll be plunking down the $$ it takes for my copy, and John Ashton had BETTER NOT screw it up with more Khaled Jafaar crap....

I see a rapid back-n-forth betwixt Rolfe and Marksman.
Mark, trust me. IF that appeal hadn't been dropped and was actually heard, rather than stalled into oblivion, and IF the judges had considered it reasonably... (two big ifs) well, it's better for the Scottish and UK systems this way (no appeal) and waaay better for the American side.

You can judge for yourself - this is the Grounds of appeal (pdf), just taking a narrow focus on Gauci's "identification" and its reliability. Consider what a reasonable judge would think reading this, and reflect on what Gauci's "ID" means to the case against Megrahi.

And they aren't even getting into the passing-off of Giaka as a witness (another $2 million wonder), and Bollier (I suspect he got $2 million or more as well but not like in his stories, where he refuses it), and the discrepancies surrounding physical evidence like the timer fragment, radio manual, etc, the questions surrounding the "unaccompanied suitcase from Malta," the dismissal of the London clues...

Whether or not any of this on-subject enough by your measure to not be "tu quouque." Whatever.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 02:36 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Since you're not "responsible for choosing the compassionate release" I'm not sure how you can continue to be confused on this point.

Maybe by your persistent use of the word "you". Kenny MacAskill is not a member of this forum. I'm the one who said I was furious with Kenny, and at one point declared that I'd love to get him in a dark alley with a set of thumbscrews, remember?

The discussion coming from the Scots side is expressing incomprehension at Kenny's insistence that the conviction is sound, and his apparent machinations to get Megrahi to drop his appeal. We know he's doing this, but we don't understand why. It is not especially helpful to counter this with "you" should do this or "you" should do that, directed at Kenny.

I'm perfectly clear what I think Kenny should have done. I think he should have allowed the compassionate release, and allowed the appeal to continue, even taking steps to prevent the appeal being abandoned if someone else was making moves to do that. The question is, why did he do what he did, and why are both he and now Alex Salmond taking such pains to insist that the conviction is sound, when any fool reading the court judgements can see it was a travesty, and there's a whole big SCCRC enquiry says the same thing.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Speculation.

Well done, Sherlock. We don't know why Kenny did what he did, or is taking the line he's taking, so speculation is quite appropriate.

As I said, the SNP had less than nothing to do with the original enquiry or Camp Zeist, so they as a party have nothing to cover up. Why have they now fallen into line with the rest of the "establishment" - that is principally the US and UK governments, who most assuredly have a great deal to cover up - at this stage of the game?

I speculate that perhaps some argument has been made that the stability of the Middle East (such as it is) would be adversely affected by opening the whole can of worms about who really bombed Pan Am 103, rather than letting sleeping dogs lie. If you have a better suggestion, I'd be interested to hear it.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
Now that's putting the "Educational" in the James Randi Educational Foundation!

I apologise, I was typing very late at night - or rather early in the morning. The education is in this and other threads, and I know it's a chore to wade your way through and find the relevant posts, but it's also a chore to have to keep re-typing the same explanations.

You're trying to shoehorn this affair into an incomplete understanding of what is actually going on. The Scottish government wants Megrahi to go on being seen as the perpetrator of the Lockerbie bombing, in common with the UK and US governments. It seems to have no interest in drawing attention to his probable innocence, indeed quite the opposite. Since it hates the UK government with a fiery passion, and has no particular axe to grind for the US government, this is difficult to explain.

Megrahi wasn't given compassionate release in order to compensate him for being wrongly convicted, or as a quick way out of jail rather than wait for the appeal process to take its course. He was released in order to stop the course of events that would have led to his conviction being overturned, because it is not in the interests of our government (any flavour) or yours for that to happen.

Some of us don't understand why this is the case, and don't believe we would agree with the reasoning even if we did understand.

Originally Posted by marksman View Post
That's a tu quoque. A tu quoque is deflecting from the topic (Scotland's action) by saying someone else (US) did something else that is as bad or worse. What you have done is precisely a tu quoque.

No, I'm pointing out that the US government is the prime mover in this affair and always has been. To try to understand why the Scottish government is behaving as it is, without understanding that what is going on is essentially a closing of ranks with the authorities who carried out the framing of Megrahi in the first place, is futile. See this article for example.

Quote:
Amid all the bellowing about the release on compassionate grounds of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of the bombing of PanAm flight 103 in 1988, all current commentary ignores the hippo in the room - which is the powerful evidence that Megrahi was innocent, framed by the US and British security services and originally found guilty because Scottish judges had their arms brutally twisted by Westminster. The conviction was one of the great judicial scandals of the 20th Century.

As I said, it was the CIA who paid Giaka large sums of money to induce him to make up fairy-stories about Megrahi and Fhimah. They then presented Giaka as a prosecution witness in the full knowledge that this was the case. This was actually uncovered in court and his evidence thrown out, so it's not exactly secret.

It was the US Department of Justice prosecutors who were sitting with the Scottish prosecution team in Camp Zeist, pretty much directing their every move. It was the same department which paid out $3 million to the Gauci brothers, apparently as a reward for managing to provide a tentative identification of Megrahi which the court (against all apparent reason) accepted.

I'm not making this up - this is not some weird conspiracy theory, this is all a matter of public and legal record. It's extremely difficult to believe Kenny MacAskill is not also aware of these facts. However, rather than take the opportunity to right this wrong and set the record straight, a positively heaven-sent opportunity which placed him in a position to do this, with no prior involvement in the affair at all, he has chosen to continue with the cover-up.

Enquiring minds wonder why.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 02:51 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm not making this up - this is not some weird conspiracy theory, this is all a matter of public and legal record. It's extremely difficult to believe Kenny MacAskill is not also aware of these facts. However, rather than take the opportunity to right this wrong and set the record straight, a positively heaven-sent opportunity which placed him in a position to do this, with no prior involvement in the affair at all, he has chosen to continue with the cover-up.

Enquiring minds wonder why.

Rolfe.
Am I missing something here? As far as I can see the intitial reason to drop the appeal was to avoid the Scottish Justice system being shown up as the tragic farce it was (In this instance, it may well be excellent overall). My understanding is Camp Zeist was a Scottish Court, with Scottish lawyers and Judges ruling on Scottish law, if it was revealed to have poodled to the UK and US and banged up the wrong man then some of the dirt would splash onto the new Scottish Government, far better to hush it up and let Megrahi die quietly and everyone would forget.

Now Megrahi has inconveniently not died he's getting some grief about it, but MacAskill can't backtrack now without admitting he was wrong before, which politicians don't do.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:17 AM   #337
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Yes, that's one possible reason. It's never seemed sufficient to me though. Maybe you're right.

The Shirley McKie case was another tragic farce, and if I recall correctly they coughed up about £750,000 rather than have any more light shed on that.

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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:24 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
If everything you are saying is true Rolfe than Megrahi is at least guilty of obstruction of justice and concealing evidence in the murders of 270 persons. Eight years in prison seems like a fair sentence to me.

I have little sympathy for Megrahi even if he didn't physically plant the bomb. He knows more than what he's told and if he really is dying why not tell all now and help the families have some peace?
Oh my God, I just caught that. Alt... "in the death" of who, if what Rolfe says istrue? He denied his whereabouts at one point,whilesimultaneously being framedfor Lockerbie. Rolfe is on record and I agree as speculating that Megrahi was framed BECAUSE he was on some unrelated secret mission on Malta that day. False passport, denails.both support this.

Also, the bomb went onboard in London 1000 miles away, but I don't blame you for not knowing or believing this. But it kinda makes his Malta mission a perfect alibi when you look at it one way.

He knows nothing about the bombing except what he's found in research, trying to clear his name. He had mentioned this in his appeal, or something related, something about Abu Elias... There's a book coming up, keep your eyes out. He's doing his part to help the families, but the rest of the road is long and rocky and we'll have to walk it without the Megrahi to look to anymore.

Something tells me you're very confused now.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:33 AM   #339
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Threep, Rolfe, how's this:

Something larger, something a wide establishment wouldn't want, a scope he doesn't even fully grasp, allows MacAskill (et al) to allow himself to justify his compromise with that basic protect Scotland instinct? IF this thing ever is able to come level, it will hurt worse now. Every decision to insist on Megrahi's guilt is an investment, and they were all in way too deep long ago. It won't be allowed.

I'm still doing it, of course.

Rolfe, as an old SNP hand, you say the line has generally been to criticize the conviction and question the guilt. do you have old materials with quotes from any relevant players? Who within SNP said stuff like that? Etc. Not for me, as I'm so behind, but just a thought for something useful to the world maybe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:43 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Something larger, something a wide establishment wouldn't want, a scope he doesn't even fully grasp, allows MacAskill (et al) to allow himself to justify his compromise with that basic protect Scotland instinct? IF this thing ever is able to come level, it will hurt worse now. Every decision to insist on Megrahi's guilt is an investment, and they were all in way too deep long ago. It won't be allowed.

I'm still doing it, of course.



Two answers.
  1. I don't believe in huge NWO illuminati conspiracies, I have never seen credible evidence of one.
  2. And this one applies a bit even if there isn't a gigantic co-ordinated conspiracy. What is Megrahi doing alive? If he was dead the whole thing would disappear apart from this thread and a few obsessive journalists. He's got terminal cancer and is living in a totalitarian state which has done far worse things than bump off an inconvenient citizen.

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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:52 AM   #341
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Caustic Logic, I appreciate you're posting in a hurry, and it's difficult to express your own level of understanding of this complex issue in a short time, to posters who obviously haven't spent months studying the issues, and whose understanding is at best superficial.

However, I think these rushed, abbreviated and oblique posts are doing more harm than good. You're coming over like an unreconstructed tinfoil-hat CTer. If you'll heed my advice, either take the time to make a coherent and focussed point or argument, or don't post in the thread.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 04:23 AM   #342
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Will do,cap.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 04:33 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't know what to make of it. Robert Black often posts excerpts from his articles, without any more comment but "excellent" or something like that. The magazine is hard to fathom. On one hand there are links to ordinary legal articles, and advertisements from legit sources aimed at lawyers. On the other hand, the editor prints a helluva lot of CT material about Lockerbie.

Did you see this link?
http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/203..._The_Firm.html

Something mildly odd going on there.

Rolfe.
I think the Firm Magazine and it's editors have been poking their noses into areas that are generally seen as 'off limits' when dealing with those working in the same profession as they are.

Last summer The Firm Magazine was carrying reports indicating that Lothian and Borders Police Criminal Investigation Department were examining claims by MSP Christine Grahame relating to the conduct of Crown Agent Norman McFadyen in the Lockerbie case. Whether this was related to Mr McFadyen's conduct during the first trial at Zeist or specifically to the lengthy, and persistantly stalled, 2nd appeal of the 'convicted' Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi, or indeed both, is unclear.

It had been reported by the Herald newspaper in Scotland that during the trial at Zeist one of the leading members of the prosecution team and now Crown Agent, Mr McFadyen, had viewed evidence in the possession of the US government and the CIA, and had signed a non-disclosure agreement on June 1, 2000, thus withholding known evidence from the court or the defence team. This was not the first occasion that the representative to the Crown had been accused of such impropriety.

In 2005, the political commentator and activist Mark Thomas wrote, "On 12 October 2005, a court began hearing the appeals of two Scottish men, Billy Allison and Steven Johnston, who were convicted of the murder of Andrew Forsyth in a frenzied attack in November 1995. During the trial the jury was told that "to bring home a conviction against Steven Johnston, the deceased would require to have died on Friday 3 November".

Forsyth's body was found on 9 November, and in 1996 Johnston was banged up for life for the killing. So was Allison.

However, evidence has come to light that Forsyth did not die on 3 November 1995. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission found four witness statements by people who claimed they had seen Forsyth alive days after the date police said he had died. This is crucial. If Forsyth was alive after that date, why did the court convict Johnston of killing him?"

The eyewitnesses who gave statements included a newsagent, who claimed Forsyth came into his shop for a paper on 4 November. Another man saw Forsyth drinking in a bar on 8 November, five days after he is supposed to have died."

Crucially, the police did not disclose these statements to the defence team. Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, the former Lord Advocate, said that "at best this is unacceptable bumbling incompetence, and at its worst . . . it may be criminal".

Equally alarming is that the Scottish Crown Office knew the police had withheld the crucial witness statements back in February 1997.

Having previously claimed that "all statements taken by the police in this case" had been handed to the Procurator Fiscal, Deputy Crown Agent Norman McFadyen wrote on 3 February 1997: "It is now clear that the information which I had previously conveyed to you in my letter . . . was inaccurate and misleading in relation to the retention of the results of the enquiries of the police and the taking of statements."

It would seem that together with many of the prosecution teams discredited and contradictory witnesses presented at Zeist, and Lord Frasers's comments regarding the previous conduct of the deputy crown agent, were taken so seriously that promotion for Deputy McFadyen was the reward for such actions. It is little wonder that The Firm magazine subsequently reported that a 'veil of secrecy' had been thrown over the current investigation into the allegation made by Ms Grahame's on the Crown agents conduct in the Lockerbie case.

http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/163...stigation.html

http://www.heraldscotland.com/reveal...other-1.866400
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Old 22nd July 2010, 04:48 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Who are they (the murdering IRA scumbags in New York)? What were they convicted of and what actions have the Scottish and/or British government done to attempt to have them extradited?
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Wan...-79884747.html


The list goes on and on.New York, Boston San francisco.. And if you want to know how the extradition treaty between the UK and The US works, I suggest you google Gary Mackinnon. Unfortunately he can't get a UK judge to claim his hacking was a "political offense", unlike Brian Pearson, whose bombing of an RUC police station was declared as such by Manhattan judge Philip T Williams. Yeah, thanks Philip.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 04:54 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Two answers.
  1. I don't believe in huge NWO illuminati conspiracies, I have never seen credible evidence of one.
  2. And this one applies a bit even if there isn't a gigantic co-ordinated conspiracy. What is Megrahi doing alive? If he was dead the whole thing would disappear apart from this thread and a few obsessive journalists. He's got terminal cancer and is living in a totalitarian state which has done far worse things than bump off an inconvenient citizen.

I think Caustic Logic needs a little lie-down.

I don't think anyone is seriously proposing a huge NWO illuminati conspiracy. However, international politics is international politics. When heads of state have a summit meeting, they're not doing it for the sake of a weekend junket. They're doing it to hammer out a common modus vivendi and agree on a co-ordinated approach to certain issues. And the same thing happens in private too, without the need for these pesky minutes.

The apparent start of all this is a telephone conversation between Bush and Thatcher in mid-March 1989. The thrust of this was that the then hot pursuit of the PFLP-GC for the bombing by the Lockerbie investigation wasn't politically acceptable, and that politicians were to stop encouraging press reports that these were the culprits and they would soon be arrested.

Two heads of state agree to take a common, mutually beneficial line on a particular topic. Is that a huge illuminati conspiracy? I don't think so.

Fast forward 20 years. Devolution happened, and now executive responsibility for the incident lies with the Scottish government, which didn't exist at the time of the incident, but is now vested in a political party which doesn't take dictation from Westminster. Does it become a huge iluminati conspiracy if the Westminster government decides to share with the Scottish government the compelling international realpolitik reasons for persisting in this line, and gets them on board?

I'm not saying this is what happened, but I don't think it's tinfoil-hat unlikely per se.

As far as Libyan involvement goes, I'm not clear that this row is impacting on them at all. Gadaffi is probably quite enjoying the discomfiture being exhibited by the West over Megrahi's survival time. And possibly boasting about Libya's superior medical standards. It's a nine-day wonder, in a way. And when it all blows over, his current, advantageous status quo is still in place.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 05:04 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
I think the Firm Magazine and it's editors have been poking their noses into areas that are generally seen as 'off limits' when dealing with those working in the same profession as they are.

Sigh. Bent cops and bent prosecutors. And wondering if a legal magazine is promulgating CT conspiracies. What a great country! Sounds exactly like the set-up you need if you require a conviction brought against somebody on circumstantial, inferential and made-up evidence.

Which is what was done, of course. Maybe Kenny is just covering up for his mates. He is a lawyer after all.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 05:22 AM   #347
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Does it become a huge iluminati conspiracy if the Westminster government decides to share with the Scottish government the compelling international realpolitik reasons for persisting in this line, and gets them on board?

I'm not saying this is what happened, but I don't think it's tinfoil-hat unlikely per se.
It's not a conspiracy, I just think it's unnecessary, in my opinion the Scottish Government has it's own, very good reasons for not wanting further investigation of Megrahi's trial, so you don't need to add new ones.

Quote:
As far as Libyan involvement goes, I'm not clear that this row is impacting on them at all. Gadaffi is probably quite enjoying the discomfiture being exhibited by the West over Megrahi's survival time. And possibly boasting about Libya's superior medical standards. It's a nine-day wonder, in a way. And when it all blows over, his current, advantageous status quo is still in place.
I agree with this, it just suggests to me that Libya's co-operation has been limited to things they absolutely had to do to get back in the international playpen.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 05:59 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
[...]As far as Libyan involvement goes, I'm not clear that this row is impacting on them at all. Gadaffi is probably quite enjoying the discomfiture being exhibited by the West over Megrahi's survival time. And possibly boasting about Libya's superior medical standards. It's a nine-day wonder, in a way. And when it all blows over, his current, advantageous status quo is still in place.

Rolfe.
I have to say I agree with this and would echo Guybrush above, in that Libya through their payment of 'compensation' and reintroduction into the international community, was the primary objective and are probably sitting back enjoying the sight of the UK, US and Scottish governments squirming any time his release and appeal are mentioned.

Reading through the Herald's article about the timeline leading upto the Compassionate Release, and these final few sentences at the end of the article are very interesting indeed.

Originally Posted by The Herald
Jim Swire, whose daughter died in the Lockerbie bombing, said on Megrahi’s release that he would continue with the appeal on his behalf, if possible.

However, it is unlikely the appeal could move forward while Megrahi is still alive. The SCCRC would be unlikely to agree that it was in the interests of justice to proceed, when Megrahi gave up his chance to prove his innocence.

It is thought that relatives of those who died in the bombing would be well placed to take the appeal forward once Megrahi dies.
I thought this possiblity had been completely ruled out after Megrahi had droped the appeal himself. Perhaps not it seems.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...ease-1.1043001

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Old 22nd July 2010, 06:48 AM   #349
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I missed the paperboy this morning (lazy brat, school holidays) and I haven't taken the trouble to look at the online version. Something to read with the evening meal.

I went to M&S at lunchtime and they had a newspaper display - all English papers for some bizarre reason. I see it's the Daily Fail trumpeting that MacAskill "lied" about the three-month prognosis, because he remarked that the prognosis was based on his then circumstances, and a change in circumstances (such as going home to his family and getting more chemo) might alter matters. Which was of course something discussed openly last August.

It was the Times that had the front-page spread about Kochler's report, saying that MacAskill was being accused of putting pressure on Megrahi to withdraw his appeal. Fine. If Kenny is going to get in hot water, I want it to be for something he actually did, or at least might have done. The more this becomes about the abandoned appeal, the better.

Originally Posted by Buncrana
I thought this possiblity had been completely ruled out after Megrahi had droped the appeal himself. Perhaps not it seems.

There are ways of looking again at convictions after the death of the person convicted. Whether that's the best way, I don't know, but any way that gets it to court would be good. I fear there will be a great deal of obstructionism though.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 06:57 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
It's not a conspiracy, I just think it's unnecessary, in my opinion the Scottish Government has it's own, very good reasons for not wanting further investigation of Megrahi's trial, so you don't need to add new ones.

You may well be right, it's probably the most parsimonious explanation. I suppose I had hoped for better. The idea that lawyers would be interested in cleaning out that Augean stables is probably a bit fanciful though, no matter which political party they belong to.

Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I agree with this, it just suggests to me that Libya's co-operation has been limited to things they absolutely had to do to get back in the international playpen.

I think so too. However, I still think that making sure Megrahi discontinued his appeal might have been one of those things. The process of "normalisation" of Libya is still ongoing. Quietly smothering the guy who took the blame and served eight years for it, maybe not so much.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 10:09 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
He knows nothing about the bombing except what he's found in research, trying to clear his name.
"He knows nothing about the bombing"? How can you be sure about that?
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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:39 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
"He knows nothing about the bombing"? How can you be sure about that?

I think CL has become a little over-excited....

If you just want to post blind opinion on the internet, then skip this post. If you want to find out a bit about it, read on.

This question is much he same as asking how can we be sure Megrahi wasn't involved in the plot to bomb the airliner, which is to say guilty as charged, because he was only ever found guilty of being mixed up in it, not planting the actual bomb. So, how do we know he wasn't mixed up in it?

The main reason is that the central plank of the case was that the bomb suitcase was smuggled on to flight KM180 leaving Malta on the morning of 21st December. This put Megrahi right in the frame because he was passing through that airport at that time, catching a different flight, and he was quite obviously up to something covert.

You'd think a small provincial airport might have rather lax security, but no. There was a tight system of bag checking and counting. Fifty-five bags went on that plane, each attached to a passenger. They were counted three times, and it always tallied. All the luggage was picked up by its owners at their destinations as expected. All the passengers were extensively investigated for terrorist connections and came up clean.

The investigators tried everything they could think of to break this evidence. Baggage handlers' private phone lines were tapped, you name it. All to no avail. In addition, in the years before the case came to court, Air Malta was successful in (I think) three civil actions against media organisations who published the allegation that the bomb had gone on at Malta. At the actual trial, the prosecution could present no loophole at all by which that bag could have got on board.

So how come Megrahi was convicted? Because of some weird with the baggage records at Frankfurt, that plane's destination. These records all mysteriously vanished almost immediately after the disaster. This was all the more surprising because Frankfurt was on high alert for exactly this occurrence - one warning about a suitcase with a bomb disguised as a radio-cassette player, and a separate one about a plot to bomb a Pan Am flight from Frankfurt to New York. Requests from the Scottish police for Frankfurt baggage records got the runaround - lost, destroyed, don't exist.

Then, eight months after the disaster, the Germans suddenly produced a very limited extract from the records - a loading record for the Frankfurt/Heathrow feeder flight PA103A. They said they'd had it since February, after an IT technician handed it in, but they never explained either why they sat on it for so long, or what happened to the original records. The documentation was subject to interpretation, because flight of origin had to be inferred from time and place of entry to the system, but analysis showed a bag from KM180 being transferred to PA103A. Or rather, a bag probably from KM180.

However, the inference wasn't watertight. A mistake in coding the baggage into the system or a coder forgetting to make a written entry, could give the impression of a piece of luggage coming from somewhere it didn't. It was accepted that such mistakes occasionally occurred at Frankfurt. Case closed, you'd think.

But no. The judges decided that although mistakes happened at Frankfurt, in such a huge operation, there was no evidence that any such mistake had happened in relation to the coding of the Malta luggage. It was quite difficult to show this of course, because most of the records were missing so a lot of assumptions were being made. On balance, they decided, there was no mistake, and the record really showed a bag from Malta. Therefore that blew a complete hole in the evidence from Malta that nobody had been able to shake, and the bomb had indeed been introduced there.

Yo may think I'm misreporting this, but I'm not. This is exactly what the judges decided. And this is where it gets interesting. One of the reasons given for the decision was that this interpretation was made more likely by the fact that Megrahi was at Malta when the plane took off, and there was other evidence against him.

That other evidence was principally that of Tony Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper who sold the clothes packed round the bomb in the suitcase, a short while before the disaster. The purchase was made in a memorable, conspicuous manner (which is a bit odd in itself) and Tony remembered the sale. The problem was he remembered the items sold a lot better than the purchaser, or rather he remembered the purchaser's size and build, but not really his face. The initial description he gave was of someone taller, heavier built and older than Megrahi - complete with estimated chest, waist and collar sizes. His job was selling clothes, after all. In addition, enquiry into the date of this sale narrowed it down to two probable dates. By far the most likely for several reasons was 23rd November, but if you tortured the facts a bit you could possibly make a fit for 7th December.

The police, and then the judges, duly proceeded to torture the facts, and decided the date was 7th December. Which was handy, because Megrahi was on Malta on 7th December (he actually travelled there frequently). He was not there on 23rd November. When asked why they had preferred the December date, one of the detectives later said, really because Megrahi was there that day.

The holy grail was to get Tony to identify Megrahi as the purchaser of the clothes, but that proved an uphill struggle. There are lengthy take-downs of Tony's identification evidence produced by experts, but actually he never positively identified him. He said several times that Megrahi resembled the purchaser, but that he was too young.

The judges decided that even though Tony was uncertain, the purchaser was Megrahi - because he'd been on Malta the day of the purchase, and he'd been at the airport at the time the bomb bag went on KM180.

If you think I'm distorting this, go and read the court judgements. It's as I say. It's text-book circular reasoning.

The clothes purchase was the deciding factor for the court. Just being at an airport without having been seen to do anything at all out of the ordinary (and certainly not go air-side), wouldn't have been sufficient evidence to convict Megrahi, even if the nonsense of the baggage records was allowed to stand. However, if he had bought the clothes packed round the bomb - gotcha.

The Mata baggage records could never be made to show room for an unaccompanied bag, no matter how you tortured them. The balance of probabilities was obviously towards the "unlikely" coding mistake at Frankfurt rather than overt magic at Malta. When the appeal got started last year Tony Gauci's "identification" evidence was unravelling faster than a ball of wool in the paws of a kitten. What's left? Megrahi wasn't present when the bomb went into the baggage system, and didn't buy the clothes. Anything else that was brought up was beyond tenuous, in the realms of "six degrees of separation".

And just to complete the picture, pretty good evidence was presented to the court of a suitcase looking very like the bomb suitcase going into the relevant baggage container at Heathrow, before the feeder flight from Frankfurt had even landed. The judges managed to handwave that evidence away by similar logical back-flip handstands.

Why a group of Law Lords chose to take that line, I have no idea. In their own words....

Quote:
We are aware that in relation to certain aspects of the case there are a number of uncertainties and qualifications. We are also aware that there is a danger that by selecting parts of the evidence which seem to fit together and ignoring parts which might not fit, it is possible to read into a mass of conflicting evidence a pattern or conclusion which is not really justified.

Hello, guys?

So no, I can't prove Megrahi had nothing to do with it. I simply see no credible evidence that he had. At the same time I see considerably more evidence that a group of Palestinian terrorists had the means, motive and opportunity to attack that airliner, and considerably more evidence indicating that the route by which the bomb was introduced was via Heathrow airport. Hence, I think Caustic Logic's statement is bang on the nail.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 03:43 PM   #353
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
"He knows nothing about the bombing"? How can you be sure about that?
To be perfectly frank, I'm not 100% sure of that. But I am, personally, about 99% sure, and that's from examining the evidence against him and how it fails to hold up under scrutiny. I do feel I've got better reason to say innocent than the vast majority have to say guilty.

I apologize for not re-explaining all of that here, but the information is around. Feel free to question it where it's been discussed, or else accept that those who HAVE looked at it consider the evidence suspect.

Also sorry for wrecking the discussion this morning. I've been having to work harder at work and home, and getting stretched a little thin, especially at the end of my day. I'm not able to read and absorb the large amount of talk these days, here or elsewhere, let alone comment widely and brilliantly. I understand I was getting incoherent and talking about the Illuminati or something. So until my schedule lets up and I've got enough energy to read up and come up with proper multi-paragraph posts with full sentences and that account for the same from others, I'll be taking a break from commenting here.

ETA: AltF4, I refer to Rolfe's post above in case you skipped it. It's worth a read and exactly on the level with little or no supposition and can be trusted or, if you must, double-checked.

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Old 22nd July 2010, 04:49 PM   #354
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Does that kind of explain it in an acceptable number of words? If so, I should maybe save the link.

I was commenting in the thread about the death of Ian Tomlinson earlier, and I can't help marvel at the comparison. That case was dropped because of insufficient evidence, really. The first post mortem was done by an incompetent pathologist, who didn't know it was a possible assault charge and didn't spot the signs of death from internal bleeding due to trauma. Worse, he didn't preserve certain vital evidence, fluid he found in the abdomen.

Only later, after the video clip of the cop knocking him to the ground surfaced, was a second post mortem done. That pathologist diagnosed internal bleeding due to trauma, but needed the fluid to back up his diagnosis. It wasn't available. A third pathologist did a third examination, and came to the same conclusion. Still no fluid though. And no photos I gather. Worse, although the first pathologist had said the fluid was blood in his first report, he changed his mind later, to a description that would have fitted his heart failure idea. He's currently up in front of the GMC on a string of unrelated incompetence charges though.

So, the first guy is unquestionably incompetent. The two competent guys agree the death was trauma. And the history of the man getting up from where he'd fallen and collapsing again round the corner is absolutely classic for internal trauma.

But the evidence was thrown away. The cop is entitled to a defence. Any competent barrister would walk all over that case. And the court has to go by the law. The inference that the fluid was blood isn't enough. So the CPU has decided to drop the case.

Why did they even take Megrahi to court in the first place? It's beyond ridiculous. The inference upon inference that he was convicted on is far far weaker than the evidence against this cop, and yet that isn't good enough to prosecute.

Guilt in a murder case has to be beyond reasonable doubt. That's a high bar to clear. On the balance of probabilities isn't good enough for a criminal conviction. Megrahi isn't even guilty on the balance of probabilities. On the contrary, the balance of probabilities weighs heavily towards him being innocent. You can't declare someone guilty on that basis.

The burden of proof is on the prosecution. Proving Megrahi didn't do it is a big ask. Frankly, proving I didn't do it would be a big ask, as I was a lot closer than Megrahi was to Heathrow airport that day. However, I actually think it's close. If one could figure a bit more about that orphan luggage tray in the Frankfurt baggage system, and identify a probable explanation for its appearance rather than just vague "coding mistake", that would be it.

But it's almost impossible to do - because the entire set of baggage records for that day at Frankfurt airport disappeared competely, right in front of the noses of the cops, cops who were on double-alert for exactly this sort of attack, and knew within a couple of hours that the flight involved had in one sense "started" from Frankfurt. And this was simply reported as a fact. Never apologise, never explain. And the higher echelons of the UK and US arms of the investigation never said a word about it.

What's that all about? I think I need a lie down now.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 09:18 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Shaun from Scotland View Post
The article you linked to says the man in question is "alleged" to have been involved in the murder of Captain Nairac, the accusation in that same article comes from the "murder gang". The UK is not asking for the arrest or extradition of Patrick Maquire so what connection does this have to Megrahi?

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The list goes on and on.New York, Boston San francisco.
Ok, please go on and on with a list of arrested/convicted IRA members being held in prisons in New York, Boston and San Franciso that the Scottish and/or British government wants back.

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And if you want to know how the extradition treaty between the UK and The US works, I suggest you google Gary Mackinnon.
Talk about moving the goal post. Right or wrong, Mackinnon is not "IRA scum". Try again.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 01:43 AM   #356
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I'm disappointed. When I saw that Alt+F4 had posted, I was hoping for some comment on my post about the difficulties with the evidence in the Zeist conviction. Maybe I'm naive, but it seems to me the fact that a conviction was railroaded in a show trial is a teeny bit more important than tit-for-tat bickering about US support for Irish terrorist acts against England, or the asymmetrical extradition treaty.

I'm loathe to request a thread split to get rid of the IRA side-track, but is nobody interested in commenting on the extraordinary attitude of the Zeist judges to the evidence?

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 02:07 AM   #357
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Your post #352 is an outstanding summation of the case against Megrahi Rolfe! It would indeed be interesting to see some of the responses, particulary from the US based posters, on this forum.

And your post hasn't even touched upon much of the other 'evidence' and 'witnesses' that were eventually presented at Court Zeist.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 03:22 AM   #358
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Good on MacAskill telling the stupid US senators to stick it where the sun dont shine. You would think that after their debacle with Gorgeous George they would think twice about having another Scottish MP up in front of them. Hopefully Jack Straw will do the same.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 03:44 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Your post #352 is an outstanding summation of the case against Megrahi Rolfe! It would indeed be interesting to see some of the responses, particulary from the US based posters, on this forum.

And your post hasn't even touched upon much of the other 'evidence' and 'witnesses' that were eventually presented at Court Zeist.

Well, I was trying to keep it as pared down as possible. There are so many striking anomalies in that trial, it's difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes.

I didn't mention the fortune paid to Tony Gauci for his non-identification, because we went into that earlier. Honestly - he says "He's not the man, but he looks a little bit like him," and they convict the guy and pay the witnesses $3 million. Hello, again?

I didn't mention the timer fragment or the radio manual, because these never linked to Megrahi in the first place. All they were held to show was that it had been a Libyan operation, not a Syrian/Palestinian one. The problems with that have been done to death elsewhere. (Both pieces of evidence show very serious signs of having been fabricated, but even if they weren't, the possibility that a Syrian/Palestinian group had acquired items of Libyan origin isn't exactly remote.) So all you can do with that is say, well, we think it was a Libyan operation, and Megrahi was a Libyan security agent. Hello, once more.

I didn't mention Giaka either, because we covered that before too, but I think he's crucial. I don't think the case would have got anywhere near the court without Giaka's evidence being in the indictment. It was said before the trial that the US prosecutors had an enormous amount of detail about every aspect of the plot - where and when the bomb was made, by whom, how it was smuggled to the airport and so on. Actually, that was a pretty big exaggeration even if Giaka had been telling the truth.

But he wasn't telling the truth, he had been bribed before the trial to make up an amazing fairy-story to implicate both Megrahi and Fhimah. The CIA knew perfectly well he was making stuff up for money but they went to court on it anyway. That backfired, it all came out in court, and Giaka's evidence was dismissed.

The fact that Megrahi was convicted on the remaining tenuous and inferential evidence is a shocking indictment of Scottish justice, and if anyone wants to bash Scotland, for goodness sake bash it on that account, because that's justified. However, I think the sequence of events has to be appreciated, because it makes it possible to understand why it happened.

Megrahi and Fhimah were indicted in about 1991 or 1992, after Giaka started his creative writing exercise. Gadaffi refused to allow them to be extradited, and there was stalemate for about eight years. During that time, everybody was being told about the great strength of the prosecution case, and the inevitability of a conviction if it could only come to court. That was the basis on which the peculiar Camp Zeist trial was organised - a Scottish court sitting in a foreign country without a jury.

In the course of the trial, the main prosecution witness is thrown out as a lying fantasist. Here we are, a three-ring circus set up to convict these terrorists we've all been told have so much evidence against them, and about 90% of the evidence just went down the toilet. There was no rescuing the case against Fhimah, because that was entirely based on Giaka's allegations. There was, however, this skeleton-structure of coincidences remaining against Megrahi. It shouldn't have been enough to give him a parking ticket. But I think the judges were simply horrified at the prospect of ten years worth of hoopla culminating in this huge circus, leading to no convictions. I wonder also if there was some very unjudicial feeling that surely he must have done it or we wouldn't be here - so they tortured the evidence to breaking point and beyond, and brought in a conviction.

The first appeal went much the same way. The appeal judges expressed some very serious doubts about a lot of the reasoning. They made enquiries about the possibility of ordering a re-trial, which is what would almost certainly have happened if it had been a normal case in Scotland. However, that was impossible due to the whole Camp Zeist set-up and so on. In the end they fell back on a very narrow view of the situation, in which they examined every inference made by the original judges, and in every material instance simply said, the judges were entitled to take that view and it's not for us to second-guess them. Hello, once more. You're an appeal court, for God's sake!

I don't know what sort of a person Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is. Maybe I wouldn't like him at all if I ever met him. Maybe he was a ruthless Libyan security operative, mixed up in God alone knows what. However, that's no justification for bringing in a conviction against someone for something he almost certainly didn't do. "Well, you deserve it anyway, you must have done something," isn't a valid approach after the age of about twelve.

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 03:50 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by funk de fino View Post
Good on MacAskill telling the stupid US senators to stick it where the sun dont shine. You would think that after their debacle with Gorgeous George they would think twice about having another Scottish MP up in front of them. Hopefully Jack Straw will do the same.

It's kind of funny really. (Funny-ha-ha, I mean.) There was a letter in the Herald yesterday saying that Salmond and MacAskill must be having a bit of trouble figuring out how to say "get stuffed" as politely as possible. I don't think that actual phrase was used, but the message was fairly clear.

Now all we're getting is a load of guff from Labour and the Tories saying MacAskill is running scared and so on. But the actual man in the street seems to be pretty happy our politicians aren't simply rolling over when Obama says, "Here, boy!"

The person to ask about the whole BP/PTA thing is Tony Blair. He did the deal. We saw it on TV for God's sake! So guess who the USA has decided not to invite to appear?

Rolfe.
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