Letter: Lockerbie revelations deserve inquiry

ONCE more another dynamic is added to the case of the Lockerbie bomber and with it comes a whole set of new arguments as to why he was released (your reports, 8 February).

Of course, what people and the media in particular appear to do is see the recent revelations of the previous UK government exerting pressure on the Scottish Government as only a part of the decision to release him.

However, we are still left with the elephant in the room and that is the whole complex nature of the Lockerbie case. One cannot seriously make useful conclusions with this week's "revelations" without looking at the wider conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

This case is not only clouded in terms of the release, but in terms of the process by which he was convicted. How is it that revelations on his release are discussed but none of the more significant revelations in terms of after his trial: i.e. the new evidence or evidence not given at the trial?

We should go back to before Megrahi was released. Some see the release of the bomber as evidence of global power politics at work. This is perhaps true, but why is it that the question of global power politics in Megrahi's conviction is never debated - including the legal trial of Megrahi?

There are, therefore, two different elements that are clouded: his release, but, more importantly, his conviction, by which we came to this in the first place.

People have the right to be concerned at the release of a convicted bomber but should they not be more concerned about how a legal system can convict a man with such evidence and how a legal system can be bent in the face of global power politics?

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission stated: "The Libyan may have suffered a miscarriage of justice." An independent inquiry would be the only way to sort all these issues.

Jack Fraser



HAVING watched Isabel Fraser's demolition of Labour Party spokesman Richard Baker MSP on Newsnight, does anyone now believe that Gordon Brown, Jim Murphy, Alistair Darling, Douglas Alexander and all the other Scottish members of the last UK Cabinet, did not confide in any of their Labour siblings, lackeys or placemen in Scotland?

Even though Mr Baker is renowned for his immature grasp of Scots Law perhaps he would now have the good grace to acknowledge that both on a balance of probabilities and beyond reasonable doubt the charge of Labour hypocrisy has been well and truly proven.

I would even offer a plea in mitigation for Mr Baker. At least he had the courage to face the media, while Iain Gray hid. God help Scotland if Mr Gray becomes First Minister.

Graeme McCormick

Redhouse Cottage

Arden, by Loch Lomond

YOU note that Kenny MacAskill refused to use the Prisoner Transfer Agreement (Comment, 8 February).

In that case, why did he tell Megrahi that he could not be released under that agreement until he dropped his appeal? Megrahi promptly withdrew the appeal and was then released on compassionate grounds. One can only suspect that this was a ruse to bury the appeal and all it might reveal about the safety of Megrahi's conviction.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan


AS OUR deplorable politicians dive for cover for fear they are accused of moral courage, I prefer to recall the noble people who did seek freedom for Megrahi.

First among these is the GP, Jim Swire, whose daughter Fiona was a victim but who relentlessly campaigned for the unsafe verdict at Camp Zeist to be overturned.

He was joined by such seekers after justice as Nelson Mandela, Lockerbie's Jim Black, the UN observer Hans Kchler, Tam Dalziel and the leaders of the Scottish churches.

Even in the vengeful USA, there were brave individuals such as President Kennedy's valued adviser, Pierre Salinger, who protested the innocence of Megrahi.

He reminded Americans that, not only was there no evidence that the bomb had been put on board in Malta, but Air Malta won a libel action in 1993 establishing that it was not.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

THE confirmation that the Labour opposition at Holyrood condemned Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds, in spite of the fact that the Labour government in Westminster had attempted to facilitate his release, proves once and for all that our Labour politicians in Scotland are either detestable hypocrites or ignorant puppets of their Westminster colleagues.

Of course, following the deception of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and other Labour MPs in taking the UK into war in Iraq on a false premise, this revelation is probably not surprising to most, other than Labour supporters still living in the mistaken belief that all Labour politicians are sincere in their words.

Stan Grodynski



East Lothian

GIVEN what we now know about Gordon Brown and the methods used by him and his acolytes as a matter of course, there can be no surprise about the latest revelations (your reports, 8 February) regarding the release of Megrahi. Duplicity and hypocrisy was rife with regard to the Labour position.

What is equally repugnant is the sense - given from the release of even selected papers - that the SNP was most anxious to get something on the constitutional front out of the situation. Extra cash and perhaps transfer of gun control powers seem to have been as important as the oft-quoted "Scottish Justice and Compassion''.

Finally, one wonders why Alex Salmond was paraded round every media outlet on Monday, feigning outrage.His obsession with the TV camera is well known, but surely Kenny MacAskill should have been doing the talking? Why is he being hidden away? Is he considered too hapless to handle it?

One thing is certain: no-one has emerged from this quagmire with clean hands and Mr Salmond's well- rehearsed media performance yesterday was particularly repulsive.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg