against two Libyans, then ?
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Al Amin Khalifa Fhima.
There was not a reporter on the TV or radio news
that could pronounce these names without stumbling.
Guys in the pub would stop mid-sip just to try and catch them.
The papers had as equally a rough time spelling them
( and to be honest, I'm still not sure the correct spelling )
But to be brief, it simply sets out the stall that the accused
were members of the Libyan Intelligence services and were involved in
the procurement of electronic timers from MEBO,
that they used false documentation ( ie passports ) and identities
to nick some luggage tags and place a suitcase amongst
the luggage going on a flight in Malta, namely
Air Malta flight KM180 to Frankfurt am Main Airport,
Federal Republic of Germany
( this, of course, being the days before the reunification of Germany )
This suitcase was then transferred onto a flight ( PA 103 ) to London Heathrow
and then transferred again onto a flight to New York.
Within the suitcase was a Toshiba cassette recorder
which had nearly 500g of Semtex explosive hidden inside
and, of course, a MEBO timer.
The indictment even mentions clothes that were alleged to have been bought in
Mary's House, Malta,
by the accused.
However, it was going to be a while before the accused were to sit before the judge.
Or, in fact, the judges.
The political wrangling on how to achieve a fair trial went on for the best part of a decade.
Nelson Mandela even got involved to try and break the impasse.
Eventually, something a bit out of the ordinary happened.
came up with the format that was agreeable
to all sides involved.
It would be a Scottish court, but a special court,
not in South Africa, but the Netherlands,
yet still dispensing guid auld Scottish justice.
There would be a difference: 3 judges, no jury.
The prosecution was to be led by the Lord Advocate,
about as big a bigwig in lawyer terms as you're likely to get.
( In Scotland, all Crown cases are prosecuted, nominally, by The Procurator Fiscal.
Top of this department is the Lord Advocate )
Ultimate responsibility for the investigation into 270 murders fell to
who also headed up the indictment.
The trial, eventually, was set to begin May, 2000.
Lord Hardie, it was thought, was going to be the prosecution's main man.
The baton is picked up by Colin Boyd QC who stepped up to Lord Advocate
After all the shenanigans in getting an acceptable, neutral country,
an acceptable format for the trial
and Libya to hand over the accused for trial
it was clear that no one had a foot on the Shenanigans brake.
to broker the deal to get the trial going
said the following
"No one nation should be complainant, prosecutor and judge."
Wise words indeed, Madiba.
What was about to unfold was,
in my opinion,
a complete travesty.
Had either of the accused been involved in the plot to down PA103
it sure wasn't proved.
There is absolutely no way a jury of 15 in a Scottish court would have
returned a verdict of guilty
( although a couple of million bucks each might have swung it )
Scottish juries do have a third, somewhat unique, option.
They could have, as could our 3 learned friends, returned a Not Proven verdict.
Not Proven is pretty much seen as
" We think you did it, but we don't quite know how,
but you're free to go. Shut the door on your way out "
This court was going to be something very special indeed.
In my last post I mentioned The Lockerbie Divide.
Also on Blogger is The Lockerbie Case.
Do go get your head proper twisted.
There's much more, alleged, to it than al-Megrahi.