|New Report Supports Innocence Of 'Lockerbie Bomber'|
|Written by Brit Dee|
|Monday, 26 March 2012 15:35|
A new report has been published which supports the innocence of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan man convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which 270 people died.
Megrahi was convicted of the bombing in 2001, before launching an unsuccessful appeal. He later dropped a second appeal shortly before his release on "compassionate grounds" in 2009. Megrahi is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and was expected to die within months of leaving prison in Scotland, though he is still alive and living in Tripoli.
The newly-released report gives hope to those who believe al-Megrahi innocent, including family members of Lockerbie victims, who have been campaigning for a new investigation in order to establish who was really responsible for the death of their loved ones.
The 821-page Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) report is 5 years old but has not been previously released because no-one had permission to publish it. Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald yesterday took the decision to publish, arguing under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act that journalists can publish in the public interest.
The Sunday Herald details how the report reveals:
If this evidence had not been withheld then it is possible al-Megrahi could have been released earlier, and as an innocent man, rather than on compassionate grounds as a disgraced convicted mass-murderer. In addition to having his name cleared and being able to spend more of his remaining time with his family, the terminally ill al-Megrahi would not have had to suffer the stress no doubt caused by US threats to hunt down and extradite him during last year's war on Libya, a time when he says he was harrassed and had his property destroyed by opposition rebels.
The Lockerbie bombing was exploited by the West during last year's illegitimate NATO bombardment of Libya, which ended in the illegal killing of Muammar Gaddafi and the ousting of his regime. Gaddafi's purported involvement in Lockerbie, and outrage over al-Megrahi's appearance at a pro-Gaddafi rally, played a role in a wider propaganda campaign in support of Western military intervention in Libya - despite Gaddafi having apologised and paid considerable reparations for the bombing. It would be reasonable to ask why Gaddafi recognised Libya's role in the terror attack, if he or his country were not responsible for the bombing. A plausible explanation could be that in the absence of any compelling counter-evidence to prove Libya's innocence, and in light of the US and Britain's unceasingly stubborn insistence of their guilt, it was the only way Gaddafi would ever be able to appease the West. There is compelling evidence that the bombing was actually carried out in retaliation for the "accidental" US downing of an Iranian passenger plane, by terrorists connected to Iran, in addition to other plausible theories about who was responsible for the attack.
It should also be remembered that Gaddafi had agreed to stop Libya's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and to support the West in its war on Islamic fundamentalist terror. Despite such reconciliation with Western leaders the British gutter press reacted to Gaddafi's brutal murder by invoking the Pan Am bombing, publishing disgraceful headlines such as "That's For Lockerbie", The Sun's front page headline which appeared above a photo of Gaddafi's bloodied corpse.
Family members of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been vocal in their belief that al-Megrahi is innocent. Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was amongst those killed, set up the Justice For Megrahi campaign group which states its main objective as securing the quashing of al-Megrahi's conviction. Swire even visited al-Megrahi earlier in the year to "bid farewell to the man he now describes as his friend". Hopefully the release of the SCCRC report will result in a new public inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing, which Swire and other victims' family members have demanded for some time.