Friday, December 25, 2009

THE CLASSIC WRONGFUL CONVICTION

What does Gates know?

"I have looked at the case and the transcripts and was simply appalled at the echoes of classic wrongful convictions – including the same methodology and same personnel in terms of forensic scientists.

"I was quite shocked at how much of the case seemed blatantly wrong.

"It blazes out that this is a wrongful conviction...

"In my view the relatives have never had the true picture placed before them.

"They have not had their right under international law, where there has been an unnatural death, to have a proper, independent inquiry into what happened. It seems to me they have been cheated.

"In other cases where evidence has been questioned or demolished, it has been deemed appropriate to have far-reaching public inquiries. At the very least that is what the relatives of the victims of Lockerbie deserve."

These are the words of top lawyer Gareth Peirce about the Lockerbie Bombing. (Megrahi's case was 'wrongful conviction')

Gareth Peirce

On 22 December 2009 we learned from The Herald that the UK's Lockerbie families have signed up the leading lawyer Gareth Peirce in a bid to obtain a full public inquiry

Dr Jim Swire and other UK relatives are working with Gareth Peirce to force the UK Government, under human rights legislation, to allow an inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing.

Ms Gareth Peirce's clients have included the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.

In the film In the Name of the Father, Gareth Peirce was portrayed by Emma Thompson

Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the bombing, said he was still waiting to hear from Gordon Brown after he and 10 other relatives delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street in October calling for a full public inquiry.

He wants the case to be dealt with in England as he says he has lost faith in the Scottish legal system.

"We are pestering him (Mr Brown) for a response," said Dr Swire. "The next step will be a legal letter from Gareth Peirce explaining that they need to provide an inquiry under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

"There has been no public inquiry despite every Prime Minister in the past 21 years being asked for one. Lockerbie could have been prevented and we want to know why it wasn’t."

Lawyers say that under Article 2 of the ECHR, which pertains to the right to life, there is also the right to an inquiry into how that life was taken.

"Although there was a Fatal Accident Inquiry in Dumfries, this was then undermined by new evidence including the break-in at Heathrow airport," said Professor Robert Black, one of the architects of the original trial at Camp Zeist.


Lockerbie is linked to heroin and the CIA.

In a recent article in the London Review of Books, Ms Peirce wrote: "The devastation caused by the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, at the cost of 270 lives, deserved an investigation of utter integrity. Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights demands no less.

"Where there has been a death any inquiry must be independent, effective and subject to public scrutiny, to provide the basis for an attribution of responsibility and to initiate criminal proceedings where appropriate. But, in the absence of this, a number of the bereaved Lockerbie families have of necessity themselves become investigators, asking probing questions for two decades without receiving answers."

The Scottish Government has said it would back an inquiry but that it requires UK jurisdiction.

Father Pat Keegans, the priest in Lockerbie at the time of the bombing, had been invited to address the December 2009 memorial service at Arlington cemetery.

However, Frank Duggan, president of group Pan Am 103, took offence at the story published in the Herald and stopped the address going ahead.


Top UK lawyer Gareth Peirce, in the Independent on Sunday (20 September 2009) and in the London Review of Books, tells us about the framing of al-Megrahi

(Gareth Peirce: The Framing of al-Megrahi)

Here are some of the points made by Peirce:

1. Within hours of PanAm 103 coming down over Lockerbie, "the countryside around Lockerbie was occupied."

The countryside "was dotted with unidentified Americans not under the command of the local police."

"Scores of men, some wearing no insignia, some the insignia of the FBI ...invaded the area.

"Lockerbie residents reported seeing unmarked helicopters hovering overhead, carrying men with rifles whose telescopic sights were pointing directly at them...

"The suitcase belonging to Major McKee (a CIA operative flying back to the US to report on his concern that the couriering of drugs was being officially condoned...) was found to have had a hole cut in its side after the explosion.

"A second suitcase, opened by a Scottish farmer, contained packets of white powder which a local police officer told him was undoubtedly heroin."


2. "The integrity of the crime scene was violated ... outsiders were conducting a desperate search for wreckage that it was important for them to find and spirit away."

3. Some people had warnings.

"The staff of the American Embassy in Moscow, who usually travelled by Pan Am when they returned to the US for Christmas, used a different airline."

4. In 1989 The Sunday Times "stated categorically that the bombing had been carried out by the German PFLP-GC cell led by Dalkamoni under orders from Ahmad Jibril and with a bomb made by Khreesat."

5. The bomb was supposed to have been put onto a plane in Malta.

"If the intended target was an American aircraft, why risk a premature explosion triggered by the barometric switch by putting the suitcase on an Air Malta flight?

"The scientific underpinning necessary to support a counter-proposition was established during 1989 and 1990 and rested on two ‘discoveries’: a fragment of an entirely different type of timer in the remnant of a shirt collar and the matching of that fragment with the manufacturer’s prototype.

"This timer, it was argued, could, once set, keep a barometric switch from detonating for days.



6. "The centre of the Lockerbie investigation ... ceased to be Scotland: the CIA was in charge.

"Vincent Cannistraro had made his mark under Ronald Reagan, with a clandestine programme to destabilise the Libyan regime.

"He boasted that he ‘developed the policy towards Libya’ which culminated in the bombing of Gaddafi’s house in Tripoli in 1986 on the basis of intercept evidence later acknowledged to be false.

"Now brought out of retirement, Cannistraro shifted the (Lockerbie) investigation’s approach."

7. "Al-Megrahi’s conviction was in large part based on the evidence of scientists (Thomas Thurman and others) whose value as professional witnesses had been permanently and publicly demolished ten years before his trial..."

Cartoon from: http://www.blackcommentator.com/12_cartoons_drugs_pr.html

8. A key witness was Mr Bollier.

"Dr Köchler, the UN’s observer throughout the trial, recorded that Bollier had been ‘brusquely interrupted’ by the presiding judge when he attempted to raise the issue of the possible manipulation of the timer fragments.

"Could the MEBO board, or a part of one, have been planted in such a way that it could be conveniently ‘discovered’?

"After the trial, new evidence that would have been at the centre of al-Megrahi’s now abandoned appeal made this suggestion more credible: a Swiss electronics engineer called Ulrich Lumpert, formerly employed by Bollier’s firm, stated in an affidavit to Köchler that in 1989 he stole a ‘non-operational’ timing board from MEBO and handed it to ‘a person officially investigating in the Lockerbie case’.

"Bollier himself told Köchler that he was offered $4 million if he would connect the timer to Libya."

9. Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper, ... described al-Megrahi as ‘6’0’’’ (he was 5’8’’), ‘50 years old’ (he was 37), and ‘hefty’; said that he ‘had been to the shop before and after’, ‘had been there only once’; that he ‘saw him in a bar months later’; that he ‘will sign statement even though I don’t speak English’; that al-Megrahi ‘was similar but not identical’, ‘perhaps like him but not fully like him’, and, fatally for any identification of al-Megrahi in the first place, that he was ‘like the man in the Sunday Times’ (in other words, like Abu Talb, whose picture Gauci had initially identified).

"But Gauci’s evidence was needed and, reports suggest, handsomely rewarded. He apparently now lives in Australia, supported by millions of US dollars."


10. "That a court of three experienced judges convicted on such evidence and that an appeal court upheld the conviction is profoundly shocking.

11. "Köchler, the UN observer, reported finding the guilty verdict ‘incomprehensible’ in view of the court’s admission that Gauci’s identification was ‘not absolute’.

"We had come to believe that such an outcome, resting on invalid identification, was no longer possible.

"‘The guilty verdict’, Köchler wrote, was ‘arbitrary, even irrational’ with an ‘air of international power politics’ present ‘in the whole verdict’, which was ‘based on a series of highly problematic inferences’.

"He remarked on the withholding of ‘substantial information’ (‘more or less openly exercised influence on the part of actors outside the judicial framework’) and on the very visible interference with the work of the Scottish prosecutors by US lawyers present in the well of the court.

"But most seriously, he set out his ‘suspicion that political considerations may have been overriding a strictly judicial evaluation of the case’...

" Dr Köchler recorded at its conclusion that it was ‘not fair’ and that it was not ‘conducted in an objective manner’, so that there were ‘many more questions and doubts at the end than the beginning’."

~~

aangirfan: Robert Gates, Lockerbie, October Surprise, Iran-Contra

Gareth Peirce on the Framing of al-Megrahi

MARK MACASKILL AND LOCKERBIE LIES

aangirfan: Lockerbie Evidence

aangirfan: LOCKERBIE AND THE FINANCING OF 9 11

aangirfan: Lockerbie links to Franklin, Dutroux, Mossad, McKee

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