The Herald has just published a further article by me about the shortcomings of the SCCRC report.
Report fails to address crucial evidence
THE 821-page SCCRC report is impressively detailed and argued, but important areas of evidence remain untouched and it’s clear the commission missed important facts that strengthen Megrahi’s claims of innocence.
The most notable is the failure to consider evidence from the three airports that, according to the Crown, the Lockerbie bomb passed through: Luqa in Malta, Frankfurt and Heathrow.
The Crown case relied on documents from Frankfurt, which seemed to show that an unaccompanied bag was transferred from an inbound Air Malta flight to Pan Am 103’s Heathrow feeder flight.
Evidence from Malta suggests this was unlikely, and there was also evidence from Heathrow, not available to the trial court, suggesting that the bomb was loaded onto PA103 before the feeder flight arrived.
The FBI played a big role in the investigation, yet the only FBI files to which the commission had access were the ones held by the Crown Office. During its four-year review the commission only interviewed one US investigator, former CIA agent Robert Baer, and failed to conduct any investigations in Germany, home of the Palestinian cell who were the original suspects in the bombing.
The report’s 24 volumes of appendices contain some important information, which the commission failed to comment upon. For example, a police report concerning possible reward payments to star witness Tony Gauci also states that he gave 23 statements and was visited by the police more than 50 times. Only 19 statements were disclosed to Megrahi’s lawyers and the details of most meetings have never been revealed.
The biggest omission concerns the key forensic evidence that convicted Megrahi: a piece of circuit board alleged to be from one of 20 timing devices supplied to Libya. Last month the biography Megrahi: You Are My Jury, revealed that a metallic coating ruled it out as part of one of those timers. A supplementary report noted the discrepancy but said it was not “significant”.