The Daily Record has today published the following article under the headline Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi’s appeal “had more holes than Swiss cheese”. It’s based on an unattributable briefing by a Crown Office source. This strengthens my view that the Crown Office is panicking and is gearing up for a media fightback. Watch this space.
THE Lockerbie bomber’s case that he was the victim of a massive miscarriage of justice is “riddled with inconsistencies”, the Daily Record can reveal.
Sources said Abdelbaset al-Megrahi came up with 40 reasons why he was “wrongly convicted”.
This was whittled down to just six by Scotland’s appeals watchdog – which prosecutors were sure they could tear apart.
A Crown Office source said: “When you put them under the microscope, his case starts to fall apart even more. They are full of contra-dictions and do not add up.
“For instance, he includes assertions that he never visited Malta when, in fact, we know and can prove that he did. His grounds for appeal has more holes than a Swiss cheese.” [Note: Abdelbaset’s grounds of appeal contained no such assertion.]
The news came after a massive row at the heart of Scotland’s justice system.
Angered by leaks over Megrahi’s appeal, the country’s top prosecutor gave the OK to publish the killer’s reasons. But appeals watchdog the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission refused and hid behind data protection laws.
In a letter, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said “recent selective and misleading” reports of extracts from the Statement of Reasons in Megrahi’s case had created a “highly unsatisfactory situation”.
Mr Mulholland confirmed that, given the “exceptional circumstances,” it would not be in the public interest to prosecute a member of the commission over leaks if publication went ahead.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “The Lord Advocate’s letter is hopefully a significant step forward in achieving publication.”
Campaigner Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 24, died in the 1988 bombing, said: “I am glad the Crown Office want these reasons published.”