The first post

Megrahi: You are my Jury will finally be published this Spring. When I began writing it two and half years ago, I believed it would be on sale within six months.  I completed a rough first draft in four months, during which time I visited Abdelbaset four times in Tripoli. Despite being in great pain, he was determined to contribute as much as he could. We usually sat together for two hours, twice a day, while he checked the manuscript for accuracy and I interviewed him about his personal recollections.

He was insistent that I should present the case for both the prosecution and defence, and not avoid the awkward evidence that the Crown would have raised at trial, had he opted to give evidence. (He regretted not doing so, although it’s doubtful that the trial outcome would have been any different if he had testified.)

After a further visit in March 2010, his health took a turn for the worse. The book was close to completion, but for months he was too ill to receive me. I eventually saw him in September, but our time was limited to two short meetings. In March 2011 he gave his blessing for Birlinn to publish, but by then the Libyan revolution was in full spate, so it was decided to delay completion until Gadafy had left power.

Many books have been written about Lockerbie. What makes this one important – and different – is that I’ve had access to a huge amount of primary evidence, most of it previously undisclosed. This includes all the documents ever provided to Abdelbaset’s lawyers by the Crown and everything that the lawyers themselves uncovered. While I’ve not seen all the evidence that the Crown holds  – when Abdelbaset returned to Libya we were still awaiting further disclosure – I have a lot that they don’t, including the very powerful material that would have been used at his second appeal.

For the record, I wasn’t paid to write the book, either directly or indirectly, and received only a small advance from Birlinn.

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