Most high-ranking judges in Scotland supported a secret order signed by Foreign Minister Dominique Rab to withhold information documents that appear to involve Palestinian terrorist groups in the Rockerby bombing.
Lawyers acting for the family of Libyan Abdel Bassett al-Megrahi, convicted in the bombing, believe the document was the center of a new appeal against his conviction, which began on Tuesday and called for release to court.
This appeal was filed by Megrahis’ son Ali Abdulbaset al-Megrahi, who is considered to be the first post-apocalyptic miscarriage in Scotland’s legal history. Megrahi died of cancer in Tripoli in 2012 after being released from prison for merciful reasons.
The document is estimated to have been sent to the British government by King Hussein of Jordan in December 1988 after Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up in the village of Rockaby, killing 259 passengers and crew and 11 villagers.
This document is allegedly claimed to have been made by Marwan Khreesat, a Jordanian intelligence agent of the People’s Front for the Liberation of the Palestinian General Command (PFLP-GC). Critics of the conviction of Megrahis 2001 believe that the PFLP-GC carried out an attack on behalf of the Tehran regime in revenge for the destruction of an Iranian airliner by the US battleship USS Vincennes in July 1988, but this was concealed to implicate Libya.
In August, Raab signed a certificate of public interest disclaimer to keep the document confidential. In 2008, then-foreign minister David Miliband also refused to disclose the papers prior to Megrahis’ second appeal, and later abandoned the belief that he would be released early from prison.
In a ruling released late Friday, Scotland’s Supreme Judge Sir Carloway said he supported the Raabs order, which the court signed in August after examining the papers at a secret hearing earlier this month. The document is relevant to the appeal.
His clear view is [it] Carlo Way, referring to the Raabs’ submission, said it would do real harm to Britain’s national security because it could compromise counterterrorism communications and information gathering between Britain and other states. Documents were provided to the government in confidentiality. Their disclosure will reduce the willingness of the country creating the document to disclose information and cooperate with the UK.
At the disappointment of the Megrahis lawyer, Carloway sided with the British government by claiming that much of the secret documents were made known to the Megrahis defense team at a trial held in the Netherlands in 2000-01, as well as claims for the role of Khreesats. Jordan Cable has been withheld from his lawyers.
The Megrahi family lawyer argues that the document could open an important new line of investigation and that if Megrahis was released before trial, it could help prove innocence. Megrahi tried to convict PFLP-GC in the bombing.
Scottish government lawyers opposing the appeal on the part of the British government told Carloway that the documents should be released.
A new appeal hearing was ordered after the Scottish Criminal Case Review Board decided that Megrahi’s conviction was a legacy of justice. In the bag bomb.
The SCCRC also said that the crown did not reveal Gauci and his brother received a total compensation of $3 million for testimony. Given that evidence, a reasonable jury would not have convicted Megrahi and his right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention was violated.
The commission found that the Jordanian documents were rumors and did not come from major sources. This contradicts the SCCRC’s previous ruling. In 2007, when other commissioners were involved in the case, it was decided that the Jordanian document raised questions about the safety of the Meghrahis conviction when it recommended an appeal.
During a hearing in August 2009, Megrahi gave up his case after it was revealed that he had cancer. He did so, at least in part, because he thought that doing so would increase his prospects for a sympathetic release. Megrahi was released by Kenny MacAskill, then the Scottish Attorney General, now the SNP MP.
This article was corrected on November 22, 2020 because the previous version incorrectly labeled USS Vincennes as Vincennesa. This has been fixed.
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