There are several key indicators that summer is coming to an end. The football is back, Scottish clubs have embarrassed themselves in European competition, the Oval test match, the silly season and, most of all, talk about how stupid/reckless/immoral/brave/honourable (delete where applicable) Kenny MacAskill was in releasing the man (left) convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.
The latest instalment comes with the background of the ongoing Arab Spring claiming the West’s favourite pantomime dictator, Muammar Gadaffi, as it’s latest victim. The latest flaring up of this uprising has forced that decision back on to the news cycles as Senators Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and the US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Mitt???) have all called for Megrahi not to be brought back to Scotland, but to be brought to the USA for trial.
While those noises continue to rumble from across the pond, a look at Lalland Peat Worrier’s post on the subject makes the point that this claim would contravene the fifth amendment of the United States constitution; our own government continues to dig a deeper hole with its scant mistrust of Holyrood. Hague, when questioned about Megrahi said “It was, of course, a matter for the Scottish executive (sic)... and so it's not a matter I can control, but if I was a Scottish minister rather than a UK minister I would be looking to urgently review the situation to see what I could do about it."
The utterly galling aspect of this is that all this discussion ignores the very large elephant in the room, that there are severe doubts about the veracity of the conviction. There is doubt about the route of the bomb into Heathrow, there is doubt about the identification of Megrahi and there is doubt about what type of detonator was used in the bomb. Wherever you look at the case, there is flimsy evidence against Megrahi creaking under the weight of evidence pointing to Megrahi’s innocence. There’s even room for MacAskill’s favourite legal tactic, the prosecution withholding evidence – in this case the break in at Heathrow on the morning of the bombing which was not revealed until September 2001.
It’s for these reasons that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission are rumoured to be set to release a report casting doubt on the conviction of Megrahi. The American politicians you would expect to be ignorant of this, however for Hague to not take this into account before opening his mouth does not seem like the actions of a senior cabinet minister. Then again, you can probably guess my opinion of this government.
However the fear is that Megrahi will not live to see his name being cleared. Not from the Cancer, but from zealous spooks keen to keep the truth from emerging. When thinking about this one should bear in mind the quote from the American senators speaking after a meeting of the British victims of Lockerbie “Your government and our government know exactly what happened at Lockerbie. But they are not going to tell you”. One hopes that if a stable Libya emerges, that the day of truth also comes closer.