The Lockerbie Trial

, Law School , Scottish Politics , UK Politics , US Politics

I had a lecture today by Professor Robert Black QC as part of the law school induction on the Lockerbie trial, a subject very close to him being a native of Lockerbie and having made the proposal to site a court of Scots Law in the Netherlands to hear this unique case.

Professor Black gave a general overview of how the events which saw Pan Am Flight 103 on a routine trip from London Heathrow to New York JFK Airport blown out of the sky above the Scottish town of Lockerbie culminated in an unprecedented sitting of the Scottish High Court of Justiciary at Kamp van Zeist near Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Professor Black had proposed the 'neutral venue' solution which sought to answer concern amongst the accused that a Scottish Jury having been exposed to years of pre-trial publicity would be unwilling to cast that aside in favour of reaching a verdict on the evidence presented alone. Secondly the accused were concerned that in Scotland their physical security may be compromised by U.S. special forces snatching them and taking them to the U.S. where of course punishment could mean the end not only to liberty but to life.

The arrangements seemed perfect, the conduct of the trial however left questions in Prof. Black's mind. The Appeal too was mishandled and Professor Black contends that the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi who was found Guilty is extremely unsatisfactory and hopes that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission who have recently received a request to review the conviction will return the case to the High Court for appeal.

Fascinating lecture and a pretty fascinating man.

Posted by Paul at October 3, 2003 09:38 PM |
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