Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lockerbie Trial : SCCRC criticised by FBI over Lockerbie case review

The FBI agent in charge of the Lockerbie case, Richard Marquise, is reported to have claimed the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission failed to carry out proper inquiries before recommending grounds for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to appeal his conviction.

Scotland on Sunday reports :

FBI agent slams review of Lockerbie conviction

Published Date: 10 May 2009
By Tom Peterkin
Scottish Political Editor

THE Scottish legal body which cast doubt on the safety of the Lockerbie bomber's conviction has been condemned for carrying out a "woefully inadequate" investigation by the American FBI agent in charge of the case.

Richard Marquise claimed that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission did not make thorough enough inquiries before it concluded that there were grounds for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to appeal his conviction.

Marquise criticised the three-year investigation conducted by the SCCRC, the body responsible for looking into potential miscarriages of justice, because they failed to speak to him or other key people involved in the case.

"Their 'investigation' was woefully inadequate because they never spoke with me or many others who could have shed some light on how we reached certain conclusions in the case," Marquise told Scotland on Sunday.

"As a 31-year investigator, I could never had gotten away with conducting such an incomplete inquiry."

His intervention will pile more pressure on Alex Salmond and his Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who face the dilemma of what to do with the man convicted of killing the 170 people who died when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie 20 years ago.

Libya has called for Megrahi to come home under the terms of a Prisoner Transfer Agreement, but the ultimate decision lies with Scottish ministers.

Salmond has said the decision will be a "judicial one", not be influenced by international politics or economics.

Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal cancer, would have to drop his action at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh in order to go home.

If Salmond were to agree that he could go back, it would provoke a furious backlash in America, where many of the relatives of those who lost loved ones during the atrocity are convinced Megrahi was responsible.

Ever since Megrahi was found guilty in 2001, doubts have repeatedly surfaced about the safety of his conviction.

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