THE SCOTTISH CRIMINAL CASES REVIEW COMMISSION has indicated today it has failed to reach agreement with all parties over their consent to the publication of the Statement of Reasons relating to the referral of the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi in June 2007.
The SCCRC’s statement was followed by a statement from the Crown Office, alleging it had cooperated fully with the SCCRC “in its consideration of publication of the Statement of Reasons, within the constraints imposed on the SCCRC and COPFS by law”.
The Crown Office’s media statement fails to make clear whether it was one of the parties who resisted publication of the SCCRC’s Statement of Reasons. (Could be a jobin it for Wikileaks ? - Ed)
SCCRC Press Release :
The Commission announced today that it had been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach agreement with the relevant parties to obtain their consent to the publication of the Statement of Reasons relating to the referral of the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi in June 2007.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (Permitted Disclosure of Information) Order 2009, which came into force on 1 February 2010, only permits the Commission to disclose such information with the consent of those who have, either directly or indirectly, provided the information.
The Commission had agreed, in principle, that it would be prepared to consider the release and publication of the Statement of Reasons which were provided to the Appeal Court in Mr Megrahi`s case provided it could obtain the consent of the relevant parties.
Gerard Sinclair, the Commission’s Chief Executive, said: “As I indicated at the time the above Order came into force, in order to release our Statement of Reasons the Commission would require the consent of those who had,either directly or indirectly, provided the information.
Over the last nine months I have been in ongoing correspondence and, in some instances, discussion with a number of the main parties who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for providing information to the Commission. I asked them if they were prepared to provide their consent, in writing, to the disclosure of the information contained within our Statement of Reasons. This included Crown Office, the Foreign Office, the relevant police authorities, as well as Mr Al Megrahi and his legal representatives.
It has become obvious that there is no likelihood of obtaining the unqualified consent required in terms of the 2009 Order, and consequently the Board decided at its last meeting to discontinue the discussions at this time.
The Commission will be happy to revisit this matter if the 2009 Order is varied and the requirement to obtain the consent of parties is removed.”
Crown Office media statement follows :
CROWN OFFICE AND PROCURATOR FISCAL SERVICE
NEWS RELEASE 9 DECEMBER 2010
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service confirmed today that it has co-operated fully with the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in its consideration of publication of the Statement of Reasons, within the constraints imposed on the SCCRC and COPFS by law.
These legal constraints were recognised and accepted by the Scottish Parliament when it legislated earlier this year to allow publication, subject to the consent of all those who provided the information.
COPFS confirmed to the SCCRC in February 2010 that it would, in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, facilitate contact by the SCCRC with the individuals and foreign authorities who had provided the information referred to in the Statement of Reasons, in order to allow the SCCRC to obtain their consent.
This offer was not taken up by the SCCRC.