I can only be describing one news item.
I have absolutely no idea if Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi planted the bomb which so cruelly and violently ended the lives of 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 and the town of Lockerbie in December 1988.
There have however been many doubts cast on the conviction by some of those (and many of them experts) who heard the full case at Camp Zeist in 2000/2001. Others who witnessed the trial are convinced the guilty man was jailed.
The doubts and the reasons behind them are all well publicised. I’m not going to re-list them here.
Neither am I going to comment further on the following of legal procedure and custom or otherwise by Scottish justice minister Kenny MacAskill except to say that by any standards this is a unique case.
What I will say is this. MacAskill (not a man I’m a great fan of incidentally), made I think the correct decision in freeing the terminally ill Libyan jailed for the Lockerbie bombing.
The medical evidence is that he has less than three months to live and the release was made on grounds of compassion.
Compassion is surely one of the more endearing traits of the human condition. It is something which separates civilised and barbaric societies.
Revenge, retribution and punishment to the extent that they should be visited upon a man already dying and who poses no further threat or potential to harm anyone, no matter what he is accused or convicted of, is surely not the motif of a mature democtratic, civilised and dare I say it Christian society?
Or is it still an eye for an eye?
Once the two separate applications (one for prisoner transfer and one for compassionate release) had been made by Megrahi’s legal team, the whole fetid Lockerbie package landed on MacAskill’s desk.
Whilst the result of his decision was the unedifying scenes from Tripoli last night and media, political and legal condemnation, the alternative outcome would have no doubt seen unedifying gloating from certain quarters in the USA and UK accompanied by er…..media, political and legal condemnation.
Some you win, some you can’t win.
The response from Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray in his wee effete voice claiming that if he was first minister Megrahi would have stayed in prison was as pathetic as it was hypothetical. Gray is undoubtedly more “you’ll have had your tea” than “yer tea’s oot!”
No doubt arguments will rage over Lockerbie for years to come. Some say that with the dropping of Megrahi’s appeal and his release, the truth will never now be known. I don’t think the definitive truth ever had a chance in this case.
I don’t think its even “out there” any more to borrow a phrase.
Filed under: Current Events | Tagged: abdel bassett ali al megrahi, kenny macaskill, lockerbie bombing | 6 Comments »