I have been following the BBC’s Have Your Say pages on the issue of the Lockerbie bomber’s release. As usual, it has not done any good for my blood pressure. The vast numbers of people who believe they have a right to interfere in the administration of justice within the Scottish Legal System without having very much knowledge of the case in question, or of the laws of Scotland are causing me great anger.
The lack of knowledge surrounding the case is clear for all to see when people talk about Megrahi having been convicted in Scotland by a Scottish Jury on sound evidence. Megrahi wasn’t tried in Scotland; he was tried in Camp Zeist in Holland. There was no jury involved, the trial was held by three Scottish Judges and they decided on both questions of fact and law. Nor was the evidence all that sounds. It wasn’t sound at the time and as the years have went by it has become even more clear that key pieces of evidence in the case of the Crown are questionable and give more than a reasonable doubt as to Megrahi’s guilt in this case.
It is sad that we are probably never going to know the full facts of this case – there are far too many secrets, which if came out would probably be very damaging to Scotland, the UK and the US.
I am annoyed as well at the American’s who today still feel he should have been tried in the US, under US law. That would have been totally abhorrent. The crime he was convicted of was perpetrated in Scotland and as such should fall under Scottish Law. Yes, American lives were lost on PanAm flight 103, but the lives of people from nationalities other than the US also lost their lives. A whole Scottish town was involved in that incident and today Lockerbie is known as the place where PanAm flight 103 blew up.
It angers me that a nation which has a justice system still based upon revenge and vigilantism, that still thinks that the death penalty is acceptable and just thinks that it can have any influence or say in the justice system of a country which has its roots in equity and compassion. Scotland’s legal system is a lot older and more developed that the US – some of the laws still in operation today in Scotland are so old that they pre-date the United States of America by more than a century.
The United States likes to believe that it is tough on terrorism, in fact it is not. It is a bully which leaves people locked up in a prison in another country for years without access to justice or even to lawyers. It removes these people off its soil to torture them. It allows forms of torture and refuses to recognise methods it allows as being torture. Why they think they have any moral right to comment is beyond me. They talk about weakness; I accuse them of being weak. They are weak in not allowing those they accuse of terrorism access to justice; they’re weak I not showing that they are justifiably holding individuals by not having trials for them.
I’m ranting now, which is never good. I suspect that the above has not made much sense. Oh well, a good rant is always necessary for me after having read through screeds of rubbish on the BBC’s “Have Your Say” pages.