Documents kept secret for twenty years indicate that successive UK Governments were aware of the possibility that a Palestinian terrorist group was involved in the downing of Pan Am 103 in 1988.

The existence of the documents has been revealed by Herald journalist Lucy Adams who claims that they were discovered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) when the legal body investigated the safety of the conviction of the Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

The SCCRC investigation resulted in a report that cast significant doubt over Mr Megrahi’s conviction and recommended the case be sent back to the Court of Appeal.

However, in today’s Herald, the newspaper reveals that the SCCRC team were allowed to view the documents but were prevented from divulging their contents or taking with them any notes.

According to the Herald, the documents point to the Palestinian group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) being involved in the Lockerbie bombing.

The group were the original suspects, but in 1991 focus dramatically changed to Libya.

According to the Herald, the UK Government arranged for the document to be covered by Public Interest Immunity on national security grounds.  This prevented it from being shared with the defence but does not prevent publication by a newspaper.

The newspaper published today’s article despite a threat of legal action from the UK Government.

Speaking to the Herald, a source said: "The document itself is historical and regimes have changed so it is hard to believe it presents any risk at all to national security. It originates from Jordan and incriminates the Palestinian terror group the PFLP-GC.

“The contents are very important but what makes them so much more significant is the lengths the UK Government and others have gone to in order to prevent anyone from seeing the document.

"This is the most remarkable piece of evidence. It does not rule out the Libyans but it does indicate that others were involved.

"It also shows the lengths the UK Government was prepared to go to in order to ensure that any evidence undermining their case against Libya would never see the light of day."

To date, the only bodies that know the contents of the documents are the Crown, the UK Government and the SCCRC team.

The emergence of the document will prove highly embarrassing for those who have insisted that Libya was responsible for the downing of Pan Am 103 – the documents suggest that Libya in fact was not involved.


# Aplinal 2012-06-01 06:50
Wikileaks, where are you?

To the SNP government, who have not been a party to the original miscarriage of justice. You have become accomplices after the facts. Time to show you REALLY care about truth and Justice. Time to act.

For the sake of a Scotland that we all love, this corruption and conspiracy MUST be publicised.

No more official lines of, "we stand by the verdict". There was (is?) a cancer at the heart of the justice system,. I want it stamped out in MY Scotland. Do You?
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-02 20:50
WikiLeaks proves Scotland was right on Megrahi release
# hiorta 2012-06-05 08:12
Absolutely, without question or reservation.
# chicmac 2012-06-01 07:11
Kenny MacAsKill, the justice secretary of the Scottish Government, personally put through a Bill in 2011 (Criminal Cases Bill) which allowed the SCCRC to publish anything they find which they deem in the public interest to do so and you interpret that as the Scottish Government being 'accomplices after the fact'. Get a grip.
# Aplinal 2012-06-01 07:56

I AM incensed about this, and have been ever since the facade of a 'trial' in Zeist. Why was it set up where it was, and under the specific conditions. ASAIK the Scottish government CAN be more sceptical about this whole affair. I applaud Kenny MacAskill, I admired his stance at releasing al Megrahi, but if he has read the SCCRC report (at one time he claimed that he had not read it as he was not an official 'addressee'!) then he should have had alarm bells ringing, and should have immediately instigated a far more urgent review.

I am hugely disappointed that DESPITE all the accumulated evidence and doubts, that the Government maintain their, "we have no doubts about the verdict" stance.

Maybe I am 'over-reacting' but I am frustrated to hell on this.
# Barontorc 2012-06-01 09:43
Aplinal - you are not alone in your frustration and I presume that applies personally for Kenny MacAskill and all others in the "private know".

The Scottish Government's official stance, it can be no other, is that the court's verdict was sound - given the evidence put before it.

What this revelation from the Herald has done is to publicly put it out, that crucial evidence was suppressed by the UK Government and denied to the defence team and also to the court in Camp Zeist.

Why was this allowed to happen, should be the question and who was responsible for seeing Al - Megrahi carry the can for Lockerbie?

I agree, the Scottish Government must purge this from the Scottish Justice system.
# clootie 2012-06-02 07:05
Well put Barontorc. We are all frustrated by this American/Westminster manipulation of an investigation.
# RJBH 2012-06-01 07:22
Hmmm ....So it links the bombing of flight 103 to the shooting down of of flight 655.. and so those responsible for shooting down flight 655 were awarded maeals... whereas flight 103 needed a Lybian.. we know that the evidence (circuit board fragment ... Tony Gauci paid millions for drivel) was cooked by the CIA...

It seems the Americans did not want to show a link between the 2 because ultimately it means the crew of the Vincentes was responsible for the deaths of around 600 people.

Comment edited by NNS Mod Team
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-01 15:14
You have to look at what was happening in the world at the time. The American govt was trying to get hostages released from the Lebenon they needed the Iranian's influence to do this resulting in the Iran/Contra affair so they could not point the finger at Iran.

Whats also forgotten is that Syria was playing host to Abu Nidal and the PFLP-GC [we now hear comments by the Americans that they will take action against govts who harbour terrorists] but at the time Syria was needed to help build an Arab coilition against Saddam's Iraq who had invaded Kuwait, so the could not point the finger there.

All through the 80s Libya was America's whipping boy and their latest bogeyman to scare the american public. so they had a readymade patsey.

This is an event that the phrase "look at the bigger picture was designed for"

This is a very interesting BBC report from 5 June, 2000 "Iran blamed for Lockerbie bomb"
"A man claiming to be a senior Iranian intelligence service defector has said that Iran, not Libya, masterminded the Lockerbie bombing"

P.S Not that its relevent but years ago i was in the audience on the Kirsty Wark show when this was the Topic and I asked Dr Swire in passing if he believed the Libyans had done it, His reply to me was "This is why we need a trial"
# .Scot 2012-06-01 07:34
indeed, it is the SCCRC who cannot be held in contempt for failing to support this miscarriage of justice or for releasing any hidden secret papers/evidence they uncover.

Unlike the first Scottish government, who can be held for contempt of Scottish secret justice held abroad in the secure Central American airbase in Zeist Netherlands.

Let's hope this is the last time a foreign government (English or US) is allowed by London to pervert Scottish justice.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-06-01 09:51
If the UK Govt was prepared to hide the truth over the possible impact of Scottish oil on demands for independence then the fact that they tried to prevent the publication of these Lockerbie documents doesn't surprise me at all.

The only question though is why did they do this? What was the point in hiding their suspicions?

These are not nice people.
# Triangular Ears 2012-06-01 11:18
Money and power are, funnily enough, the main motivators of those who have power and wealth.

You have to remember that loyalty, patriotism, and loving your country (and by extension, your fellow people) are one-way. Those in power have no such loyalty, patriotism or love for their fellow people and do anything to further their personal situations.

Therefore the likes of Jim Swire and even those were actually on the flight (if you are to believe stories of mass cancellations of bookings from those who might be in the know) don't matter in the slightest.

Truth as a word doesn't even matter. Any word nowadays is redefined on a whim. So truth is no longer what actually happened, but what can be constructed as a plausible version of what might have happened, which also furthers selfish aims.

Successive governments have been truthful, in the sense that they have redefined truth to be whatever they say happened!
# Soixante-neuf 2012-06-01 14:56
The stories about mass cancellations and so on have never been substantiated. A lot of them actually aren't accurate, or are wild exaggerations. There was a US investigation into this back in 1989, and the conclusion was that there was nothing unusual in the booking patterns for that particular flight compared to other years, other days, and other airlines flying the same route. The report gives sufficient raw data to make it unlikely to be a cover-up, and it's never been debunked to my knowledge.
# .Scot 2012-06-02 07:15
illegal acts of torture into legal "Questioning techniques" or using phony statistics to show those false truths which we all know we don't know about, makes any claims of knowing the facts a little more impossible to support.

Like the UK carrying out repeated investigations into atrocities by the queen's troops and finding "nothing to see here". It took them almost 40 years of repeated inquiries and millions of pounds for Mr Cameron to announce that the queen was responsible for the first shots fired at unarmed peace protesters 1972 and that there had been a collective institutionalis ed white-wash to cover up the mass murders of innocent Catholics.

I may be wrong but as far as I am aware, only one single Queen's soldier has ever been found guilty of war-crimes in Irakistan for which he received 12 months, commuted to four? The truths we know and think we know.
# davidferguson1 2012-06-02 08:44
Quoting Soixante-neuf:
The stories about mass cancellations and so on have never been substantiated. A lot of them actually aren't accurate, or are wild exaggerations...

It helps to do a little straighforward research into the facts. There weren't any "mass cancellations by those in the know".

What did happen was that in early December the American Embassy in Helsinki received a call that a Frankfurt to New York Panam flight would be bombed in the following two weeks. The threat was considered credible and was circulated to other embassies.

The Moscow Embassy chose to post it and a number of people cancelled as a result.

What would be interesting would be to know why the Helsinki Embassy classifed the threat as credible. Did the US have codewords (as the UK did with the IRA in the 70s) to allow 'real terrorists' to identify themselves, and if so, was any information communicated along with the Helsinki threat that might have helped to identify the source of the threat?
# Leswil 2012-06-01 18:46
They are way worse than "not nice people"
Tony Blair is at the heart of this, AND I suspect George Bush!
Start by asking yourself why the American government paid a small shop keeper in Malta $100,000 the only person who spoke against al-Megrahi. Stinks to high heaven, British Government complicit up to their necks.
Why? I suspect they had to blame someone and Libya suited them at the time rather than even more serious political issues with blaming who actually did do it.
al-Megrahi was framed to meet political ends and to give the American public someone to blame. Job done!
UNTIL NOW!! Heads should roll.
Nothing in any news stations, yet.

All this also shows the "establishment" will stop at nothing to get their own way, so be prepared for an avalanche of dirty tricks all the way to 2014.
# Gogoh 2012-06-01 12:36
Silence from the lickspittle BBC is, of course, deafening. This puts Reevel Alderson's absurd programme (21/05/12) in its proper perspective - ie mince. I suspect the SNP knew this was coming. Will Johann Lamont now apologise for apologising on behalf of the people of Scotland?
# Teri 2012-06-01 18:23
Johann Lamont did not apologise in my name.
# Jim Johnston 2012-06-01 20:25
JL should be apologising for being Just Lamentable.
# Magua 2012-06-01 13:47
Lucy Adams is to be commended for her dogged determination to continue with this story, but the existence of these documents was revealed nearly two decades ago by the late, great, Paul Foot who also wrote a comprehensive and authoritative account of what is a more realistic account of what really happened in the Lockerbie atrocity, and appeared in his "Private Eye" Special Report of 2001. The PFLP-GC were identified as early as 1989 by the "Sunday Times" as the likely perpetrators of this heinous crime but, despite this, Thatcher rejected demands for a public inquiry - although, the US appeared at first, to accept the Palestinians as the culprits. However, when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, the US and UK were desperate to keep regional Islamic countries like Iran - and especially Syria (where the PFLP-GC were based) on side. Then after Syria joined the US forces in operation "Desert Storm", miraculously Libya and "Mad Dog" Gaddafi appeared from nowhere as the "Prime Suspects". The rest is history, but an innocent man was wrongfully imprisoned and, was at least, allowed to die at home with his family in Libya under the rules of "compassionate release". However, I believe the real events surrounding Pan Am 103 are so appalling that the Colonel Oliver North/ Iran-Contra scandal of the eighties would pale into insignificance. That's why our "Special Friends" Obama, Clinton and Kerry will never allow an International Criminal Commission to hold an inquiry to establish who was really responsible for this massacre - they already know!
# Big Eye 2012-06-01 23:38
the overwhelming lesson of this story has been the remarkable absence of any of the rest of the MSM in Scotland reporting the Herald story.

In any normal country EVERY other publication or TV company would be all over it. The fact that this has not happened is the clearest example of the UK GOVERNMENT rigid control of all media outlets in Scotland.

This is a serious problem that will not go away on it's own and needs to be exposed NOW, not in 2014 or worse 2015. There are ways this can be done effectively and the YES campaign would be well advised to start implementing these NOW!
# Big Eye 2012-06-01 23:43
If anyone wonders what measures could be taken I suggest they look at the methods employed in Eastern Europe by those seeking freedom from the Soviet Union who had to overturn a rigidly controlled media.

For the naive that is what WE are dealing with in Scotland!
# sneckedagain 2012-06-04 13:37

Indeed. And I agree the truth about who sanctioned and who knew about the bombing is so disgusting that we will never be told the truth.
But an full public inquiry would allow most people to work it out for themselves by a process of weighing up circumstantial evidence.

Big Eye
We ain't seen nothing yet!
But they don't understand the Scots who are disputative by nature, pretty shrewd and wont like to think they are easily deceived
# hiorta 2012-06-05 08:18
Scotland MUST rid herself of all this duplicity and deception.
Such cynical manipulation is foreign to our intrinsic nature and to condemn an innocent man - and his family - to years of deliberate mental toture is the mark of the sub-human.

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.


Donate to Newsnet Scotland


Latest Comments