Monday, 21 May 2012

A scoundrel wrongly convicted?

In a piece in the Independent headed in the print edition "What exactly did he do for Gaddafi? His secrets will now go to the grave with him", Robert Fisk writes:

So the old scoundrel has died. Midday Tripoli time, at his home, peacefully, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, after a long struggle with cancer, "bravely borne" no doubt. But "scoundrel", nonetheless, not because he arranged the Lockerbie bombing Рmany have the gravest doubts he ever did Рbut because he was a member of Gaddafi's intelligence services and no-one who served the Great Leader as a "mukhabarat" agent had clean hands. If he was wrongly convicted, what did he do in the service of his master? Clich̩ time: his secret dies with him.


Maybe it will now be impossible to find out what crimes Abdelbaset Ali did commit in the service of his dear leader, but surely the chances of establishing the truth of Lockerbie sank not with his death, but with his repatriation. Alex Salmond was disingenuous when he stated that conspiracy theories were now debunked. Few people seriously believed that the man was not suffering from the cancer that finally killed him. The doubts were whether that entitled him to be released, and why he should forgo the second appeal against his conviction which the Scottish criminal convictions review body ruled that he was entitled to. The Indy's timeline is instructive.

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