Scottish judges rule Lockerbie documents will remain secret


Scotland’s most senior judges have upheld a secrecy order signed by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, to withhold intelligence documents believed to implicate a Palestinian terror group in the Lockerbie bombing.

The documents are thought to have been sent by King Hussein of Jordan to the UK government after Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over the town of Lockerbie on December 1988, killing all 259 passengers and crew, and 11 townspeople.

The documents are believed to allege that a Jordanian intelligence agent within the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), called Marwan Khreesat, made the bomb. Critics of Megrahi’s 2001 conviction believe the PFLP-GC carried out the attack on behalf of the Tehran regime in revenge for the destruction of an Iranian airliner by the US warship the USS Vincennes in July 1988, but this was covered up in order to implicate Libya.

The new appeal hearing was ordered after the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission decided Megrahi’s conviction was arguably a miscarriage of justice, because of significant discrepancies in the evidence of the Crown’s key witness, a Maltese shopkeeper called Tony Gauci, who alleged Megrahi had bought clothes put in the suitcase bomb.

The SCCRC also said the Crown had failed to disclose Gauci and his brother were offered reward payments totalling $3m for testifying. Given that evidence, no reasonable jury would have convicted Megrahi, and his rights to a fair trial under article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached.

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