Following is the introduction to an article from Scotland on Sunday, 17 August 2010, entitled "Hundreds sign petition seeking inquiry into Lockerbie bomber conviction."
A PETITION urging ministers to hold an independent inquiry into the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber has been signed by almost 1,000 people in its first week.Justice for Megrahi is really about justice in general - for the falsely convicted Libyan, for the duped and abused family members of the victims, and perhaps one day even for the true perpetrators. Many others from a wide stripe of credible people agree with JFM's core assertion of Megrahi's likely innocence. The scope and intensity of this doubt is perhaps best gathered at this blog post: "No one seriously doubts the Libyan's guilt?" This petition is just one more among many valiant attempts to force a re-appraisal of the stale and untenable situation. The Scotland on Sunday article continues:
Campaigners launched the petition, calling on MSPs to put pressure on the Scottish Government to re-examine the evidence presented at the 2001 trial of Abdelbaset Ali al Megrahi at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. Since then, hundreds of signatories have come forward including award-winning novelists AL Kennedy, James Robertson, and Aonghas MacNeacail and senior figures within the legal community, such as Len Murray, the retired High Court judge, Ian Hamilton QC, most famous for stealing the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey, and Hector MacQueen, the Scots law professor and a vice-president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Notable signatories from outwith Scotland include Benedict Birnberg, the retired human rights solicitor who acted for Virgin tycoon Richard Branson and Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, among others, during his 40-year career.
The petition has also been signed by about 100 people from Malta, where the bomb which caused the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103, claiming 270 lives, was said to have been smuggled on board.
Dr [Jim] Swire, who has long been convinced that Megrahi is innocent, said yesterday he was pleased with the response to date. "No Scottish lawyer I know of believes in the integrity of the verdict. All it takes for this situation to continue is for good men to do nothing so I would urge people to sign the petition now."
E-Petition link: http://epetitions.scottish.parliament.uk/view_petition.asp?PetitionID=417 Signing open to all until 28 October. The text and all you'll need to know are there at the link.
As the Maltese supporters show, this is open to those outside Scotland or even the United Kingdom. There are well over 1,000 signatures now, with three quarters from Scotland, and the rest mostly from England and Malta, and scattered support from around the world beyond. Only a handful of Americans have signed yet, no doubt due to the petition's absence from American media reports along with the amazingly strong case for Megrahi's factual innocence. No American family members have signed on with the campaign or recent petition yet, as the illusion of Megrahi's guilt is the only semblance of closure they seem to have.
Following is a call to the same effect sent to me by Justice For Megrahi (JFM) founding member Robert Forrester. By and large I'm using it here as a request for more signatures, especially from Americans, those few who are smart enough to see the case for a fresh look and bold enough to put their names (first at least) on a step out ahead of the crowd and the historical curve. Have no doubt history in it best tradition will regard this miscarriage of justice, when the right perspective is achieved, as a Big Lie like none before.
Justice is the banner which unites us all
The Justice for Megrahi organisation (JFM), which is composed of the JFM Committee and the JFM Signatories, has been campaigning on the issue of the Kamp van Zeist verdict for two years. It is the contention of JFM that the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was a gross miscarriage of justice on the basis of the evidence laid before the court. JFM deals in matters of fact as they are applied to and by the law, and the organisation’s position is that Mr al-Megrahi is not guilty as charged based on the Crown’s evidence. This perverse judgement not only resulted in the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi, but maligned Germany, Libya, Malta and the UK. It has also raised questions which lie at the very heart of JFM’s campaign; regarding what justice is, what it means, whom it exists to serve and what role it plays in our society.
JFM is currently lodging an e-Petition with the Scottish Parliament, “calling on the Scottish Government to open an independent inquiry into the 2001 Kamp van Zeist conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.” If you believe, as we do, that the banner which unites us should no longer be flying at half-mast, help hoist it back to its rightful place by signing up to the JFM petition. Details concerning the petition and a profile of JFM can be found at this link:
Please note that the petition closes for signatures on 28th October 2010. Signatures may be added directly at the link above, or an e-signature may be added by texting ‘417’ and your name to 07537 400395 (with UK prefix if calling from overseas). Texts are charged at your standard network rate. Text signatures will not appear instantly. Finally, Justice for Megrahi also has a Facebook page which may be of interest:
The Justice for Megrahi Committee
Professor Robert Black QC
Mr Robert Forrester
Father Pat Keegans
Dr Morag Kerr
Mr Iain McKie
Dr Jim Swire
The Justice for Megrahi Signatories
Ms Kate Adie (former Chief News Correspondent for BBC News)
Mr John Ashton (co-author of Cover-up of Convenience)
Mr David Benson (actor/author of the play Lockerbie: Unfinished Business)
Mrs Jean Berkley (mother of Alistair Berkley, victim of Pan Am 103)
Mr Peter Biddulph (Lockerbie tragedy researcher)
Professor Robert Black QC (‘architect’ of the Kamp van Zeist Trial)
Mr Paul Bull (close friend of Bill Cadman, victim of Pan Am 103)
Professor Noam Chomsky (human rights, social and political commentator)
Mr Tam Dalyell (UK MP 1962-2005, Father of the House 2001-2005)
Mr Ian Ferguson (co-author of Cover-up of Convenience)
Dr David Fieldhouse (police surgeon who attended the Pan Am 103 crash site)
Mr Robert Forrester (Justice for Megrahi Committee)
Ms Christine Grahame MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament)
Mr Ian Hislop (editor of Private Eye)
Fr Pat Keegans (Lockerbie parish priest on 21 December 1988)st
Ms A L Kennedy (author)
Dr Morag Kerr (Lockerbie commentator)
Mr Andrew Killgore (former US Ambassador to Qatar)
Mr Adam Larson (editor and proprietor of The Lockerbie Divide)
Mr Aonghas MacNeacail (poet and journalist)
Mr Iain McKie (retired Superintendent of Police)
Mr Marcello Mega (journalist covering the Lockerbie incident)
Ms Heather Mills (reporter for Private Eye)
Rev John F Mosey (father of Helga Mosey, victim of Pan Am 103)
Mr Charles Norrie (brother of Tony Norrie, victim of UT 772)
Mr Denis Phipps (aviation security expert)
Mr John Pilger (campaigning human rights journalist)
Mr Steven Raeburn (editor of The Firm)
Dr Tessa Ransford OBE (poetry practitioner and adviser)
Mr James Robertson (author)
Dr Jim Swire (father of Flora Swire, victim of Pan Am 103)
Sir Teddy Taylor (UK MP 1964-2005, former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner)