Saturday, October 13, 2007

Scotland's corrupt justice system - worthy of a 'banana republic' and obstruction to independence.

Another fine week has passed for the Scots legal system, which began with the UN Observer to the Lockerbie trial referring to Scotland as having the reputation of a 'banana republic' for our legal system, due to the handling of the Lockerbie trial.

Hans Köchler is correct, but the failures of the Lockerbie trial run wide & deep in Scots Law, and have done so for many years prior to the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi at Camp Zeist for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988, killing 259 people.

Quoting the Sunday Times article :

"It has been alleged that evidence relating to a timer device was planted by investigators to implicate the Libyan as responsible for the bombing that claimed the lives of 259 people when Pan Am flight 103 was brought down in 1988.

Köchler said he believed the Crown Office regarded Megrahi as a "headache" and wanted him out of Scotland to avoid further embarrassment.

"They would prefer to have him out of the country and have the entire legal case collapse without asking any further questions." he said.

"But I think it won't be so easy because there are still some people in Scotland who are committed to the rule of law and who do not want the country to appear like a banana republic because that is what it is, for me, after I have followed [the case] over so many years

Convenient for those in the legal system .. and some now in the Executive it would seem, that Mr Megrahi be shipped out of Scotland, and indeed, have no need to ask any questions of what actually took place .. and before you say, oh, the current Executive are going to hold an inquiry ... don't be too sure on that one. What politicians say, verses what they do, no matter who they are, are two very different things ...

Going even further, Hans Köchler took issue with the SNP call for independence, citing that Scotland needs a proper accountable judicial system before thoughts of independence should be progressed. Again, Mr Köchler is correct, and while the truth may be unpalatable to some, taking a country independent with a crooked corrupt judicial system, which is what we have currently in Scotland, will be in the worst interests of the public.

Referring back to the Sunday Times article once more :

"If they aspire to independence then they should show they can do things in the right way in the judicial domain, in devolved areas, and if they cannot do things in the right way and if they handle judicial proceedings like intelligence operations then in my view the aspirations towards independence are not very well founded."

If we cant get Justice right for our own people, we don't deserve independence - not until we clean up the acts of the Judicial & legal system which has been allowed to run itself for so many years, and influence politics & politicians to prevent reforms in the public interest.

Oh yes, some may argue that a fairer Justice system would come after independence, but do any of you really believe that ? I certainly don't, and I can assure you, if you need any assuring, the Judiciary and those within the legal system will have even more power to do what they want post independence, if we don't clean up their act before such a radical step for Scotland is taken ...

Here is the Sunday Times report on Hans Köchler and comments on the Lockerbie case, taken from here :

UN observer says Scots law is flawed
Mark Macaskill

THE United Nations observer at the Lockerbie trial, Hans Köchler, said that Scotland has the reputation of a "banana republic" because of its handling of the case.

The academic, who advises the European Commission on democracy and human rights, said Scotland does not deserve to be granted independence until it addresses the failings within its judicial system.

He was responding to reports that evidence that would have undermined the crown's case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the atrocity, was withheld from his defence lawyers. It has been alleged that evidence relating to a timer device was planted by investigators to implicate the Libyan as responsible for the bombing that claimed the lives of 259 people when Pan Am flight 103 was brought down in 1988.

Köchler said he believed the Crown Office regarded Megrahi as a "headache" and wanted him out of Scotland to avoid further embarrassment.

"They would prefer to have him out of the country and have the entire legal case collapse without asking any further questions." he said.

"But I think it won't be so easy because there are still some people in Scotland who are committed to the rule of law and who do not want the country to appear like a banana republic because that is what it is, for me, after I have followed [the case] over so many years.

"If they aspire to independence then they should show they can do things in the right way in the judicial domain, in devolved areas, and if they cannot do things in the right way and if they handle judicial proceedings like intelligence operations then in my view the aspirations towards independence are not very well founded."

Köchler's comments follow speculation that a US intelligence document, which disputes claims that Megrahi used a digital timer bought from a Swiss company and then planted the bomb on a flight from Malta to Germany — was shown to senior crown officials but never disclosed to Megrahi's defence team.

It is understood to be one reason why the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which spent three years considering the safety of Megrahi's conviction, decided last June to refer the case to Court of Appeal.

"My most serious concern is about the timer, because if something was indeed inserted, that would have devastating consequences for the entire judicial and political system of Scotland and of the United Kingdom " Köchler added.

Sources close to the case have claimed that evidence was fabricated to implicate Mohammed Abu Talb, a Palestinian terrorist, before the focus of the investigation switched to al-Megrahi and Libya in 1989.

Doubts have also been raised over evidence given at the trial by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who claimed he sold Megrahi clothing that was wrapped around the bomb. Last week, well-placed sources claimed that Gauci and his brother Paul were paid about £2.5m by the US intelligence services soon after Megrahi's appeal collapsed in 2002. Details of the alleged payment emerged in 2005 when one of Gauci's relatives sought legal advice in an attempt to claim a share of the money.

Köchler's intervention will be a blow to the Crown Office, which is still reeling from the collapse of the World's End murder trial. In August, the trial judge Lord Clarke threw out the case against Angus Sinclair ruling there was not enough evidence for the jury to reach a verdict.

An unseemly public row ensued between Lord Hamilton, the lord justice general, and Elish Angiolini, the lord advocate, after she insisted there had been a strong enough case to put to the jury.

"The whole Lockerbie affair has not been a good advertisement for Scottish justice but there is now the opportunity to rectify what went wrong," said Professor Robert Black from Edinburgh University, who brokered Megrahi's trial at Zeist in the Netherlands.

"Provided the lessons are learned then the experience could yet prove to be a beneficial one. Köchler cast doubts over the quality of the evidence after the trial. He wasn't taken seriously at the time but all credit to him, they are now coming to the surface," said Black.

Alex Salmond, the first minister, dismissed Köchler's remarks.

"The strength of the legal system is in the processes it adopts to ensure justice is done and seen to be done. The fact that the Lockerbie conviction is going before the Court of Appeal is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength in our legal system.

A spokeswoman from the Crown Office, said: "It would be inappropriate to comment while the case is yet to come before the appeal court."

9 comments:

reader said...

hey pete you will upset the SNP with this one.herr salmond still has to bend over for the lawyers you know !

Anonymous said...

Great.Finally people are waking up to the Scottish Banana Party that cant run a piss up in a bre3wery maybe except your justice minister.

Dont let these snp hoodwank scotland into independence you will get nothing but trouble and forget about any reforms but making their own wallets fat !

A friend said...

Re your excellent, informative and insightful article re Scotland being akin to a banana republic: I could not agree more Mr Cherbi, and said so in a recent posting on the Annie Borjesson website - another travesty of Scottish justice at the dirty hands of Messrs Salmond and MacAskill, and their SNP "Government".

Here is what I said a fortnight ago (Sat 29.09.2007 09:24pm):

"The justice system in Scotland is wholly corrupt and rotten to the core ... and it has been for several years.

But there will be no change under an SNP ruling government. That is a FACT.

The SNP have too many corrupt lawyers of their own in their ranks, none bigger than Scotland’s current Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill. If people think there is going to be any radical change and reforms under this best pal of his lawyer chums, think again folks. And he and the man who appointed him, Scotland’s First Minister (aka The permanently sneering and cocky “King of Scotland”), Alex Salmond, are as thick as thieves, so don’t expect him to do anything about Scotland’s endemic corrupt legal system either – they are both very much part of it.

It really is quite a little banana republic you have there in Scotland. I certainly wouldn’t want to live there under the current corrupt regime that exists under the SNP government.

Time there were a few more braver Scottish journalists too, many of them very much part of that corrupt cosy little club, who were bold enough to delve into the past of some of the current “rulers” and expose them for the crooks and liars they really are. Not naming any names here, but it’s Kind of obvious the Man I’m referring to in particular – quite a track record in covering up his past sins I am told.

I truly wish Guje, her family and the regular friends and supporters of her campaign on this forum well, and that justice for Annie and her family is one day served.

But, for what it’s worth, take a little friendly advice: garner all the media support you can from out with Scotland, cause there are very few journalists in Scotland who will risk their careers and take on Salmond, MacAskill and the SNP, and freely speak out against the true injustice of Annie’s case – and many others known to the current corrupt regime.

Guje, your family, friends and supporters: every success in your long fight against one of the most corrupt and unaccountable justice systems on the planet – in the banana republic that is Jockland.

A friend...

Who is definitely not that sneering and cocky “King of Scotland” – or his best pal, “The Man Who Would Be King”, Shhir Shhean Connery!"

http://www.guestbook.annierockstar.com/mjguest.php

http://www.annierockstar.com/

http://shirleymckie.myfastforum.org/forum1.php

Anonymous said...

Why did the Scottish press miss this one ?Orders from Herr Salmond and the legal eagles to keep shtumm about it ?
The advantage of being a banana republic is you wont need to import bananas but you might have to import justice !

Anonymous said...

Not something the SNP will be too chuffed to shout about.Any chance they will put all this right before they fill their pockets and fuck off into the sunset ?

Anonymous said...

Salmond and MacAskill will have no one else to blame for this one but themselves.Great.Finally they are going to look like fools in front of the rest of the world.Plan worked perfectly.

Peter Cherbi said...

#a friend @11.32pn

Couldn't agree more.

Notably while virtually all other aspects of life in Scotland are being subject to daily political spin on planned reforms, the Justice system has been left out, even in the wake of the World's End trial collapse, suspicious deaths such as that of Annie Borgesson, which the Crown Office are loathed to grant FAIs to,the Shirley McKie case, still awaiting a promised inquiry, and long running issues such as the Lockerbie Trial fit up.

I wonder how long we can keep asking 'where are the judicial & legal reforms' before the shiny new SNP takes on the mantle of previous administrations, leaving justice to it's own ends and in the control of the crooked.

Thanks to the rest of you for your comments too, including the emails.

Anonymous said...

"Alex Salmond, the first minister, dismissed Köchler's remarks.

"The strength of the legal system is in the processes it adopts to ensure justice is done and seen to be done. The fact that the Lockerbie conviction is going before the Court of Appeal is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength in our legal system."

Rubbish Alex and you know it as you have always known it.

Justice in Scotland unobtainable under your friends the lawyers running everything for their own pleasure and you letting them.

Anonymous said...

Is there an innocent man in prison for the Lockerbie atrocity?