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Customer Review

3 March 2012
I read John Ashton's 500 page tour de force `Megrahi: You Are My Jury' at a sitting and though I would not expect anyone else to do so it is an invaluable `source' for the public. His dissection of the trial in general and the 80 page judgement of Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and MacLean in particular make compelling if disturbing reading. The British public, media and politicians have a spectacularly poor knowledge of science and technology as debates over such things as windfarms and GM crops makes clear. It would be unreasonable to expect our Law Lords, classically educated at public schools where the teaching of science was bad and technology non-existent, to be any better. It was therefore only to be expected they would struggle to comprehend the weakness of the forensic evidence or to understand the operation of Frankfurt airport's X-ray security. Yet, as the UN observer wrote, that does not excuse their reliance on the partial evidence from wholly unreliable witnesses to reach a verdict `beyond any reasonable doubt'. The Crown's case was that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Fhimah, acting together, smuggled the bomb on board a feeder flight from Malta in unaccompanied baggage. The Prosecution insisted they were either both innocent or both guilty however the only evidence linking Fhimah to this scenario depended on the evidence on one witness. This was Majid Giaka, a CIA informant, and by the time Fhimah's counsel, Richard Keen, had finished with him it was clear Giaka was both a liar and a fantasist. I thought the trial was over and though it still dragged on with increasing absurdity I was not surprised when the Crown closed that Keen submitted Fhimah had no case to answer. However, I had not counted on Alastair Campbell, who led the Crown's case, informing the court he was dropping the conspiracy charge i.e. separating al-Megrahi and Fhimah. This was allowed but conspiracy was the basis of the case so I asked a leading figure in our judiciary if they could do that and he said the Law Lords could do what they liked. When I replied that was illogical and unfair he archly responded, "Show me where it says Scots Law must be logical and fair." and an historic miscarriage of justice was inevitable.
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