The Megrahi conviction


Selected writings by Matt Berkley, and related links



7 June 2011: Did Mr Megrahi waive any right to be considered for transfer to a Libyan prison, by accepting the terms of the trial?   If so, then perhaps both those who believe the UK committed itself before the trial to refusing transfer, and those who believe otherwise, might agree that the application should have been refused at the start, or the Libyan Government should have been told even earlier that it was not going to succeed. 


The Megrahi passports

Why age and height details may be of significance for assessing Gauci evidence.
7 June 2011.


A new look at old evidence

"....the Abdusamad passport said he was born in 1957 rather than 1952. If that was thought credible, maybe he looked younger than 36 at the time, and Mr Gauci's initial evidence on age might weigh even more against Mr Megrahi being the purchaser."  

Those two sentences are expanded on in article of 7 June above.  Note: The word "initial" not necessary.

10 December 2010.  


Possible influence of police on the witness Tony Gauci

10 December 2010.

Conflicting information on rain in Malta
30 November 2010.


Proposal for quick and cheap initial inquiry into the conviction
By 7 July 2009, judges at the second appeal were procedurally entitled to quash the conviction on grounds already heard in full.  Therefore, Mr Megrahi had pursued the case to the point where judges could free him, and the tasks were in the judges' hands.  The judges' tasks of deciding whether to rule on conviction on those grounds, and if so to make a ruling, could be finished.

21 and 30 October 2010.


Prisoner transfer treaty only mentions delay if ministers cannot notify decision in 90 days.  
So how was Mr MacAskill within due process? 

21 October 2010.


Who thinks Giaka was a reliable witness?
Originally from 27 August 2010.


European Commission says it has lost trial observer reports  
"No record found" of result of expensive mission to monitor trial - in spite of, apparently, copies having been sent to eight or ten staff in several countries.   Original purpose of invitation from UN Sec-Gen was clearly to monitor fairness of trial (see
Request to European Commission of 16 September 2009). 
1 February 2010.

Proposal: Legislation for cases where people affected by a crime doubt the verdict

Mr Salmond said, "What [victims' families] have experienced no family, no person, should ever endure." To further that aim, how about legislation to something like the following effect?
"If, in respect of any criminal case, a significant number of persons who
a) are deemed by the court to be victims of a crime, and 
b) have no clear potentially corrupting relationship to the convict, 
state that they consider the conviction to be unsafe, then that conviction will be investigated judicially by a process available independently of, and alternative to, the standard process of appeal by the convict, and with the power to quash the verdict."

17 October 2009.


Suggestion to Scottish Parliament Justice Committee

Committee could consider whether Mr MacAskill took care to avoid influencing criminal case through delay, ie acted promptly enough to avoid tempting ill prisoner to give up his appeal; and gave unbiased information to the prisoner.  Includes compilation of Scottish Government documentary evidence.  28 September 2009.
Abandonment of appeal and Mr MacAskill's actions. 30 September 2009.

Newspaper report based on the submission, 1 December 2009.

Request to European Commission for trial observer reports
Includes documentary evidence on original purpose of observers.

16 September 2009.


A new appeal is legally possible even after appeal dropped  

28 August 2009.


Proposal to Mr MacAskill

Delaying transfer decision more than necessary risks inducing prisoner to drop appeal.  Suggest warning prisoner of significant risk of refusal would avoid political influence on judiciary and be ethically unproblematic.
6 July 2009.