Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died from prostate cancer on 20 May 2012. He had wrongly been convicted of being responsible for planting the bomb that caused the mid-air destruction of Pan Am flight 103, the wreckage of which plunged into the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Including flight staff, and residents of Lockerbie, 270 people died from this act of sabotage on 21 December 1988. Al-Megrahi was convicted alone of having committed this crime. The only witness against al-Megrahi was a Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, who failed to identify al-Megrahi as a suspected customer, and was later, it is said, paid 2 million dollars by the US to keep his mouth shut. Gauci’s first statement was allegedly changed and Megrahi’s defence team were not allowed to see it together with other key evidence which would undoubtedly have exonerated their client. Instead he spent years in prison. Anybody doubting al-Megrahi’s innocence only needs to read chapter 4 of Francis A. Boyle’s “Destroying Libya and World Order (2013). Boyle is an international law lecturer at the University of Illinois.
After al-Megrahi’s death Prime Minister David Cameron, to whom I would recommend the above cited book, was asked if there could now be a full public inquiry into the sabotage of Pan Am flight 103. Not only did Cameron refuse to consider an inquiry he got the endorsement of Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition − if the Labour Party can be called an opposition any more. He also said that in his opinion al-Megrahi should have remained in prison and not been released on compassionate grounds. Although Conservatives are not noted for compassion, Cameron might have very sound other reasons not to want an inquiry. UK prime ministers who have refused requests from bereaved families for a full public inquiry into the Lockerbie disaster are Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair. That is all of the UK prime ministers from the time of the Lockerbie disaster. Why?
On board Pan Am flight 103 was the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson. He was by far the most likely assassination target and if he was that target unfortunately all the other passengers became victims of the phrase so glibly used today in untargeted deaths: ‘collateral damage’. There was extremely big money at stake and Carlsson, a fearless man, hinted in Granada TV’s ‘World In Action’ documentary ‘The Case of the Disappearing Diamonds’ he was about to expose those corporations exploiting minerals, and miners, in Namibia as Namibia was due to be granted its independence. These companies included De Beers, the company which relieved Namibia of perhaps as much of its precious gemstones as the British Empire extracted from India. Another of the UN commission’s target companies was the Rössing Uranium Mine, also in Namibia. Mention of the Rössing Uranium Mine might jog David Cameron’s memory, since it could ultimately prove to be his undoing. Three months after the Lockerbie bombing the current PM escorted the Prime Minister of the day, Margaret Thatcher, on a visit to this Namibian mine, a visit which filled Mrs Thatcher with immense pride that she had been born British. Cameron was a Conservative Party researcher at the time but it is quite clear that he was being groomed as a potential future prime minister when Margaret Thatcher’s time at the helm came to an end. URENCO, a joint British/Dutch/West German-owned uranium-enrichment company, was exporting uranium ore from the Rössing mine, but shady manifests made it difficult to trace where the uranium they purchased was coming from, and URENCO claimed it did not know from where it got its uranium, so when court proceedings were started by the United Nations Council for Namibia (UNCN) in 1985 it took 15 months to get to court and in July 1987 the United Nations finally began action against URENCO. There is no logical reason but the UN case against URENCO was dropped after Carlsson was murdered on Pan Am flight 103 and has never been restarted.
In April 2013, David Cameron announced that the UK would be selling off its interest in URENCO. The UK share amounts to a third. Though the price of uranium is falling on world markets it is thought this privatisation might also serve the dual purpose of covering up the misappropriations and illegal activities that Bernt Carlsson had discovered and was presenting to court on behalf of the UN at the time of his murder. No wonder David Cameron wanted Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to take the blame for this act of sabotage. Cameron must be concerned in case some doughty investigative journalist has the courage of Bernt Carlsson to reveal just what the Lockerbie bombing was all about. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing except it took away the last years of his life.
Prof. Francis Boyle says it was clear that the United States and United Kingdom did not want the trial that convicted Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and acquitted his co-accused, Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, to take place in a neutral country “because they had no evidence that would stand up in a neutral court of law” (119). Instead it was investigated by Scottish Police, the CIA and FBI, who hardly looked into the possibility that Bernt Carlsson might have been the target, and the excuse for a trial took place in Holland overseen by Scottish Judges while the prosecution case was presented by Scottish prosecutors on the advice of Scottish Police, the FBI and CIA.
As Paul Foot pointed out in 2004, the year Foot died, to have released Lamin Khalifah Fhimah and to have convicted Abdelbaset al-Megrahi when the prosecution case rested on the joint activities of the two men to blow up Pan Am flight 103, was ludicrous. Gareth Peirce, who John Pilger has described as the best human rights’ lawyer in England, totally dismantled the Scottish prosecution case in 2010 in the London Review of Books. The only way the families of victims of Pan Am 103 will get justice is through an independent public inquiry. Every time a public inquiry is mentioned, as Gareth Peirce pointed out three years ago, some high-ranking politician blows his top. Huge amounts of money were paid to a prosecution witness (Tony Gauci) at the trial of al-Megrahi. Paul Foot mentioned three prime ministers who refused the families’ requests for public inquiries. David Cameron, after the death of al-Megrahi, when asked if there could now be a public inquiry into the Lockerbie sabotage, was content for an innocent man to have his life wasted in prison. He was supported by Ed Miliband. Dr Hans Koechler, an international observer at the Lockerbie trial wrote to Miliband’s brother David in 2008 about the delaying tactics. There is no public inquiry because the governments of the United Kingdom and United States know more about the murder of a good man, Bernt Carlsson, than they are prepared to admit.