US Sebate Lockerbie enquiry postponed as British Ministers refuse to attend

Making big splashes in the news in the UK today is the postponement of the Senate enquiry into alleged connections between BP oil contracts in Libya and the release of al-Megrahi, after the (now former) British Justice Secretary and the Scottish Justice Secretary (who made the release decision under Scottish law) refused to attend, along with Tony Hayward from BP.

Story here

The British reaction has been that the US Senate is not the UN and is overstepping its jurisdiction, and that British elected officials are answerable to the British and Scottish Parliaments, not a foreign government. We are quite miffed about it. What’s the view from across the pond?

If the British House of Commons asked for the U.S. Attorney-General and the New Jersey Attorney-General to attend one of its committee meetings, what response is likely? Would Senator Menendez think it was outrageous if they refused to answer to the Parliament of the U.K.?

Related pit thread.

Ah, thanks jjimm. I felt a little pittish myself, but thought I’d try to get a view from the other side. If the mods think it will go nowhere, feel free to shut it down and I’ll go throw some muck about in the other thread.

That’s rather bold, coming from the international libel kangaroo court of the world, which has no problems with dragging in people from all over the world to face trumped up charges at British courts of law. (U.S. Senate passes ‘libel tourism’ bill)

In any case, I think that the US has every right to be very upset and demand some answers, when a large number of victims were Americans and the releasing of the terrorist more and more seem to be a farce. Britain has not fulfilled its obligations to America and the families of the killed Americans to ensure that justice has been fulfilled. You are not to be trusted in the future.

Come in the Pit and say that.

Perhaps you could quote which part of your article supports the phrase “trumped up charges.” I did not see it.

You mean, a Scottish justice minister applied Scottish law to a criminal convicted in Scotland and jailed in Scotland, which you feel is letting down an obligation to America?

There’s a suitable pit thread if you’d care for a more spirited analysis of your stance.

Hmm. There is the small political matter of the fact that all nations involved were incredibly keen to resolve the situation before Al Megrahi’s appeal, which was likely to prove that he was not responsible for the crime and, worse still, that the authorities had pursued him in order to be able to pin the crime on a non-allied nation.

This is a fairly decent account of the whole affair - covered widely by Private Eye also, here in the UK.

I agree, the US has every right to be upset. (I remember saying to someone last year that we (Scotland) would look pretty stupid if Al-Megrahi was still alive in a year’s time, and he is, and we do)
But this isn’t one-way traffic. After a friendly fire incident in which US jets shot up a British AFV in Iraq in 2003, the US govt refused requests for the pilots involved to attend an inquest in the UK about the affair. Gave the very strong impression that the US govt & military couldn’t give a flying fuck about British soldiers’ deaths.

Perhaps the USA isn’t to be trusted either?

If anyone wants a PDF copy of Paul Foot’s report for Private Eye on the matter, PM me with an email address.

I trust British courts to deliver a fair trial. He was found guilty. Until such a time when a court finds him innocent, then he is guilty and a terrorist.

Oh, so you trust our decisions when it suits you? That’s nice.

The appeal was dropped as a condition of the compassionate release, so he’s denied the chance to clear his name. Not the best of compromises maybe, but probably the fairest to a dying man.

Well, a matter of opinion. He was basically offered the chance of freedom before he died, but without the chance to clear his name, or to take his chances with time and a system that had already let him down.

Wait. What? Who were these unnamed American interfering with the crime scene as reported in that article?

I am very confused, it seems that either a) the Scottish Justice System is too be respected and trusted so the verdict is correct and they need to come to the US to defend the release; or 2) the Socttish Justice System is to be respected so their decision to release the prisoner is not worhty of our review and by the way thhey probably convicted the wrong person.

False dilemma.

Not that I share the sentiments espoused by Rune, but this analysis ignores many other possibilities. For example, the Scottish trial and appeal process may be above reproach, but the political decision to release him was not part of that process, instead perhaps arising from the corruption-laden Scottish government and officials with pockets so stuffed with BP’s money that they can barely walk.

It was a judicial decision to release him, or at least was presented as such at the time. The final decision was taken by a politician, yes, but in line with Scottish law, not for political reasons. What, politicaly, do you think Scotland stood to gain from this?

Excellent. You trust the British legal system. This system was also involved in his release. We’re done here then, yeah?