Lockerbie Trial – 22 December 2022


The Lord Advocate has been in the USA for the commemoration of the Lockerbie atrocity. She’ll be meeting US Justice counterparts and getting briefed on the latest information about Masud believed by many to be the bomber. What won’t be under discussion though’s any suggestion of him being released to Scottish authorities for a trial to take place here.

Of course, Scotland has jurisdiction with the atrocity perpetrated above our skies and on our land. Moreover, the trial of Megrahi and Fimmah took place under Scots Law and even in Scottish jurisdiction as Camp Zeist in the Netherlands was formally ceded for the duration. That’s why Scots prison officers were over there as the territory was for the duration akin to a High Court Building.

However, that was a one-off. Back in the 1990s options were put forward for how and where to hold a trial. The Libyans were always going to refuse to go to the USA. But negotiations brokered by the United Nations and with Kofi Annam to the fore, saw the Libyans concede a trial under Scots law but in a neutral country. Indeed, the accused were flown into the Netherlands on an Italian Air Force jet sporting UN livery.

But that’s in the past and that deal no longer applies. The USA has their man and they’ve been looking for him for quite a while. There’s no way that they’re going to hand him over to Scotland for Lockerbie 2 or whatever. He’ll be tried by them and in their courts.

They don’t care about others as shown by the consequences in Libya for Masud’s arrest. The Libyan Prime Minister has questioned how he was transferred to the USA. That’s extraordinary. How did USA special forces get in and get out. Other factions have been even more forthright calling for retribution. None of that will bother the USA though.

We’d no more get a by your leave if we asked for him, than the ramifications of extracting Masud cause them any concern.. No doubt the Lord Advocate will get some briefing. But like so much of the activities of the security services both British and American relating to Lockerbie, much more will remain hidden.