[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 76
SEPTEMBER 16 1988
”We trust our experts’ research and we expect everyone to do so.”
Inal Batu – Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman
On Wednesday Sept. 8 1988, US State Department officials said that US intelligence agencies have confirmed Iraq’s use of chemicals in its recent drive against Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.
The United Nations has announced that teams were ready to go to Iraq and Turkey to investigate poison gas charges. Neither country has agreed to allow the investigators on their territory.
Today, The Turkish Government said that the investigation would be unnecessary and unwelcome.
”Turkish medical workers had found no trace or evidence of chemical weapons. A United Nations investigation is unwarranted,” Inal Batu, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said
”If a team of experts is sent to Turkey this would involve Turkey directly in the matter. Such an attempt would also create a wrong impression that Turkish medical experts are inadequate to make related research,” Batu added
In recent days, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and the Arab League have complained about the American charges that Iraq used poison gas on Kurdish refugees.
Back to the Present (2008)
The Greshornish House Accord – On Monday 15 September 2008, a meeting was held on the Isle of Skye under the auspices of the Lockerbie Justice Group
Dr Hans Koechler, President of the International Progress Organisation (IPO), Vienna and Prof Robert Black QC, Professor Emeritus of Scots Law, University of Edinburgh were invited to meet with Robbie the Pict of the Lockerbie Justice Group.
The participants were invited to reply to four questions put by the Convener in the hope of guidance in the pursuit of proper justice for all in relation to the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988.
The four issues were the following. Did the Foreign and Commonwealth Office arrangements for a trial at Kamp Zeist deliver an independent and impartial tribunal? What should happen now in respect of the Lockerbie proceedings? If Scotland was charged with managing such an international event in the future, what model is recommended? What changes should be considered for the better administration of justice in Scotland?
To the first question, the participants answer: No. they motivated their answer as follows.
a) It would have enhanced the appearance of independence and impartiality if the Judicial Bench had been composed of Judges from countries other than the United Kingdom with a Scottish Judge in the Chair. This is principally because the case involves the interests of more than one state and the appointment of all the Judges from only one of the concerned states does not meet the required standards of independence and impartiality. The Consultants present today would both have preferred a tribunal wherein a Scottish Judge chaired a panel of Judges from other countries but this was rejected by the relevant UK authorities. It should be kept in mind that there was an ongoing political dispute between the UK and Libya at this time which had led to the severing of diplomatic relations.
b) The presence of American advisers in the well of the Court, later identified to the IPO as FBI agents, having frequent discourse and consultation with the Crown prosecution team contributed to the appearance of outside influence on the conduct of the prosecution. These persons were not identified at any point and their names did not appear on the official brochure which, amongst other things, named the prosecution and defence teams. Concerns were raised in the course of the trial that these persons appeared to be guiding witness responses by facial gestures.
c) We are of the view that if, in an adversarial system, the defence does not properly play its antagonistic role, the interplay of forces is set off-balance. This demands both equality of arms procedurally, and a determined and dedicated wielding of these arms. We draw attention to the new burden placed upon all Judges under Section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) to ensure that there is indeed an equality of arms in their Court.
d) Whilst we accept that circumstantial evidence alone can be sufficient to convict, we are not satisfied that the Court, in its written judgment, adequately explained its reasons for accepting incriminating inferences from that evidence and rejecting or dismissing evidence that supported non-incriminating inferences.
e) We have good reason to suspect that rewards and benefits of a direct or indirect nature have been paid to prosecution witnesses.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
September 15, 1988