by Frederico Duarte Carvalho
The English prime minister, Gordon Brown, agreed on the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi, the secret agent that was detained in Scotland over the Lockerbie attack, with the Libyan leader, Moammar Kadhafi. The conversation took place in Italy, during the G8 summit, six weeks before the release was officially announced by Scottish justice minister Kenny MacAskill. Nevertheless, the latter asserts that he decided everything by himself, without any pressure from Her Majesty’s central government, or fear of economical reprisals – like, for example, the concession of Libyan oil exploration to BP -, and justified the release as a “compassionate action”, as the prisoner presented a medical prognosis of only three months to live.
Despite the guarantees from the illustrious Scottish minister, there is no lack of evidence that, behind the scenes, much was discussed. In a letter that was written by Gordon Brown [video] on the same day that al-Megrahi was set free and that has now been publicly disclosed, the English prime minister reminded the Libyan leader that, when they spoke in Italy, it was requested, in case the Scottish justice opted in favour of the release, that there would be no kind of manifestation of popular rejoice whatsoever in Libya, out of respect towards the victims’ families.
Not a word was said in the sense of requesting the release, but no word was said in the sense of preventing it, either. Gordon Brown, himself a native of Scotland, by recognising that the release might occur and therefore caring to ask for contention in the celebrations – a useless action, as could be verified -, ended up supporting the Scottish minister’s decision.
All of this is public and all of this was intuited. Nevertheless, what is not as public, is last week’s news in the “Sunday Times” where it is revealed that, if the Libyan agent hadn’t desisted on a judicial appeal – the condition that was necessary for his “compassionate” release -, then one of the pieces of evidence that the Scottish justice would have to appreciate was a document dated of 1989, that was produced by the US secret services, and which detailed Iran’s movements in commissioning, from Syrian terrorists, a terrorist attack as retaliation over the shooting down of a civil Iranian airplane by a missile that was fired from a North American plane carrier, five months before Lockerbie. A shot that had allegedly been accidental. In retrospective, the USA never blamed the Iranians or the Syrian agents, because one year later, in 1990, father Bush needed to guarantee the neutrality of these two countries when he invaded Saddam Hussein’s Irak during the first Gulf war. Libya, a bit further down the map, would later appear as the favourite target for the blame over Lockerbie.
By looking at history through this last prism, it is easier to understand why Kadhafi knew that al-Megrahi would be released and why he didn’t take Gordon Brown’s request for contention seriously. Meanwhile, al-Megrahi claims his innocence and, during the alleged three months that he’s left to live, intends to write a book, telling the whole truth.
A book always comes in handy, but it’s not Justice. Not even for al-Megrahi, who will thus never prove his presumed innocence in court. It reminds me of the story about the English couple, that was authorised to leave Portugal through the airport’s VIP room, when all of the evidence was enough to place them under preventive custody. Later on, the PJ inspector who wanted to arrest them was removed from the investigation, and, coincidentally, it was ensured that the English prime minister would sign the Lisbon Treaty. The PJ inspector resigned and wrote a book where he told the whole truth. But it was not enough for Justice to be accomplished.
The real politics won.
source: Para Mim Tanto Faz, 26.08.2009