A plausible case can be made that Megrahi was in fact not the Lockerbie bomber.
What are the arguments for his innocence?
Megrahi’s legal team say they have proof that a key witness, a Maltese shopkeeper called Tony Gauci, wrongly claimed that Megrahi had bought clothes allegedly found in the suitcase bomb on Pan Am flight 103. They allege Gauci was paid a $2m (Â£1.2m) reward for his evidence, which followed more than 20 police interviews. They imply he was coached by detectives. They claim new scientific analysis raises substantial doubts about the location of the bomb. They allege that compelling evidence that it was planted by a Syrian-backed Palestinian cell based in Germany, Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, has been ignored.
It was and remains in the interests of the US government to conceal Iran’s involvement in the Lockerbie bombing in order to distract from the extent of the Reagan administration’s involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, which Reagan himself vigorously maintained he knew nothing about. One has to wonder if this is why leading figures within the US political and military establishment have been so exercised over the Libyan’s release, understanding as they do that while he remained buried in a Scottish prison the truth also remained buried.
In sum, we are faced with a straightforward case of New Labour setting aside any other consideration than what works for major UK companies, building its foreign policy in that light alone, and then passing the buck north of the border. That – this once – its actions were consonant with the correct course is simply felicitous coincidence.