Dr. Hans Koechler said that the dramatic shortcomings and errors in the conduct of the trial that have been brought to the attention of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) confirm his earlier assessment that the Lockerbie trial resulted in a “spectacular miscarriage of justice.” (BBC News, 14 March 2002) Dr. Koechler pointed to the following information that transpired in the media and that puts in doubt the very integrity of the judicial process in the Lockerbie case:
1. The credibility of a key forensic expert in the trial, Mr. Allen Feraday (UK), has been shattered. It was revealed that “in three separate cases men against whom Mr. Feraday gave evidence have now had their convictions overturned” (BBC, 19 August 2005). Mr. Feraday had told the Lockerbie court that a circuit board fragment found after the disaster was part of the detonator used in the bomb on board Pan Am flight 103. In the first case where Mr. Feraday’s credibility had been questioned the Lord Chief Justice had stated that Mr. Feraday should not be allowed to present himself an expert in electronics.
2. A retired Scottish police officer has signed a statement confirming that the evidence that found Al-Megrahi guilty was fabricated. The police chief, whose identity has not yet been revealed, testified “that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan” for the bombing of the Pan Am jet (Scotland on Sunday, 28 August 2005). The fragment was supposedly part of the timing device that triggered the bomb. The circumstances of its discovery – in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity – have been mysterious from the very beginning.
3. Much earlier, a forensic specialist of the American FBI, Tom Thurman, who was publicly credited with figuring out the fragment’s evidentiary importance, was later discredited as a forensic expert. A 1997 report by the US Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General found “that in a number of cases other than Lockerbie, Thurman rewrote lab reports, making them more favorable to the prosecution. The report also recommended Thurman be reassigned to a non-scientific job because he lacked a background in science.” (American RadioWorks / Public Radio, March 2000)
4. The most recent revelation relates to a mix-up of forensic evidence recovered on the ground in Lockerbie with material used during a series of test explosions in the course of the investigation. In one case, a garment which was damaged in a test explosion was presented as if it was the original garment found on the ground (which was completely undamaged). This garment was supposedly placed in the suitcase containing the bomb. “It casts serious doubts over the prosecution case because certain items that should have been destroyed if they were in the case containing the bomb are now known to have survived the blast.” (The Observer, London, 9 October 2005)
All these facts – which are now before the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission – confirm the serious doubts about the Lockerbie proceedings originally raised by the UN-appointed observer, Dr. Hans Koechler. In his comprehensive reports on and evaluation of the Lockerbie trial (2001) and appeal (2002) as well as in his statement on the compensation deal made between the US, UK and Libya in 2003, Dr. Koechler had criticized the highly politicized circumstances in which the case was handled and drew the attention of the international public to the possible interference of intelligence services from more than one country.