22/08/2011 Newsnight Scotland


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so acknowledges its own limitations. And without a change in the


international climate, it seems difficult how it could be extended


to Syria or Iran. Tonight on Newsnight Scotland, will the rebel


surge into the Libyan capital also bring with it fresh information on


the Lockerbie bombing? As Scottish officials try to contact the only


man convicted of the crime, we ask what lies ahead for Abdelbaset al-


Megrahi and the investigation into who else may have been responsible


for the murder of 270 people. Good evening. The Prime Minister


and the President of the United States have both come out and said


that Colonel Gaddafi must relinquish power in Libya.


As his regime appears to be losing its grip, politicians here and in


the USA are already seeing Gadaffi's downfall as an


opportunity to gain more information about Lockerbie.


Deserters from his regime have already said there is proof among


files in Tripoli. But what will it mean for the man convicted of the


bombing? The rebels are closing in the corner Colonel Gadaffi. This


convoy is heading to the main square in Tripoli. We spoke to one


Scottish nurse in the compound in Tripoli. I was a night shift last


night and I am just getting ready to call back on shaft and the


people appear to be very happy about the possible change. They


seem to think that the new government can only be a good thing


for it would be a. This this situation is changing daily, but


what will it mean for one Libyan in particular? The future of the


Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is once again up for debate. That decision to


release than in the first place - I would much rather see him behind


bars, but there are serious legal debates to be looked at in this.


the United States, future presidential candidate is calling


for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be extradited to the United States.


There is a general feeling that the the decision to release Abdelbaset


al-Megrahi appears to be borne out by Paul's which have beat taken


place. His safety is in question and there is a fear among some that


American secret services we tried to assassinate him. I think his


life is in less danger. Apart from any disease or illness he is


suffering from. With the tribal balance been reset and the main


power which used terror as a political tool gone, he is now it


finally free to speak his own version and that is the version we


should all listen to. And Libya's tribal dynamics come into this. New


members of the transitional government were also members of


Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was trade. As far as we know, he is not planning


to flee. As part of his conditions of release, he is not allowed to


leave Libya or even change address without contacting the authorities


here. Officials here are confident that he is still at that address


and that he is not planning to leave at the country. The council


say they will con tact and then the next couple of days. But key people


of the regime's say they have proof of his guilt. They say that proof


always end fails in Tripoli, but they have offered no proof to back


up these claims. They have a lot to gain by convincing the west of the


year credence. He himself may want to half discussions with the


authorities. No decisions are made in this country without the say-so


of the boss himself. Other factors could come into play. A report by


the Scottish Criminal Cases Review it is expected soon and it has been


claimed it raises serious concerns about Abdelbaset al-Megrahi his


conviction. But it is unlikely to end the speculation about what


really happened in the sky above Joining us in our Washington studio


is Stephanie Bernstein, who lost her husband, Michael, in Pan Am


Flight 103. Cannot you give us an idea of your feelings as you have


seen at the scenes in it Libya? am inspired by the courage and


bravery and conviction of the Libyan people. We are about to


celebrate the unveiling of a memorial to Martin Luther King. He


used to say something that President Obama often quotes, which


is that the moral art of history is long, but it is advanced towards


justice. Over the last 23 years, I have doubted the moral bulk of the


universe, but my faith has been restored in seeing what is going on


in Tripoli and Libya. What will change in order for you to receive


justice? We are at a critical time right now. Things are very fluid.


There was a court this afternoon with the White House national


security staff for the families of Pan Am Flight 103.. In a fluid


situation, there are opportunities. I disagree with the previous person


who said that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is not in danger within Libya. I


think he probably is. He was an agent of a Libyan intelligence, and


I am sure there are people he was responsible for harming. We have an


opportunity to provide him with safety in exchange for information.


I also wanted to bring up Moussa Koussa. He was allowed to leave


Libya, he is now sunning himself up somewhere. He was one of the


architects of Pan Am Flight 103.. So, I think this is an opportunity


for people to give information. I thought we lost that opportunity


when Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was wrongly released two years ago. We


now have another opportunity. We lost the opportunity then to get


information from him, but now we have that opportunity. If we do not


take it, I will be disappointed. What chance do you think it tears


American forces, all the National Transitional Council, will hand him


over? -- what chance do you think it is that. I cannot say. I believe


the Justice Minister has a very strong commitment to the rule of


law. I would hope he would want to assist in any ongoing criminal


investigation. In the United States, this is an ongoing criminal


investigation. I it would like to have asked use this as an


intelligence gathering opportunity. There is also a chance for asked to


redeem the actions of allow government, which turned a blind


eye, not only to the fact that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi should have


served the rest of his term, but turned a blind eye to Gaddafi's


human rights abuses in the sake of business interests. A while you


confident, then, that fresh information will emerge? -- Why are


you confident. Because this is a fluid time. It may take the people


a long time to sort through it, but there will be information. Is there


a well amongst the administration in capital cities, involved in the


conflict in Libya, do you think there is able to find that


information? I hope so. My husband was involved in pursuing justice


for people who died long before. He was a prosecutor who worked for an


office in the Department of Justice, who found not seize who aided the


German government in the Second World War. -- who found Nazis.


There was that office because we believed that the morale up of the


universe has to tilt towards justice. -- moral Arc. If we


allowed business interests to cloud our judgment about what the right


thing to do, this is an opportunity for us to say to our children, we


will do the right thing. We did the right thing by helping the Libyan


people, and we need to find out whatever there is to find out all


the atrocities committed by this regime. Thank you for joining us


from Washington. We can cross now to Exeter, where


we are joined by Tim Niblock, professor of Middle East Politics


at Exeter University. And in Brighton by John Aston, who is co-


authoring a book with Megrahi. Mr Aston, can you give us any


information on how Abdelbaset al- Megrahi is? I cannot, I am afraid.


Given your relationship in the past, do you think he will beat worried?


It seems the Gaddafi regime is coming to an end? Everyone in Libya


will be Libya -- will be worried. I would be worried if I was him


because of what American politicians have been saying


recently. That said, he hoped he will have the protection of his


tribe. Professor, as everyone has been saying, the situation is very


fluid in deed. Where do you seek the Libyan situation panning out in


terms of gaining more information about what happened in the


Lockerbie bombing? Do you think the National Transitional Council will


be friendly to investigators? have got no reason not to be. It is


in debt interest to show what happened with Gaddafi, and what


went wrong. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has already said he thinks he has


evidence of Gaddafi's involvement in what happened in Lockerbie.


Presumably, they have an interest in that. Whether there is any


reality behind there is a different matter. Lots of people have lots of


different competing interests. If the Gaddafi regime is to fall,


there will be people looking for supporters. Do you think that is


likely to have hiked up the information we think might be in


Tripoli? Maybe. But in the last few days, the Libyan National


Transitional Council has been moderate in what it has been saying.


It has been talking about reconciliation, it has been trying


to defuse some of the pension and calls for revenge. -- some of the


pension. In many ways, it may be in its interests not to hike up the


question of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, because that could focus the


tension. We have heard from senators asking for Abdelbaset al-


Megrahi to be extradited there. Do you think that is likely to happen?


I have no idea. This would be forbidden, because deep government


would stand by the international treaties. They signed up to a trial


process which allowed Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be tried in the


Scottish law. If he were to emerge in the next couple of days, do you


think it is likely he would want to stay in Tripoli, or move on to


somewhere else? I really do not know. He wants to be safe, and I do


not know whether you'll be saved in Tripoli or outside. House a fault


Abdelbaset al-Megrahi be? -- How safe. Can you explain to us where


he sits, and how likely it is the tribe will protect him? He comes


from a tribe closely associated with Gaddafi, and the Gaddafi


regime. However, there are many members of the tribe who are not


supporters of the Gaddafi regime. I would have thought that he would


have been able to count on some support from that background,


whether from supporters of Gaddafi or not. I think it is also worth


bearing in mind that Abdelbaset al- Megrahi himself probably has quite


a lot of interest in a revealing as much as he knows. He was going into


an appeal at the time he went back to Libya. He believes he has a


strong case himself to show he was not lucky, so presumably, he will


want to have revealed that. We did beat in the interests of any


government that would takeover not to be too co-operative? -- would it


be. Haven't we be told that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is a national


hero in Libya in the past? He was a hero of the regime, if you like. It


would be wrong to call him a national hero. In any case, it may


also be true that the regime will have something to gain by having


him out of the country. When he is out of the country, it will not be


caused third division within. speculation that the Scottish


report into his appeal, legislation might be brought forward. From your


information, what is Abdelbaset al- Megrahi's view on how much of his


case that should be made public? has always said or other it will be


made public. He was devastated he had to drop his appeal when he went


home. He wants the evidence to come out. He constantly says to me, I


cannot have my day in court. I want the public to be my jury. I want


them to judge with their heads, not their hearts? The criminal case


will be made public. We your book contain information? -- will your


book. Of course. What they did uncover was pretty devastating as


well. Professor, we heard from a victim of Pan Am Flight 103. Lots


of those related to those who died have been a desperate to find the


true that this case. Do you think the events in Libya will bring them


any closer? It may well do, but the truth may not lead in the direction


which they think it leaves. It may not lead towards Abdelbaset al-


Megrahi, and in may not lead towards Libya. Do you believe there


is any link between Libya and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.?


why do not. -- I do not. Why did the Libyan regime admit liability


then? They had omitted legal responsibility, but always said, we


did not do this. -- they admitted legal responsibility. They always


said, we are not admitting guilt. Professor, a final word on Gaddafi.


Is this the end game? I think it is the endgame. It rather depends on


where he is. If he has gone to the south, he can probably remain there


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