Scottish Court Rejects Declassification of Documents Key to Lockerbie Bombing Case

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A Scottish court has refused to declassify documents that may clear the Libyan man accused of the Lockerbie bombing, The Guardian reported.

Family lawyers of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan man accused of plotting the Lockerbie bombing, insist that the documents could have opened up significant new lines of inquiry and helped prove Megrahi’s innocence, if they had been released before his trial.

A son of Megrahi has submitted an appeal to the Scottish court. Al-Megrahi died of cancer in Libya in 2012 after being released from prison on humanitarian grounds.

The Guardian claimed that the documents are thought to have been sent by King Hussein of Jordan to the UK government after the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. It added that the documents are believed to demonstrate that a Jordanian intelligence agent within the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), called Marwan Khreesat, made the bomb.

On Friday, the court said it had upheld the order of the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, after studying the papers in a secret hearing earlier this month. Signed in August, this order called not to declassify the documents even though the Foreign Secretary agreed himself that they were relevant to the appeal.

“The Foreign Secretary’s clear view is that the documents would cause real harm to the national security of the UK because it would damage counter-terrorism liaison and intelligence gathering between the UK and other states,” a British source said. “The documents had been provided in confidence to the government. Their disclosure would reduce the willingness of the state which produced the documents to confide information and to co-operate with the UK,” he explained.