The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 was one of the most notorious acts of terrorism in recent history. Its political and foreign policy repercussions have been enormous, and twenty-five years after the atrocity in which 270 lost their lives, debate still rages over the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, as well as his controversial release on compassionate grounds by Scotland's SNP government in 2009. John Ashton argues that the guilty verdict, delivered by some of Scotland's most senior judges, was perverse and irrational, and details how prosecutors withheld numerous items of evidence that were favourable to Megrahi. It accuses successive Scottish governments of turning their back on the scandal and pretending that the country's treasured independent criminal justice system remains untainted. With numerous observers believing the Crown Office is out of control and the judiciary stuck in the last century, politicians must address these problems or their aspirations for Scotland to become a modern European social democracy are bound to fail.
John Ashton is a writer, researcher and TV producer. He has studied the Lockerbie case for 18 years and from 2006 to 2009 was a researcher with Megrahi's legal team. His other books include 'What Everyone in Britain Should Know about Crime and Punishment' (with David Wilson) ,'What Everyone in Britain Should Know about the Police' (with David Wilson and Douglas Sharp), both published by Blackstone Press, and 'Megrahi: You Are My Jury - The Lockerbie Evidence', published by Birlinn (2012)