(25)  UN investigates Scots law

A United Nations team came to Scotland on 3 December 1997 to investigate the capacity of the Scottish legal system to conduct a fair trial of the two Libyans suspected of bombing the PanAm jet which exploded over Lockerbie, Dumfries-shire in December 1988. The team consisted of Enoch Dumbutschena (Zimbabwe), Henry Schermers (Netherlands) and Mona Khalil (UN). The visit lasted for three days, and a report was published on 22 December 1997. The conclusion was that a fair trial could be held in Scotland. It had been proposed that the trial be held in a neutral country but under a panel of international judges, chaired by a Scottish judge, and applying Scottish law. This option, to which the Libyan Government has indicated its agreement and which also has the support of Nelson Mandela, has been rejected by the UK Government. For further details of the proposal, see R Black, The Lockerbie Proposal, 1997 SLT (News) 304; see also the Lord Advocate’s response to Professor Black: Lord Hardie, The Lockerbie Trial, 1998 SLT (News) 9.