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Monday, July 23, 2007

British Ambassador Demands Russians Break the Law

Lord Denning Birmingham Six

The Washington Post, spinning for the British:
UK Challenges Russia on Litvinenko Suspect

Russia has refused to turn over Lugovoi on the grounds that the constitution forbids extradition of Russian citizens.

Britain's ambassador to Russia has directly challenged that argument. In an interview published Monday, Sir Anthony Brenton said Russia could get around the ban if it wanted to cooperate on the case.

"Russia's constitution, like those of other states, is clearly capable of interpretation in the light of circumstances," he said in an interview with the Interfax news agency and Kommersant newspaper. The ambassador noted specific sections of the constitution that are routinely violated in Russia

I wonder what the British response would be were some foreign Potentate to demand that Britain break it's own laws in order to satisfy the aforesaid Potentate. Oh, wait - we don't have to wonder, we already know:

UK tries to sabotage BAE bribes inquiry

The UK is covertly trying to oust the head of the world's main anti-bribery watchdog to prevent criticism of ministers and Britain's biggest arms company, BAE, the Guardian has learned.

The effort to remove Mark Pieth comes as his organisation has stepped up its investigation into the British government's decision to kill off a major inquiry into allegations that BAE paid massive bribes to land Saudi arms deals.

British diplomats are seeking to remove Professor Pieth, a Swiss legal expert who chairs the anti-corruption watchdog of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), claiming he is too outspoken.

The Washington Post report goes on to quote a Russian Prosecutor:

"There is no evidence in the materials provided by Britain that there was an objective investigation of the Litvinenko case by Scotland Yard," deputy prosecutor general Alexander Zvyagintsev said at a news conference. "The Russian side has more grounds to doubt the objectivity of the British justice system."

If one wanted to gauge the level of objectivity of the British Justice system one need only look at the case of Libyan national Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi jailed for life after he was 'found guilty' of carrying out the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which crashed out of the sky onto the small Scottish village of Lockerbie.

Concerning British Legal 'objectivity', who better than a renowned Scottish legal expert to pass judgement? Check out Prof. Robert Black's opinion of British Judicial 'objectivity' in relation to the Lockerbie Trials held at Camp Zeist in The Netherlands

The fairy story of the Crown's 'independence'
On evidence as weak as this, how was it possible for the trial court to find him guilty? And how was it possible for the appeal court to fail to overturn the conviction? The Criminal Appeal Court dismissed Megrahi's appeal on the most technical of technical legal grounds: it did not consider the justifiability of the trial court's factual findings at all (though it is clear from their interventions during the Crown submissions in the appeal that at least some of the judges were only too well aware of how shaky certain crucial findings were and how contrary to the weight of the evidence).

I contend that at least part of the answer lies in the history of the Scottish legal and judicial system. For centuries courts have accorded a specially privileged status to the Lord Advocate. It has been unquestioningly accepted that, though a political appointee and the government's (now the Executive's) chief legal adviser, he (now she) would at all times, in his capacity as head of the prosecution system, act independently, without concern for political considerations, and would always place the public interest in a fair trial above the narrow interest of the prosecution in gaining a conviction. This vision of the role of the Lord Advocate was reinforced by the fact that, until the Scottish Judicial Appointments Board commenced operations in 2002, all Scottish High Court Judges (and sheriffs) were nominated for appointment to the Bench by the Lord Advocate of the day. This meant that, in all criminal proceedings, the presiding judge owed his position to the person (or one of his predecessors in office) who was ultimately responsible for bringing the case before him, and for its conduct while in his court.

After such a damning indicment of one of the most widely publiscised terror-trials of the 20th Century, why should the Russians expect fair treatment for Alexander Lugovoi?

In the end the Libyan Gov't. accepted responsibility for the crime and agreed to pay the victims families $2.7 billion. It appears the Libyans are now having their revenge on the Europeans:

Libya makes new demand in Aids case
The government has made a new demand from an EU diplomat seeking the release of six medics convicted of infecting Libyan children with the HIV virus, a diplomatic source said on Monday.

European Union External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner had arrived in the Libyan capital on Sunday bidding to end the eight-year ordeal of the medics.

But, in overnight talks, Libyan officials presented her with conditions for the release of the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor, according to the diplomatic source.

Libya's foreign ministry had sought EU guarantees for the "complete standardisation of Libya's relations with the countries of the European Union at all levels", said the source.

It seems the Libyans are demonstrating that the British Gov't are not the only ones that can interfere in legal prosecutions

Speaking of Lockerbie: there was a link to the Island of Malta, the main prosecution ‘witness’, Tony Gauci, a Malteser :), in a phone call to his brother (in-law?) claimed to have been promised some form of payment ($4 million?) for his testimony.

Our good friend Aangirfan has some interesting connections concerning Malta laid out in a recent posting

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