Hans Köchler was the only international observer to submit comprehensive reports on the Lockerbie trial and appeal proceedings to the Secretary-General of the United Nations who, in turn, forwarded them to the Registrar of the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.
Köchler’s reports were highly critical of the proceedings and challenged the fairness and impartiality of the High Court of Justiciary. Their publication triggered a large-scale international debate, including in the British House of Commons, about the politicisation of criminal trials in the context of power politics. Köchler had characterised the initial trial verdict of 31 January 2001 (which had led to the acquittal of one of the two accused Libyans) as “inconsistent” and “arbitrary”.
On the day of the announcement of the appeal verdict (14 March 2002) he described the dismissal of the convicted Libyan national’s appeal as a “spectacular miscarriage of justice”.
“In spite of the reservations explaining the verdict itself, the guilty verdict in the case of Megrahi is particularly incomprehensible in view of the admission by the judges themselves that identification was ‘not absolute’ and that there was a mass of conflicting evidence.”
The following website is dedicated to the mision of Pr Koechler as a UN observer: