van Zeist/Vienna, 14 May 2000/P/K/16818c-is
Dr. Hans Koechler, in his capacity as international observer nominated by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations on the basis of Security Council
resolution 1192 (1998), attended last week’s sessions of
the Scottish Court in the Netherlands. The High Court of Justiciary
consists of three Scottish judges. As result of a compromise reached in the
Security Council, the Court was set up to try the two suspects of the Lockerbie
bombing disaster in a neutral venue.
Koechler was briefed by the Registrar (the Head of the Scottish Court Service in
the Netherlands) on the arrangements and procedures of the Court. He was also
briefed by the Site Police Commander and the Governor and Deputy Governor of the
Prison. He further met with representatives of the victims’ families. By
arrangement of the Scottish prison authorities, Professor Koechler made an
inspection tour of HM Prison Zeist and met in private with the two accused
Libyan nationals who had given their consent prior to the meeting.
Koechler is one of five international observers nominated by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. He represents the Vienna-based
International Progress Organization, an NGO in consultative status with the
United Nations. The other observers are Mr. Robert Thabit, also representing the
International Progress Organization, Mr. M. H. Baerenboom of the European
Commission, Ms. Hairat A. Balogun, representing the OAU and the Non-Aligned
Movement, and Dr. Nabil El-Araby of the Arab League.
observers of the International Progress Organization will follow the trial in
the Netherlands and will report regularly to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. Their main focus will be due process of law, fair trial and respect of
United Nations resolutions and international legal instruments.
TRIAL IN THE NETHERLANDS/14-05-00/16818c-is