Lockerbie Verdict Question of Fairness of Trial Report of International Observers

Camp Zeist (Netherlands)/Vienna, 1 February 2001/P/RE/17025c-is

The President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), Dr. Hans Koechler, yesterday announced that he will submit a comprehensive report and evaluation in regard to the fairness of the Lockerbie Trial to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the member states of the Security Council. Dr. Koechler said that the Lockerbie Trial may have a profound impact on the future of international criminal justice in the context of international power politics. He made the statement after the verdict and the sentence had been pronounced by the judges at the Scottish Court sitting in the Netherlands.

Dr. Koechler is one of five international observers nominated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the basis of Security Council resolution 1192 (1998), Paragraph 6, adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. He is a University Professor from Austria and an expert in legal philosophy and international law. Professor Koechler serves as President of the International Progress Organization, an international NGO in consultative status with the United Nations. He has been observing the trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands since the beginning on 3 May 2000. He repeatedly met with the prosecution and defense teams; he inspected HM Prison Zeist, interviewed the two accused Libyan nationals at the beginning of the trial and met with each of them separately yesterday after the verdict and the sentence had been announced. All meetings were arranged through the Scottish Court Service at Camp Zeist.

Professor Koechler will make no further statements and will not be available for comment until he has submitted his report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mr. Robert Thabit (USA), Attorney-at-Law, Permanent Representative of the I.P.O. to the United Nations, is the second observer of the International Progress Organization attending the Lockerbie Trial. The observer delegation of the I.P.O. will continue its mission if an appeal is launched and granted in the case of the convicted Libyan national.

The other three observers at the trial are Dr. Nabil El-Araby, former Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations (for the League of Arab States), Ms. Hairat Balogun, Attorney-at-Law (Nigeria) (for the Organization of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement), and Mr. M. H. Beerenboom (Netherlands) (for the European Commission).

END/Lockerbie Verdict/2001-02-01/P/RE/17025c-is