March 91: Lord Fraser Sets Deadline

DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE TERRORISM SUMMARY

15 MARCH 1991

THE LORD ADVOCATE OF SCOTLAND, PETER FRASER,

DISCLOSED ON 12 MARCH THAT HE MAY MAKE PUBLIC THE CRIMINAL

INVESTIGATION INTO THE BOMBING OF PAN AM 103 BY 21 DECEMBER

1991 (THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE INCIDENT). FRASER STATED

THAT IF THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN REACHED AND HE IS SATISFIED

THAT THE INVESTIGATION HAS PROGRESSED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, HE

WILL REVEAL THE WHOLE STORY OF THE HUNT FOR THE BOMBERS OF

PAN AM 103. LORD FRASER ALSO INDICATED THAT THE CRIMINAL

INVESTIGATION WAS ONGOING AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT STILL

HOPES TO BRING THE PERPETRATORS OF THE BOMBING TO TRIAL,

WHERE THE WHOLE STORY WLL BE TOLD IN HIGH CRIMINAL COURT.

WHEN ASKED TO IDENTIFY WHERE THE TRIAL WOULD TAKE PLACE,

FRASER STATED THAT IT COULD TAKE PLACE IN THE U.S.  PRESS

REPORTS HAVE INDICATED THAT IT IS EASIER TO EXTRADITE A

CRIMINAL TO THE U.S. THAN TO GREAT BRITAIN.

COMMENT: LORD FRASER’S REMARKS SHOULD BE TAKEN

SERIOUSLY.  IT HAS BEEN EXPECTED THAT IF REPORTS FROM THE

LOCKERBIE TASK FORCE ARE INSUFFICIENT TO BRING ANYONE TO

TRIAL, FRASER WOULD DISCUSS CLOSING DOWN THE INVESTIGATION

WITH CHIEF CONSTABLE ESSON. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT A

CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF POLITICAL PRESSURE IS BEING FELT BY

LORD FRASER TO BRING THE CASE TO RESOLUTION AS QUICKLY AS

POSSIBLE.  EVEN THE AMERICAN RELATIVES OF VICTIMS GROUP HAS

PUBLICLY ENDORSED FRASER’S STATEMENTS.  IT IS UNCLEAR WHY

FRASER STATED THAT TRIAL COULD TAKE PLACE IN THE U.S. RATHER

THAN IN GREAT BRITAIN. BECAUSE THE EXTRADITION PROCESS IS

GOVERNED BY BILATERAL AGREEMENTS BETWEEN NATIONS, IT IS

LIKELY THAT THE U.S. AND BRITAIN SHARE SIMILAR AGREEMENTS

WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.

SERIOUS REPERCUSSIONS WILL BE FELT IF FRASER

CLOSES THE CASE AND DIVULGES INFORMATION DERIVED FROM THE

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. THE DISCLOSURE OF MUCH OF THE

INFORMATION POSSESSED BY FRASER COULD SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZE

U.S. PROSECUTIVE EFFORTS. VARIOUS INTELLIGENCE AND POLICE

ACTIVITIES, SOURCES, AND METHODS – AS WELL AS THE IDENTITIES

OF INVESTIGATORS AND SUSPECTS – MAY BECOME PUBLIC. SHOULD

THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION BE DISCLOSED, IT COULD HAVE A

NEGATIVE IMPACT ON FUTURE RELATIONS AMONG THE VARIOUS

INTELLIGENCE AND POLICE ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED WITH RESPECT

THE SHARING OF SENSITIVE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AND POLICE

INFORMATION.

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