Megrahi: You Are My Jury: The Lockerbie Evidence

John Ashton. Berlinn (IPG, dist.), $24 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-1-78027-015-9

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted “Lockerbie bomber,” who died earlier this year of cancer, never stopped seeking to clear his name, and this book, written by one of the lead researchers on Megrahi’s appeal with the Megrahis’ collaboration, documents perceived weaknesses of the Scottish state’s case. Extensively presented, the defense’s case pokes holes in the razor-thin forensic evidence that led investigators to Megrahi. Ashton also argues that others, most notably certain Palestinian militant groups and elements of the Iranian government, were initially suspected and had motive, means, and opportunity. Ashton’s analysis of the evidence, though clearly partisan, is exhaustive and fascinating, highlighting how Megrahi’s trial exemplified a rush to judgment viewed by many jurists as a miscarriage of justice. Sections written by Megrahi himself provide insight into his state of mind and show him to be an intelligent, conscientious man concerned above all with the well-being of his family. Of his decision to drop his final appeal: he faced “an appalling choice: to die in prison in the hope of being cleared posthumously, or to die at home still bearing the weight of my conviction. For my family’s sake I decided I must choose the latter....” Illus. Agent: David Godwin, DGA Literary Agents (U.K.). (Aug.)