[What follows is the rext of a press release issued on this date in 2000 by the International Progress Organisation:]
14 May 2000/P/K/16818c-is
Professor 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.
Professor 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.
Professor 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.
The 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.