[This is the headline over a report in today's edition of the Maltese newspaper The Times. It reads in part:]
Air Malta “is following developments” after Scottish Television on Monday reiterated the allegation that the Lockerbie bomb was loaded in Malta in an unaccompanied luggage.
“Air Malta is following the story as it develops and we will be in a better position to comment further at a later stage,” a spokesman for the national carrier said when asked whether the company was going to protest its innocence.
The airline had threatened court action some years ago when Granada TV had broadcast a similar allegation and the station had to reach an out of court settlement.
The airline has always denied it transported unaccompanied luggage. (...)
The father of one of the victims, Jim Swire, yesterday wrote to STV asking them to correct the wrong impression given by the programme that the fatal bomb was loaded in an unaccompanied luggage on an Air Malta flight in Luqa.
According to the prosecution, the luggage containing the bomb was transferred in Frankfurt to a London-bound flight where it was again transferred to Pan-Am flight 103.
Dr Swire has long maintained that Mr al-Megrahi is innocent and has challenged the prosecution’s case implicating Malta. (...)
In comments to STV, Dr Swire talked of his “unshakeable belief” that the circumstances of his daughter’s murder “have become wrapped up in a tissue of lies”.
The prosecution’s main plank during the trial was Sliema merchant Tony Gauci who identified Mr al-Megrahi as the one who bought clothes from his shop days before the Lockerbie bombing.
Fragments of clothes from the Lockerbie crash site were traced back to Malta and Mr Gauci’s Sliema shop.
However, serious doubts were cast on Mr Gauci’s testimony because the identification of Mr al-Megrahi came only years later after the witness had seen him pictured in a magazine as a Lockerbie suspect. In fact, over the past years, the credibility of the main thesis that saw Mr al-Megrahi being convicted was seriously called into question.
Mr al-Megrahi was a Libyan secret service officer stationed in Malta with Libyan Arab airlines but Malta has always denied the bomb was loaded at Luqa airport.
[A similar story appears in Malta Today.
Amongst the many Lockerbie-related things that I wish for is that journalists would stop blithely referring to Abdelbaset Megrahi as "a secret service officer" or as an intelligence officer. Here is what I have said about this elsewhere when enumerating the evidential factors that the Zeist judges used to justify their decision to convict:]
3. Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service.
Commentary. The only evidence to this effect came from a Libyan defector and CIA asset, Abdul Majid Giaka, now living in the United States under a witness protection programme. He gave evidence highly incriminating of both Megrahi and the co-accused Fhima. However, the trial judges rejected his evidence as wholly and utterly unworthy of credit, with the sole exception of his evidence regarding the Libyan intelligence service and Megrahi’s position therein. The court provides no reasons for accepting Giaka’s evidence on this issue while comprehensively rejecting it on every other matter.