Sunday, 19 September 2010

‘Maltese man betrayed me for money’ – Al-Megrahi

[This is the headline over the longer article in the Maltese newspaper The Sunday Times mentioned in the preceding post. The article, by the paper's deputy editor Herman Grech, reads as follows:]

Gauci’s evidence was ‘clearly unreliable’

The Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and a victim’s father have accused a Maltese witness at the centre of the probe of “betraying a fellow human being for money”.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the 1988 bombing of the Pan Am aircraft, spoke exclusively to The Sunday Times just days after meeting Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, who was convicted of killing 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.

The two men met in Tripoli last Tuesday where they discussed, among other issues, Tony Gauci, the owner of a shop in Sliema who claimed he had identified Mr Al-Megrahi as the man who had bought clothes from him that were later found wrapped around the bomb.

His testimony led to the imprisonment of Mr Al-Megrahi, until the Libyan was controversially released a year ago on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

When asked whether the two men spoke about Mr Gauci’s testimony, Dr Swire said: “Yes we did. We felt that if Abdelbaset and I were standing at the gates of heaven, and Mr Gauci applied for entry he would be asked why he had betrayed his brother human being and his only answer would have to be ‘for the money’.”

Mr Al-Megrahi’s defence team recently contended that the Maltese witness was paid “in excess of $2 million”, while his brother was paid “in excess of $1 million” for their cooperation. Neither has ever denied receiving payment.

Twenty-two years on from the bombing, Dr Swire remains convinced of the Libyan’s innocence, saying he was converted by the evidence he heard in the main trial at Camp Zeist.

“Everything I have heard since has reinforced that view, particularly the Heathrow break-in, knowledge of which was denied to the court and of course hidden from us, until after the verdict had been reached.”

Dr Swire said Mr Gauci’s evidence was clearly unreliable now that it had emerged (from a policeman’s diary, since made public by Mr Megrahi’s defence team and not seen by the court), that he was enticed with offers of American money to give evidence, which the court was unaware of.

Malta was implicated in the case because the prosecution said Mr Al-Megrahi had originally placed the unaccompanied bomb on an Air Malta flight.

It was argued the suitcase containing the bomb was then transferred at Frankfurt airport onto a feeder flight to London and then at Heathrow onto the Pan Am plane flight, PA103, that later exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland 38 minutes after take-off.

Mr Al-Megrahi was said to be a secret service agent for the Libyan government stationed in Malta with Libyan Arab Airlines.

Dr Swire said that evidence from a man who worked at a cafe at the former Luqa airport had claimed that a Scottish detective had suggested he might “refresh his memory” by remembering that if he produced evidence against the Libyan he would be likely to get enough money to allow him to travel abroad.

Both Mr Al-Megrahi and Dr Swire believe there was political interference in the case.

“If there really was direct interference either by those involved in the investigation, or by other arms of intelligence communities to achieve a politically ‘desirable’ verdict, the host nations would hardly welcome an exposure of their collusion to pervert the course of justice, even after 21 years,” Dr Swire said.

Some arguments against the conviction

• Air Malta was able to prove that all 55 bags loaded onto the flight to Frankfurt were ascribed to passengers.

• Claims that there was a break-in at Heathrow fits perfectly with the theory that a Syrian group was behind the bomb which downed the aircraft. Their bombs were known to be stable at ground level, but if put into an aircraft they would always explode between 35 and 40 minutes after take-off, thanks to an internal timer only being triggered by a drop in air pressure. The Lockerbie aircraft flew for 38 minutes before exploding.

• An FBI agent held up in front of US public television cameras a photograph of a timer circuit board through which he claimed to have linked the crime to Libya. Critics said the photograph was of a circuit board which had not been involved in proximity to any explosion. Court evidence later confirmed that the CIA had already been in possession of timers containing such circuit boards.

• A book had claimed that the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) had received $10 million or so from Iran immediately after Lockerbie. The PFLP-GC appears to have acted as a mercenary, or executive in carrying out the wishes of the Iranian Ayatollahs in revenge for the erroneous US downing of an Iranian aircraft.

• There are political reasons why the US had wanted to take the heat off Iran and Syria at the time. The return of US hostages held by Iranian backed groups was still on the agenda at the time.

• A US intelligence team who had been investigating the hostage dispositions in Lebanon were among those on the doomed PA103. Their leader’s bag had been cut open by hand and some of its contents removed before it was returned to the crash site for the Scottish police to find. This interference with the evidence chain was known to the court which placed no emphasis on it.

• The court never ordered the production of the diaries pertaining to a detective involved in the complex forensic investigation into the bombing even though they knew of their existence. These exposed serious backhand dealings and showed that the Maltese witness was interested in the awards being offered by the US ‘Rewards for Justice’ programme provided he gave evidence leading to Mr Al-Megrahi’s conviction.

[A second article in the same newspaper headlined ‘Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi remains a sick man’ reads as follows:]

Dr Swire met with Mr Al-Megrahi in Tripoli following a request by the Libyan man himself.

It was the first time the Scottish doctor has met Mr Al-Megrahi since the Libyan’s release. The two had previously met when the convicted bomber was in custody. Mr Al-Megrahi has kept a very low profile since his release, amid media speculation of his health and whereabouts.

Dr Swire was not expansive about the contents of his one-hour conversation with Mr Al-Megrahi, which he considers confidential, but was quick to quash media claims that the Libyan - who was given three months to live when released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 – was not really a dying man.

“Abdelbaset remains a sick man but he is in better shape than I had dared to hope. His mind is perfectly clear. I attribute this to the love and care of his family, especially his wife Aisha, the community, and to some extent also to the excellent medical care he seems to be receiving. This is a message of great cheer for all of us men, many of whom will sooner or later be victims of prostate cancer.”

Dr Swire said he decided to make the trip to Tripoli in solidarity with the man who still stands accused in the eyes of the law of killing the Scotsman’s daughter.

“We met as brother members of the human race and seekers of a common goal: the re-examination of the available evidence which led to a verdict we believe was reached under political pressure rather than the rules of justice.

“Abdelbaset does not want any further dealings with the media, believing he can do no more now that his appeal has been withdrawn.”

Mr Al-Megrahi maintained his innocence and his wish to see the verdict against him overturned, Dr Swire told The Sunday Times.

“That task now falls upon Scotland, and those who believe, like me, that the verdict was a miscarriage of justice.”


  1. It is a good thing that some people care to stay in contact with Megrahi.


    Die Antwort auf BBC Radio Four's report on Mr Al-Megrahi case:
    Die Lockerbie Verschwörung war ein geheimer Krieg gegen Libyen, hauptsächlich vereitelt mit Hilfe von MEBO !

    Computer "Babylon" translation, german/english language:

    The answer to the BBC Radio Four's report on Mr Al-Megrahi case:
    The Lockerbie conspiracy was a secret war against Libya, thwarted mainly with help from MEBO !

    Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland. URL:


    Since August 1990, definitely a wrong date was created (7th of December, 1988) in order to accuse deliberately the libyan official Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi as the buyer of the cloths in "Mary's House".

    A further proof from MEBO that the sale of dresses in Anhony Gauci "Mary's House" took undoubtedly place on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988 by a supposedly Libyan buyer:

    Tony Gauci told Bollier on 25.01.2008 in Malta, that the 2 pieces of pyjamas, label "John Mallia", were the last two pyjamas he had sold to a Libyan in his shop. On the other day, the 24th of November 1988, Gauci by phon ordered at the company "John Mallia" additionally 8 pieces of the same pyjamas. The 8 pyjamas were delivered on the 25th of November 1988 with the calculation/delivery note, dated 25th of November 1988 to Gauci' s Mary' s House at Sliema Malta. Prod. 477-1.

    The day after Wednesday, December 7, December 8, 1988 was an official public holiday (Immaculate Conception Day) and the "John Mallia" company was closed. But the day after November 23, November 24, 1988 was not an official public holiday, the company "John Mallia" was open.

    Court at Kamp van Zeist, Excerpt:
    MR. CAMPBELL: The next witness is 606, Paul Mallia.
    THE MACER: Paul Mallia, Your Lordship.
    Q-- Mr. Mallia, what is your full name? A-- Paul Mallia. Q-- And your address? A-- It's 4 Marina Court, Sliema Road, Malta. Q-- What is the name of the company? A-- It's John N. Mallia & Son Limited. Q-- Would you look, please, at Label 445. Do you see that the bag contains a pair of pyjamas? A-- These are the pyjamas we used to manufacture back in that time. Q-- Could we have on the screen, please, Production 181, photograph 134. You see there a photograph of a pair of pyjamas. Can you confirm, first of all, that that's a photograph of the pyjamas that you have physically in front of you? A-- Yes, it is.

    Q-- Are you familiar with a shop called Mary's House in Tower Road, Sliema? A-- Yes. He is one of our clients. Q-- Did you supply that shop with goods? A-- Yes, we do. Q-- Would you look, please, at Production 501. Focus in on the label at the top of the page, please. We see that that label describes what we are about to look at as an invoice. If we move on, please, to the next image, image 1. Do we there see a carbon-copy invoice from your records, John N. Mallia & Son Limited? A-- Yes. Q-- And do we see that it's dated 31st October 1988? A-- Yes, that's correct. Q-- And it's to Mary's House? A-- Yes. Q-- In Sliema. And do we see that included in the order is a quantity of 16 men's pyjamas? A-- Yes.

    Q-- If you can close that, please, and look now at Production 500. Do we see that this label tells us that this, too, is a receipt. And if -- an invoice, I'm sorry. And if we move to image 1, we again see that this is a carbon copy invoice from your records. Is this one dated the 25th of November 1988? **A-- Yes, that's correct. Q-- And again, is it to Mary's House in Sliema? A-- Yes. Q-- And in this case the item -- the items in it is a quantity of eight men's pyjamas? A-- Yes.

    **(MEBO: This order made by Gauci on 24th of November 1988, by telephone).

    Excerpt: described by Gauci.
    Question: Q-- And if we can have Production 4771, do we see that that's a similar invoice to your shop from John Mallia dated 25th November 1988 for eight pairs of pyjamas?
    Answer: A-- Yes. I used to buy stock, and when it finished, I used to buy -- I used to phone often. It's an item that is quite sold in winter.

    Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi was not in Malta on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988, thus Mr. Megrahi is definetely not the buyer of the dresses !

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO LTD, Switzerland


    Dubious, on the same day, Wedensday 7th of December 1988, as Mr Megrahi arrived in Malta, the police provides a Robot-image from the buyer of the sale of clothes by Gauci... (Ref. Swiss police)

    Published by police: A Robot-Image (drawing) of the Libyan man who has purchased clothings and a umbrella in the alleged date, Wednesday 7th December 1988, with the shop keeper Tony Gauci (Mary's House) showed in all probability the Libyan CIA spy, Giaka Abdul al Magjid, not Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.
    The date was deliberate manipulated from Wednesday 23th November, to 7th December 1988!
    Notabene: Megrahi was only on 7th-9th Decembers in Malta, not on 23th November 1988.

    What was the real reason for fabricating a Robot drawing on 7th December 1988, of the Libyan man who has purchased clothings and a umbrella in "Mary's House"? Was Giaka with the Robot photo extorted? This makes of sense...
    In the context the clothes purchase by a Libyan in Malta refers to a conspiracy against Libya!
    The main witness in the Lockerbie Trial, was the Libyan secret service defector Gjiaka, met CIA agents in Malta 12 times before the PanAm 103 bombing!
    Abdul Magjid Giaka, currently in the Witness Protection Programme in the United States, was witness no. 684 in trail at Kamp van Zeist 2000.
    For some weeks (2009) the Robot drawing with Googles, Yahoo and BBC (images) was removed…
    Compares the original photo of Abdul Magjid Giaka with the Robot drawing by MEBO. (Prod. Q12 and Q13)
    NB: Giaka received from the CIA for his "subversive" work, 1989, total US$13'000

    The portrait on the police robot drawing Q12 is to 90% identically with Abdul Magjid Giaka, an Libyan CIA defector, since August 1988...

    The same robot drawing Q12 WANTED, is published in the book SCOTBOM: "Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation", of FBI Specially Agent (Task Force) Richard A. Marquise, with the following text: "FBI artist rendition of the Libyan man said to have purchased clothing and an umbrella in December 1988".

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland. URL:

  5. "Maltese man betrayed me - Al Megrahi" - that headline is journalism at its worst. It is not Mr Megrahi who says that, it is Mr Swire who speaks about what he and Mr Megrahi "felt". It would indeed be very interesting to hear from Mr Megrahi personally what happened in Malta in those days. One could appreciate that Megrahi kept silent during the trial for tactical legal reasons. But now he is (or should be) free to speak out.

  6. Hmmmm. He's still a convicted murderer. I wonder if anyone would really try to get him back to jail in Greenock if he made too many waves? Might not be worth the risk.

    He's even stopped putting stuff on his web site. I wonder why? I wonder if he's being leaned on not to rock the boat, or else?