Friday, 4 February 2011

Lockerbie’s hidden witness

[I am grateful to Jim Swire and Peter Biddulph for allowing me to reproduce the following extract from their unpublished book Lockerbie: Unfinished Business.]

Not contained in Harry Bell’s diaries, but held on police files, was information concerning a David Wright, a second identification witness to the purchase of clothes in Gauci’s shop.

On 6th November 1989 the BBC Six O’Clock News showed footage which mentioned for the first time that a suitcase containing the bomb was introduced in Malta. Images of Gauci’s shop Mary’s House were displayed. The commentary mentioned fragments of clothes found at the crash site, and that they had been purchased from Mary’s House by an Arab man. Watching the programme was a regular visitor to Malta, Mr David Wright.

A week later Wright contacted Dumfries and Galloway police. One month later, on 18th December 1989 he signed a statement. He claimed that he was a frequent visitor to Malta and a friend of Tony Gauci. He would spend time in Tony’s shop. During one of his visits made between 28th October and the 28th of November 1988 he was in the shop when two men entered saying they were interested in purchasing some clothes. With Gauci offering guidance they proceeded to buy various items of clothing. They were smartly dressed, one wore a dark suit and he had swarthy skin. Both were aged over forty-five years. They spoke English, said they were Libyan, and were staying at the Holiday Inn. During the purchase, Wright recalls Gauci boasting that he could tell the size of people just by looking at them.

Wright gave descriptions of the two men, neither of which matched the accused al-Megrahi. He said that he subsequently recognised the younger of the two men from a TV programme when the man appeared as a spokesman for the Libyan government. Wright claimed that Gauci later described the two as “Libyan Pigs”. Wright told the police that when he spoke to Gauci around the time of the BBC News broadcast, Gauci appeared not to remember the event.

The SCCRC traced the police records of Wright’s contacts and interviews. His statement was initially flagged by the police for action on 18th December 1989, but changed to “filed” on 13th February 1990. Seventeen years later, on 5th December 2007 Wright was interviewed by officers of the SCCRC and signed an affidavit restating all of his previous account.

The key feature of Wright’s statement is the date of the purchase. The Crown made much of al-Megrahi’s presence in Malta on 7th December 1988. And that day was chosen by the judges as the most likely, seemingly on the premise that unproved inferences elsewhere in the Crown case indicated that al-Megrahi was the culprit. Yet if Wright’s statement is correct, the purchase must have been on a different day, possibly but not necessarily the 23rd November. Whatever day it was, al-Megrahi could not have been one of the purchasers, since his passport records showed that he was not in Malta on any of the days when Wright was present.

Wright’s statement was given to the Dumfries and Galloway police at the height of their investigations led by Harry Bell and DCI Gilchrist. “The most intense police investigation in Scottish legal history” was daily news throughout the force. It seems to me inconceivable that the police officer or officers recording Wright’s statement were unaware that it was a critical link in the chain of evidence. I have no doubt that they sought advice from senior officers.

There are, therefore, serious questions that must be put to those who recorded Wright’s statement and filed it. Who did you inform about the David Wright statement? Were they aware of its content? What instructions did they give you as to what to do with the statement? When the decision was taken to file the statement and not include it in the Lockerbie evidence file, who took that decision? Was that person Harry Bell or DCI Gilchrist? Unfortunately, without a second appeal or further inquiry into Lockerbie, these questions will never be addressed. The public and the judges will remain unaware of their significance, and yet another element of Scottish justice will remain corrupted.

Wright’s statement remained undisturbed in police archives for eighteen years. The trial and appeal judges and the defence team were unaware of its existence.* We can though be sure that if the defence had been aware of Wright’s statement they would have invited him to give evidence. And if credible he would have contradicted Gauci’s recollection of events. Stronger cross examination of Gauci would have followed which almost certainly would have changed the direction of the trial. Yet the information was never revealed by the Scottish Crown. It was a clear breach of the Lord Advocate’s duty to disclose the statement to the defence and the court, and raises serious doubts concerning the integrity of the entire investigation.**

*SCCRC disclosures and Grounds of Appeal page 143.
**Ibid pages 142 – 148.


  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2011, document nr. 1044.rtf.
    google translation, german/english:

    The Voice of Russia World Service in New York City have announced:
    +++ WikiLeaks discloses London’s involvement in Lockerbie bomber’s release +++
    Must the background of the BLOCKADE for a new INVESTIGATION by Scottish Authorities also be known through a "BLOW" by WikiLeaks ?

    It would appear that behind the "Lockerbie Affair" and the BLOCKADE of an INVESTIGATION because (Miscarriage of Justice in 6 points, according SCCRC) an unprecedented financial corruption stands...?
    Really has the money no place in Scots Justiciary and in the Authorities which blocked a new investigation ? (Money has no place in Scots justice This is the headline over an article by Ian Hamilton QC)
    We are confident and we hope through "Money Leaks" informer Rudolf Elmer, Zurich Cayman Islands and the Swiss banks get to a answer .....

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


    Die Stimme Russlands, World Service in New York City, gab bekannt: :
    +++ WikiLeaks discloses London’s involvement in Lockerbie bomber’s release +++
    Müssen die Hintergründe der Blockade einer neuen Untersuchung durch Scottish Authorities, ebenfalls über einen "BLOW" von WikiLeaks bekannt werden ?
    Es könnte sich zeigen, dass hinter der Lockerbie-Affäre und der Blockade einer Untersuchung wegen (Miscarriage of Justice in 6 Punkten laut SCCRC) eine unerhörte Finanz-Korruption steht... ?

    Spielen mögliche Finanz-Zuweisungen an die Scots Justiciary und an Authorities im Zusammenhang mit der Blockade eine bedeutende Rolle...?(Money has no place in Scots justice This is the headline over an article by Ian Hamilton QC)

    Wir sind zuversichtlich, dass wir durch "Money Leaks", Informant Rudolf Elmer Zürich (durch Cayman Islands und schweizer Banken) eine Antwort bekommen.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland URL:


    One thing is clear today, the official "Lies-Carousel" must continue to turn, --- from Miscarriage of Justice in the "Lockerbie Affair" until to the blockade of a new investigation by Scottish Authorities.
    The truth must remain suppressed obviously, otherwise in the Scottish Parliament would be a political earthquake triggered !
    Eines steht heute fest, das offizielle "Lügen-Karusell" muss sich weiter drehen, --- vom Fehl-Urteil in der "Lockerbie-Affäre" bis zur Blockade einer neuen Untersuchung durch die Scottish Authorities.
    Die Wahrheit muss offensichtlich aus Angst unterdrückt bleiben, da sonst ein politisches Erdbeben im Scottisch Parliament ausgelöst würde !

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland

  3. The question remains, was this incident the same one as Tony Gauci recalls, or a different one? Were there two (or even more) similar shopping sprees by Libyans, and Tony conflated them? Or did Tony forget about the second Libyan when he recalled the incident?

    The whole thing is beyond murky. In Tony's statements he merely assumed the man was Libyan because he was Arab and not speaking French. Wright says the men identified themmselves as Libyan. In Tony's statements, the purchaser's movements suggest he wasn't staying at the Holiday Inn, but in Wright's statement the men volunteer the information that they were staying there.

    I don't know what to make of it. Except that it follows the pattern of the suppression of Ray Manly's evidence in keeping important details from the defence.

    I also wonder what the defence would have done with it. What were the defence playing at? TWO defence witnesses put on stand, after scores of prosecution witnesses. But many of the prosecution witnesses were giving evidence that might more properly have been classified as defence evidence - Bedford for one, Borg for another. Did this hamper the defence's ability to get information from these people?

    Then again, so many questions one wished the defence would have asked of the prosecution witnesses, that simply weren't asked. Let's speculate, and let the prosecution speculate, rather than trying to establish the facts!

    Who were these many many defence witnesses who were cited but not called? Were they all related to the abandoned "special defence of incrimination"? Might Wright have ended up as just one more on that list?

  4. The question remains: was David Wright bribed with CIA $millions, as were the Gauci brothers, in order to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi?

  5. Doesn't seem like a serious question to me. He didn't give evidence, and if he had, he would not have described a purchaser who looked like Megrahi.

  6. Your opinion is always interesting, Rolfe.

    The Gaucis were bribed. Can you say for certain that David Wright wasn't?

  7. No, and I can't say for certain that you didn't plant the Lockerbie bomb either.

    You're missing the first part where evidence that he was bribed or even a reason why you think he might have been bribed is produced.

    Otherwise, the question remains, did Patrick Haseldine break into Heathrow airside on 21st December and plant that bomb? Can you say for certain that he didn't?

  8. Rolfe is (W)right; Why bribe someone and then hide the statement? The filing and archiving of evidence helpful to the defence is incomprehensibile, and borders on a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice; making Rolfe's questions all the more relevant. Moreover, it appears to be indicative of a general course of conduct.

  9. Oh yes. Not only that, but areas of enquiry that might have been very fruitful if pursued at the time (like finding out more about the disposition of the luggage in AVE4041) were neglected, leaving the defence with an impossible task in following them up when everybody's memories were ten years cold.

    Nobody ever asked either Sandhu or Sidhu whether they remembered re-positioning luggage that was in the bottom of the container when it come out on to the tarmac. Or whether is was likely they did, given that they were rushing to get the luggage transferred in something under 15 minutes. Or if they did ask, they never told us the answer.

    Lots of bits like that all the way through.

    At the FAI, it was reported that "Detective Constable Henderson analysed the baggage which was recovered and those pieces which were not recovered and where possible linked each piece with the person accompanying it. He gave evidence to the effect that none of the descriptions given by relatives of the baggage which they expected the victims to have been carrying fitted [the primary] suitcase."

    This is with specific reference to the passengers boarding at Heathrow. At this point, everyone seemed to have forgotten that the Bedford bag exactly matched the description of the bomb bag. But if none of the legitimate baggage could be identified as fitting the description of the bomb bag, then by that token none of the legitimate baggage could be identified as being the Bedford bag either. Oh dear.

    At Zeist, very little of the luggage seemed to be definitely matched to the appropriate passenger and accounted for. Derek Henderson was not called to give evidence.

    The list goes on and on.

  10. Otherwise, the question remains, did Patrick Haseldine break into Heathrow airside on 21st December and plant that bomb? Can you say for certain that he didn't?

    He was pretty quick to blame someone else. ;)

    I don't buy the Wright story either. A number of things bother me about it, but the seeing one buyer again on TV as a Libyan spoeksperson really sticks out. Wether he meant to or not, he's saying here "I can implicate the Libyan government in this bombing," something it was once, coincidentally, profitable to do. Now there's no more chance of getting paid, but the story lives on as a defense, because it doesn't describe Megrahi.

    Well, neither did Tony Gauci. Maybe they should have gone with Wright after all. Something tells me he's a better dissembler than Tony proved to be.

    I could be wrong though. I'm very skeptical that way, like an overactive immune response, sometimes causing inflammation.

    It is odd that his report was there at one point but missing later. Perhaps it was deemed too confusing, true or not. Suppression can be a sign of a clue's truth and power, but not always.

  11. Otherwise, the question remains, did Patrick Haseldine break into Heathrow airside on 21st December [1988] and plant that bomb? Can you say for certain that he didn't? He was pretty quick to blame someone else.

    Nice diversionary ploy Rolfe and CL. I'm certainly on record [December 1989] blaming someone else for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103, though not specifically for the Heathrow break-in (with which I certainly was not involved).

    Twenty one years ago, on 7 December 1989, The Guardian published this second letter from me:


    "Exactly one year ago, you published my letter suggesting that Mrs Thatcher might have a blind spot as far as South African terrorism is concerned.

    "Fourteen days after publication, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky upon Lockerbie. Of the 270 victims, the most prominent person was the Swede Mr Bernt Carlsson – UN Commissioner for Namibia – whose obituary appeared on page 29 of your December 23, 1988 edition.

    "I cannot be the only puzzled observer of this tragedy to wonder why police attention did not immediately focus on a South African connection. The question to be put (probably to Mrs Thatcher) is: given the South African proclivity to using the diplomatic bag for conveying explosives and the likelihood that the bomb was loaded aboard the aircraft at Heathrow (vide David Pallister, The Guardian, November 9, 1989) why has it taken so long for the finger of suspicion to point towards South Africa?

    "Were police inquiries into Lockerbie subject to any political guidance or imperatives?"

    The fact that the Gauci brothers were bribed by the CIA (with connivance by the Scottish police) to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi strongly suggests that David Wright was paid to keep mum.

  12. You'll note that my part there served more as a segue into that reminder of your campaign than a diversion from it. No ill-will intended.

  13. "And if credible he would have contradicted Gauci’s recollection of events."

    The if is key. Gauci's recollection isn't the problem anyway, it's the way it was read, and Gauci himself contradicts most of that.

    The suppression of Wright's statement is a clue of something - a cavalier attitude by the police about what they would and wouldn't look at, for example. But I just can't see it giving us any clue to that Khreesat bomb loaded in London on behalf of Iran.

    It might indicate an early Libyan government plan to frame themselves for the bombing, or something.

  14. The diversionary ploy by CL and Rolfe begins to look more like an aversion by them to any mention of the Gauci brothers being bribed to give false evidence against Mr al-Megrahi. So let's try again by quoting from an article in The Independent:

    "The legal documents by Megrahi's defence team say the SCCRC found material showing Mr Gauci was paid more than two million dollars by the US department of justice after the trial, and his brother Paul Gauci was paid one million dollars (about £600,000).

    "The SCCRC also unearthed a statement made to police by David Wright, a friend of Tony Gauci, which had not been made available to the defence.

    "The statement from Mr Wright, who visited Tony Gauci, told of a purchase of clothing by two Libyans in October or November - but the statement was not investigated."

    Given this "unearthing" of David Wright's statement to the police, what's the likelihood that he was not bribed in the same way as the Gauci brothers?

  15. I totally don't get it, Patrick. Of course we know Tony and Paul Gauci were bribed, in a small way during the case and in a very large way after the verdict. They were bribed, in essence, to stop Tony telling what was almost certainly the truth by the time of Zeist - that he no longer had any memory of what the mystery shopper looked like but his 1989 description was probably accurate. And that he knew which man in the lineup was Megrahi because he'd seen several recent photographs of him in newspapers and magazines.

    There's a shedload of evidence the Gaucis were bribed. There isn't even a vague hint that Wright received any recompense at all. And no motive for bribing him either.

  16. I have to say Patrick, the distance of the leap (logic) you make in the Wirght/Gauci bribery matter is not disimilar to the leap you make implicating South Africa; Not impossible, but not really supported by anything substantive...

  17. Rolfe's preamble began promisingly enough: "Of course we know Tony and Paul Gauci were bribed, in a small way during the case and in a very large way after the verdict. They were bribed, in essence," but should have concluded simply "to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi." The suppression of David Wright's evidence is a pretty clear indication that he too was bribed to achieve the same end.

    As for Tim, I'm still a bit concerned about his spelling (renumeration)!

  18. No, Patrick. They were bribed to prevent Tony saying something that would have forced the judges to discount the possibility that Megrahi bought the clothes. This prevented the conviction falling flat on its face, but it didn't secure the conviction.

    It's very important to be clear on what Tony actually accomplished. It was a very shaky identification indeed, and in that respect one wonders that the Gaucis were worth so much money. However, when you compare what Tony said to what he could have said, I suspect they were worth every penny.

    The three judges secured Megrahi's conviction. By wilfully ignoring all the evidence it was some other bugger, tossing the rules of evidence in the toilet, and elevating any number of vague and unlikely possibilities to the status of established fact.

    There's no evidence or motive for bribery in the Wright case.

  19. Thanks Patrick, my spelling and your logic are in equal need of repair. Are you suggesting Wright was bribed to implicate Libya (albeit unhelpfully for the prosecution), or to remain silient for nearly two decades?

  20. Oh, don't encourage him!

  21. 5 Feb. 2011, Clinton, Cameron discuss Lockerbie bomber case on the Munich Security Conference MSC 2011.

    The new documents show that Britain's ambassador to Libya, Sir Vincent Fean, advised Libyan officials that Megraghi would NEED TO DROP an appeal against his conviction if he were to be released under a prisoner transfer agreement, BUT HIGHLIGHT that officials did NOT WANT to be seen to "UNDULY INFLUENCE" the Scottish government's decisions on the case!

  22. A recommendation? The links for the above:

    These stories don't mention anything specifically about the appeal. That's in this one:

    Some good stuff. Worthy of a new post!

  23. No, Patrick. They were bribed to prevent Tony saying something that would have forced the judges to discount the possibility that Megrahi bought the clothes.

    Interesting assertion, Rolfe, but that's all it is...your opinion!

    Tim, do you mean to say that David Wright was bribed to remain salient for nearly two decades?

    Another nice diversionary ploy/segue, CL. If that good stuff really is worthy of a new post, what about putting it up on The Lockerbie Divide?

  24. Lol, Patrick has caught me again distracting people from him by talking about something other than him in a comment thread about just that. Don't worry, Patrick, some day the distractors like me will fade away, and the world will sing your song.

  25. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2011, doc. nr.1046.rtf, google translation german/english:

    The entire Scottish "Lockerbie Affair", Swims in a Sea of Lies !

    The real attack on PanAm 103, is edited with the known 3 secret "tricks", after a successful process of a secret action from an intelligence cell:---
    1) with one or more professional "legends" will distracted from the real author (active disinformation) ---
    2) with false or manipulated evidence, someone pulled as "perpetrators" in the responsibility---
    3) and to influence after some time with great professional effort by disinformation and deliberate indiscretion (*active measures) as covert activity to the media, politics, economy and the public...and bred a
    jumble !
    * Operational Procurement and integration of secret information, like WikiLeaks, documents, and used also real objects and descriptions (in its knowledge of the Intelligence Cell) etc.

    There are six grounds by (SCCRC) for believing that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred against Mr Al Megrahi / Libya.
    MEBO predicts: "The Scottish Balloon will soon burst on"!

    +++Bridgen, the Conservative party's spokesman on Lockerbie, said: "The more that we learn about Megrahi's release, the murkier this whole affair becomes." (ANI).+++

    Die gesamte schottische "Lockerbie-Affäre" schwimmt in einem Meer voller Lügen !

    Die reale PanAm 103 Attacke wird mit den bekannten 3 Geheimdienst "Tricks", nach einer geglückten geheim Aktion einer Geheimdienst Zelle weiter verarbeitet: ---
    1.) mit einer oder mehreren professionellen "Legenden" wird vom realen Urheber abgelenkt (aktive Desinformation)---
    2.) mit falschen oder manipulierten Beweisen wird jemand bestimmt und als "Täter" in die Verantwortung gezogen---
    3.) und nach längerer Zeit werden mit grossem professionellen Aufwand, durch Desinformation und gezielte Indiskretion *(aktive Massnahmen) wie verdeckte Aktivität, Medien, Politik, Wirtschaft und Öffentlichkeit beeinflusst und ein Wirrwarr gezüchtet !
    *Operative Beschaffung und Integration von: geheimen Informationen z.B.von WikiLeaks, Dokumenten und eingesetzten realen Gegenständen (nach eigenem Wissen der Intelligence Cell) etc.

    Es gibt nach der Reappeal Com. (SCCRC) sechs Gründe für die Annahme, dass ein Justizirrtum gegen Al Megrahi/ Libyen vorliegt !
    MEBO prognostiziert: "Der schottische Ballon ist bald am platzen" !

    +++Bridgen, the Conservative party's spokesman on Lockerbie, said: "The more that we learn about Megrahi's release, the murkier this whole affair becomes." (ANI).+++

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

  26. Don't make me laugh out loud, CL!

    Since when do you - or Rolfe for that matter - ever pick up on what Edwin Bollier has to say?

    Unless, apparently, it is to veer away from a topic that you seem desperate to keep the lid on viz the bribing of Paul and Tony Gauci, and the suspected bribery of their friend David Wright, in order to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi!

  27. I'll start reading what Edwin says when he stops spamming threads with unrelated drivel, and starts posting in coherent English.

    I am completely at a loss as to why you think either Adam or myself are desperate to keep the lid on the bribery of the Gaucis. I don't think either of us has ever said anything that could possibly give that impression.

    If you don't think the purpose of the bribes was to persuade Tony not to say that he didn't recognise Megrahi as the clothes buyer, I'd be interested to know what you think the purpose was.

    And the only person who suspects Wright might have been bribed is you. Expressing an opinion that an unsubstantiated accusation is baseless does not necessarily equate to trying to "keep the lid on it". Don't imagine everyone must always agree with your notions.

  28. OK, Rolfe, so we're all now agreed: the Gauci brothers were bribed to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi; and, I suspect - but you and CL (Adam) are not entirely convinced - that David Wright was similarly bribed. Right, let's progress...

  29. We're NOW agreed the Gaucis were bribed? Where have you been for the past year or two? Of course the Gaucis were bribed. They were bribed to ensure that Tony didn't say in court that he couldn't possibly confirm that Megrahi might have been the clothes purchaser. This has not been in dispute as far as I know except by people like Frank Duggan.

    The thing is, there is a shed-load of evidence the Gaucis were bribed. Tony didn't go fishing in Scotland because he'd won the lottery. The pair of them didn't emigrate to Australia because the clothes retail trade was so lucrative. And then of course there is the documentary evidence of bribery, principally Harry Bell's diaries. You'd have to be in denial of reality not to realise that the Gaucis were sweetened up like a meringue sundae.

    In contrast there is not a shred of evidence that Wright was bribed. No inexplicable cash, no mysteriously luxurious lifestyle has been reported. And Harry Bell's diaries, so loquacious on the subject of sweeteners for the Gaucis, contain not a single word about bribing anyone else.

    And there is no motive for anyone to have bribed Wright anyway.

    So you can suspect what you like. You can suspect the moon is made of green cheese. But without any evidence, nobody has to take you seriously.

  30. Bribery comes in all shapes and sizes, and I accept there certainly isn't a shed-load of evidence that David Wright's silence was bought by the US Department of Justice.

    But there are in fact three million pieces of evidence to prove that the Gauci brothers were bribed to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.

    Tony Gauci's identification evidence was crucial in the wrongful conviction of Mr al-Megrahi. If there is to be any Justice for Megrahi, those $3 millions ought to have the Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini hurtling towards the High Court of Justiciary pleading for the Lockerbie bomber's conviction to be quashed.

    Why has the JFM campaign been so silent on the question of bribery of witnesses?

  31. Patrick, I don't understand your position in the last post. The JFM has not been silent on the bribery and the Gaucis issue. It was specifically mentioned in their presentation at the Scottish Parliament. It is out there in the public domain and has been raised by many people, including the SCCRC. It is accepted that the Gaucis were bribed but it is the establishment that has refused to address this issue by going as far as to ensure the appeal was scuppered.

    On the Wright issue, if he was bribed to keep quiet why would he then open up during the SCCRC's own inquiry? And why would his statements still be in the records? Wouldn't they have been destroyed rather than filed?

  32. Hi Jo G, I've just spent the past 50 minutes reviewing Justice for Megrahi's excellent presentation at Holyrood last November. Dr Jim Swire, Prof. Robert Black, Robert Forrester, Iain McKie and Fr Pat Keegans were superb and achieved their primary objective in getting the Parliament to refer the e-petition for decision by the Scottish Government. As a bonus, the Petitions Committee undertook to ask - in case of an adverse decision - if not, why not?

    Prof. Black gave a really good account of how unconvincing Tony Gauci's identification evidence was, and why the Judges at Zeist ought not to have accepted it, being so crucial in their convicting al-Megrahi.

    None of the JFM Committee members mentioned the bribery issue however.

    Whether or not David Wright was paid to stay silent about the Gauci evidence seems relatively unimportant. What the JFM campaign should be shouting from the rooftops is the fact that Tony and Paul Gauci were bribed with $3 million.

    So I repeat Why has the JFM campaign been so silent on the question of bribery of witnesses?

    Maybe Rolfe (who I believe is a JFM Committee member) would like to answer that question.

  33. Dear All,

    On a point of clarification. Whether or not we brought up payments for evidence at Holyrood, members of the Justice for Megrahi Committee have indeed raised, on occasions too numerous to count and in a variety of media in different countries, the issue of such payments to the Gauci brothers. I can certainly locate such raised by myself doing so officially on behalf of JFM and its wider membership if required to.

    This is, of course, one of many facets of the call for an inquiry, however, the central feature must, obviously, centre on the SCCRC's statement of reasons.

    Robert Forrester.

  34. Patrick, that's not true. Jim Swire mentioned the money paid to the Gaucis.

  35. I'm watching the Petitions appearance again now too. It may be I'm confused about the emphasis placed, by Jim Swire, on the SCCRC report. The payments made to the Gaucis were raised there.

  36. While it may not be common in Scotland and other countries to pay witnesses for testimony it is not uncommon in America to do so, where the public will have to learn about the injustices of the Megrahi issue for the full truth to ever emerge.

    JFM is correct in not focusing too heavily on certain aspects of the shortcomings of the trial process such as monies paid to the Gauci brothers or Giaka for that matter, or other evidence of bribes offered by the investigating / prosecuting authorities.

    JFM is doing a very good job overall - ultimately they have the truth on their side, which will someday prevail.

    While short-term victory would be nice I feel quite certain such a goal is not why the key players decided to take up and stick with this cause.

  37. Patrick, I couldn't find a specific reference made to the money paid to the Gaucis so you were right about that. I'm sorry. (The SCCRC is said to have raised the issue of the payments in its own findings and its report was referred to during the hearing.) I know too that JFM have mentioned it on other occasions and certainly I've lost count of the times Jim Swire has mentioned in during various interviews and in letters published in various newspapers.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Full I have to disagree that JFM haven't given the matter of the monies paid to the Gaucies a lot of attention. I think they have and definitely believe they should. The payment of millions of dollars to these two would not remotely have been accepted in any Scottish court had the details been known at the time. That was one of the main reasons they had to dismiss Gaika: he was in the pay of the US security services. He was therefore not reliable.

  40. I'd go much further, Jo G, and say that if, two years ago, JFM had actually focused upon those $3 million bribes paid to the Gauci brothers, the Lord Advocate would by now have had to act and plead for the overturning of Megrahi's conviction. Instead, several individual JFM members (notably Jim Swire) took up the bribery issue in an uncoordinated way and thus completely failed to land a knockout punch on the Crown Office.

    Following up his offer, I should be grateful if Robert Forrester could locate instances where he raised the bribery issue officially on behalf of JFM and its wider membership, and tell us what effect his intervention had.

  41. No Patrick, I'm sorry, now you're being ridiculous in your attacks on JFM. I really would implore you to stop.

    The people who ignored the evidence, the evidence brought by the SCCRC (which included information about monies paid to the Gaucis), INCLUDED the Lord Advocate AND the entire Scottish Judiciary AND the Scottish Parliament. They were collectively accused, by Professor Koechler, of actually obstructing justice. The media also chose to ignore the shocking implications of the SCCRC report. Why would the slightest suggestion that we did not get the right man for the Lockerbie bombing not send them all rushing to get to the bottom of it and demanding the hearing of the appeal?

    The issue of the payments has been raised again and again by Jim Swire in various letters published in newspapers, in radio and tv interviews. Robert Black has raised the issues too. Their views have been stated quite clearly, with mention of the payments, on various sites we know, like the Firm and in the Scottish Review. This is just not something they have ignored. Far from it.

    I think you show appalling arrogance here Patrick, I really do. I do not understand how you can possibly imply that the JFM team are somehow responsible for the failure to get a result. The entire establishment is against them and the media too. I would say you should turn your rage on the media for if those within it had taken the issue of Megrahi's appeal being delayed - deliberately - and challenged on it we would most certainly have made progress then. That's where the real power seems to lie in this hellish place we call a democratic country.

  42. The question I raised, Jo G, was: Why has the JFM campaign been so silent on the question of bribery of witnesses?

    I can't see how that amounts to "arrogance" on my part, or to an "attack on JFM".

    Robert Forrester has offered to provide instances where he raised the bribery issue officially on behalf of JFM and its wider membership. I look forward to hearing what Robert has to say on the subject.

  43. Dear Mr Haseldine,

    The following comes to hand immediately. The excerpt is taken from a long piece I wrote last year, and which was countersigned by the entire membership of JFM. It was published in The Sunday Times of Malta of 22/8/10 and The Firm in its August/September 2010 magazine issue:

    "Surely, then, arguments over the circumstances of his release, engaging though they may be in their own right, would pale into insignificance. It was precisely that question which moved the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal on no fewer than six grounds for appeal. Six grounds which included that on crucial factual matters the trial court reached conclusions that no reasonable court could have reached on the evidence heard. These centre on the testimony of the prosecution’s star witness, Tony Gauci, at Zeist, where judges did not know and so could not take into account the issue of payments of $2,000,000 and $1,000,000 to himself and his brother respectively."

    Robert Forrester.

  44. Of course it is arrogance Patrick. And when you line up such criticisms in the way you have about JFM in my view it constitutes a form of attack which I do not believe is deserved. You said in an earlier post had the JFM taken this up the Lord Advocate would have had not choice but to act. Are you seriously blaming JFM for failure when its been obvious all this time that the establishments - legal and political - were absolutely determined to ignore, not just the SCCRC and the appeal process but JFM and everybody else landing punches on a daily basis?

  45. Of course Patrick was booted out of JFM some time ago for being a pain in the neck. He also has an unpleasant habit of spreading rumours that members of JFM who don't agree with his conspiracy theory regarding South Africa, are CIA agents. I thought he'd been banned from commenting on this blog. Professor Black seems to have relented, which is a pity in my opinion.

  46. I've been a Lockerbie campaigner (unpaid) for the past 22 years, and it's a shame that people like Rolfe feel it necessary to indulge in this sort of character assassination.

    Patrick Haseldine

  47. Not my style at all Patrick. You know all about character assassination though, don't you? All those emails to various people telling them I'm a CIA agent, you know?

    I don't know why you feel it necessary to do that sort of thing, but don't come the injured innocent.