[This is the heading over a post published today on bensix's blog Back Towards The Locus. It reads as follows (full references and links in the original, but omitted here):]
Richard Marquise, the FBI investigator into the Pan Am bombing, is, as far as I’m aware, the only public figure who’s tried to defend the prosecution. It’s interesting, then, that he does it rather badly.
Anyway, in an interview with OhmyNews, back in 2009, Marquise addressed the evidence that crucial (if unconvincing) witness Tony Gauci was rewarded for his testimony in the form of loadsamoney…
"I can assure you that no witnesses were ever offered any money by anyone…"
When he was interviewed for Gideon Levy’s documentary Lockerbie Revisited Marquise seems to have been more equivocal…
"Richard Marquise states categorically that no money was paid to any of the witnesses before the trial. In relation to witness Tony Gauci, Marquise refuses to say whether any money was paid out after the trial."
After the Al Jazeera documentary – which provided a sceptical view of the investigation – Marquise popped up in the comments at Robert Black’s blog and gave an even weirder response…
"I believe that I and any of my Scottish colleagues could well have testified in Zeist that no witness asked for, was promised or paid money in exchange for saying anything anything."
Let’s all play a game where we answer the relevant question! Was money offered? Given? It seems so…
"Presented with documents showing that Scottish police officers and FBI agents had discussed as early as September 1989, ‘an offer of unlimited money to Tony Gauci, with $10,000 being available immediately’, Lord Fraser said: “I have to accept that it happened. It shouldn’t have and I was unaware of it.”
"The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission conducted its own investigation into the case, which resulted in it being referred back for a second appeal – abandoned when Megrahi was freed. Unlike the trial court, it required police officers to produce notebooks and diaries.
"Harry Bell’s diary reveals that reward money was discussed from September 1989 onwards, within days of Gauci being traced.The Commission also reported that Gauci’s brother, Paul, who made important witness statements, ‘had a clear desire to gain financial benefit’, and that ‘the US authorities offered to make substantial payments to Tony Gauci at an early stage’."
Witness payments have typically been an issue when the media has offered witnesses moolah for their tales. It’s so controversial that the practice was nearly banned, and is subject to a host of regulations. (One of them, which might interest Lord Fraser, is that any payment or offer of payment must be disclosed to the prosecution and defence.) They’re concerned that the idea of cash might sway the witnesses’ judgements.
Seems like Mr Marquise has some ‘splaining to do.