Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Police ask for a copy of Megrahi's television interview

[This is the headline over a report by David Cowan just published on the STV News website.  It reads as follows:]

Dumfries and Galloway Police will carry out their own translation of the interview carried out by Reuters.

Dumfries and Galloway Police have been instructed to obtain a copy of the first television interview given by the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi since his release from a Scottish jail more than two years ago.

The Reuters news agency reported that Megrahi told them "his role in the Lockerbie bombing had been exaggerated."

If the agency's interpretation of what was said was correct, it would have been the Libyan's first ever acknowledgement that he played any part at all in the bombing of Pan Am 103 and the murder of 270 people.

In the 20 years since Megrahi was first named as a suspect he has consistently denied any involvement.

But according to Reuters' own translation, Megrahi's actual words were only: "The West exaggerated my name."

In the rest of the interview, he denies having ever harmed anyone, and says the "facts" about the bombing will become clear "hopefully in the near future."

Some of Megrahi's supporters have disputed the agency's translation of the interview.

The Crown Office has told STV News it is seeking a copy of the full interview to establish exactly what was said.

A spokesman commented: "We are aware of the interview of Megrahi which was partly broadcast on yesterday's news.

"We are also aware that Megrahi is reported as having said in that interview that his role in the Lockerbie bombing was exaggerated.

"Dumfries and Galloway police have been instructed to obtain the whole interview. Once available the translation will be checked for accuracy."

The process could take some time. It's standard practise for British television stations to decline to hand over their footage unless ordered to do so by the courts.


  1. I'm not an arabic speaker but I understand from one who is that اخترعdoes indeed mean "invent" or "make up" (in the colloquial sense of "falsify). The question is, tho', di Abdelbasset actually use that word? Has the arabic version of the interview been published?

  2. Just one question: How could he have germane evidence that "will come out" if he was not personally involved and why would he not do it now to exonerate himself prior to his "imminent" passing?

  3. Regardless of what word Al-Megrahi used this story is totally idiotic.

    - - -

    In an article where Megrahi clearly restates his innosense the Vestern press prefers to sink its teeth into one hairfine interpretation of one single statement.

    - I did not drive faster than allowed. I have never done so in my life. Anyone saying so are liars. My speeding has been exaggerated by people who..."

    Headline in next days newspaper:
    Accused confesses to speeding.

    - - -

    Further, while I know that many people speak only one language I assume it is common knowledge that translations are, to a high degree, interpretations?

    Anyone who has ever translated something will be aware that there is a trade-off between precision, brevity and clarity.

    Is the expression "Lost in translation" well known?

    - - -

    To make it all even worse: If RB has been given correct information, Megrahi actually used a word where "exaggerated" seems to be a more than far-fetched interpretation.

    - - -

    "You have the right to remain silent..."

    How easy a victim Megrahi was!

    - - -

    The story more than underlines why some lawyers recommends absolutely never giving any statements to the police, even though it harms their work of solving cases.
    The risk of statements being taken out of context, and being twisted against you is simply much to large.


  4. Megrahi sure talks a lot for someone who's in a "coma and near death" (again, again, again, again, again, again, ...).

    He's a little "Chatty Cathy Doll".

    The larger credibility gap is generated NOT in the parsing of his words, but the fact he keeps being publicized as "close to death".

    The release on compassionate grounds...what a crock...

  5. @ Michael

    "Just one question: How could he have germane evidence that "will come out" if he was not personally involved ..."

    1. Somebody has informed him about a new development in the case
    2. He was talking about the release of the SCCRC report.
    3. He is simply hopeful that something will happen soon.

    Am I correct in believing that if somebody says "The truth will come out one day" it is to you an indication of guilt and knowledge about the crime?

    "...and why would he not do it now to exonerate himself..."

    1. The nature of the information is too comprehensive to elaborate on, by an ill man speaking to journalists.
    2. The investigations are not yet completed.
    3. The evidence may incriminate somebody else, and he is not looking for trouble.

    See? Not too hard.

  6. Perhaps it's locked up by the CIA at Area 51? The TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

    It's probably alien technology keeping him alive, too.

    Still, very chatty for a coma victim.

  7. > Megrahi sure talks a lot for..

    Did I miss something? I don't recall any other interview by Megrahi for some time?

    > someone who's in a "coma and near death" (again, again, again, again, again, again, ...).

    "Near death" has always been undefined.

    > The release on compassionate grounds...what a crock...

    Right. I also don't think that compassion had much to to with his release.

    You have never commented on how you think a retrial would have ended?

    Or the implications if he was found not guilty?

    Or what you believe to be the strongest evidence against him?

    Gauci's statements to the police? Giaka's? The timer fragment (which was tested negative for explosives)? The expert prosecution witnesses that seems to be discredited one by one?

    Or something else I don't know about?

    Believe me, Michael, it would really, really make my day if Megrahi was proven guilty as sin.

    As what I believe I see is so very painful.

    Please, line up the evidence you see against Megrahi, and let us discuss that.

  8. How could Megrahi have germane evidence that "will come out" if he was not personally involved and why would he not do it now to exonerate himself prior to his "imminent" passing?

    Don't forget that John Ashton has a biography of Megrahi about to be published. Ashton won't sell many copies if everything is revealed too soon!

  9. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2011: Clearing up the "Lockerbie Affair":

    The exculpatory evidence that Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi can have nothing to do with the real bombing of PanAm 103, can be read after opening the SCCRC-files.
    There is now an opportunity that Libya's "NTC" can demand from the Crown Office reciprocal rights (International Legal Assistance) -- in order to open the secret files of the Scotish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission and the statement of police-officer, witness (alias) "GOLFER".

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch