Friday, 23 December 2011

Lockerbie truth

[This is the headline over a letter from David Flett published in today's edition of The Scotsman.  It reads as follows:]

The farcical “evidence” used to convict Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (your report, 22 December) was quite frankly unbelievable. Scotland’s justice system had an obvious and very serious failure as it so obviously locked up (then released just in time before a successful appeal) the wrong man.

Worryingly, the real murdering perpetrators are at liberty.

It may be politically awkward and it may bring questions about the competence of our legal institutions, but the priority must be to get to the truth about who killed all those poor souls a few days before Christmas 1988.

[In today's edition of The Herald there are two letters on the Lockerbie case.  They read as follows:]

You report that during his visit to Washington Scotland's Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland agreed with senior US Government officials that US investigators might join Scottish police in seeking further information on the Lockerbie bombing ("Lockerbie detectives will be in Libya early next year", The Herald December 22).

While I am pleased that Scottish police officers are to pursue answers to the many unanswered questions about the atrocity and the guilt of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and others, I am less sanguine about them being "assisted" by US anti-terrorist agencies.

The main contribution of the CIA and FBI to the original investigation was to offer a huge bribe to jog the memory of the main prosecution witness about his identification of a casual customer in his shop several years earlier, and to magically find a tiny piece of the detonator casing in a Lockerbie field six months after the local police had scoured every inch of the area. We don't need any more of that kind of co-operation.

In seeking justice for the victims' families, and to restore the reputation of the Scottish justice system, what would extremely helpful would be the publication in full of the 800-page Report of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which found six reasons to indicate that there had been a miscarriage of justice in the original court conviction.

It is an ongoing disappointment to many who are concerned about the Camp Zeist trial that Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and his officials have consistently found reasons to conceal this report, despite it being clearly in the public interest that it should be published. Now sections of it are to be revealed in Megrahi's biography early next year and will no doubt appear on the internet for all to see.

There is another possible scenario. Official Libyan Government documents may reveal what many have always suspected, that Libyan involvement was merely as an undercover agent for an Iranian terrorist group backed by Syria, seeking revenge for the unlawful shooting down of an Iranian civil airliner a few months earlier for which the captain and crew of the US warship were decorated and feted as heroes. How would the CIA manage to cover that up? Is that why it wants to be present at a Scottish criminal investigation?
Iain A D Mann

An extraordinarily detailed research paper published last month seems to confirm that US intelligence was well aware that a timer device of the type used by Palestinian terror group the PFLP-GC was used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, because of the flight time, but that even by November 1991, it was still unaware of the Heathrow break-in. The academic paper also reveals the interception of messages of relief from Iran following this switch of suspicion away from her.

During Mr Megrahi's trial in 2000, the Heathrow break-in remained unknown, blinding the court to an all-too-obvious route by which the bomb may well have been infiltrated.

The Heathrow break-in occurred just after midnight, 16 hours before the Lockerbie disaster. Because of the nature of the device, it could not possibly have been put on board in Malta.

Iran seemed to be the motivating force in the time between the US shooting down of her airbus and the "Autumn leaves" operation by the (West) German BKA.

Mr Megrahi is now near to death in Tripoli, but his guilt or innocence seems to tell us nothing about what the Gaddafi regime and Abu Nidal were up to between October and December 1988.

Scotland's compassion in allowing Mr Megrahi to go home to die looks like the release of an innocent scapegoat. The performance of her investigating police in failing to reveal the existence of the Heathrow break-in looks, at best, like a serious omission.

When a person is seriously injured, there is said to be a "golden hour" when life-saving treatment can best be given. At Heathrow 16 golden hours were allowed to elapse between the break-in and the Lockerbie bombing, with no appropriate counter action being taken.

Even so many years after the event an apology would still be welcome, along with proof that things really are done better now.

Having released Mr Megrahi in 2008 Scotland has been unable or unwilling to enforce a comprehensive review of the evidence against him, despite the findings of the SCCRC that the trial may indeed have resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

We hear that the Scottish police are to go to Libya soon to investigate whether other evidence can now be found as to whether the Gaddafi regime was itself involved in the Lockerbie bombing.

I wish them luck when they do finally get to Libya: they will need to remember it's a country where old scores against the Gaddafi regime are certainly still being actively settled.

Should the Scottish police find any such evidence, it is unlikely to connect with the story heard at Zeist, where, in retrospect it seems clear that Megrahi was no more than a convenient scapegoat. That would be a bitter pill for them and the Crown Office to swallow, and they would need great integrity to admit it.

Meanwhile Tehran is immune to accusations over Lockerbie, but the convulsions in Syria may, hopefully lead to new revelations from that direction. Perhaps the failure of the west to indict those two states over Lockerbie added to its boldness in threatening its own people as well as those of other countries.
Dr Jim Swire


  1. "that Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and his officials have consistently found reasons to conceal this report."

    I would also include the name of Alex Salmond in that sentence. Scotland's First Minister and its Justice Secretary are both seemingly equally determined to work with the Unionists and follow the aims of the Unionists in ensuring the truth about Lockerbie is never found and the reputation of the Scottish Justice System remains forever in tatters due to a verdict which, to those of us who wanted only justice, was ridiculous to put it mildly.

    I still remember my own excitement when they were elected in 2007 just ahead of the SCCRC findings (on Megrahi's appeal) being announced. I was thinking, "Go Salmond!" and was genuinely convinced this man would demolish all before him in getting to the truth behind Lockerbie and ensure that appeal was heard.

    I felt sure he was afraid of no one and would allow no one to deny Scotland justice regarding Lockerbie.

    Witnessing since the antics of both Salmond and MacAskill as they have ducked and dived in order to work with successive Westminster Governments to keep the truth locked up has been painful indeed.

    Those of us with an interest in current affairs and politics invariably suffer disappointment in public figures from time to time. This particular matter, however, involved a betrayal I never thought I would ever see from a man of Salmond's calibre. Yet he bottled it big time.

    People say we shouldn't do "single issue politics" but Lockerbie is more than a single issue.

    If it was all about "trade" then Salmond standing up to Westminster over getting to the truth would have won Scotland a lot of trade throughout the world and a lot of admiration too. Westminster clearly offered better incentives. Shame on Salmond for selling Scotland out on Lockerbie. Shame on him too for letting down many who had voted for him because he was afraid of no one and would always put Scotland first. He did NOT put Scotland first when it came to getting to the truth behind Lockerbie. Instead he found reason after reason to avoid publishing the SCCRC findings.

    His sidekick, MacAskill, spoke of a "higher power". Maybe one day both Salmond and MacAskill will also answer to a higher power for their despicable conduct over Lockerbie and their absolute failure to pursue justice.

  2. Dave

    There was never a public inquiry into Lockerbie and the AAIB report never mentioned a bomb.

    Its time investigators re- examined the crash evidence!

    For example, there was no distress signal from the Captain, because the cockpit detached from the aircraft in 3 seconds!

    Was this catastrophic structural failure due to metal fatigue and a faulty cargo door opening at high altitude?

    Speculation about this explanation at Zeist and in media reports is notable by its absence.

    Instead, following the failure to pin the blame on Libya we are invited to speculate endlessly about Iran.

  3. The selective use of polygraphs by corrupt FBI officials must stop! No one is above the law, including FBI Director Robert Mueller, who conspired to cover up the Pan Am Flight 103 incident.

  4. Dr Miller's paper (which cites some very dubious "intelligence") does make the crucial point that according to released CIA cables Mr Al-Megrahi's "fake" or "coded" passport was known to the CIA (and presumably MI5) BEFORE the bombing. The cable of the 22.12.88 referred to his trip to Malta on the 7.12.88 (The FBI's Richard Marquise had stated that this information had come to him from "another US intelligence agency".)

    Iain Mann writes that the main contribution of the CIA to the original investigation was to bribe a witness to jog his memory (even though Megrahi was likely being watched that day.) I think the CIA's main contribution was to plan the bombing (using their proxy asset Marwan Khreesat.)

  5. Following Lockerbie a bomb case is found with a tiny bit of identifiable circuit board and some clothing!

    And a witness remembers selling this clothing to someone many years ago!!

    But it turns out the witness was bribed to provide this identification!!!

    Which undermines the conviction of Megrahi!!!!

    Yes but please use some commonsense. A bomb powerful to destroy a Boeing 747 in 3 seconds would not leave a bomb case, circuit board, clothing or anything.

    The idea that the witness had any clothing to identify (or any identifiable clothing) should itself debunk the prosecution case?

  6. Why am I being totally ignored by the media? I have important information for Dr Swire concerning who was behind the Pan Am flight 103. There was no bomb on board that aircraft it was brought down by a missile. A man who worked for American intelligence was their when the plane came down. He was murdered for what he knew before he could reveal the truth. He states on a recording I have that both Magrahi and Oswald were scape goats, and look what happened to Oswald, he was shot before he could prove his innocents. For starters, take a look at this on the web: THE CREEPY $20 BILL, see and read for yourself if this is a coincidence. This man was taught space techknowlogy of how to bring down 25 storey buildings turning them to dust, 'murder by remote control'.

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