former FBI officer who oversaw the Lockerbie investigation has criticised the
Scottish legal body that cast doubt on the conviction of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali
Oliver “Buck” Revell, the former associate deputy director of investigations for the
Federal Bureau of Investigations, has reacted angrily to the examination into
the case by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).
an e-mail seen by Scotland on Sunday,
Revell expressed frustration that no-one from the FBI was consulted by the
SCCRC when it compiled its report into the safety of Megrahi’s conviction.
controversy surrounding the Lockerbie trial re-ignited following the
publication of John Ashton’s book Megrahi:
You Are My Jury, in which the convicted bomber – now back in Libya after
being released on compassionate grounds as he is suffering from terminal cancer
– proclaims his innocence.
furore increased when extracts of the SCCRC’s report were leaked last week.
from the confidential SCCRC Statement of Reasons document, which gave Megrahi,
59, grounds for appeal, identified six different areas that could have
constituted a miscarriage of justice.
surrounding the document has angered investigators who headed up the US arm of
the inquiry into the killing of 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over
Lockerbie in December 1988.
his e-mail to government and legal officials in Scotland and the US, Revell
complained that the SCCRC failed to interview members of the FBI for its
Statement of Reasons. The e-mail pointed out that the original Lockerbie
investigation was carried out by Scottish police, Scotland Yard, the German BKA
and the FBI.
added: “I don’t know what the SCCRC expects to determine when it is not even
interviewing the actual investigators involved in solving this terrible crime.”
SCCRC document is said to have concentrated on Tony Gauci, the Maltese
shopkeeper who testified that Megrahi bought clothes from his shop which were
later found in the suitcase carrying the bomb.
SCCRC also focused on “undisclosed evidence”, including a police statement that
showed Gauci had been handed a magazine with a photograph of Megrahi weeks
before he singled him out in an identity parade.
identified by the SCCRC was undisclosed evidence about Gauci’s interest in
rewards. The SCCRC discovered three police documents that indicated that,
before first picking out Megrahi from a photo line-up in 1991, Gauci was aware
a substantial reward was on offer from the US government.
book claimed that a Scottish policeman’s diary entry recorded an FBI agent
saying that he had the authority to arrange “unlimited money” for Gauci. The
Commission was unable to establish whether the FBI had actually made an offer.
of Revell’s senior colleagues Richard Marquise, the FBI agent, who led the
Lockerbie investigation on the ground, said that as far as he was aware no
money had changed hands.
to Scotland on Sunday, Marquise said:
“On the issue of witnesses being paid, no witness [was paid] to my knowledge.
What some police officer or FBI agent might have told somebody in the corner in
a dark room in the middle night that I don’t know about, I can’t vouch for that.
But everybody that worked for me were under orders that they were not allowed
to tell people that they could get money for this case. So, as far as I know,
nobody was promised or paid money to testify.” [RB: Wow! Contrast with this and this (at pages 148 to 170).]
disappointment at the FBI’s lack of involvement was shared by Marquise.
said: “I don’t know if you can say you have done a comprehensive report unless
you speak to key people.
me it is an incomplete report whatever they are going to publish.
never did speak to the people who might be able to shed some light on whatever
it is that they were looking to find out.
you are going to say you have done a complete investigation, you should talk to
everybody who was key, and I like to think people in the FBI were key. I like
to think some people in the CIA were key and they could and should have been
[An editorial in today's edition of the Sunday Herald reads as follows:]
The arrest yesterday of Libya's former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi could at last shed some much-needed light on the Lockerbie atrocity. [RB: The paper's news report can be read here.]
Ifanyoneknowsthedetails of Libya's involvement – or
non-involvement – in that terrible mass murder, it is Senussi.
our sister paper The Herald made clear in reports last week, there remain
serious doubts over the guilty verdict delivered on Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has suggested that, among other flaws
in the court case, evidence important to the defence was kept from Megrahi's
are doubts too over the circumstances surrounding Megrahi's eventual release on
compassionate grounds to allow him to return home ''to die''.
have heard suspicions that Westminster politicians were acting behind the
scenes to encourage the release. And there has been a strenuously denied claim
that Holyrood Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill had suggested Megrahi's chances
of release would be greatly boosted if he were to drop his appeal.
is unfortunate, to say the least, that the appeal was dropped. The best place
to test Megrahi's conviction would have been in court. For reasons that remain
unclear, the appeal looks unlikely to be revived.
vacuum around the case has acted as a breeding ground for countless conspiracy
Senussi holds the key to unlocking some of the Lockerbie mysteries, we need to
discover what he knows.