Tuesday, 6 March 2012

"... spoilers being fed to us by those who wish to continue to support the fatally-flawed prosecution case"

[Today’s edition of The Herald contains a letter from Dr Jim Swire.  It reads as follows:]

Over the years I have felt that the man who was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, has become my friend.
Disclosures about what might once have been his private life cannot destroy that friendship. I feel yet more sad now for the dying Baset and his lovely wife Aisha, and for all his children. A new layer of what should rightly be a family's private distress is now made public.
Does this affect the case against him? I think it does. It gives a deeply intimate further motivation for his obtaining a false passport in a false name.
The links between Libya and Malta were so lax in those days that many Libyans travelled between the two at will without even using a normal passport, let alone a false one. Such trips could be undertaken without leaving any paper trail.
It would be interesting to know how it came about that this spicy tale of Megrahi's private life became public so soon after publication of John Ashton's book Megrahi: You Are My [Jury]. Readers may feel that what it reveals would justify spoilers being fed to us by those who wish to continue to support the fatally-flawed prosecution case at all costs.
The prosecution claimed that Megrahi, in Malta, used a bomb with a long-running programmable timer to get his device from Malta to the skies over Lockerbie. In support of this they produced a fragment of timer circuit board purporting to come from a series of timers supplied exclusively to Libya before Lockerbie. The book reveals that the detailed metallurgy of that fragment does not match that of the timer circuit boards of which it was supposed to have once been a part. The difference was known to the prosecution before the trial even started, yet did not emerge in court.
The implications could not be more serious.
The prosecution case was indeed unsupported by reliable evidence.
Someone allegedly chose to manufacture a fragment of circuit board in order to make it look as though the bomb could have started from Malta and included a timer provided by Libya.
The Crown Office, though warned about the fragment by their own forensic team before the trial, failed to share this with the defence.
The questions we need to ask now are:
* Who could have faked the fragment and why?
* Why did the Crown Office withhold vital information from the defence and then introduce unprecedented delays during the second appeal?
Perhaps a full inquiry as petitioned by the Justice for Megrahi group would be the fastest and best route.
Yes, Megrahi was an aspiring entrepreneur with business interests through Malta. Yes, he was a seeker after sanction-busting spare parts for his country. Yes, it now seems he was deceiving his wife as to what he was up to abroad. Does any of that justify what we did to him?
We are supposed to be a Christian country. Christ told us to forgive even our enemies and not to judge others as we are all guilty. Our justice has been deliberately perverted.
Who could have done such a thing? He must have had access to the real circuit board to copy it and considerable technical facilities to make such a clever copy.
I want the people who made that phoney circuit board identified because I cannot forgive them so long as I do not know who they are. I think I have no friends who have led blameless lives. Megrahi will remain my friend.

[A report in the same newspaper headlined "Mistress claim 'backs case for Megrahi being innocent'" can be read here. A similar article in today's edition of The Scotsman can be read here.]


  1. There might be a more subtle purpose to these revelations. One of the arguments used by those of us trying to expose the injustice at Camp Zeist have pointed out what we claimed to be the very strict security regime at Luca Airport. The fact that Libyans seemed to be able to come and go freely without passports undermines that scenario. Maybe we should be looking to a systematic undermining of key points indicating Megrahi's innocence over the next few months. Remember, in a case like this every single "revelation" trumpeted by the news media will weaken the momentum we are trying to build for a successful appeal.

  2. There is a big point being missed here, I think. This is a quote from paragraph 88 of the Zeist judgement.

    It is possible to infer that this visit under a false name the night before the explosive device was planted at Luqa, followed by his departure for Tripoli the following morning at or about the time the device must have been planted, was a visit connected with the planting of the device. Had there been any innocent explanation for this visit, obviously this inference could not be drawn.

    What the judges are saying there is that if they had an explanation for Megrahi's visit to Malta on 20th December they would not have been able to conclude that the reason was that he was planting a bomb.

    This does not seem rational to me. First, an explanation was given, involving business meetings and shopping. The judges chose to disbelieve this, even though there was clear evidence that the business meetings and shopping actually happened. So what other explanation would they have believed? Why would the revelation "I was having an affair with a woman on Malta" suddenly mean Megrahi didn't plant the bomb?

    I imagine Megrahi realised this, and that admitting to an affair would achieve nothing but causing pain for his family. However, taking the logic of the court at face value, we now have that "innocent explanation for the visit" said to be lacking in paragraph 88. Marital infidelity being undoubtedly "innocent" in this context.

    I find it very strange that journalists seem to be taking the line - "oh Megrahi was an adulterer therefore this is further evidence against him!" Why? Should everyone conducting a clandestine affair be suspected of terrorist atrocities?

    This revelation actually undermines the conviction in yet one more respect - as if it needed any more undermining.


    Everything must be clear:
    Al Megrahi's visit on 20-21. December 1988 in Malta, with the coded Passport no. 332351 (issued on 15th June 1987) in the name of "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad", had absolute nothing to do with the real "PanAm 103 bombing", nor with the visit of a girlfriend.
    The "Stealth Visit Legend" was for an subversive intelligence action. Al Megrahi was sent to Malta, by his chief Ibrahim El Bishari (ESO) former foreign minister (1990-92). Ibrahim al-Bishari (ESO) dies in a mysterious car crash on 13. Sept. 1997, in Cairo Agypt...

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