Sunday, 3 June 2012

A testimony about Lockerbie

[This is the headline over an article by Emad El Din Abeeb published today on the English language website of the Arabic daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.  It reads as follows:]

In 1995 I met with Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fahima in Tripoli, the two suspects accused of bombing a US passenger jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. In 1991, allegations were made against the Muammar Gaddafi regime, charging it with masterminding, funding and carrying out the bombing.

As I entered Libya over land from Djerba, Tunisia - as a result of the no-fly zone imposed on Libyan territories because the regime had refused to hand over al-Megrahi and Fahima - I kept asking myself the same question: Was Gaddafi really crazy enough to bomb a US airplane? Or was the accusation part of an international campaign to demonize the former Libyan leader?

I had been granted the opportunity to conduct a televised interview with Gaddafi, which lasted for six hours over the space of two days. During the penultimate commercial break on the second day of filming, I whispered in Gaddafi's ear "I have a special request for you, brother Muammar". He stared at me, obviously thinking that I had a personal request or agenda to fulfill. Then he said "What can I do for you?", to which I replied "I want to conduct a live interview tomorrow with al-Megrahi and Fahima."

He remained silent for a moment and then realized that the only honorable gift a ruler can give to a journalist is to secure him a major "scoop". He answered "very well", and gave the order to his aides.

This was my first interview with Fahima and al-Megrahi, and I remember that it was a Monday because both of them were fasting, and they broke their fast by eating dates and drinking a glass of milk. I asked to be alone with both of them, without the presence of any Libyan police or intelligence officers, and we talked for two hours before we began filming.

I swear by God that both Fahima and al-Megrahi left a number of positive impressions upon me, which I can summarize as follows:

1- There was a Libyan role in the bombing; this may have centered on the funding, but not the implementation.
2- Both individuals were certainly members of a security apparatus affiliated to Gaddafi, but they were not directly involved in the Lockerbie bombing.
3- They felt extremely guilty because Libyan citizens had lived for years under sanctions, boycotts and an international embargo, a result of the regime's refusal to hand them over for prosecution.

Fahima and al-Megrahi, two figures from Gaddafi’s inner circle, were examples of individuals who had been forced to serve the regime, but not to the extent of bombing a passenger airplane.

This was what I saw, heard and felt during the interview, and this was what came to my mind when I read the news of al-Megrahi's death.

1 comment:

  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2012. (google translation german/english):

    I think Mr. Emad El Din Adeeb makes a "protective" mess intentionally.
    The two defendants Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fahima said at the time, certainly not to a journalist:
    1- "There was a Libyan role in the bombing; this may have centered on the funding, but not the implementation ?
    There was not a financial contribution Libya's for the bombing on Pan Am 103, but a financial success of participation in at least 5 Libyan enemies in the inner circles, which at born *conspiracy against Gaddafi *(Lockerbie-Affäre) were involved in.
    The objective was clear: the Gaddafi regime should be involved with false claims and manipulated evidence in the "Lockerbie tragedy"...
    in german:
    Ich denke Mr Emad El Din Adeeb macht bewusst ein "schützendes" Durcheinander.
    Die beiden Angeklagten Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fahima sagten zu dieser Zeit, sicher nicht zu einem Journalisten :
    1- "There was a Libyan role in the bombing; this may have centered on the funding, but not the implementation ?
    Es gab nicht eine finanzielle Beteiligung Libyen's für das Attentat auf PanAm 103, sondern eine finanzielle Erfolgs-Beteiligung an mindestens 5 Libysche Gegner im inneren Kreise, welche an der *Verschwörung gegen Gaddafi *(Lockerbie-Affäre) beteiligt waren.
    Das Ziel war klar: Das Gaddafi Regime sollte mit falschen Behauptungen und manipulierten Beweisen in die "Lockerbie-Tragödie" verwickelt werden...

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland. URL: