Saturday, 19 January 2013

One year ago ...

[Twelve months ago today, the following item headlined A deathbed farewell to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi appeared on this blog. I reproduce it simply to reassure worried readers that I have not (yet) expired in the baking heat of the Roggeveld:]

Even without the events of December 21, 1988, they would be the most unlikely of friends. Jim Swire, an Eton and Cambridge-educated doctor from Bromsgrove, and Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, a former member of the Libyan security services who was convicted of murdering 270 people when a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 as it flew over Lockerbie.

Swire’s daughter, Flora, was one of the passengers. She would have turned 24 the next day.

Last month, Flora’s father travelled to Tripoli for a meeting with the terminally ill Megrahi, who was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds. It was a remarkable journey for a 75-year-old man to make, not least because Swire undertook it in order to bid farewell to the man he now describes as his friend.

The pair have met on a number of occasions – once in prison in Scotland and twice in Libya – but Swire is sure their encounter in December was their last. “It was, a privilege to be allowed, essentially, to say goodbye to him,” Swire told an ITV camera crew who filmed part of his visit to Libya. He tells me he is “proud” to have known the man he calls Basset, the man so many others know as the Lockerbie bomber. “Megrahi is dying, and as a doctor I wanted to find out whether he has got the necessary painkillers.”

He has, but Swire cannot say how long the convicted terrorist might live. “He is a very sick man. He only talks in short sentences with pauses to get his breath back. He is looking death in the face, and he knows it.”

Swire speaks affectionately of the Libyan’s wife, Aisha, always by her husband’s side, holding his hand; he is almost jovial when speaking about Megrahi’s love of football. “I think that was the thing that endeared him to the other prisoners. He was popular prisoner and, although he lived a different sort of life from his fellow inmates, he did muck in with them.”

At the end of his meeting Swire, a Christian, was so moved he found one of only two churches in Tripoli, where he prayed for Megrahi.

Such gentle compassion for the man convicted of murdering his daughter is incredible, and Swire is aware that many might find it astonishing. But the simple fact of the matter in this most complex of cases is this: Swire does not believe Megrahi is guilty. Indeed, if anyone feels guilt then it is Swire himself, who once met Gaddafi to pressure the late Libyan leader into handing over Megrahi to stand trial. (...)

Swire does not seem to have the same sense of mercy towards Gaddafi, who went to his grave with his secrets. “I am totally satisfied, that he [Megrahi] had nothing to do with it. But that is very different to saying that Gaddafi had nothing to do with it.”

It was during the 2001 trial that Swire started to doubt Megrahi’s guilt. While Libya and Syria may have been involved, he believes Iran was ultimately responsible for Lockerbie, as revenge for the shooting down of an Iranair flight by the Americans.

It was in the early hours of Flora’s 24th birthday that the Swires received a phone call confirming their daughter was dead. “It never occurred to me that I would be trying to get justice for Flora 23 years later. I thought there would be an international investigation and the truth would come out in a year or two,” Swire says. He has lobbied five Prime Ministers for a public inquiry, all of whom seem to have fobbed the families off; and at least two of whom, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were pictured cosying up to Gaddafi.

The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission found in 2007 the Lockerbie verdict may have been a miscarriage of justice; Swire still hopes for a proper inquiry.


  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2013- provisionally in the German language:

    Durch neue Auswertungen veschieder Dokumente in der Lockerbie-Affäre eröffnet sich, dass durch die unerlaubte Übergabe eines zu unrecht in Besitz genommen MST-13 Timer, prototyp Printplatte (abgestützt auf Ing. Lumpert's Affidavit) und die Gewährung einer fragwürdigen schweizerischen Rechtshilfe an Lord Advocate von Scotland, welche sich auf fahrlässig geprüften Tatbestand abstützte und deshalb mitverantwortlich sind, dass Libyen mit dem PanAm 103 Attentat verwickelt werden konnte...

    Details: Mit Note vom 1.Oktober 1990 übermittelte die Britische Botschaft dem Schweizerischen Bundesamt für Polizeiwesen (BAP) ein Rechtshilfeersuchen vom 19. September 1990, des Lord Advocate von Scotland über den Absturz von PanAm 103 über Scotland.
    Im Rechtshilfeersuchen gibt es keine Andeutung auf Libyen, obwohl nach Besuch der schweizerischen Polizei (BUPO) bei MEBO AG, seit Anfang 1990 bekannt war, dass das MST/13 Timerfragment (PT/35)Ähnlichkeit mit den 20 Stück nach Libyen gelieferten MST-13 Timer hatte.

    Da ab Mai1990 schottische Beamte mehrmals 'BUPO' in Bern besuchten, kann u.a. davon ausgegangen werden, dass der Scottish Police ebenfalls bekannt war, dass MEBO AG, nach Libyen 20 Stück MST-13 Timer (1985/86) verkauft hatte.
    Scotland konnte sich, mangels Ratifikation des Europäischen Rechthilfeübereinkommen durch Great Britain, nicht auf das Europäische Rechthilfeübereinkommen abstützen und gab deshalb dem schweizerischen (BAP) bereits am 25. Sept. 1990 in einem Schreiben, die Gewährung des Gegenrechts im Sinne von Art. 8 IRSG, welches bis heute infolge laufender Untersuchungen Gültigkeit hat.

    Im Weiteren fällt auf, dass die schweizerische Rechtshilfezusage aus eventuell abgesprochenen Gründen - nicht als politisch motivierter Revancheakt eingestuft wurde ?
    Die Einrede des politischen Charakters wurde von der Schweiz zusätzlich abgelehnt, weil Text: "Das Attentat auf PanAm103, als besonders verwerflich erscheint und der Täter 270 Menschen tötete.
    (Auslegung: Art. 3 Abs. 2 lit. b IRSG)".

    Durch diesen Standpunkt konnte die zuvor angekündigte und später zuerst "servierte" politische Revanche durch den Iran, im Gegenzug für den Abschuss der IranAir-655 durch das Kriegsschiff USS Vincennes über dem Persischen Golf (290 Tote) unwiderruflich abgeblockt werden.

    Somit stand nichts mehr im Wege den offiziellen Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi und Libyen für den Terrorakt verantwortlich zumachen...

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

  2. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2013 - (google translation, german/english):

    By new evaluations different documents in the "Lockerbie Affair" opens up, (supported on Ing Lumpert's affidavit) that the unauthorized transfer of a used wrongly in possession of MST-13 timer circuit boards (prototype) and the granting of a questionable Swiss legal assistance to Lord Advocate of Scotland, which refers to facts propped negligently audited and are therefore also responsible that Libya could become involved with the PanAm 103 bombing ...

    Details: By note of October 1, 1990, the British Embassy sent to the Swiss Federal Office of Police (BAP), a request for assistance from 19 September 1990, by Lord Advocate of Scotland about the crash of PanAm 103 over Scotland.
    In rogatory there is no allusion to Libya, although after visiting the Swiss police (BUPO) at MEBO Ltd., since early 1990, it was known that the timer fragment MST-13 (PT/35) was resemblance with the 20 pieces of MST-13 timers delivered to Libya.

    Since May 1990 Scottish officials repeatedly 'BUPO' in Bern visited, may include be assumed that the Scottish Police was also known that MEBO Ltd., had sold 20 pieces MST-13 timer (1985/86) to the Libya military procurement.
    Scotland could, for lack of ratification of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance by Great Britain, not rely on the European Convention on Mutual Assistance and therefore gave the Swiss (BAP) on 25 Sept. 1990 in a letter, the granting of reciprocity within the meaning of Art. 8 IRSG, which still has validity as a result of ongoing investigations.

    Furthermore, it is striking that the Swiss legal assistance commitment from any collusive reasons - was not considered politically motivated revengeact ?
    The objection to a political nature of Switzerland was also rejected because text: "The Bombing of PanAm103, appears as particularly reprehensible and the perpetrator killed 270 people.
    (Interpretation: Art. 3 para 2 lit. b IRSG.)".

    By this standpoint could the previously announced and later "serve" first as a political revenge by Iran, in countermove for shooting down the IranAir-flight 655 by the USS wahrship Vincennes over the Persian Gulf on 3 July 1988 (290 deaths) are irrevocably blocked.

    Thus, nothing more stood in the way the official Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Libya for the Act of terrorism responsible to make...

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