Saturday, 2 February 2013

Lockerbie: Ex-FBI man upbeat about police inquiry

[This is the headline over a report published today on the website of The Scotsman.  It reads as follows:]

The FBI agent who was in charge of the Lockerbie case has said he is hopeful Scottish police will benefit from links forged between Libyan officers and the United States.

Reacting to the news that Dumfries and Galloway officers are to enter Libya to investigate the 1988 bombing that killed 259 on Pam Am flight 103 and 11 on the ground, Richard Marquise suggested they would get help from Libyan police trained at the FBI National Academy.

“I do know that five or six years ago, the FBI opened up its National Academy to Libyan police,” he said. “So there were some police officers who had been to the United States and if you could get hold of some of those folks, they might help locate those we are interested in.

“This was nothing to do with Lockerbie – it was some means to provide them with some training. Libyan police officers were asked to come, because it was thought that Libya would become a democratic country, even though Muammar Gaddafi was still in charge.

“I would hope that there would be some relationships built with Libyan police officers who would be able to help.”

Mr Marquise went on: “Clearly they will have their work cut out in terms of the records, but I know that in the past the FBI and the Scottish police compared documents and said, ‘This is what we want to get a look at if we ever get access to Libya’.

“So I am hopeful they will take those templates that we created years ago, even though many of these suspects are gone … I am hopeful they are going to find some good things that will help them.”

[Contrast this with the (I suggest, more realistic) view expressed by Justice for Megrahi's secretary Robert Forrester in The Herald:]

"As far as I am concerned, the conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice and the efforts the police and Crown Office are making to locate other Libyans who may have colluded in the bringing down of Pan Am flight 103 amount to little more than eye-wash.

"In other words, I think it's a thoroughly cynical attempt to deceive the public into thinking the conviction was justified."


  1. I was wondering if the Crown Office had shared the recent JFM love-letter with the Americans, or even if they'd picked up on it themselves from press and online reports, but Richard sounds as if he's quite a long way out of any loops now. When asked for comment, all he could do was witter on about Libyan police training.

  2. Dear Rolfe,

    I am convinced that COPFS has prevailed upon Cameron in this precisely because they are under pressure to act regarding the JFM allegations against their own, D&G police and others. This is nothing less than a distraction. In that light, it would come as no surprise to me if the FBI had also been asked to lend a helping hand. If any 'smoking gun' is raked out of the rubble that is today's Libya, it will need to be put under an electron microscope by an independent lab in a neutral country before I, for one, will give it credence.

    Robert (Sec. JFM).

  3. An additional reason could be that Christine’s motion has pushed them to prepare the ground for a change of villain?

  4. Well, Robert, if Cameron is doing anything to assist the Scottish government in the current political climate, that's quite interesting.

    None of us knows if Libya was involved in Lockerbie or not. They may find evidence that it was. If they find evidence that Libya was involved in planting the bomb at Heathrow in the late afternoon, I don't know whether I'll laugh or cry.

    But you're right, any actual evidence was probably shredded long ago, and anything that emerges now should be looked at with a very suspicious eye.

    I don't know if the CO have gone to the FBI or not, but I don't think Mr. R. Marquise (Rtd.) knows anything at all.

  5. Unless, of course, the evidence comes by way of "testimony." In such a climate of fear, who knows what will be reported and by whom?
    Maybe we'll find that Megrahi was in some way involved but just not in the way the last lot of evidence suggested.
    But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Best to just wait and see and keep pointing out that Camp Zeist was a travesty.
    I remember arguing with someone who supported the invasion of Iraq just around the start of the war. "So, you don't think they'll ever find weapons of mass destruction now? he demanded, sneering at my pinko delusion . "On the contrary." I replied smugly "I think the West will be planting them even as we speak!" How wrong was I?
    Maybe, honest old cock-ups really are more common than evil conspiracies.
    I think I'd still rather believe that Dick Marquise was more stupid than wicked. That's how much faith I have in humanity's inherent goodness!