Tuesday, 5 March 2013

US Lockerbie relatives "seek justice, not more money" from Libya

[What follows is an excerpt from the Embassy Row column of 3 March on the website of The Washington Times:]

The relatives of victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing say they are still seeking justice, not more money, from the Libyan government, which admitted responsibility for the terrorist attack that killed 270 people.

The Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 wrote Friday to Libyan Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali to distance the group from a British news report that quoted Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani, who complained about British and U.S. requests to reopen the investigation into the bombing of the U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988.

“If they want to reopen the case they have to promise not to ask for more compensation,” he told the London Daily Telegraph.

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi paid the families more than $2 billion in 2003. Gadhafi was overthrown and killed about eight years later.

Frank Duggan, president of the Pan Am relatives group, told the ambassador that the families want no more money.

“Justice is all that our victims’ families seek, and our efforts have never been about monetary compensation, which surely cannot replace lost lives,” he said.

The families support further investigation into the bombing, especially because only one Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was ever convicted of the attack. A Scottish court sentenced him to life in 2001, but the Scottish government released him in 2009, believing he had terminal cancer and only three months to live. He died last year in Libya.

Mr. Duggan told Mr. Aujali that the Pan Am families hope for the best in the Libyan government. “We hope that your new government can prosper as a democratic state with justice for all of your citizens,” he said.


  1. "....with justice for all citizens."

    Does that include Megrahi Mr Duggan?

    If so shouldn't we get underway the Inquiry into evidence right here in the UK about the many flaws in the original verdict?

  2. As a matter of course Lockerbie should have triggered a public enquiry, as do so many less serious events.

    Indeed one was promised by the Transport secretary, but this was rejected by the Prime Minister.

    This was because Washington did not want one!

    Westminster would hardly have refused to hold an enquiry into an air crash involving an American plane and mostly American passengers if Washington had wanted one!

    Of course British passengers were involved too and I do believe Mrs Thatcher deeply regretted having to bow to this American pressure, which is why she failed to mention Lockerbie in her memoirs.

    However to excuse not holding an enquiry Westminster said an enquiry would obstruct the criminal investigation into who planted the ‘bomb’.

    A highly contentious claim, repeated like a mantra by the media, but highly unlikely to the casual observer and something that could have been resolved at a public enquiry.

    In effect the criminal investigation was a substitute for a public enquiry and has remained ‘live’ for so long, because it can’t be concluded, because there was no ‘bomb’.

    Indeed they had hoped the matter would have resolved itself by being forgotten about long ago.

    But it remains ‘live’ and now after suffering sanctions; paying compensation and the destruction of their country the new Libyan government are being told to co-operate with the ‘live’ investigation.

    Not surprisingly they are pleading “no more, we have suffered enough, for us the case is closed”.

    But for Washington/Westminster this desperate defiance is unacceptable, because unless the investigation remains ‘live’ they will have to hold a public enquiry?

    That’s why we now have the unedifying spectacle of Frank Duggan (following orders) speaking as a ‘friend of the Libyan people’ telling the new Government that if they co-operate, they will not be put through the ringer again?

  3. And once again Dave asserts that "there was no bomb", despite the extensive evidence of an IED having detonated inside a suitcase inside a passenger baggage container.

    There is a shed-load of evidence for a bomb. There is no evidence at all for a simple mechanical failure having caused the crash. And no, "they covered it up and invented a terrorist attack" is not an adequate explanation.

  4. Dave. Can you explain on this website, now, what you think happened? PA103 left Heathrow and disintegrated over Lockerbie. Can you explain how you think that happened? Don't refer readers to some other website or someone else's theory. Just tell us, in a couple of hundred words, what you reckon took place.Thank you.

  5. Aku, I'm tempted to say don't encourage him - not because I don't want him to explain, but because I know that any reply will simply repeat the same evidence-free assertions and tell us to go read some kook web site.

    He has also refused to explain what he thinks caused all the blast damage on the items that were found - the suitcases, the contents of the suitcases, the baggage container, and the aircraft itself.

    You only need to look at the photographs of the debris that was brought in very early in the recovery operation to see that something went bang inside a suitcase inside that luggage container, and that the bang caused a rupture in the aircraft's hull as well as a lot of damage to surrounding luggage.

    Dave says he can't explain this, but it's irrelevant. I don't think we're going to get much change out of this guy.

  6. Rolfe. I know you're right, but it's a lovely spring day where I am, briefly, in Spain at the moment and I was feeling more optimistic than perhaps I should!

  7. Lucky you. It's truly horrible in Scotland this morning. Why do some idiots never turn on their fog lights?

    I've just spent two or three weeks poring over detailed photographs of the blast-damaged luggage and the baggage container, trying to figure out what went where. If you have the full dataset, that is the Heathrow flight arrivals information, the match-up as to which passenger owned which suitcase, and Bedford's evidence about the order he placed the suitcases in the container as they arrived, you can figure out quite a lot. Specifically, you can figure out where each of the six Heathrow interline items was in the container when the bomb went off, and then you can work out by looking at the pattern of damage more or less how the Frankfurt-origin cases were loaded on top of them.

    There's absolutely no doubt about it, the case Bedford described as a brown Samsonite hardshell was the one that exploded over Lockerbie. You have to go in for special pleading of a parallel universe variety to construct a scenario where it isn't the bomb. There is however no evidence at all that the forensic scientists or the police ever did this analysis of the evidence for themselves. It's all just sitting there, and nobody is spotting what should have been blindingly obvious.

    It's a strange paradox, because what we have is the Crown's own evidence testifying against its preferred scenario. It really does speak to the most appalling incompetence on the part of the original investigation.

    However, the point I'm really making is that it's actually quite annoying to emerge from this detailed study of clear, incontrovertible evidence of an explosion inside a suitcase in a passenger baggage container - evidence which simply can't be faked not just because of the provenance attached to it but because who the hell would fake evidence which on detailed inspection proves their own case to be false? - to see Dave wittering on again about an accidental failure of a cargo door.

  8. Aku if following your siesta you said, Pan Am 103 was at high altitude above Scotland when an electrical fault opened the forward cargo door and this led to immediate explosive decompression that detached the cockpit from the frame and was blamed on a ‘bomb’!

    I would not disagree.

    I know it is difficult for the general public to believe this when the State is perpetuating the Big Lie about a bomb.

    And I can understand that the focus of JfM should be to follow the PE1370 legal route to the truth.

    But I am surprised that those closest to the subject (Rolfe not included) should still prefer the ‘bomb’ rather than accident explanation, or at least retain an open mind, after all the lies that have been told.

  9. Ah well. That was kind of predictable.

  10. Dave. Good grief! Have you not looked at or read any of the forensic reports, the trial transcript, the accident reports? This is a rhetorical question as it's abundantly clear that you haven't. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for a failure of the forward cargo door and, by the way, no electrical fault could ever trigger such a failure. The doors are not operated electrically or electronically. There are electric/electronic overrides to prevent opening in-flight, but the doors have to be opened and closed manually to avoid the kind of failure you talk about. But there is also the fact that there was a huge amount of Semtex explosive residue found all over the remains and the contents of the baggage container AV4041, as well as mountains of other evidence which doesn't just point to an explosion of Semtex, but proves it beyond any reasonable doubt. There is an extensive, highly credible literature easily available on the Lockerbie case and you are treating serious investigators and researchers with contempt when you peddle this silly theory. At least I now know that you reckon caused the disaster and just how seriously I can take any future comments.

  11. Aku you put your trust in the evidence presented at Zeist, but presumably not all of it?

    Faulty cargo doors are not uncommon and can normally be managed and are not fatal.

    The problem with Pan Am 103 was it happened at high altitude and the door only has to open outwards a bit for the wind pressure along the frame to do the rest.

    And Aku as I’m sure you would agree, a serious investigator research’s ‘dead ends’ if only to exclude them.

    Therefore please could you easily resolve this matter by referencing what the AAIB report said about the condition of the forward cargo door?

  12. Oh well, at the risk of being banal, I told you so. (Except we've not been told to go read someone's shiny web site that will explain everything. Yet.)

    Humungous amounts of evidence of an IED detonating inside a suitcase in the lower front left-hand corner of baggage container AVE4041 = no idea what caused that, not important.

    No evidence at all of anything untoward happening with a cargo door = cover-up!

  13. The evidence pointing to a faulty cargo door is the speed and way the plane disintegrated.

    Google ‘Mystery of why cargo doors open in flight on Boeing 747 TWA 800 Pan Am 103 Air India 182 UAL 811’ for an explanation.

    This is why details of the condition of the forward cargo door would resolve the matter and a refusal to look is telling.

  14. Yay! We got the full set! He told us to google something!

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.