Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Gauci rewards documents – Crown Office obfuscates again

The Herald has today published an article by Lucy Adams, headlined ‘Rewards for key witness in Lockerbie trial discussed by officers’, about yesterday’s release of documents. The article follows in italics, with my comments in non-italics below.
Newly released intelligence reports show how the police secretly discussed the payment of large rewards to the key witness in the Lockerbie case.
Tony Gauci, the Crown’s key witness, expressed an interest in being rewarded nine years prior to giving evidence against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing, according to the documents.
They have been released by John Ashton, author of Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie Matters.
The Crown Office last night said no witness was offered any inducement by the Crown or the Scottish police before or during the trial.
Last year, the 800-page report of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission was published, but many of the accompanying documents have never been seen. Those released yesterday reveal that the FBI told the police that “unlimited money” was on offer for the witness. They indicate police believed paying Gauci and his brother Paul would ensure they would not embarrass the police or Crown.
A letter from a senior Scottish officer on the case, dated 1991, states Tony Gauci was interested in reward money and that “if a monetary offer was made to Gauci this may well change his view and allow him to consider a witness protection programme”.
After Megrahi’s conviction, the senior investigating officer lobbied the US Department of Justice to increase the previously discussed rewards of $2 million for Tony and $1m for Paul.
According to the intelligence report, the Crown Office was aware of the reward application after the first appeal, but did not become involved.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “No witness was offered any inducement by the Crown or the Scottish police before and during the trial and there is no evidence that any other law enforcement agency offered such an inducement. These documents relate to an issue which was before the Appeal Court in Megrahi’s second appeal against conviction.”
He added the Crown had been preparing to defend Megrahi’s conviction when he abandoned the appeal.
As the Crown Office well knows, the SCCRC referred the Megrahi case back to the appeal court on six grounds one of which concerned rewards. Gauci and his brother Paul, expected to be rewarded and were rewarded. His trial evidence was notably more helpful to the Crown than his original police statements. It is clear from the wording of the Crown Office statement that it cannot rule out that the FBI offered an inducement. One of the documents that I released yesterday states that, less than a month after the police found Gauci, FBI agent Chris Murray indicated to Detective Chief Inspector Harry Bell that he had the ‘authority to arrange unlimited money for Tony Gauci and … could arrange $10,000 immediately.’ It seems that neither the SCCRC nor the Crown Office every sought to establish from the FBI whether one of its agents had put the offer to Gauci.


  1. Some time ago I talked about that commenting on some matters were obsolete, as it would be stating the obvious. But here we go again.

    Did Guaci & bro receive 3 million USD?

    If they did, had they 'earned' it for anything else than giving statements on request and as a trial witness?

    Does the awarded money match a what would be reasonable compensation for the cost of being a witness?

    'Yes', 'no' and 'oh no'?

    Then it is a bribe.

    At least, that is where it starts.
    'Prima facie case' I think it is called.
    Burden of proof now falls on the accused. Without it's a 'guilty'.

    Aw, did you just happen to make a handful of typos, and thereby transferred a huge amount to a man known as a hired killer, and who got caught after killing an enemy of yours? No other supplying info? Let's see what the judge says, mate.

    Reading through the pdf linked in the earlier posting, I see substantial difficulties in providing the needed proof for 'no bribe'.

    DCI Bell '91
    "During recent meetings with Tony has expressed substantial interest in receiving money. It would appear that he is aware of the US reward monies which has been reported in the press".

    And he gets them. What a nice surprise!

  2. Oh yes. Ever been a witness in a Scottish trial? You're lucky if you get your bus fare and a damp sandwich. And the forms you have to fill in to get that really don't make it worth the hassle.

    I agree, the whole Gauci identification thing has been exploded so often and so comprehensively that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. But sometimes you have to keep doing that.