Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Second batch of withheld Lockerbie documents released by Megrahi biographer

[John Ashton, author of Megrahi: You are my Jury and Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie Still Matters has today released the second batch of previously-unpublished documents which were withheld by the prosecution from Abdelbaset Megrahi’s legal team.  An article posted today on his website reads as follows:]

I am today releasing a second batch of important documents, most of which were withheld from Abdelbaset’s lawyers. All concern the forensic evidence and give a very different picture to that which the Crown presented to the trial court and the wider public. There are ten documents in all. The first five can be read here, along with a explanatory notes, and the second five here. My publisher, Birlinn has today issued the following press release:

Newly released documents show that police and prosecutors were aware of deep flaws in Crown case before Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s trial for the Lockerbie bombing. The documents, which prosecutors had kept secret, directly contradict crucial trial testimony of the Crown’s lead forensic expert and fatally undermine the prosecution case.

Three of the documents concern the fragment of circuit board, known as PT/35b, which was allegedly from the bomb’s timer. Easily the most important physical evidence against Megrahi, the Crown alleged that it was from a batch of 20 timers that were supplied to Libya by Swiss company Mebo. The papers show that the Crown, police and forensic expert Allen Feraday were all aware of a crucial metallurgical difference between the fragment and the circuit boards used in the 20 timers. This disparity proved that the fragment could not have originated from one of the timers.

The papers, which are being released by Scotland’s Shame author John Ashton, also show that:

*Feraday privately harboured doubts about a crucial analysis conducted by the Crown’s other lead forensic expert, Dr Thomas Hayes.

*Feraday successfully urged the police to prevent tests that might have challenged his own conclusions about the bomb.

*Both he and Hayes were chronically overburdened by other casework.

*The police bitterly mistrusted Feraday’s American opposite number Tom Thurman.

Mr Ashton said: ‘These documents tear the heart out of the Crown’s forensic case. They also raises serious questions about the neutrality of the most important forensic witness. The Crown’s failure to disclose them to the defence is nothing short of scandalous. Such failures underline why the Scottish government must order a public inquiry in to the case.”

[The first batch of documents, relating to Tony Gauci, was released by Mr Ashton on 8 October.]


  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2013 - doc. nr. 10027.rtf. (google translation, german/english.

    Open Report submitted to Lockerbie Investigation,
    Mr. Mickey Dalgleish, Detective Superintendent, Organised Crime & Counter Terrorism Specialist Crime Division Police Scotland.

    Four criminal facts for the circumstantiel evidence-fraud with the MST-13 timer-fragments
    (PT-35 and PT-35/b):

    1) Unauthorized take in possession at MEBO Ltd. of a prototype MST-13 timer circuit board, fabricated with 8 layers of fiberglass (not equalent with MST-13 timer, delivered to Libya !

    2) Creating of a manipulated MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35) - originating from the stolen Prototype MST-13 circuit board (1)

    3) Change after 1st of May 1990, to a new, manipulated second MST-13 timer-fragment (as duplicate) now marked as (PT-35/b) - fabricated with 9 layers of fiberglass (equal with the MST-13 timer, delivered in 1985/86 to Libya.
    Significant: the part of the duplicate fragment - replaced and marked as "PT-35/b", was not black carbonized !
    (obviously someone had forgot to do this!? see police protocols (5483F S)of Dumfries and Constabulary from 16-17 September 1999.

    4) Falsification of documents and backdated on police labels.
    The consequence is inescapable and indisputable. The key piece of "evidence" surfaced between October 10, 1989 and January 10, 1990. For some reason,this alleged finding was backdated to May 12 1989 on untrue EXAMINATION page nr. 51 and also backdated, of expert Allen Feraday's MEMORANDUM to William Williamson on 15/ 9/ 1989 - also backdated was the Police Label nr. DP'137 on 15/ 9/ 1989 (before was 10th Sept. 1990.
    The Police Label nr. PI-995 was before (PI-95) and the original inscription on the label was "Cloth (charred). The word "cloth" has been overwritten by the word "debris"!

    Why would anyone backdate such crucial pieces of evidences ? By truth been no need to do this ?
    Answer: They tried thereby to prove that the MST-13 timer fragment is not from the stolen circuit board of 22nd June 1989, at MEBO Ltd - because the (PT-35) fragment was discovered allegedly already on 12th May 1989; see the wrong additional examination side nr.51, criminal used, by Allen Feraday!

    continued below >>>

  2. continued >>>

    5) Supported on a affidavit, dated 18th July 2007; and additional statements by engineer Ulrich Lumpert (ex MEBO Ltd.) - an official of the Swiss Police
    "BUPO", during a visit on 22nd June 1989 at MEBO Ltd - on unauthorized way, an MST-13 circuit board (Prototype) had taken in possession.

    Referring to a fax letter from forensic examiner Allen Feraday (10th January 1990) delivered to Mr. Stuart Henderson, Scottish Detective Chief Superintendent, appeared in 'RARDE', between Oct. 1989 and early Jan. 1990, a black
    carbonized circuit board, later marked as (PT-35.
    This fragment came from the obvious Prototype (MST-13) stolen at MEBO Ltd.
    This MST-13 circuit board was fabricated with 8 layers of fiberglass) and was documented on "RARDE photo", prod. nr.334.

    The MST-13 timers which were delivered to Libya, were not equipped with 8 layers of fiberglass circuit boards (Prototypes).
    The "Libya MST-13 timer" was equipt with circuit boards fabricated with 9 layer of fiberglass.

    Nota bene > The statement of witness (nr.355) at the court in Kamp van Zeist (2000) says:

    Q- If we look at 334, Mr.Feraday, what does that show us ?
    A- That's a photograph of fragment PT-35 as recovered in the laboratory.
    Q- Is that prior to the removal of any samples ?
    A- That is correct. Yes, sir.
    + + +

    For Edwin Bollier (MEBO Ltd) - the Photo Production nr. 334, shows and indicate by technical features clearly, that the fragment of a prototype MST-13 timer circuit board was manipulated and fabricated with 8 layers of fiberglass.
    Thus Libya, with the MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35 or PT-35/b) can not be linked to the PanAm bombing.

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

  3. The chances of an inflammable bit of circuit board surviving the inferno are zero.

    But the chances of a fake fragment ‘surviving’ the inferno are high.

    This should have incited the defence team to question its authenticity and they could have done so without a forensic examination!

    They only had to look at it to know it was fake, because there are no burn marks on the fragment.

    So presumably the defence team never questioned or even looked at the fragment?

  4. Dave, Dave. Still presuming, without making any attempt to find out.

  5. We already know the answer to the first bit and therefore we know the answer to the second bit.

    A fundamental failure that I presume you think is adequately explained by stupidity?

    Please advise readers.

  6. Please get a clue. (Said more in hope than expectation.)

  7. Oh yes, and stop presuming. You're always wrong when you do that.

  8. The chances of an inflammable bit of circuit board surviving the inferno are zero.

    This is wrong on at least two levels. First, it's misleading to speak of an 'inferno' - it gives the impression of a raging fire that would certainly consume everything close by. Among the various test detonations that were made - at much greater oxygen levels than in a plane at altitude - only one caused a fire.

    An explosion creates a bubble of gas at very high temperature and pressure, which expands at supersonic speed. Within a few milliseconds the volume of this bubble has greatly increased, and the increase in volume leads to a correspondingly rapid decrease in temperature and pressure.

    Consider this: I stand a beaker of water over a bunsen burner, which I light and immediately put out. A bunsen flame is about 1600C, water boils at 100C, therefore the water will boil, won't it?

    Well, of course it bloody won't. It doesn't have time to absorb enough energy from the flame to raise its temperature sufficiently. The same thing happens in an explosion. The process is too rapid.

    Second, we know from test detonations that a timer fragment that size could have survived an explosion. Even Herr Bollier accepts this from his own experience, which is why he has never tried to argue otherwise. And we can be sure that he would if he could.

    BTW, I'm not arguing that the BTF was necessarily genuine (in the sense of being in some way part of the IED) - I'm agnostic on that point - but given what the defence were allowed to know, it could have been.

  9. I think John Wyatt is a large part of the problem here. He went public saying that there had been no fragments remaining from the IED in some tests that were done on behalf of the defence. He also said there were no clothes fragments remaining.

    The problem is that he was wrong. There were plenty such fragments remaining in these tests, just as there were in the tests done by the forensics guys.

    John Wyatt has form, unfortunately.

  10. Well there you have it Rolfe thinks the UN’s European consultant on explosives John Wyatt is another ‘bonkers’ expert who has form, when he says the fragment could not have survived a semtex explosion.

    Instead we are asked to rely on the outcome of other un-named and un-referenced tests that could not be true simulations of the original event.

    But even if we accept the fragment could have survived the odds against should have incited a closer look?

  11. Well there you have it Rolfe thinks the UN’s European consultant on explosives John Wyatt is another ‘bonkers’ expert who has form, when he says the fragment could not have survived a semtex explosion.

    Try following the link: John Wyatt has shown himself to be untrustworthy.

    Instead we are asked to rely on the outcome of other un-named and un-referenced tests...

    The Indian Head tests were carried out by a group including members of several different organisations. The detonations were filmed, and the results were published.

    ...that could not be true simulations of the original event. I suppose you're carping on about the fact that the containers were blown up on the ground and not inside an aircraft at high altitude. Well, neither were Wyatt's.

    The purpose of the Indian Head tests was to estimate the position of the IED within the container and the size of the charge. Now you'd be right to say that the effects of the explosion on the aircraft could not be duplicated at ground level. But to my mind it's a valid way to compare the effects of charges of different sizes at various positions on the container.

    To re-iterate: in these tests, witnessed by a large group of observers, the damage to the luggage and IED components was comparable with the evidence recovered from the Lockerbie bombing.

    Further, Edwin Bollier was present at various trials of military hardware using his timers, and has affirmed that a fragment the size of the PT/35 could have survived. Do you seriously think that if there was any truth in your argument, Bollier wouldn't be pushing it for all he's worth?

    Finally, Dave, what sort of idiots do you take us, and JfM, and John Ashton, and Megrahi's erstwhile defence team for? If an argument is valid and advances our case, we'll use it. We don't use yours because they're bollocks.

  12. The fragment is missing explosive residue.
    Gauci attended an ID Parade with a photo of Megrahi in his pocket yet Harry Bell allowed the parade to proceed.
    His defence counsel Bill Taylor I have previous experience of not interviewing defence witnesses prior to my trial in 1982 and have complained about him ever since.
    He did not call crucial forensic evidence at my trial either.
    For these reasins i am in no dout he did not defend Megrahi the way he should have and Megrahi was entitled to.
    He failed incompetently to review all the evidence.
    Closed the defence case with no consultatikn with the accused.