[This is the title of an article written by Dr Morag Kerr, author of Adequately Explained by Stupidity?, which she has very kindly allowed me to publish here. It reads as follows:]
Since my book was published I have been invited to take part in a couple of radio and TV discussion programmes about the Lockerbie case, and in general it has been a frustrating experience. My contention is that the bomb suitcase was introduced at Heathrow airport, around half past four in the afternoon, not at Malta in the morning as the Crown proposed. I have very specific and absolutely incontrovertible evidence to prove that.
Of course that does, indirectly, demonstrate that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was not the man who put that suitcase on the plane. He was provably in Tripoli at that time, which as it happens is well over a thousand miles from Heathrow airport. What it does not do is give me some unique insight into who did plant the bomb. And yet, that’s all the interviewers seem to want to ask me. “Who do you think did it, Dr. Kerr?”
I have no freaking idea who did it. I have read the same articles and watched the same documentaries as everyone else. I might have an opinion based on that, but it would be no better informed than anyone else’s opinion formed on the same basis. It is seriously not worth dragging me into Edinburgh to sit in front of a microphone or a TV camera to ask me that.
Who do I think did it? Someone or someones who were at Heathrow airport on the afternoon of 21st December 1988, that’s who. The rest is up to the police, assuming they can get their act together this time, 25 years after the event. Ask me how I know the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, why don’t you? That’s my contention, and that’s what might be worth hearing.
This is what the interviewers would hear, if they asked me the right questions.
The recovered blast-damaged suitcases in effect form the pieces of a large, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. The forensic investigators assembledthese pieces individually, described them, photographed them, and even drew pictures of some of them. What they did not do was solve the jigsaw.
This is very easy to do, using these descriptions, photographs and drawings, also taking into account the passenger and baggage movements into Heathrow that afternoon and the statements of the baggage handlers who interacted with container AVE4041 before it was loaded on to Maid of the Seas. When the jigsaw is solved, the bomb turns out to have been inside a brown hardshell Samsonite suitcase, loaded in the bottom position in the left-hand front stack of suitcases. The position where John Bedford reported seeing a brown hardshell Samsonite suitcase, almost an hour before the feeder flight from Frankfurt landed.
And that’s basically it. More detail, for those deeply familiar with the details of the evidence (that’s you I’m talking to, Magnus Linklater and Bill Taylor) can of course be provided.
1. The conviction depended absolutely on the assumption that a blue Tourister suitcase which was carried on the feeder flight was positioned on the floor of the container, immediately underneath the bomb suitcase. However, the physical evidence of the recovered luggage demonstrates without any doubt that the Tourister was in fact positioned on top of the bomb suitcase.
I can be more specific. Material from the Tourister was recorded as being blasted into and on to half a dozen of the other suitcases in the container, something which could not have happened if it had been blasted through the base of the container and away from the rest of the luggage. Part of the Tourister was recovered entangled with parts of two other Frankfurt-origin suitcases, which again points to the same conclusion. Most damningly of all, the case which was on top of the Tourister can be easily identified among the photographs of the recovered luggage, with material from both the Tourister and the IED itself plastered across its lid.
2. The conviction depended absolutely on the assumption that the bomb suitcase was on the second layer of luggage in the container, not on the floor. However, the physical evidence of the recovered luggage and the airframe under the base of the container demonstrate conclusively that there was no suitcase under the bomb suitcase -- the bomb was in the case on the bottom of the stack.
First, the condition of the bottom front corners of the two suitcases which were positioned upright, end-on, behind the bomb suitcase shows incontrovertibly that these corners were not protected by another suitcase at floor level. Second, the pitting and sooting noted by the forensic investigators as being absent from the floor panel of the container is indisputably present on the parts of the airframe immediately under the floor panel. Third, only one of the recovered suitcases was damaged in a manner consistent with its having been loaded flat against the bomb suitcase -- the blue Tourister. The Tourister was on top of the bomb suitcase. Despite numerous pieces of all the other items in the vicinity being recovered, there are no remains of a candidate for the “under the bomb” position.
3. The conviction depended absolutely on baggage handler Amarjit Sidhu having rearranged the Heathrow interline luggage when he added the Frankfurt transfer luggage to the container. Not only is it inherently unlikely that he would have done this, given the conditions under which he was working, he himself was quite clear in several police statements and again in the witness box at the Fatal Accident Inquiry that he did not do it. There is not a shred of physical evidence to support the assertion that he was mistaken on this point.
The entire case focusses on this precise point: on the basis of the condition of the baggage container and the adjacent airframe components, the bomb suitcase must have been either the one on the bottom of the front left-hand stack of luggage or the one on top of it. The former position was occupied by a suitcase loaded in the interline shed at Heathrow, and the latter by a suitcase transferred from the feeder flight. The AAIB inspectors and the forensic investigators jumped to the wrong conclusion at an early stage in the investigation, based on only a small subset of the available information (the condition of the container itself). The full dataset was never assembled and interpreted. If it had been, it would have shown without doubt that this conclusion was wrong.
Is it really that simple? Yes, actually, it is. Months investigating Frankfurt, years investigating Malta, indictments against a couple of people who happened to be going about their business on Malta that morning, eight years of punitive sanctions against Libya which destroyed the economy and social cohesion of the country, a three-ring-circus of a trial in a specially-built court in the Netherlands, the conviction of one of the people who happened to be on Malta that day, his eventual release under circumstances that turned the Scottish government into an international hate icon, and UK and US support for the Libyan rebels in the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011 -- not to mention the x-ray operator at Frankfurt who was assumed to have missed the bomb suitcase transiting from the Malta flight apparently being hounded to his grave by the accusation. All that, for want of someone having enough nous to spot and solve a jigsaw which was right there in front of them all the time.
Yes, I’m pretty stunned by this. It’s almost unbelievable but it’s true. Now get your heads round that, people, and stop asking me who I think did it. That’s way beyond my pay grade.