[What follows is an article by Ian Ferguson headed Confidential memo discloses reason police suspected PFLP-GC published in August 2000 on TheLockerbieTrial.com, a website that he and I edited:]
It is not expected that Heathrow Airport will take up much time in the presentation of the Crown case.
Police investigations in this case moved very quickly away from Heathrow and focused on Frankfurt instead.
As early as twelve weeks after it was established that a bomb had brought down Pan Am 103, Detective Chief Superintendent John Orr, the senior investigating officer was briefing his colleagues in the FBI and the German BKA and told them on 28 March 1989: "To date 14 pieces of explosive damaged baggage have been recovered and enquiries to date suggest that on the balance of probability the explosive device was likely to be amongst the Frankfurt passengers baggage items. Of all the currently identified explosive damaged baggage, all but one item originated from Frankfurt."
This extract is from a "confidential" report of the Lockerbie Incident Investigation: International Co-ordination Meeting held on 28 March 1989 and obtained by us.
The report is illuminating and describes in detail how John Orr told the meeting of the "evidential connection between the murder of 270 persons at Lockerbie and activities of the PFLP-GC in Germany."
He went on, "There were a number of important factors to be considered including: the history of this organisation (PFLP-GC); the fact that a Toshiba make radio cassette recorder packed with 300 gramms of Semtex Explosive was found in West Germany; at least one hard-shell suitcase, possibly Samsonite, was traced to a member of the PFLP-GC in West Germany in October 1988; previous conduct of this organisation which makes clear that the group is prepared to make repeated attacks on similar targets with identical Modus Operandi."
Despite the very early stages of the investigation it is clear from these extracts that Heathrow had taken second place to Frankfurt and at this stage Malta was nowhere in the picture.
It is interesting though that then Detective Chief Superintendent Orr, now Chief Constable Orr, chose to describe the modus operandi of the PFLP-GC as being "identical" to that which blew up Pan Am 103.
A number of police officers, including some who worked at Heathrow, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told us that they felt the investigation at Heathrow was not an in-depth investigation and one even described it as being "cursory".
Whatever the depth of the Heathrow investigation the extracts of the confidential report above show that the investigators were heavily leaning towards the PFLP-GC and Frankfurt airport.
At the time of the bombing, the terminal for Iran Air, the national airline of Iran was situated next to Pan Am's terminal at Heathrow. Iran is alleged to have been one of the financial sponsors of the PFLP-GC in the 80s.
It is also very surprising that the Crown have not called Chief Constable John Orr to testify at Camp Zeist considering that, at the time, he was the senior detective and effectively in charge of the Lockerbie investigation.