Friday, 24 October 2014

Virtually nobody believes the true facts about the destruction of Pan Am 103 have been revealed

Five years ago on this date an item headed Why the Lockerbie families deserve an inquiry was posted on this blog. The families still deserve one. The item reads as follows:

[This is the heading over an editorial in the current edition of The Sunday Telegraph. It reads as follows:]

Telegraph View: There are strong grounds for a thorough and independent investigation into Britain's worst terrorist atrocity

Lockerbie is a name burned into the consciousness of the British public. Like Omagh and other places associated with atrocious terrorist outrages, it retains a grim resonance, more than 20 years after this vicious mass murder that saw 270 innocent people, including 51 British citizens, subjected to an exceptionally cruel death. To this day it remains the worst act of terrorism perpetrated on British soil. For the victims' families it is a wound that can never heal. The trauma would be alleviated, however, if the bereaved and the wider public could confidently feel that the circumstances had been investigated to the core and the truth established.

Today, therefore, we are proud to support the campaign being launched by relations of the victims to demand an independent inquiry into who ordered and carried out the bombing. This weekend, the families have written to Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, requesting such a step. The demand is well founded: the Crown Office, the prosecuting authority in Scotland, is already pursuing fresh inquiries, following the withdrawal of a second appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, in order to secure his release.

Particularly welcome is the assurance by Scottish authorities that this is no token gesture, but a thorough investigation, focusing partly on forensic evidence and with a full-time team of detectives assigned to it. The fact that the Scottish judiciary had given Megrahi permission to appeal for a second time testifies that experienced judges believed there was merit in further consideration of the case. This businesslike response by prosecutors and police requires to be supported by the Government ordering an independent inquiry.

Virtually nobody believes that the true facts about the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 have been revealed. Alongside the inevitable conspiracy theories, there are substantive allegations regarding possible Iranian and Palestinian involvement that have never been properly investigated, not to mention a suspicious break-in that occurred at Heathrow Airport 17 hours before Flight 103 took off from there.

Potential scrutiny of such evidence was aborted by Megrahi's abandonment of his appeal. An independent inquiry would effectively test his appeal in absentia.

It would also go some way to restoring the reputations of the Scottish and British justice systems. The decision taken by the Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, to release Megrahi from prison on compassionate grounds and allow him to return to Libya, was the wrong one. The role of the British Government – the murky rumours of oil-related deals – was shameful. American officials remain angry at how the matter was handled.

If the authorities had investigated the case more rigorously and placed all the evidence in the public domain, an inquiry would not now be necessary. Considering the history of obfuscation surrounding the Lockerbie case, however, the details must be brought into the light of day. Nobody is asking for an open-ended, Bloody Sunday-style inquiry; but a full, detailed and public investigation of all the available evidence is now essential, if any kind of closure is to be achieved for the victims' families and the country.

[The same newspaper contains a report headed "Police relaunch Lockerbie bombing investigation" which reads in part:]

Authorities secretly ordered the re-examination of all evidence following the decision by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to drop his appeal against his conviction for mass murder. (...)

The Sunday Telegraph has seen the email sent by the Crown Office, Scotland's prosecuting authority, to British relatives of victims informing them of the new investigation, which includes a review of forensic evidence.

In the email, Lindsey Miller, a senior Procurator Fiscal who was involved in preparing evidence for Megrahi's trial, wrote: "Throughout the investigation we have, at various times, taken stock of the evidence as a whole with a view to identifying further lines of inquiry that can be pursued.

"Now that the appeal proceedings are at an end a further review of the case is under way and several potential lines of inquiry, both through a 'desktop' (paper) exercise and consultation with forensic science colleagues are being considered.

"You will of course appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to elaborate on these lines but please be assured that this is not simply paying lip service to the idea of an 'open case'."

The investigation is understood to be headed by Detective Chief Inspector Michael Dalgleish, a senior officer who was part of the original team that brought the case against Megrahi. Four detectives from Dumfries and Galloway police, which covers the Lockerbie area, are working full-time on the case. (...)

Pam Dix, whose brother Peter died in the explosion, said last night: "This new investigation gives us new hope. It has to be right that police don't see this as concluded.

"Even if Megrahi was guilty, he could not possibly have carried out the bombing unaided and if he is not guilty then not a single one of the conspirators of the Lockerbie bombing have been brought to justice.

"This email implies they are looking at all the forensics again and that has to be a good thing. Police have always said the case is open and not closed as such but they have never said they are looking at all the evidence afresh."

[Note by RB: As the editorial in The Sunday Telegraph recognises, what is needed is an independent inquiry. But the police open case review is at least a start. However, it is difficult to disagree with Dr Jim Swire, as quoted on the heraldscotland website:

“I think that if they are really going to a meaningful investigation then that is all well and good and long overdue. I would be all for it.

“But if it is just a dodge to prevent an investigation into why the lives of those killed were not protected then I would be livid."

As regards the scope of this investigation, the Crown Office is quoted in Scotland on Sunday as saying:

"There is no question of reopening the case against Megrahi. The open case concerns only the involvement of others with Megrahi in the murder of 270 people and the Crown will continue to pursue such lines of inquiry that become available.

"The trial court accepted the Crown's position that Mr Megrahi acted on in furtherance of the Libyan intelligence services and did not act alone. 

"The Crown stood ready, willing and able to support his conviction throughout the appeal process which he abandoned."]


  1. Living with the "Lockerbie Affair", 2014 -- only in German language

    Die verlorene Ehre der Mutter Helvetia

    Offensichtlich wollen gewisse schweizerische Offizielle mit Unterstützung der Bundesbehörden bei Straf- und Schadenersatzklagen (Staatshaftung), mit fragwürdigen Rekursen, kombiniert mit "Rechtverschleppung", die Wahrheitsfindung in der "Lockerbie-Affäre" verhindern ?

    Seit ca. 3 Jahren wird eine Strafanzeige gegen bekannte und unbekannte Staatsbedienstete von Edwin Bollier & MEBO AG, mit allen nur möglichen Mitteln verschleppt !
    Es ist heute offensichtlich, dass nicht gewünscht wird, dass die Hintergründe im Zusammenhang mit dem "schottischen Beweisbetrug" eines entscheidenden MST-13 Timer Fragments (PT-35), gegen Libyen, aufgedeckt wird.

    Ein Staat der sich als Rechtsstaat bezeichnet, sollte sich verpflichtet fühlen, unabhängig allfälliger politischen Implikationen, die schwerwiegende Anklage gegen Offizielle, unbefangen zu untersuchen !

    Der Bundesgerichtsentscheid wegen VERWIRKUNG, vom 1. Mai 2014, wird gegen die Schweiz, von MEBO AG, in den nächsten Tagen beim Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte eingereicht.

    by Edwin Bollier MEBO AG, Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage:

  2. "Five years ago..." And the Telegraph swallowed the Crown Office story hook line and sinker.

    As obvious a ruse to delay matters if ever there was one. A cynical strategy to maintain a verdict that should never have happened.

    A third appeal will expose it all. That is, if the prosecution don't fold their tent on the first day of proceedings.