Thursday, 9 July 2015

US agents pursue Lockerbie claim

[This is the headline over a report published in The Herald on this date in 1994. It reads as follows:]

United States investigators are still keen to establish the veracity of the claim by a Palestinian revolutionary that he, and not two Libyans, carried out the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing.

Yesterday, the US State Department said it would pursue the confession although, privately, Washington sources say the confession is not to be trusted. However, their position varies from that of the Foreign Office in London and the prosecuting authorities in Scotland, who have indicated that the Western allies' policy of prosecuting the two Libyans is still the only one they wish to pursue.

Three weeks ago, Youssef Shaaban, a member of the Abu Nidal Revolutionary Council Faction, who is on trial for the murder of a Jordanian diplomat, was reported to have confessed to the bombing of PanAm flight 103 which killed all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground.

Almost immediately, the situation was confused, first with claims that Shaaban had been misquoted and then with a subsequent claim that he had ''confessed'' only under ''coercion and torture''.

In November, 1991, the US and Britain accused Libyans Abdel Basset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah of having carried out the Lockerbie atrocity.

The indictments against the pair, who are alleged to be members of the Libyan secret service, were issued by the Crown Office in Scotland. The US and British governments, backed by the United Nations, have made repeated, unsuccessful, demands for their extradition to stand trial in Scotland.

[RB: More on this intriguing story can be found in the following articles:  

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