Saturday, 17 October 2015

"No Libyan national was involved"

[What follows is an excerpt from an article headlined American Cassandra - Susan Lindauer’s Story which was published on the Scoop website on this date in 2007:]

The Clinton administration was interested in using her as an entrée to communicate with Libya officials, according to Lindauer. Her specific task was to help obtain the hand over of two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing to stand trial for the destruction of the Pan Am flight and deaths of 259 passengers and 11 Lockerbie citizens

Lindauer described playing an instrumental role in negotiating the handover of the two suspected bombers from Libya through her Libyan contacts at the UN mission. She performed the liaison role through the Libyan mission at the UN. As a result of her work and other efforts, she reports that Libya turned over two male suspects, al-Megrahi and Fhimah, to Scottish authorities. They were indicted and tried for the bombing and 270 deaths. Scottish prosecutors convicted Al Megrahi but not Fhimah.

During the lead up to the trial, Lindauer had serious questions about the guilt of the Libyans that she helped secure for trial. She says, Other Arab contacts told me that Mohammed Abu Talb, Abu Nidal, in addition to Ahmed Jibril were the key to this awful crime.”

In 1998, she provided UN General Secretary Kofi Annan with a deposition containing information that she obtained from Dr Richard Fuisz. This was prior to Annan’s visit to Libya which Lindauer says was for a meeting to discuss the Lockerbie trial with Gadaffi. In the deposition, she offered this: “(Fuisz) says freely that he knows first hand that Libya was not involved in any capacity whatsoever. It's my understanding that he can provide further details regarding his part in the investigation, or details identifying the true criminals in this case.”

However, Fuisz was the subject of a 1990’s gag order and required specific permission from the US in order to give a sealed deposition for the Lockerbie trial.

Lindauer’s statement on Lockerbie caught the attention of the Scotland’s Sunday Herald:

[In 1994] One month before a court order was served on him (Fuisz) by the US government gagging him from speaking on the grounds of national security, he spoke to US congressional aide Susan Lindauer, telling her he knew the identities of the Lockerbie bombers and claiming they were not Libyan. Sunday Herald May 28, 2000

The Herald discussed her role in negotiations with Libya:

Congressional aide Lindauer, who was involved in early negotiations over the Lockerbie trial, claims Fuisz made "unequivocal statements to me that he has first-hand knowledge about the Lockerbie case". In her affidavit, she goes on: "Dr Fuisz has told me that he can identify who orchestrated and executed the bombing. Dr Fuisz has said that he can confirm absolutely that no Libyan national was involved in planning or executing the bombing of Pan Am 103, either in any technical or advisory capacity whatsoever.” Sunday Herald May 28, 2000

Her position was not that different than an analysis offered in Time magazine in 2002. Both she and Time speculate that Ahmed Jibril, a Palestinian resistance leader allied with Syria, was responsible for the bombing. Time magazine even suggested that the terrorist act was a “hit” on a special U.S. military group seeking to free American hostages held in Lebanon.

Just recently, Time ran another article on findings by investigators raising factual questions that cast doubt on the guilty verdict of the one suspect actually convicted in the case.

On June 28, 2007, Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) made a referral of the al Megrahi conviction for further review due to a critical flaw in the case. Evidence from a Maltese shopkeeper that helped convict al Megrahi was accepted by trial judges without a “reasonable basis”. The SCCRC is empowered to refer flawed decisions to Scotland’s Supreme Court, which must hear the case.

Just recently, October 2, 2007, The Scotsman reported that “Fresh doubt has been cast over the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber after it emerged a document containing vital evidence about the bomb timer has never been shown to the defense.”

In addition, The Scotsman, Oct 6, 2007, reported that two key witnesses, the Maltese shopkeeper and the head of the company that manufactured the timing devise for the bomb, were offered $2 million and $4 million respectively by US officials to tilt their testimony for a conviction of al Megrahi.

Lindauer said that her work on Lockerbie started in 1995, “I was being used aggressively at this point for positive things.” She didn’t see any inconsistency between her activism and her work with the intelligence community. She opposed both sanctions by the United States and violence by terrorist states.

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