Saturday, 3 October 2015

Non-disclosure by Crown at Lockerbie trial

[On this date in 2007 The Herald published a report headlined Revealed: CIA offered $2m to Lockerbie witness and brother. It reads as follows:]

The CIA offered $2m (£1m) to the Crown's key witness in the Lockerbie trial and his brother, sources close to the case have told The Herald.

Recently discovered papers show Scottish police officers investigating the 1988 bombing were aware the US intelligence service had discussed financial terms and witness protection schemes with Tony Gauci and his brother, Paul.

They documented the talks and it would have been standard practice for such information to have been relayed to the prosecution team before the trial of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan serving 27 years for the bombing.

However, his defence team was never told of the CIA offer, in what critics say is another example of non-disclosure that undermines the credibility of Mr Gauci and, in turn, the Crown's case against Megrahi.

It has not been confirmed that the brothers accepted any money, but the fact that an offer was made is directly relevant to the credibility of Tony Gauci, who became the lynchpin of the case. Paul was never called as a witness.

The latest remarkable twist comes a day after The Herald revealed a top-secret document vital to the truth about Lockerbie was obtained by the Crown but never disclosed to the defence.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission found that document during its three-year investigation, which concluded earlier this year that Megrahi should have a fresh appeal.

The document, thought to be from the CIA, contains highly classified information about the MST13 timer which allegedly detonated the bomb. The Crown, for national security reasons, is still refusing to hand the material over to the defence.

An offer of remuneration by the US agency could be explained by the political imperative then for the US and Britain to secure a conviction for Lockerbie. At the time, Libya was very much a hostile nation, unlike the more relaxed links between Tripoli and the West which now prevail.

Yesterday in Edinburgh, the defence lodged its case with the appeal court and a preliminary hearing has been set for a week tomorrow.

The defence team also lodged a specification of documents order, demanding the Crown release the classified document. Prosecutors are expected to challenge the appeal, despite the weight of new evidence.

A source close to the case said: "We understand the commission found new documents which refer to discussions between the US intelligence agency and the Gaucis and that the sum involved was as much as $2m.

"Even if they did not receive the money, the fact these discussions took place should have been divulged to the defence."

The Herald has also seen copies of an agreement with the US government and signed by a senior member of the Crown Office, agreeing not to disclose certain material.

Norman McFadyen, then one of the leading members of the prosecution team and now the Crown Agent, signed the non-disclosure agreement on June 1, 2000.

James Chalmers, a senior lecturer in law at Edinburgh University, said if a member of the Crown agreed not to disclose material shown by a foreign government, it called its worth into question.

"This would raise questions about whether the right to a fair trial has been breached. And if a witness were offered money before giving evidence, this could undermine their credibility.

"It would certainly need to be put to the witness under cross-examination. If such information was not disclosed to the defence, that could give rise to a miscarriage of justice. It is an issue of credibility."

Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the tragedy, said: "It is shocking to me that if after 19 years of trying to get to the truth about who murdered my daughter, national security is being used as an excuse."

A spokesman for the Crown Office has previously declined to comment on the case saying it would be "wholly inappropriate" while it is before the appeal court.


  1. "A spokesman for the Crown Office has previously declined to comment on the case saying it would be 'wholly inappropriate' while it is before the appeal court."

    OK, so now it is not really anymore, is it?
    So will they now participate in a round-table discussion?

    - - -

    JfM has achieved the impossible: to spread the facts of Megrahi's conviction so far and wide, that dissent (= 'those who believe that Megrahi was somehow involved') long has given up any argumentation - which is rather unique, but fully understandable.

    As we have
    - Paid witnesses, one and two, who in addition have the worst possible record for being called reliable.
    - A blatantly lying Colin Boyd - "...nothing .. that could impinge...".
    - A timer fragment that does not match MEBOs production - which the police knew
    - A mysterious suitcase, a brown Samsonite, reported long before anyone had collected fragment enough to have the faintest idea, disappearing, like it was blown up. And it could not have come from Malta.
    - A theory about a suitcase transfer Malta-Frankfurt-Heathrow where, despite brutal investigation, not even a theory was submitted on how it got on the plane. It just got there, OK?
    - A confirmed break-in, in Heathrow, at the right time and place.

    Apart from one of the witnesses above, nobody even seeing Megrahi with a suitcase anywhere. No picture, no fingerprint, no recorded conversation, no photos.

    And not to forget, books by Keer and Aston with heavy references to data, and nobody speaking against it.

    What is left of the case?
    Libya having a motive to be angry at the US?
    That would go for two-thirds of countries in the world.
    The 'taggs' written by an acquitted Fhimah?
    That Megrahi lied to a journalist?

    Did I leave anything out?
    Do we have any knowledge to exclude other suspects, then? No?
    Even accepting the Malta-injection theory - can we exclude the possibility that somebody else did it?
    Do we know which evil USA-hating agents that might have been on Malta that day?
    Even from Libya?

    Recently I saw here that Ken Dornstein speculates that another Libyan, claimed to be a bombmaker.was on Malta.
    Search and you will find - but what was Megrahi's role, then?
    Or is it rather that we - discarding one single witness - haven't got the slightest evidence, nor even a specific suggestion, of any act of Megrahi involved in any wrongdoing whatsoever, or what he did?

    'Well, he just conspired!' Of course.

    There is nothing left of one of history's most absurd cases that was a murder of justice (the Danish expression for 'miscarriage of justice' is 'justitsmord') all the way.

    Well, nothing left, except three things:
    A Scottish judicial system that does not like to admit that were an active part in one of the most obvious miscarriages of justices ever.
    A set of politicians, doing the 'art of the possible' - which is not served by unfriending people who, in the name of justice, will do whatever is convenient.
    And a press that, with a few exceptions, also does not want to cause too much trouble.

    And i can't imagine that anything will change that, ever.
    As long as we are too fat to make revolutions.

    1. DOSSIER LOCKERBIE, 2015 >> (google translation, German/ English):
      Opinion on Ken Dornstein's film "My Broder's Bomber":

      A story of lies A to Z - produced by Ken Dornstein - without a foundation; used only for the bad conscience of gather in, the 'BLOOD MONEY' of US $ 2.7 billion, from the relatives of the victims of Lockerbie; paid by Saif el Islam, its foundation "GIFGA", in Geneva.
      Abdel Basset Al Megrahi & Libya have nothing to do with the attack on PanAm 103 over Lockerbie! Mr. Al Megrahi was innocent in prison 10 years - He remains the political victim No. 271!
      Please visit Information link, Clearing House: Lockerbie : $2.7 billion Sham and Shame !

      Before the film and an article at the American magazine the "New Yorker" was published, I (Edwin Bollier, MEBO AG) have answered on this complex the following question:

      Dear Mr. Bollier, I work with Patrick Keefe at the New Yorker. Below is the information we are trying to confirm in his piece, and a few questions for you. My contact details are below if you need any clarification on these. I understand you may be speaking on the phone with Patrick too.
      Thank you so much,
      Nicolas Niarchos
      Link to:

      by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd, Telecommunication Switzerland. webpage: