Thursday, 26 November 2015

Granada Television's "Why Lockerbie?"

[On this date in 1990 Granada Television’s dramatised documentary Why Lockerbie? was broadcast in the United Kingdom. It was later broadcast in the United States under the title The Tragedy of Flight 103. Paul Foot in his Private Eye special report Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice had this to say (page 7):]

The programme focused on a bakery in Malta and a Palestinian cell based there. The programme made the same connection as the Sunday Times had done a year earlier – between the fact that the clothes in the bomb suitcase were bought in Malta and the less certain fact that an unaccompanied bag from Malta was loaded onto a Pan Am feeder flight from Frankfurt to London and thence to Pan Am 103. To illustrate this hypothesis, the programme showed a sinister-looking Arab checking in a bag at Malta airport and then sliding surreptitiously away while the plane took off.

This was too much for Air Malta, who sued Granada for libel. Norton Rose, the London commercial solicitors, compiled a huge dossier detailing almost everything about the flight from Malta to Frankfurt on the day of the Lockerbie bombing and proving that all 55 bags checked in on the flight could be ascribed to passengers, none of whom travelled on to London. The evidence was so powerful that Granada settled the action before it got to court. They paid Air Malta £15,000 damages and all the costs of the case. The only time these matters had been tested in a legal action, the Maltese connection to the bomb suitcase was comprehensively demolished.


  1. What i find funny is that Frank Drebin..... sorry Duggan's whole belief of Mr Megrahis guilt is based soley on the fact that he was found guilty in a court of Law. Here's a legal case who's outcome challenges the official version yet not a cheep from him and his merry band of neysayers. Although judging by the knowledge he's displayed previously regarding Lockerbie there is a real possibilty he doesn't know anything about the Air Malta case.
    Quite a good docu-drama though sparked my interest way back in 1990 when i first watched it.

  2. There wasn't a court outcome. Granada settled out of court.

  3. I'm aware of that. I still find it odd however that proceedings relevent to a central plank of the conviction seems to have been largely forgotten.

  4. I think a civil action that was settled out of court probably doesn't really rate as far as criminal proceedings are concerned.

    I entirely agree with you about Frank Duggan. I've heard interviews he's given when he hasn't got a single fact about the case right! I don't know if he's really that ignorant, or just doesn't care. For whatever reason, he just seems to make stuff up on the hoof, and if pressed falls back on "eight judges found Megrahi was guilty" schtick. I think he realises that interviewers won't know that he's lying, so he can lie with impunity. Or even if they do think he's wrong, they may be unsure of their own ground if someone like Duggan is saying something different, or even simply be unwilling to challenge someone who always gives the impression that he lost a loved one on the flight, when in fact he didn't.

    I'm no fan of George Galloway, but his interview is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. He wipes the floor with Duggan, then screws him up and throws him in the bin.

  5. The truth about Lockerbie about it being a revenge attack for the reckless shooting down of a an Iranian Airliner has been known in Scotland for 25 years.

    PicCell Wireless