Saturday, 14 November 2015

The cross-examination of Abu Talb

[What follows is the text of the report by Glasgow University’s Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit on the proceedings at Camp Zeist on this date in 2000. It can be accessed here:]

The Lockerbie trial continued today with the cross examination of Abu Talb. Talb who is mentioned in the special defence of incrimination which has been lodged by the two accused denied being involved with the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front since the end of 1982. He admitted that he is currently serving a prison sentence in relation to his conviction for bombing a Danish synagogue in 1985 but denied having committed the crime. He had denied any involvement in the Lockerbie disaster during his examination in chief on Friday.

Bill Taylor also asked Talb about terrorist activity by members of his family. Talb told the court that his sister-in-law had been killed while she carried out an assassination attempt in Israel. He said she may have been killed by the current Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, who was then a senior army officer. Talb described his sister-in-law as a martyr. He denied knowledge of Taylor's suggestion that his brother-in-law had carried detonators in the handle of a suitcase from Syria to Sweden.

The cross-examination continued with Richard Keen suggesting that Talb had collected a bomb from a house in Germany shortly before the Lockerbie disaster. Talb said this was a lie. Talb also denied spitting in the face of an investigator when he was visited in prison.  He said that as a Muslim he would not have done such a thing.  On September 28 Harold Hendershot, a special agent with the FBI was asked if Talb had spat in his face when he interviewed him in connection with the Lockerbie disaster. Hendershot said he did not remember this.

The afternoon proceedings came to an abrupt end when Talb was removed from the Court when he refused to answer Keen's questions. Keen had repeatedly asked questions regarding training received in the Soviet Union. He said Talb was a 'murderer and liar'. Talb was then removed from the Court. Keen told the judges that Talb was a professional terrorist. The court adjourned until tomorrow morning to allow the Judges to decide if they can compel Talb to answer Keen's questions.

[An account of Abu Talb’s first day in the witness box can be read here.]

No comments:

Post a Comment