Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fulfilling the duty to Lockerbie relatives

[Tam Dalyell was an indefatigable campaigner in the House of Commons for Lockerbie truth. On this date in 2005 he secured his seventeenth (and last) adjournment debate on the topic. He retired from Parliament later that year. The debate, which is full of interest, can be read here. The following are just a few paragraphs from Mr Dalyell’s opening speech:]

In 1998, Lady Symons told a group of Lockerbie relatives that Her Majesty's Government had a duty to find out why British nationals were killed at Lockerbie. Who was responsible, and how could it have happened? I wonder, as do Pamela Dix and Dr Jim Swire of the Lockerbie families group, who are here today, whether Her Majesty's Government are fulfilling that duty.

In the Prime Minister's letter of 19 July 2004 to Lockerbie relatives, he writes:

"I entirely share your concern that we learn from Lockerbie and do all we can to prevent such a tragedy happening again."
How can we do that if we do not know the whole truth?
The aim of my next question is to try to establish some part of this very complex truth. Did British intelligence know, or was it informed, that a fifth improvised explosive device, allegedly not recovered but once in the possession of a terrorist cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command in Germany in late October 1988, was larger than the Toshiba Bombeat single-speaker radio cassette recorder adapted to become an improvised explosive device and found in the possession of the same PFLP-GC terrorist cell, and that the twin-speaker device, which was used in the Lockerbie murders, was larger than the Toshiba Bombeat single-speaker version?
If the UK intelligence services did know or were informed that the so-called fifth device was larger than the Toshiba Bombeat single-speaker radio cassette recorder, adapted to become an improvised explosive device, and that the twin-speaker Toshiba radio cassette recorder was larger than the single-speaker version, was that information given to any police force in the UK? If so, to whom was it given and when?
What were the total costs, incurred directly or indirectly, in connection with the visits made by the prosecution witness, Anthony Gauci, and members of his family, to the UK and Holland between 1 September 1989—a decade before the Scottish Parliament was set up—and 1 September 2002, including travel, accommodation, allowances, subsistence, police time and transport? Who authorised such costs? Do Her Majesty's Government know of any direct or indirect payments or payments in kind offered or made to Anthony Gauci, or to any members of his family, by any organ of the UK Government? Do HMG know of a payment of about $4 million to Gauci from American sources? What was the approximate value of any such payments or payments in kind to Gauci? When were they made or provided, by whom and out of what vote? Does the United Kingdom know, through any British agency, of any offer or arrangement to meet the costs or provide funds, directly or indirectly, for the actual or prospective resettlement of Anthony Gauci—a Maltese citizen and prosecution witness in the Lockerbie trial—or any member of his family, in Australia or any country south of Malta? If so, what were the details of any such offers or arrangements and when, and by whom, were they offered or made?
The Crown Office issued a press release on 10 May 1995 about the late Alan Francovitch's film The Maltese Double Cross, acknowledging that the US Drug Enforcement Administration was running controlled drug deliveries through Frankfurt and London to the USA in 1988 and 1989, in collusion with the German Government. Do HMG still believe that that was so? I have given 48 hours' notice of these questions, and I hope that I have left time for a serious Foreign Office reply.

1 comment:

  1. I know this sounds like monomania, but I can't help wondering how it would all have played out if someone - anyone - had noticed the significance of the damaged suitcases at this time, when it was easy to get the ear of the media and opinion-formers.

    Now, it's almost impossible to penetrate the fossilised narrative with a new insight, even one that proves Megrahi innocent. All most people remember about the case is the confused, misleading and missing-the-point memes that have circulated for decades. It's a paradox.