Saturday, 23 January 2016

Shocking admissions about date of Malta purchases

A long journey, followed by a power cut, made it impossible for me to post to this blog yesterday, 22 January. Here is what I would have posted had circumstances permitted:

[On this date in 2010 an article headed Harry Bell and Paul Gauci on the date of purchase: two shocking admissions was published on Adam "Caustic Logic" Larson's blog The 12/7-9/11 Treadmill and Beyond. The admissions relate to the date of purchase in Mary's House, Sliema, of the clothes that, in the official explanation of the Lockerbie disaster, were in the brown Samsonite suitcase along with the bomb. It was essential to the prosecution case against Megrahi that the date of purchase was shown to be 7 December 1988 (when Megrahi was on Malta) and not 23 November (when he was not). The following are excerpts from the article:]

Detective Inspector Harry Bell, who headed the Scottish police effort on Malta and was the main contact point for the Gaucis, was interviewed in 2006 by the SCCRC [Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission]. Some extracts were re-printed in Megrahi's rock-solid grounds of appeal.

Excerpts from there:

DI Bell SCCRC interview (25-26/7/06)
"...The evidence of the football matches was confusing and in the end we did not manage to bottom it out..."
"...I am asked whether at the time I felt that the evidence of the football matches was strongly indicative of 7th December 1988 as the purchase date. No, I did not. Both dates 23rd Nov and 7th Dec 1988 looked likely.
"...It really has to be acknowledged how confusing this all was. No date was signficant for me at the time. Ultimately it was the applicant's [Megrahi’s] presence on the island on 7th December 1988 that persuaded me that the purchase took place on that date. Paul specified 7th December when I met with him on 14th December 1989 and I recorded this..."

The bolded is a shocking admission of just what many had guessed. And then, almost as an afterthought (and a quick one I'd venture) "Paul specified 7th December" as the right day, during a meeting of "14th December 1989." He even has the date memorized! No direct quotes provided there of this meeting. But two months earlier, in a 19 October meeting with the same Harry Bell, he clearly specified the other day. In a police report obtained by Private Eye and published in Paul Foot's 2000 booklet Lockerbie: The Flight from Justice, Mr. Gauci said:

“I was shown a list of European football matches I know as UEFA. I checked all the games and dates. I am of the opinion that the game I watched on TV was on 23 November, 1988: SC Dynamo Dresden v AS Roma. On checking the 7th December 1988, I can say that I watched AS Roma v Dynamo Dresden in the afternoon. All the other games were played in the evening. I can say for certain I watched the Dresden v Roma game. On the basis that there were two games played during the afternoon of 23 November and only one on the afternoon of 7th December, I would say that the 23rd November 1988 was the date in question.” [Foot, 2000, p 21]

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