Friday, 1 April 2016

Veteran Labour MP challenges destruction of Lockerbie evidence

[This is the headline over an article by Steve James published on this date in 2002 on the website WSWS.org. It reads as follows:]

Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP for the Scottish constituency of Linlithgow, used his parliamentary privileges to effectively accuse the British government of destroying evidence relating to the criminal investigation of the 1988 attack on PanAm flight 103, which killed 270 people.
Dalyell is the longest serving MP in Westminster—the so-called “father of the house”. Something of a maverick figure, he has a long record of raising awkward questions for successive British administrations. Dalyell harried Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for years over the circumstances surrounding the sinking of an elderly Argentine warship,General Belgrano, off the Malvinas/Falklands Islands, by a British nuclear submarine during the 1982 war with Argentina.
Speaking on March 26, in an adjournment debate in which MPs can raise whatever they like, Dalyell insisted that Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, currently jailed for life in Barlinnie prison in Glasgow for the Lockerbie attack, was innocent. Dalyell, who has long followed developments around the Lockerbie disaster, asked what was being done to preserve evidence collected during police enquiries. He went on to ask, “Can an assurance be given that they will not be destroyed in the same way as certain police notebooks have apparently been destroyed?”
Dalyell quoted a statement given by a retired policewoman, Mary Boylan, who had been based at Lockerbie in 1988. In 1999 Boylan was asked to give a statement at Livingston Police Station, presumably relating to the upcoming trial of al-Megrahi and his then co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah. She asked for her notebooks from 1988 to refresh her memory. She was told they could not be found and later read in the Scottish press that Lothian and Borders Police had destroyed the notebooks.
Dalyell asked, “Who gave the instruction for the destruction of notebooks? After all, this was the biggest unresolved murder trial in Scottish legal history. The answer to that question is likely to be found not in Edinburgh, but in London.”
Dalyell said he had worked closely with five heads of the police’s “F Division” which covers West Lothian, as well as successive chief constables of Lothian and Borders Police: “I simply do not believe that any one of them, off their own bat, would have allowed, for reasons of routine and storage space, the destruction of notebooks relating to the biggest murder trial in Scottish history.”
Dalyell quoted a subsequent statement from Boylan in which she described how, in 1999, she attended Dumfries police station and was asked to describe a suitcase rim, with a handle attached. Boylan asked the Procurator Fiscal, a local Scottish legal official, about the significance of the case. He would not say, but, “What he did say was that the owner of said suitcase was a Joseph Patrick Curry and that I would be hearing and reading a lot about him at the time of the trial.” Boylan later found out that Curry was a US Army Special Forces Captain.
According to Dalyell, Boylan claims a colleague informed her that Curry’s suitcase contained the bomb that blew up the aircraft. Dalyell said, “I want to know who will verify the statement and show whether it is true or false. If the bomb was in Curry’s suitcase, Mr. Megrahi is hardly likely to be guilty.”
He concluded by asking for “these extremely serious matters [to] be taken on board by the government in London”.
Speaking after the debate Dalyell reiterated his suggestion that “something highly irregular has taken place, apparently with consent.”
Joseph Patrick Curry was one of several members of a US Special Forces team on PanAm 103, whose luggage, and remains at the crash site were the subject of a great deal of well documented US CIA and FBI activity in the hours and days after the disaster. A special forces major, Charles McKee, and the CIA’s Beirut station deputy chief, Matthew Gannon, also died on the plane.

3 comments:

  1. Destroyed note books = a cover up.

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  2. Only a handle and rim of the case left sugguests that as stated the bomb was in that case and in all probabilty Capt Curry was not aware of that. The team were apparently returning to the US to blow the whistle on rogue agents who were bringing drugs into the US which certain elements in the CIA have been doing for years. Another CIA agent Barry Seal had been running drugs for the CIA for years to finance their clandestine activites. Before he could give evidence to a grand jury he was shot in the head. US embassy staff tipped off not to travel on that plane. To me the Lockerbie bombing was an inside job and thats why "they" don't want the truth to come out.

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  3. Sadly, this is all a complete red herring. Joseph Curry's flight arrived late at Heathrow - he was on BA603 from Pisa which didn't land until 16.21. He had two suitcases which were interlined, but they arrived in the interline shed too late to have been placed in AVE4041 by Bedford. These two cases were among the group that were loose-loaded into a pallet at the rear of the plane in the last 10 or 15 minutes before the doors were closed.

    These items were recovered in the north part of Lockerbie town itself, along with the rest of the debris from the tail section of the plane. None of this was blast damaged at all. All the blast-damaged stuff was found 20 miles to the east, around the village of Newcastleton.

    It's quite sad the way mistaken second-hand information gets picked up and repeated and grows in the telling. There's absolutely no chance either of the Curry suitcases contained the bomb.

    Honestly, I don't want to sound snarky here, but all this information is in the public domain. I'm getting quite tired of people who have latched on to one particular little factoid they think is a nugget of gold and insist on repeating it time and again as if it holds the clue to the entire case, while sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting "la la la can't hear you" if anyone tries to point out that their factoid is a mistake and there's a shedload of actual evidence showing something different happened.

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