[The following are excerpts from a letter dated 23 June 1997 from distinguished Scottish lawyer Peter Anderson to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as quoted in a speech by Tam Dalyell, MP for Linlithgow:]
My attention has been drawn to the question put to you by the MP for Linlithgow on 18 June 1997 (Hansard 309/310). Whilst mention of my name contributed nothing to their weight and substance, can I nevertheless respectfully suggest that the question and proposal which were advanced, merit very careful additional consideration by your new Government.
My interest and involvement in the appalling tragedy of the Lockerbie disaster is well known. I have acted for Pan Am and its insurers throughout and do still have some limited involvement in defending personal injury claims of alleged stress from Lockerbie area residents where liability is denied. This letter however is not written in any capacity as representative of my clients and is not on their instructions or with a view to promoting their interests. Pan Am effectively went out of business following the disaster and the insurers have paid out many millions of dollars which cannot be recovered just because the Libyan connection is doubted.
As a result of my fairly extensive knowledge of the background, I do have scepticism as to whether the Crown Office have properly identified the correct accused, and that is shared by many, journalists, lawyers and others. That scepticism grew during my representation of Pan Am and its insurers in the course of the five month Fatal Accident Inquiry in 1990/91, when, as I am sure you have been advised, the now Lord Advocate [RB: Andrew Hardie QC] was senior Crown Counsel assisting the then Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC. It was heightened during the civil damages trial in New York by what I understand was the evidence led there before Chief Judge Platt, and also, importantly by the evidence which he excluded.
It would be unfair to ask you to consider the series of detailed points that exist made to question whether the two Libyans are still properly to be regarded as the murderers. In my assessment however, the Crown case to the effect that the Libyans achieved the destruction of Flight 103 over Lockerbie by introducing in Malta an unaccompanied bag containing the bomb for transit to Frankfurt and subsequent transfer has always been highly questionable and circumstantial.
There is a strong body of evidence from Air Malta to the effect that no unaccompanied bag did travel to Frankfurt carrying an interline tag showing the ultimate destination of New York. For reasons a British lawyer finds extraordinary, Chief Judge Platt chose to exclude that evidence from the consideration of the Jury in the New York civil damages trial.
Even if that evidence is disregarded, it has always seemed to me inherently improbable that sophisticated terrorists would adopt a method which required an unaccompanied bag containing a bomb to travel undetected through Malta Airport, then through Frankfurt and then by transfer at London Heathrow onto the Boeing 747 which was ultimately destroyed. The prospects of discovery, inadvertent detonation on some non-US flight or failure to make a connection, makes that scheme full of uncertainty. Such a plot becomes even less likely given that it is known that in late 1988 an Arab terrorist group had a bomb maker in Germany [RB: Marwan Khreesat] who had been detected fitting explosives in a radio of the same type which is said to have contained the Lockerbie bomb…