Monday, 20 June 2016

Pan Am insurers sue Libya and Megrahi

[What follows is excerpted from a report that appeared in The Herald on this date in 2004:]

Lawyers acting for the insurers of the failed Pan American airline next month will ask a Scottish court to rule quickly on a claim of more than £600m in losses incurred by the company following the Lockerbie bombing.

In what may be one of the largest damages claims in Scotland, aviation underwriters of the firm, which filed for bankruptcy in 1991, are claiming Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the convicted bomber, and the Libyan state are liable for damages of £192m, plus interest, for the loss of the aircraft and other financial losses incurred.

The legal team has lodged a motion for summary decree at the Court of Session, arguing that there is no defence and that Megrahi's conviction at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001 proves liability. It wants the claim to be settled without a full hearing. (...)

Libya is vehemently defending the action and denying all involvement, despite the fact that Tripoli has accepted some responsibility for the atrocity and agreed to pay record levels of compensation to the relatives of those who died.

Megrahi, serving a life sentence in Barlinnie prison, has consistently denied all responsibility for the bombing. He is awaiting a decision from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) after applying for the right for a fresh appeal.

A team of Scottish lawyers is planning a robust defence to the civil action based on the grounds that the conviction was unsound and that there is a continuing investigation into the case by Megrahi's lawyers and the SCCRC.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Libya are expected to claim that any civil action would prejudice the hope for a criminal appeal and would be premature on the grounds that Megrahi could have his conviction overturned.

In the lawsuit following the 1988 terrorist bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, which killed 270 people, the victims' families proved that the airline acted with wilful misconduct, and Pan Am's insurers were forced to pay out more than £282m.

A New York Federal jury ruled in 1992 that PanAm had been guilty of wilful misconduct because it had repeatedly ignored warnings that its baggage-security system was inadequate.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the aviation underwriters subsequently lodged a civil action for more than £168m against Megrahi and the Libyan state in the early 1990s, on the grounds that countries do not have the right to sovereign immunity under Scots law.

The action was suspended because of the emergence of criminal proceedings against Megrahi and Fhimah. If the civil action now goes ahead, it would be the highest litigation claim in Scotland (...)

Eddie MacKechnie, the lawyer for Megrahi, said the main issue was to prove Megrahi's innocence.

[RB: The Court of Session action was settled on 18 February 2005: see Jonathan B Schwartz Dealing with a "rogue state": the Libya precedent, pages 568-69, footnote 92. It appears from an Associated Press news agency report on the website of The Washington Post that the settlement involved a payment in excess of US$31 million.]


  1. If it ever proven Lybia or Bassett has nothing to do with the Lockerbie aircraft crash will the insurance company's pay back all the cash that Lybia has incurred.

  2. Short answer to that==NO.Thats not how the system works. By the way Allan have you ever been on Edwin Bollier's website. He makes some points there that you would be very interested in about the actual explosion on the plane.

  3. Yes I have read Eds blog if anyone understands a Boeing 747/100 at 31,000 feet the pressure inside the aircraft is at 8.9 per square inch have you seen the read out from the flight data recorders it shows no sound of a pound of Semtex going off all that was recorded was a loud thud the A.A.I.B report of 2/90 states "No explosion"all what was shown on the flight data recorder was a rapid decompression.

  4. The good old decompression theory coming up!

    Will be now finally be told how it fits a brown Samsonite suitcase ripped to tiny pieces?
    And the destroyed suitcases close to it, all inside AVE4041 which itself was torn up, while other containers was intact, apart from what could be expected from a fall, as the judges also stated at the trial.
    And, as the reassembly of the plane showed, a hole was blown in the fuselage where AVE4041 was placed.

    That is more important to me than somebody claiming that a "loud thud" on the data recorders could not fit an explosion of a small bomb in the cargo area.

    But we are different, of course!

  5. Thanks to the Ken Dorstein show he shows a Boeing wide body aircraft been blown up by a pound of semtex the aircraft was blown into millions of pieces I have the copy of the radar screen of flight 103 it clearly shows on the right hand side of the aircraft as stated in the A.A.I.B report page 15 by Mick Charles the right hand nose wheel door departed the aircraft first at 31,000 feet then some how it'Re attached it self to the nose of the aircraft in the field at Tundergrath I then spoke to a Mr Bass of the A.A.I.B to ask him how did this happen then he requested Mr Cooper to come and see me when he looked at the photos of the rader and the right hand nose wheel door still attached to the nose of the aircraft his reply was it looks like we have made a mistake on the aircraft report nothing else was then was shown until a few seconds later then the aircraft broke into four sections not the millions of pieces shown on the Ken Dorstein show.

    1. The evidence of a bomb exploding in AVE4041 is utterly overwhelming. Unless and until you address this, no further contributions from you will be accepted.

  6. Can I send you the evidence I have what is the address Can send to.

    1. No. Not until you address the evidence relating to the explosion in AVE4041. Unless and until that happens no further contributions from you will be accepted.

  7. Seriously Allan - "the right hand nose wheel door departed the aircraft first at 31,000 feet then some how it're attached it self" - just think how implausible that sounds. Crazy folk like you spouting these stupid theories on Professor Black's site are doing the case no good! Look at the evidence properly man. If you'd announced that the radar blip was a UFO that crashed into Pan Am 103 I might have taken you seriously.

    1. The radar blip was Megrahi on his broomstick planting the Samsonite suitcase in the hold...

  8. The initial break-up at cruising altitude was into three main pieces. The nose cone, the wing assembly and the fuselage/tail, I believe. The nose cone came down at Tundergarth, the wing assembly crashed into Sherwood Crescent and ignited a fireball, and the fuselage landed in Rosebank Crescent with some passengers still inside strapped to their seats.

    However, on the way down from 31,000 feet in a howling gale, huge numbers of pieces broke off these main sections, very possibly amounting to "millions of pieces" if you tally up every scrap. I don't see what's so hard about this.

    If the AAIB said at any point that the radar trace showed the front nose wheel detaching itself from the aircraft, someone made a mistake. For a start, I don't think you'd get a significant radar return from something as small as a nose wheel. People do make mistakes. Get over it. It doesn't mean anything.