Monday, 11 July 2016

Tony Gauci in the witness box

[What follows is excerpted from a report published on the BBC News website on this date in 2000:]

The Lockerbie trial has heard that fragments of a baby romper suit recovered from the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 were traced back to a clothes shop in Malta.

The blue Babygro was said to have been in the suitcase carrying the bomb which blew the plane apart above Lockerbie.

All the items were bought by a Libyan man who went into Tony Gauci's outfitters in the Maltese town of Sliema just days earlier, the trial judges heard.

Mr Gauci picked out one of the accused - Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi - as being someone who "resembled" the man who visited his shop, although he could not positively identify him.

The prosecution says the two Libyan suspects went to the shop in Sliema on 7 December, 1988, and bought clothes and an umbrella.

The charred remains of the items were later recovered from the bomb debris in and around Lockerbie.

Mr Gauci told the Scottish Court in the Netherlands that a Libyan man came into his shop - Mary's House, Tower Road, Sliema - about a fortnight before Christmas 1988.

The man looked around and when Mr Gauci invited him to try on some trousers he said they were for someone else.

The man then bought two pairs of trousers, two shirts, two cardigans, two pairs of pyjamas, a blue romper suit and, because it was raining slightly at the time, an umbrella.

"He left the shop to go to the taxi rank to get a taxi. He came back in the taxi to collect the clothing, which I took out to the taxi," said Mr Gauci.

It was not until September 1989 that Scottish and Maltese police officers went to the shop to confirm that the fragments of clothing linked to the suitcase holding the radio-cassette bomb had been purchased at Mary's House.

[RB: A devastating analysis by Dr Kevin Bannon of Tony Gauci’s evidence can be read here.]

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