Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Fhimah’s diary

[What follows is the text of a report that was published on the BBC News website on this date in 2000:]

The Lockerbie trial has continued to hear legal debate over whether the contents of a diary belonging to one of the accused can be heard in evidence.

Defence lawyers have argued that a notebook belonging to Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah was seized by Scottish police officers without a search warrant.

The prosecution wants to bring evidence from the diary which was taken from the offices of a travel company that Fhimah ran with Maltese businessman Vincent Vassallo.

The Scottish Court, sitting at Camp Zeist in The Netherlands, heard on Tuesday that police officers visited the offices of Medtour Services in Malta in April 1991.

Mr Vassallo told chief prosecutor Alastair Campbell that he had set up the business with Fhimah in February 1989, two months after the bombing.

He said he received several visits from the police at the office in Mosta. On one occasion they looked in drawers and began picking things up.

He said: "I sometimes used Fhimah's desk and from his desk they took my diary, Fhimah's diary and business cards.

"They told me they were taking the diaries. I could not say either yes or no."

On Friday, detective chief superintendent Harry Bell told the court that the police did not take out warrants when they went to the Mediterranean island looking for clues. [RB: The court ultimately allowed the diary to be received in evidence.]

The prosecution alleges that Fhimah and Megrahi, who was the head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport, in Malta, were both members of the Libyan Intelligence Service.

It is alleged they used their positions to place a bomb in a suitcase aboard an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt, which was then routed onto Pan Am flight 103.

[RB: Fhimah’s diary contained an entry for 15 December 1988 that read “collect taggs from the Air Malta”. Only “taggs” was in English, the rest in Arabic. The Crown’s contention was that this was a reminder to Fhimah to collect airline luggage tags that would enable the bomb suitcase to be routed as unaccompanied baggage on Air Malta flight KM180 from Malta to Frankfurt, then on to Heathrow and into the hold of Pan Am 103. Fhimah’s explanation to his defence team for this diary entry was that he wanted to secure a contract for printing Libyan Arab Airlines luggage tags in Malta, and the printer had asked for a sample. The diary contains several entries about visiting or contacting the printer.]

1 comment:

  1. This was amongst the dafter pieces of "evidence" led by the Crown at Camp Zeist. The terrorist who has to place a note in his diary to ensure he doesn't forget to send a bomb in a suitcase out of Malta! Although, given the amount of jiggery-pokery with the Lockerbie evidence overall, I'm a bit surprised the note didn't say "collect bomb, put in a suitcase and send on plane to London." I can just see Fhimah and Mergrahi on the plane back to Libya "I'm sure we've forgotten something Abdelbaset. Oh shit, you've left the bomb in the desk at the office! I told you to put a reminder in your diary!"