Saturday, 11 February 2017

Lockerbie witnesses were paid

[This is the headline over an article by Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer published in OhmyNews International on this date in 2009. It reads in part:]

In recent times, allegations have resurfaced regarding payments offered to key witnesses of the Lockerbie trial.

Specifically, there have been rumors that Majid Giaka, Paul and Tony Gauci were each paid about US$4 million for their help in the conviction of Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988. (...)

Richard Marquise, the FBI agent who led the Lockerbie investigation, forcefully denied that witnesses were ever offered any money.

'"I can assure you that no witnesses were ever offered any money by anyone--including the CIA," Marquise told OhmyNews. "This issue came up at trial and I spoke with the defense lawyers about it in Edinburgh in 1999 -- before trial. No one was promised or even told that they could get money for saying anything. Every FBI agent was under specific orders not to mention money to any potential witness." (...)

'A source speaking on condition of anonymity told Jeff Stein, the national security editor of the Congressional Quarterly, that a key witness, Tony Gauci, and his brother were each paid somewhere between $3 million to $4 million for providing information leading to the conviction of Megrahi.

'Moreover, former State Department lawyer Michael Scharf confirmed to OhmyNews that rewards were paid in the context of the Lockerbie trial.

'"I knew that rewards payments were made, but not the amount. The Awards for Terrorism Information program has been around since the 1980s, and has been expanded to rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of international indicted war criminals like Karadzic and Mladic. When I worked at the Office of the Legal Adviser of the State Department I was involved in the program," Scharf wrote in an email to OhmyNews. (...)

'Prof Black, often referred to as the architect of the Lockerbie trial, agrees. "The issue of payments made or promised to witnesses forms an important part of the Grounds of Appeal," Black told the author.

'"At one time in Scotland, if payment had been made, or promised, to a witness that was an absolute bar to his giving evidence. Today, it is simply a factor that must be taken into account in assessing his credibility. However, in order for this to be done, it is necessary that the court should know that the payment was made or promised. Failure by the Crown to disclose the promise or the payment is a serious breach of their duty to the court and to the administration of justice," Black said.'

1 comment:

  1. I could not have put it better myself Robert so why did Marquis deny that money was paid. The trial was to be held under "Scottish"law not US law. Bribing the witnesses is only part of the problem. The whole Lockerbie scenario from start to finish was hijacked. Is this because of the "Special"relationship which a US state dept official described as "You do exactly what we tell you" And that is exactly what we did at every level.