Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Lockerbie accused flew to Malta day before Pan Am 103 destroyed

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

The Lockerbie trial has heard that the two Libyans suspected of planting the bomb flew to Malta the day before the airliner blew up.

The bomb is alleged to have been in a suitcase which was loaded onto a flight from Malta to Frankfurt, where Pan Am 103 began its journey to New York.

The Scottish Court in the Netherlands was told that the two men reached the Mediterranean island on 20 December, 1988.

They returned to Tripoli, Libya, on a Libyan Arab Airlines flight on the 21st, the day the bomb blasted a hole in the luggage compartment of the Boeing 747 after leaving London to cross the Atlantic.

Air Malta official Martin Baron confirmed the authenticity of the immigration cards registering the arrival and departure of defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah and a man by the name of Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad.

The latter name is alleged to have been an alias used by co-defendant Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.

According to the indictment, the men planted the bomb on Air Malta flight KM 180 to Frankfurt with tags routing it through London onto the Pan Am jet.

Prosecutors say the men worked for the Libyan state airline in Malta and were agents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence apparatus.

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