Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Lockerbie has no Stasi link: we need a proper inquiry

[This is the headline over an article by Dr Jim Swire in today's edition of The Times. It reads as follows:]

Since December 1988 when my beloved daughter, Flora, was murdered at Lockerbie I have searched diligently for the truth as to why the warnings that Pan Am was to be attacked had not been heeded.

A detailed warning from West Germany in October 1988 told our government that improvised bombs had been recovered near Frankfurt which, though stable on the ground, if put anywhere aboard a plane would automatically sense take-off and explode 35 to 40 minutes later.

My daughter’s doomed flight flew for 38 minutes before exploding over Lockerbie. None of the families knew of the warnings received beforehand. Yet the US’s Moscow embassy had given permission to staff to abandon Pan Am 103. The 747 was only two thirds full that night.

Margaret Thatcher forbade an inquiry and no subsequent prime minister has allowed one, often on the basis that “there is an ongoing criminal investigation” now alleged to involve the Stasi. At the trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands that convicted Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi a piece of timer circuitboard was produced by Scottish police as evidence. It seemed to implicate a Swiss maker of digital timers. These had been supplied not only to Libya but to the Stasi. Since 2012 we have known that whatever its origin, the metallurgy on that fragment cannot be matched to that in use in Switzerland. This link between the Stasi and Lockerbie does not exist.

Before he died, a key leader of the Scottish police investigation told the world that “he would like to wring the neck of anyone who disagrees with the police findings”.

We have met many important people who tried to help. Nelson Mandela warned us that “no one country should be complainant prosecutor and judge”. Douglas Hurd, the Tory home and foreign secretary, referred to us in cabinet as responsible people who should be kept informed. Cecil Parkinson, the transport secretary, protected me from acquiring a criminal record when I demonstrated post hoc that Heathrow’s security had still not improved, by attempting to board an aircraft with a fake bomb, and Robin Cook, the Labour foreign secretary, talked to the families and seemed to favour an inquiry.

What have we done to deserve this extra burden of unknowing, piled upon that terrible bereavement?

Dr Jim Swire has been campaigning for justice for the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, in which his daughter died

1 comment:

  1. A long time ago I read something along the lines of this: When the US blew up an Iranian civilian plane the Iranians swore massive revenge. To appease them US/UK said they could blow up one US plane. The bomb was loaded at Heathrow. Many passengers cancelled their tickets at last minute (tipped off) leaving students to take place.