Sunday, 21 September 2008

Private Eye on The Conspiracy Files: Lockerbie

The current issue of Private Eye features an article entitled "Lockerbie: What Price Justice?" It reads in part:

'In BBC2’s recent Conspiracy Files documentary about the blowing-up of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Richard Marquise, the FBI agent who headed the US side of the investigation 20 years ago, emphatically denied that any reward money had been paid to witnesses.

'In reply to a claim by Edwin Bollier, the boss of a Swiss company said to have manufactured the timing device used in the bomb, that he had been offered money by the FBI, Marquise said: "I can promise you we offered everyone who was involved in the case the exact same – nothing. They were never offered anything for their testimony, for their information concerning this case."

'Clearly this was a case of the left hand of American Law enforcement not knowing what the right was up to because Majid Giaka, the "star" witness at the trial of the two Libyans originally accused of the bombing, was handsomely rewarded by the CIA... [The Lockerbie] judges agreed that Giaka's evidence - that he saw the pair with a large brown case at Luqa, the Maltese airport - was "at best grossly exaggerated and at worst untrue", and "largely motivated by financial considerations".

'[The judges] relied on the only other evidence that incriminated Megrahi: his identification 11 years after the event by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who said he sold him the 13 items of clothing that were packed around the bomb. But Gauci had seen a picture of Megrahi only a few days before he made the crucial identification. This too was withheld from the original trial.

'Inconsistencies and doubts surrounding Gauci's identification now form one of the six grounds outlined by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) for concluding Megrahi may be the victim of a miscarriage of justice. There were unconfirmed reports that part of the concerns outlined in the confidential 80-page SCCRC submission were that Gauci too was paid a large amount of CIA "compensation".

'And for final confirmation that the Americans paid out money, the 'Reward for Justice' website of the US state department outlines the Lockerbie case. It says it has "paid more than $72m to over 50 people who have provided information that prevented international terrorist attacks or brought to justice those involved in prior acts."'

1 comment:

  1. Mr.Marquise is either remarkably ignorant (not), disingenuous, or delusional in his averrment that the FBI NEVER paid anyone in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.

    The Conspiracy Files documentary was also somewhat disingenuous in maintaining the CIA's role in the Giaka handling.

    Close reading of the trial transcript shows not only were the US Govt. extremely reluctant to show the court 'unredacted' (un-censored) messages from the CIA field officers regarding Giaka - they also show that the CIA had decided THAT GIAKA WAS OF NO USE AS AN INTELLIGENCE SOURCE! The CIA then 'passed' Giaka to FBI officials onboard a US warship 'somewhere in the Mediterranean' and it WAS THE FBI who then placed him under the Federal Witness Protection Program.

    Inquiries made by US investigative sources around the time of the Lockerbie trial were told that Giaka had received a new identity, a new location, house and other benefits inclusing financial assistance.

    As the author of a book on Lockerbie and a retired career officer in the Bureau Mr. Maruquise has a more than 'vested' interest in maintaining ' the official version'. IF (as many suspect), the second appeal by Megrahi IS successful - many former FBI and Department of Justice Officials - WILL have some extremely embarassing questions to answer.

    Several segments of the Conspiracy Files documentary can only have come about with either official or privileged assistance...which, coupled with Mr. Marquise's emotional and emotive comment in respect of paying witnesses, for many, casts a huge doubt over the the whole program.