Monday 7 December 2009

Dr Swire on "Pan Am 103: what really happened?"

[What follows is a response by Dr Jim Swire to some of the comments made by readers on the Pan Am 103: what really happened? thread.]

I must congratulate 'Rolfe' and Patrick Haseldine on the interesting set of comments re Pik Botha, Carlsson and Pan Am 103. At the same time I hope they will forgive me for pointing out that to us the relatives, this all falls into the category of 'speculation'.

That is so due to the flat refusal of successive UK governments despite our lobbying of every single Prime Minister since 1988 to allow any meaningful inquiry into the events leading up to the disaster. Had they fulfilled their legal obligation to provide such an inquiry, then hopefully much of this speculation would have reached at least the level of confidence given to those aspects of the disaster which were the subject of the Zeist court and inquiries.

Personally I entered the Zeist courtroom expecting to see the murderers of my daughter condemned and punished. The effect was the opposite, the evidence and the way in which it was derived and used, convinced me that neither Megrahi nor Fhimah were guilty as charged. But I was left with some relatively reliable information, compared with that derived from the best efforts of those people, may of them so well meaning, who previously had had no access whatever to any means of penetrating the official wall of silence, being obliged to speculate as a result of their (and our) exclusion.

As 'Rolfe' says, if it is true that Botha's party had reached London early, enabling the embassy 'on the spur of the moment' to book them on the earlier PA101, I see nothing suspicious in that, but as 'Rolfe' points out, if it is true that they were rebooked onto PA101 at the last minute, 'but some of their retinue could not get seats on that flight and thereupon returned to South Africa' that would be very, very interesting.

The logical speculation from that point would be that they must have known that PA103 was unsafe, for PA103 was only 2/3 full that night. 'Rolfe''s conclusion that such a development would constitute support for knowledge of a much more specific warning than those provided in the 'Helsinki' warning and other warnings already known to have been received would be valid. Patrick correctly confirms that not a single member of the Botha team was on PA103.

Why was PA103 only 2/3 full just before Christmas?

Is 'Rolfe' able to provide chapter and verse for his comment that 'instead of taking up their existing bookings on PA103 [they] just turned round and went home'?

The Zeist court had little to say about any regime's involvement, nor about those who might have been involved in the run up to the massacre itself. The nearest it came to that, for me, was the detailed account provided by the Germans of the PFLP-GC's technology, and of their known workshop on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria's capital city. They were making IEDs which however long they had lain about in an airport before being put aboard an aircraft, were still obligated to explode around 40 minutes following take off, without anyone in the relevant airport having to touch them, or even to open any container which they might be hidden in. An irrefutable fact is that my daughter's death occurred 38 minutes after her plane had left the Heathrow tarmac, just as would have been inevitable had one of these IEDs been used.

The court did not in my view exclude the use of this technology, far from it, it believed the prosecution's speculation - for that was all it was - that Megrahi (whose identification as 'the clothes buyer' was blatantly inadequate) had somehow while passing through Luqa airport penetrated security there (not supported by any evidence), to enable a profoundly unwise route of attack through 2 changes of aircraft, using a digital timer perfectly capable of being set to explode over mid-Atlantic.

Their Lordships were however operating under a severe Handicap, due to the suppression of vitally significant evidence (see below under DC Crawford).

Possible motivation was covered in terms of the past experiences of both Libya and Iran, at the hands of US military forces, but motivation for the assassination of Botha, Carlsson or the US McKee intelligence team was not established. The court's (the defence's actually) interest in Syria was snubbed by that country, leading to the inexplicable abandonment of their 'defence of incrimination' by the Megrahi defence team.

Since Megrahi's second appeal was stopped, his defence team have started to put some very interesting material on the web at and this is where investigating policeman Harry Bell enters the scene. Harry recorded in a diary written while on the island of Malta, how US official(s) was/were suggesting the payment of '$10,000 up front' with' $2,000,000 to follow, to Tony Gauci plus a payment of $1,000,000 to Gauci's brother Paul.

It is not clear to me whether Bell passed this on to the Crown Office, nor what his response was to the US agent suggesting it.

The astoundingly amateurish attitude attributed to DC Crawford, as to the significance of Carlsson in all this supports my worst fears as to the competence of the police force involved to cope with so great a disaster and investigation. If DC Crawford or his force really was prepared to write off the possible significance of Carlsson on the hearsay evidence of a single librarian, that says a great deal about the confidence we should have in other aspects of the investigation. The agreement to this decision by Stuart Henderson does little to reassure either, for Henderson has publicly claimed in front of a crowd of US relatives that he 'would like to wring the neck of anyone who disagreed with the police findings.' Do not these sound rather like the words of someone trying to defend something he knows to be indefensible?

Nowhere are doubts about the calibre of the investigating police more worrying than in the case of the Heathrow break-in. That occurred in the very early morning of 21/12/88 through the appropriate sector of Heathrow security to give access to where the PanAm containers were being loaded that evening. It was known to Heathrow through the night security file records on the morning of 21/12/88, and to the Met's special branch, who interviewed Manley, the night security guard in January 1989.

Yet the information about this break-in 'disappeared' for 12 years, till after the Zeist court had convicted Megrahi.

I wrote to the Crown Office to ask them if they had known about the break-in during these 12 years, and they denied knowing. They then made the disingenuous comment that the break-in didn't matter because the first appeal did know but did not overturn the verdict.

Think about their Lordships in the trial who said that the absence of evidence as to how Megrahi penetrated security at Luqa was 'a difficulty for the Crown', and compare that with what they were denied knowing - a fully documented break-in appropriate in time and position to the spot from which the fatal aircraft was actually loaded with its cargo. It seems pretty obvious to me that had they known they would have had to have found Megrahi not guilty, since Heathrow was strongly supported by evidence, whereas Luqa was not.

But glossing over the Crown's outrageous misrepresentation of the likely effect of the missing evidence upon the court's verdict, and assuming that they really didn't know during those 12 years, then it looks most likely that since the Met would surely have told the investigating Scots about it, the Scottish police probably failed to pass it on to the Crown Office.

What would be their motive for that? Well again we speculate, but the Heathrow evidence was desperately dangerous to the hypothesis that the device had come from Malta, simply because the clothing had. The annals of police investigations are full of instances where the driving hypothesis has destroyed the objectivity of the investigating force, and caused a tunnel vision where only matters that fit that hypothesis are considered.

Owing to the refusal to launch a properly empowered inquiry, it has been impossible thus far to probe the work of the Dumfries and Galloway police, nor indeed the Thatcher government's decision to put them in charge rather than the more experienced teams available in London.

In speculating about how much was known beforehand about the impending disaster, and by whom, we are discussing the worst fear that we have about this cruel business, the real possibility that our families were allowed to march on board an aircraft known by some of those who should have protected it to be doomed. To resolve that issue really would be a huge help in advancing our recovery from the loss of those we loved. Even if it turned out to be true, we would rather know the truth than be left any longer in such doubt, through the absence of a properly endowed inquiry.

Lest there be any doubt about it by the way our Fatal Accident Inquiry, though also denied knowledge of the Heathrow break-in, concluded that the disaster was preventable and that the aircraft was under the 'Host State Protection of the United Kingdom'.

I am a signatory to the appeal put out by JFM (Justice for Megrahi) to the UN for a UN based inquiry. The silence from them thus far is as dense as that from Whitehall has been for 21 years. The issues about which we speculate here appear more appropriate for a UN inquiry than simply a UK one, but the latter at least is obligatory under UK law.

Fortunately current ECHR legislation in this country entitles us as next of kin of the dead, to a suitably empowered inquiry.

Absent a fully supportive reply from Gordon Brown to our request for such an inquiry, for which we are still waiting, we shall have to see what Gareth Peirce and the UK justice system can do for us.


  1. May I quote my comment of the 29th July 2009 to the story "The Waiting Game" of the 27th July 2009?

    "I would be interested to know if flight PA101 was full. This would seem to be a matter of crucial importance to Mr Haseldine's theory. Does anybody know?"

  2. >>Possible motivation was covered in terms of the past experiences of both Libya and Iran, at the hands of US military forces, but motivation for the assassination of Botha, Carlsson or the US McKee intelligence team was not established.<<

    As we know, Pik Botha was not killed: he travelled on Pan Am Flight 101. UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was the most prominent of the 270 Lockerbie victims. And the reason no motivation was established for Carlsson's murder was because DC Crawford, supported by DCS Henderson, decided that it was "almost totally beyond the realms of feasibility" he could have been the target of the Lockerbie bombing.

    Crawford's book The Lockerbie Incident : A Detective's Tale (pages 88/89) says:

    "We even went as far as consulting a very helpful lady librarian in Newcastle who contacted us with information she had on Bernt Carlsson. She provided much of the background on the political moves made by Carlsson on behalf of the United Nations. He had survived a previous attack on an aircraft he had been travelling on in Africa. It is unlikely that he was a target as the political scene in Southern Africa was moving inexorably towards its present state. No matter what happened to Carlsson after he had completed his mission in Namibia the political changes were already well in place and his demise would not have altered anything. This would have made a nonsense of any alleged assassination attempt on him as it would not have achieved anything. I discounted the theory as being almost totally beyond the realms of feasibility.

    "We eventually produced a report on all fifteen [the 'first fifteen' of the interline passengers] to the SIO [Stuart Henderson], each person had their own story and as many antecedents as we could gather. The other teams had also finished their profiles of their group of interline passengers. None of them had found anything which could categorically put any of the interline passengers into any frame as a target, dupe or anything else other than a victim of crime." (

  3. Dear Dr. Swire,

    Sometimes these discussions seem like an advanced game of "Cluedo", and about as close to reality. I heard the news of the crash less than an hour after it happened and passed the crater only 48 hours later, but it's still difficult to take in. I hope the discussions and speculations don't seem insensitive to you.

    I will have to search to find the source for the story that some of Botha's party turned round at Heathrow and returned to SA. I believe it was a recounted in one of the Lockerbie documentaries, where the question of warnings was being examined. However, there are so many documentaries, and they are difficult to search. It is possible Patrick knows more detail about this as he seems to have made a study of this aspect.

    I have never seen a detailed investigation of possible warning-triggered behaviour. Naturally, nobody who cancelled, re-booked or "missed" the flight on purpose is going to admit they were warned. There will always be a plausible, natural explanation. I don't know whether it has ever been confirmed that the flight was at one point fully booked, but I have seen suggestions that the flight wasn't normally full even at that time of year.

    The SA party's behaviour does seem the most suspicious, because it appears specific to that flight, rather than the general avoidance of Pan Am that is known to have taken place, for example among the Moscow embassy staff.

    My main puzzle is, if indeed the Heathrow break-in is the key (as seems logical), and the device was a simple Khreesat-style barometric trigger (as the timing would indicate), where does the MST-13 fragment come in? As you say, it would have been simplicity itself to set that to explode well over the ocean, and to set it so early that it risked an explosion on the tarmac is seiseless. Nevertheless, despite Mr. Bollier's wild and fluctuating claims, it's not as easy as it seems to knock a hole in the provenance of that fragment.

    I'm also deeply curious as to whether it is possible to prove that any of the clothes found in the wreckage were actually bought from Mary's House. Tony Gauci seems to have been prompted like mad as regards the identification. We can also see evidence of prompting as regards some items of clothing.

    The Gaucis certainly seem to have stocked these lines. However, if it is true that a large quantity of Maltese-manufacture clothes were found in Abu Talb's flat, how does this fit with the rest of the tale? Pure coincidence?

    There's a lot of coincidence surrounding this incident, that's for sure.

  4. Indeed, as Baz says, do we know if PA103 was full? If not, then it would seem the account of some of Botha's party not getting seats and returning to SA for that reason is inaccurate.

    There are certainly inaccurate statements in even the most well-researched sources. Several state that Pik Botha flew Frankfurt to New York by Lufthansa rather than pick up his PA103 booking, but this is clearly incorrect.

  5. I would like to add a couple of comments which I hope will help the discussion.

    The switch by Botha and his party to PA 101 from PA 103 is covered in the film The Maltese Double Cross and in Ashton and Ferguson's book "Cover-up of Convenience" (pp 149-150)although neither of these sources mentions whether PA 101 was full or not. In any case, even if PA101 had been full, it would have been normal diplomatic/airline practice to "bump" ordinary passengers (even in Business Class) off the flight to accommodate VIPs of Botha's stature. It is also quite possible that some of Botha's party were hangers-on (mistresses, spouses, lower officials) whose importance did not amount to being able to "bump" fare-paying passengers. The hangers-on, not being able to get seats, would have been sent back home. This was (and still is) a common scenario. As a former diplomat (yes, another one), I have bumped and been bumped in just this way.

    As to why Botha's party changed their booking, perhaps they did just arrive early at Heathrow after the overnight SA Airways flight and managed to get themselves on the earlier PA flight. Johannesburg to Heathrow flights often do arrive hours early if weather and air traffic conditions are favourable. This culd have happened. Alternatively, the Helsinki warning which specifically mentioned Pan Am flights out of Frankfurt and which was posted via the CIA and US State Department at the US embassy in Moscow would certainly have been passed on to "friendly" intelligence agencies. In 1988, this included BOSS. It is possible that BOSS decided not to take the risk, no matter how small, and had Botha's party rebooked on PA 101.

  6. The story is that the flight out of South Africa "inexplicably" missed out a scheduled stop at Frankfurt and instead flew straight to Heathrow. This is why they landed so much earlier than scheduled, and were able to catch the earlier flight (which was a morning one I believe).

    If indeed some of the party (possibly hangers-on) didn't travel on PA101 and instead returned to SA, it's possible there is an innocent explanation. Given what happened to PA103, though, I'd like to hear it. If the whole party was booked on PA103, and some were able to switch to PA101, it's surprising on the face of it that the rest didn't simply wait for PA103 and follow on. But we don't know. It's never been explained that I heard about.

    As regards the Helsinki warning, I would have thought that it applied just as much to PA101 as to PA103. Certainly, if the party had re-booked on another airline, the Helsinki warning is a probable explanation. But I do wonder why they would think PA101 was OK if PA103 was unsafe?

  7. As I understand it, The Helsinki warning specifically referred to Pan Am out of Frankfurt. I beleive PA 101 did not originate or pass through Frankfurt.

    I believe Botha and Co were on a South African Airways (SAA) flight from Joburg to Heathrow. SAA flights to the best of my knowledge did not go via Frankfurt to London at that time (please correct me if I'm wrong). It seems unlikely that senior South Africans like Botha would have used any other airline than SAA. I can't see why they would have used Lufthansa to fly JNB-FRA-LHR when they could have gone direct with SAA. I hope someone out there has the full story of how Botha and Co came and went.

    A computer Babylon translation german/english:

    It does not have sense to speculate further, before the Scottish police or Justiciary confirms that the MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35) was produced from a prototype circuit board, not ready for use.
    If one wants, it is very simply to examine this fact, or you get assistance with the Fraunhofer Institut in Germay !

    Please read the study of the MST-13, (PT-35) timer fragment part. 1 and 2, on our website:

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  9. Dear Ebol

    I have read just about every word you have published on this site and on your own and I believe much of what you say. I also disbelieve quite a lot. The discussion about possible South African involvement is necessary to eliminate South Africa from the case or else to indicate that South Africa might have been involved.

    I do have a couple of questions for you, Ebol, however:

    1. Were you in Libya on 19 and 20 December 1988 and were you booked to return home from Libya via Malta on 21 December 1988?

    2. Did you change (or did someone else change)your reservation for 21 December 1988 in order to fly back to Switzerland directly from Libya?

    3. Was your ticket for the journey to Libya in December 1988 provided by the Libyan authorities?

  10. In the apartheid era, Frankfurt was I believe South African Airways' European hub. Most SAA flights would therefore operate to and via Frankfurt. Which leads me to wonder whether Pik Botha and his 22-strong South African delegation were also booked on the feeder flight Pan Am 103A to Heathrow.

    If only the flawed police investigation by DC Crawford had concluded that Bernt Carlsson might have been the apartheid regime's target in sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103, the flight changes by Botha and Carlsson would have been properly investigated. And we would know why only six of Botha's party managed to take flight Pan Am 101 from Heathrow to New York, the remaining 17 returning by SAA to Johannesburg.

  11. But once more, you have zero evidence that the apartheid regime sabotaged PA103. If the flight changes point to anything at all, they point to people reacting to a credible warning that some other agency had PA103 in its sights.

    The account of the flight "inexplicably" missing out a scheduled stop-over in Frankfurt comes directly from either Botha or a spokesman of his. It's not impossible that they were booked on PA103A, but diverted to Heathrow instead. I don't know.

    Patrick seems to have confirmed the point about a number of the party returning to SA rather than follow along on PA103. I do not know who these people were, or why they decided to return home and miss the conference. Not knowing, I speculate about warnings.

    It's possible the warning concerned (if there was one) was one that we know about, and that for some reason PA101 was regarded as safe.

  12. Don't forget that those flight changes include Bernt Carlsson's!

    How is it that the South Africans avoided taking Pan Am Flight 103, yet were instrumental in ensuring that the UN Commissioner for Namibia took the doomed flight?

    If only Mrs Thatcher had put Scotland Yard in charge of the Lockerbie investigation (instead of DC John Crawford and DCS Stuart Henderson) we would know the answer to that question.

  13. MISSION LOCKERBIE, attn. Aku:

    1. Yes at 18th, 19th and 20th of December 1988, I was in Libya. The reservation was made by MEBO Ltd. on 16th of December 1988, with SwissAir office in Zurich. SwissAir office in Zurich and later at Tripoli still said on 20th of December, that there was no place on the direct flight Tripoli > Zurich. The return flight would be only possible via Malta at the 20th > 21th December to Zurich...

    2. To 20th, December. 1988, I could be transferred with the station manager by Swissair on that directly flight Tripoli Zurich, since the airplane only 50% was working at full capacity!

    3. No Libya authorities not have to do anything with my personal booking by Swissair.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd.

  14. Dear Dr. Swire

    That was an awesome letter. Your very real and superbly channeled pain of loss is a great guide to us all.

    I've only been studying this closely for just shy of three months, so I can hardly claim mastery over any aspect. The Botha/Carlsson aspect is one of the dozens of hydra heads I don't even feel compelled to offer a comment on other than to agree it's interesting but has a lot of variables and deserves some solid scrutiny and agreement. Some kind of investigation would be nice.

    So forgive the buttering up a "newbie" might engage in, but from what I've seen so far, Dr. Swire, your voice is one of those I'm especially pleased to hear in the discussion. The cover-uppers chose the wrong father to deny truth in your case.

    For example, you say: "the evidence and the way in which it was derived and used, convinced me that neither Megrahi nor Fhimah were guilty as charged." It really is just as they say - it's the evidence. I do encourage all citizens of concern to go ahead and look at that evidence - don't just rely on the broth they served at the end.

    Great discussion all.

  15. Rolfe: I think you mean was flight PA101 (not PA103) full. (It is of crucial importance to know whether the remainder of Mr Botha's party could have been accomodated on flight PA101. However their alleged decision to return to South africa rather than travel on PA103 does not mean Mr Haseldine's hunch is true.)

    Dr Swire raises the question of why PA103 was 2/3 full (ignoring Stuart Nichol's bizarre explanation!)- with Pik Botha's party and the three or four (John McCarthy?) passengers who missed the plane it would have been fuller.

    I first heard about Botha's change of plans from the original broadcast of "The Maltese Double Cross". Perhaps Francovich's "Deputy" John Ashton might be able to assist you.

    I agree that Patrick Haseldine's "evidence" does not support his conclusion. Although it may be blindingly obvious to Mr Haseldine I cannot even see that the Apartheid regime had a motive to murder Mr Carlsson - what's the point?

    As Nelson Mandela was a good friend of Colonel Gaddafi, if there was something to this claim you might think the successor regime might have come up with some evidence but obviously that does not fit Mr Haseldine's claim.

    However the point I made earlier about Mr Haseldine's "evidence" is important. His "evidence" although dreadfully lightweight is at least real. He didn't just make it up as proponents of the "drug conspiracy theory" did.

    Dr Swire raises many interesting points, which I fundamentally agree with. I have always argued that the bomb, likely built by Marwan Khreesat was introduced at Heathrow - when I tested John major's 1996 claim that "the investigation was open" the response drew my attention to the conclusion of the FAI that the bomb arrived unaccompanied on flight PA103A as both the "official version" of events and the "drug conspiracy theory" claims.

    I am preparing a detailed examination of the points raised by Dr Swire which I will post this on my own blog in the next couple of days. I am also working on a paper detailing, for the record, the "alternate" version of events the creation and persistence of the "Drug Conspiracy Hoax".

  16. Baz, you're right, I mis-typed.

    There is a section in the book Lockerbie - a bum rap by David Rollo which goes into the question of whether it's suspicious that PA103 was nowhere near full. The book is terrible, by the way, and I'm not sure I entirely follow what's being said, but it seems that the seat occupancy rate wasn't out of line for that flight at the time of year.

    It's not a great time of day to be flying transatlantic, and I suspect earlier flights would be preferred. I've heard Dr. Swire say that Flora was told the flight was fully booked, but I've never seen it confirmed that that was ever the case. I wonder if it was more of a casual enquiry, and someone saying, you'll be lucky to get a flight at this late date, I imagine they'll be booked up already, without actually knowing.

    For most flights that depart, there are people who changed their plans at the last minute for various reasons. If something happens to that plane, these mundane occurences become suspicious. But at the same time, there were warnings flying around in December 1988. If some people had access to a specific warning and heeded it, they're probably not going to be very forthcoming afterwards. How do you tell the difference? I don't know.

  17. Rolfe:
    In respect of Abu Talb's Malta clothing Leppard (page 201-202) reports that when the Swedish Police raided Abu Talb's flat in May 1989 they found the date 21.12.88 ringed on his calender. His flat was apparently raided again by the Scottish Police in december 1989 (presumably with the co-operation of the Swedish authorities.)

    On this occassion some 200 items of clothing in 15 bags were recovered. (Too much perhaps to have been transported in personal baggage). This material was sent to Malta to see if it could be identified, presumably as to when and where it was bought. The results of this enquiry were not known.

    This Malta clothing was mentioned in Gareth Peirce's recent article as evidence of the involvement of Abu Talb along with Gauci's alleged identification of Abu Talb as the purchaser of the clothing although such an identification would pose the same problems as Megrahi's (Abu Talb was too young) and others (there is no evidence Abu Talb was in Malta late November or early December (although the clothing could have been purchased much earlier. While Gauci identified the purchaser as "a Libyan" while Abu Talb was Egyptian by birth. However how Gauci could tell the two apart escapes me.

    Talb arived in Malta on the 20.10.88 and left on the 26.10.88 (the day of the "Autumn Leaves" arrests) returning to Sweden by an unknown route. Perhaps significantly prior to going to Malta Abu Talb attempted to fly from Rome to Tripoli and was ejected from the plane.

    My favourite scam "The Maltese Double Cross" created a link between the alleged drug mule Khalid Jafaar and Abu Talb through a "witness" a Mr Goldberg who supposedly met Jafaar on a train in Sweden. Goldberg noted where Jafaar had been staying the previous night and where he was staying that night (as you do on meeting complete strangers) and following Lockerbie took them or sent them to Pan Am (depending on what verstion of the film you are watching.) At some point Goldberg turned up at the Pan Am office in Stockholm, introduced himself to the female manager then disappeared. The film's narrator Brian Cox intones that Goldberg was a Mossad officer which doesn't add a lot to the credibility of this evidence. Cox then continues that after his meeting with Abu Talb Jafaar rings his sister in the Bekaa Valley to tell her that Talb has made him a present of a blue babygro garment!

    I would have thought Jafaar's sister (if he had one) would more likely be in Detroit than the Bekaa and why anyone would give such a present to a nineteen year old bachelor!

    The "drug conspiracy theory/hoax" features several versions of events involving Jafaar. Sometimes he is a Hezbollah militant, in others a "named" PFLP-GC member. Sometimes he is a dupe, sometimes he is trailed round Europe to meet other participants. At all times he keeps his relatives fully informed so they can tell their story to Francovich and his crew. However the main "line" is that Jafaar thinks he is smuggling drugs not a bomb. Therefore I am lost as to how this babygro, given to him by Abu Talb, ends up in the "primary suitcase" along with other material purchased from St Mary's House but my view is this 40 minute section of The Maltese Double Cross is completely fraudulent.

    Were items actually bought at St Mary's House inside the "primary suitcase" and on board flight PA103? As noted in the thread concerning Aviv's claims that the "bomb" suitcase was "heavier than usual" there was very little in the "primary suitcase".

    I suppose it is possible that similar or identical clothing could have been acquired to match that purchased by an unknown Libyan on a date Megrahi was (or supposedly was) in Malta. The forensic tests conducted at Indian Head Maryland in April 1989 would have created an enormous quantity of bomb damaged clothing!

    Hope this is of assistance and even of interest!

  18. >>baz said: Although it may be blindingly obvious to Mr Haseldine I cannot even see that the Apartheid regime had a motive to murder Mr Carlsson - what's the point?<<

    The South African regime's motive to murder the UN Commissioner for Namibia becomes abundantly clear, as soon as the purpose of Bernt Carlsson's journey to UN headquarters in New York is understood.

    This is how Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson described Carlsson in an iDAG newspaper article of 12 March 1990:

    Stressed and nervous before air crash

    "Bernt Carlsson, UN Commissioner for Namibia, had less than seven hours to live when at 11.06am on December 21, 1988 he arrived in London on flight BA391.

    "Strictly speaking he was meant to fly directly from Brussels to New York in time for the historic signing of the Namibia Independence Agreement the day after.

    "But Bernt Carlsson could not make it. He had a meeting. An important meeting with a "pressuriser" from the South African diamond cartel, which was so secret that evidently not even Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, UN Secretary-General, knew anything about it.

    "Here iDAG maps out the last 24 hours in the life of Bernt Carlsson ("

    In defiance of a series of United Nations resolutions leading to Security Council resolution 435 of 1978, apartheid South Africa had been illegally occupying Namibia for two decades. President P W Botha refused to bow to these UN demands or to recognise the authority of any of the four UN Commissioners for Namibia since 1968, when the post was first established (Sean MacBride, Martti Ahtisaari, Brajesh Chandra Mishra and Bernt Carlsson).

    Against this background, Foreign Minister Pik Botha and his party of 22 negotiators were on their way to sign the New York Accords, which had been agreed at the June 1988 Reagan/Gorbachev summit and would finally induce South Africa to comply with UNSCR 435 by granting independence to Namibia and handing over control of the territory to the UN.

    Because Bernt Carlsson was murdered on Pan Am Flight 103, apartheid South Africa was able to retain control of Namibia through its own appointee Administrator-General, Louis Pienaar, and to influence (some would say manipulate) the outcome of the November 1989 independence elections.

    I'd be interested to know what others have to say but, to me at least, it is indeed "blindingly obvious" that the apartheid regime had a very strong motive to murder UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

  19. Baz, I don't know why you go on and on about the Jafaar bag-switch theory - nobody here seems to be favouring it anyway. So, Francovich was probably wrong about that. Following in the footsteps of Juval Aviv. Yawn.

    I still don't see any particular reason to be constantly monstering Francovich's film. A lot of it consists of witnesses telling us stuff we possibly wouldn't have found out about otherwise. It's very informative. But, just like all the other dozen or so documentaries, he isn't right about everything.

    Was he deliberately fabricating stuff? I don't know. And as he's dead and can't defend himself, I can't find out. I don't care. I can take what I find useful from the film, and exercise my judgement about the less plausible parts. That doesn't mean I have to believe the film is a deliberate fraud, and I don't see the point of continually pushing that accusation.

  20. Baz, this is the part of your post I find interesting.

    On this occassion [December 1989] some 200 items of clothing in 15 bags were recovered [from Abu Talb's flat]. (Too much perhaps to have been transported in personal baggage). This material was sent to Malta to see if it could be identified, presumably as to when and where it was bought. The results of this enquiry were not known. [....]

    Were items actually bought at St Mary's House inside the "primary suitcase" and on board flight PA103?

    The initial interviews with Gauci seemed to be heading towards a tentative identification of Abu Talb, before the Megrahi narrative superimposed itself. However, there are problems with that too, for example he was also too young.

    More importantly, though, why on earth would Abu Talb go on a shopping trip to a retail store in Sliema to pack the bomb bag, when he had a stack of clothes lying about at home?

    It's a peculiar thing to do anyway. While I wouldn't give high odds on a shopkeeper being able to identify a customer like that at a later date, if I was a terrorist I sure as hell wouldn't take the risk either - especially considering that the clothes might be traced to the shop within weeks of the crash (and could have been if the Frankfurt police hadn't sat on the Erac printout for six months).

    For goodness sake, rob a few washing lines! Pick up some stuff from a charity shop or two, preferably at a busy time. Even just go to a big anonymous department store and pay cash. Or I suppose if you've got a stack of factory samples kicking about, maybe you just shove these in because they're handy and you're not really thinking about stuff being traced. Just about anything is more plausible than this conspicuous shopping spree.

    I don't know if we're sure where Talb got those clothes, but if they were samples, or start-up stock for a business, he's hardly likely to have bought them in Mary's House. So what's going on here?

    Gauci's identification of the mystery shopper as Megrahi is obviously the result of him being led by the nose. And the smell of money. However, I'm curious to know whether this customer is even known to be relevant. Whether the clothes from the bomb bag really did come from that shop at all.

    How was Gauci identified? Presumably by the Maltese police following up names of retailers supplied by the manufacturers. Presumably other retailers were questioned, but couldn't remember anything useful. But then the investigators come across Tony "apple-short-of-a-picnic" Gauci, who mentions a customer he thinks he remembers, nine months ago, way back before the summer and even before last Christmas, who might be relevant.

    Beyond that, how much was real memory, and how much was Tony picking up on what answers would please the policemen? And I don't just mean the appearance of the purchaser, I mean the items bought as well.

    I'm not sure about this, I haven't looked in enough detail. I know there are a coupe of items that might suggest a genuine connection. But it all seems suspiciously pat to me, and I'd like to be surer than I am that Tony even saw a member of the terrorist gang at all. Maybe he served a man in a hurry, with more money than time, buying gifts. It was nearly Christmas. Not all Arabs are Muslim. (Was the purchaser even Arab?) Then later, picking up on the hints he was getting regarding which items the police wanted him to "remember", he recreated the shopping list along the desired lines.

    I don't know. But there's no evidence Megrahi bought the things, and it's never been terribly plausible that any terrorist would do something quite so conspicuous. So I wonder, I really do.

  21. Rolfe

    The whole business around Gauci's identification of Al-Megrahi is highly questionable. The one thing that tailors and outfitters can do is to assess a customer's size. Good ones can do this instantly and correctly: chest size, waist, inside leg, shoulder etc etc. Gauci was from a family of clothiers with many years of experience. When he described the customer, in his first of 19 statements, as being around 50 years old, six feet, big build but not fat, you can be pretty certain that this is what the customer looked like (if he existed at all and assuming that the whole thing isn't a fabrication). Al-Megrahi was 5' 8" and 36 years old: a skilled outfitter would not make that degree of error. Abu Talb was also in his thirties and only slightly taller than Al-Megrahi. He also walked with a pronounced limp - so he doesn't really fit the bill either.

    In that same first statement, Gauci lists the items bought and the price paid for each. He even recalls how the cutomer paid and that He (Gauci) gave hime a small discount.

    There were no shirts in the first statement and on two separate occasions Gauci states that he did not sell the customer any shirts. A little while later, the Scottish Police bought two shirts from him and and alittle later still, the timer fragment turns up embedded on a piece of one of Gauci's shirts. Guaci's subsequent statements begin to feature the pruchase of shirts.

    These are but a couple of the gaping holes in Gauci's evidence.

  22. I'm well aware of the problems with the identification part of the evidence. It's only recently that I've come to question whether Tony ever saw one of the terrorist gang at all.

    I'm not familiar enough with the evidence to have a definite opinion, but I do wonder if the whole lot was the result of a series of leading questions, backed up with offers of money once the investigators realised Tony had the basics of a story they could build on.

    Can any of the items found at Lockerbie be reasonably said to have been purchased from Tony? The umbrella? The tweed jacket? Just how leading was this questioning?

  23. Patrick Haseldine cites as "evidence" that Carlsson was looking "stressed and nervous before air crash". How is this of any relevance whatsoever? - Was he psychic? Did he know the plane was going to be bombed?

    I'm with DC Crawford and CSP Henderson on this one! They never investigated whether this was revenge for the death of Sid Vicious either!

    Anyway I have something rather more important to say - see below!

  24. Dr swire writes that (after the trial) "I was left with some relatively reliable information, compared with that derived from the best efforts of those people, many of them so well meaning, who previously had had no access whatever to any means of penetrating the official wall of silence, being obliged to speculate as a result of their (and our) exclusion."

    "No access whatever"? Crucial evidence, above all the Air Accident Investigation Report was in the public domain.

    Simply from an intelligent reading in 1993 of David Leppard's 1991 book "On The Trail of Terror" I realised the Police had made a colossal blunder in "eliminating" Heathrow. (Leppard did not see this and indeed rubbished the contrary "German" argument.)

    I spent a great deal of time raising this funndamental point with the authorities, the media (Leppard and Foot), MPs such as Tam Dalyell and Teddy Taylor, Dr Swire and Mr Megrahi's defence team. Unfortunately from 1994 the "alternative version of events" were the several versions of the contradictory and illogical versions of the "drug conspiracy theory".

    This is the hoax that never dies. A recent Private Eye article "Other Names in the Frame-Up" made a number of claims about Khaled Jaafar based on the most risible "evidence", notably that he was a "named PFLP member". Robert Fisk, Gareth Peirce and Christine Graeme have all recently made similar unfounded claims.

    I made no submission to the CCRC. The Scottish Executive press release "Lockerbie Case Referred to Appeal Court" (2/7/07) contained a summary of the Commission's main findings - the final one (ignored by those interested only in the findings of the CRCC that serve their cause) was that:-

    "Since the time of the bombing numerous allegations have circulated concerning the possible involvement of Khaled Jaafar, a passenger on PA103 who boarded PA103A at Frankfurt. A number of those allegations were repeated in submissions made to the Commission. The results of the Commission's enquiries in this connection provided no support for the claim that Mr Jaafar was involved wittingly or unwittingly in the bombing".

    John Ashton and Ian Ferguson co-authors of "Cover-up of Convenience" (and members of the defence team) and Heather Mills (of Private Eye) are amongst the first signatories of the petition demanding a UN General Assembly investigation. Presumable they do not accept this finding and want the UN General Assembly to conduct a further investigation of these "numerous allegations.

  25. I agree the Frankfurt bag-switch theory is probably wrong. However, I'm deeply intrigued as to why the bulk of the baggage records from Frankfurt airport vanished, apparently without any recriminations, post mortems, or heads rolling.

  26. If I remember correctly, the first suggestions made that a bag-switch made have played a part, and the naming of a specific individual, being Jaafar, did not originate from Ashton, Ferguson, Foot or Francovich, but from the US and UK police investigating. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, with investigators pursuing the links with the group uncovered in Neuss, it was those investigators and other government and intelligence sources who raised the possibility of the bag-switch and named the individual as Khaled Jaafar. This was early 1989. Of course, this whole line of enquiry was quickly dispelled in favour of the far more complex methods employed by Megrahi. However, the controlled drugs operation and it's route, passing through Frankfurt and Heathrow have been admitted to in court cases elsewhere, and given Mr Michael Jones' notes a few days after the 103 downing, and the questions and answers given to Tam Dalyell in the House of Commons, suggest those involved at a high level in intelligence and airline security, although not necessarily with their consent, were aware this kind of operation was active.

  27. There seems to be plenty of evidence, as Eddie points out, that "controlled" drug shipments were being routed on Pan Am via Frankfurt and Heathrow. The method of getting the drugs into the baggage system appears to have to been an airside bag-switch by baggage handlers at Frankfurt. It is quite logical that, if this were true, then investigators' attention would be drawn to Jaafar after the bombing. His wider family were major players in the herion smuggling business through the Beka'a Valley in Lebanon. His mother was a cousin of Rifat Assad (brother of the then president of Syria and alleged kingpin in the Lebanese heroin business together with Monzer Al-Kassar). It seems inevitable that this aspect of PAN AM's circulstances would spring to the fore following the bombing and any invesitgator worth their salt (not that all the Lockerbie investigators were worth their salt) would focus on this and would be further concerned when significant amounts of heroin were found on the ground around Lockerbie. None of this means that the bomb-drugs suitcase switch took place, but it has to be considered very seriously. it can nnot be discounted simply because someone prefers the theory that the bomb went on board at Heathrow.

  28. Who says"significant amounts of heroin were found on the ground around Lockerbie" and if they were how does this cast light on the bombing?

    Where is there "plenty of evidence" "controlled" drug shipments were being routed on PanAm through Frankfurt and Heathrow? In "The Maltese Double Cross" Michael Jones flatly denied it.

  29. I don't know about plenty of evidence, but I note the farmer named is not denying it - he has merely shut up like a clam. Given Jafaar's antecedents, it wouldn't surprise me hugely if he was smuggling on that plane. That doesn't necessarily mean it was in any way related to the bombing though.

    Just another bit of speculation.

    What happened to the baggage records at Frankfurt? The BKA should have been in there on day 1 securing the evidence. But not only were the most important records (apparently) routinely deleted without any copies being kept, there seem to be no recriminations or post mortems or even explanations of how this happened.

    The cops waited for more than a week before it even occurred to them to ensure baggage records were secured? None of the airport security personnel thought of securing these records? When, eventually, it was discovered the records were no more, there's no enquiry about how that happened, not even an explanation?

    Maybe Frankfurt had something to hide, even if it wasn't actually related to the bomb getting on board?

  30. Indeed, Frankfurt's missing data is an interesting question that gets too little attention. Why was Bogomira's locker copy THE evidence there? I'm open to suggestions, really.

    Interestingly, the case that emerged eliminated any switch playing a role. It was a bomb bag in Malta, Giaka saw it, and it tagged so as to just pass through Europe unaltered and was found near Lockerbie. So even if they can't disprove so-and-so did something or other, they can show it to be irrelevant. Handy.

  31. Dr Swire wrote: The astoundingly amateurish attitude attributed to DC Crawford, as to the significance of Carlsson in all this supports my worst fears as to the competence of the police force involved to cope with so great a disaster and investigation. If DC Crawford or his force really was prepared to write off the possible significance of Carlsson on the hearsay evidence of a single librarian, that says a great deal about the confidence we should have in other aspects of the investigation.

    Owing to the refusal to launch a properly empowered inquiry, it has been impossible thus far to probe the work of the Dumfries and Galloway police, nor indeed the Thatcher government's decision to put them in charge rather than the more experienced teams available in London.

    In his 2002 book, Detective Constable John Crawford says he was aware that [Bernt Carlsson] had survived a previous attack on an aircraft he had been travelling on in Africa, but gives no details about the attack or whether it was an assassination attempt on Carlsson.

    DC Crawford's book is silent on the matter of the UN Commissioner for Namibia being pressed by the South Africans to stopover in London, so that Carlsson would have no alternative but to take Pan Am Flight 103 if he were to get there in time for the Namibia Independence Agreement signing ceremony on 22 December 1988 at United Nations headquarters. Carlsson would then have taken charge of the country on behalf of the UN in the run-up to the November 1989 independence elections.

    Since the Reuters report about Pik Botha's flight change was not available until 12 November 1994, DC Crawford was presumably unaware of the cancelled booking on PA 103 by the 23-strong South African delegation, and that only six of them actually travelled to New York on flight PA 101 on 21 December 1988.

    In 2009, it is probably too late for Scotland Yard to review DC Crawford's flawed investigation, which concluded that any alleged assassination attempt on Carlsson was almost totally beyond the realms of feasibility.

    Therefore, in the search for the truth, our best hope now must reside in a "United Nations Inquiry into the murder of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing."

  32. Rolfe:

    We don't know that Abu Talb had a lot of Maltese clothing at home - we don't really know when or why he acquired it.

    "The farmer concerned is not denying it"? (perhaps he just wants to get on with his life). Is that evidence? According to "Cover-up of Convenience" evidence is not necessarily what people actually say it can be the opposite. If he did deny it they would say - "aha, they must have got to him!" Stuart Nichol (author of "PA103 What Really Happened") makes the outrageous claim that the farmer was paid to keep mum!

    Of course if drugs were recovered that would mean the "drug suitcase" wasn't switched! Bogus evidence was created (through a planted story in "Private Eye") which actually contradicts the basic "drug conspiracy theory"!

    Ref: "The Maltese Double Cross". I believe it is important if you are challenging the "official version" of events to be on pretty solid ground. If Ms Grahame, Ms Peirce and Robert Fisk did make unfounded claims arising from this hoax I would have no need to "monster"it! Further I think it is important to apply exactly the same standards of credibility and truth to any "alternate" theory as we do to the "official" version.

    In my view the "drug conspiracy theory" should have died a death with Francovich who employed a man as a "consultant" whom he knew to be a fabricator. Unfortunately following "Camp Zeist" John Ashton and Ian Ferguson published a book claiming this hoax was true.

    I also believe Megrahi was convicted because of Camp Zeist. Professor Black was a close associate of Ian Ferguson. John Ashton was the director of the World in Action programme broadcast (featuring Professor Black) on the eve of the Camp Zeist trial that seemed almost calculated to hack off the Trial Judges! I think some of the people petitioning for a new investigation ought to examine their own responsibility.

    p.s.I think DC Crawford's comment that the South Africa theory was "almost totally beyond the realms of feasability" hit the nail on the head!

  33. Eddie: You are quite right - it was the investigators who came up with bag-switch theory (not involving drugs) and Khaled Jafaar was obviously a person of interest.

    I wrote in "Lockerbie - The Heathrow Evidence" that "from the start there was an assumption the primary suitcase had been transferred from another plane" and until the emergence (or creation) of the "rogue suitcase" story a bag switch at Frankfurt (or similar) was the investigators theory.

    A scumbag I knew (a lawyer!) said whilst giving perjured evidence as a purported "supergrass":-

    "you lay a lie along the edge of truth".

    "The Maltese Double Cross" was not an objective enquiry. It was a piece of propaganda designed to exonerate "Libya". Had Francovich and his crew not created "evidence" to place Matthew Gannon on PA103A they could have got away with it. They were not just fabricators but incompetent ones!

    LeWinter (himself a convicted drug trafficker) had wide experience from other hoaxes. He was described in "Cover-up of Convenience" by the journalists John Ashton and Ian Ferguson as "a man who had made a good living from duping journalists"! He must have done some research to come up with this scam. Perahps he used a researcher!

    p.s.I note Mr Fhimah's lawyer (and later Mr Megrahi's) Eddie McKechnie, while employing Ashton did not touch the "drug conspiracy theory" with a bargepole!

  34. Dear friends may I draw your attention to the post by Aku further above. I assess his statement as of outmost importance. Aku tells us that "there were no shirts in the first statement" of Mr Gauci "and om two separate occasions Gauci states that he did not sell the customer any shirts".
    That can be checked against the defense files that are published on the Megrahi homepage.
    That is not easy to do but my first run showed me that Aku seems to be right.
    And that is/would be a sensation: As we all know the alleged MST-13-timer-fragment was found in the residue of a slalom shirt. And in court it was maintained by the prosecution that there was a chain MST-13 - Slalom shirt - Gauci - purchaser (who then allegedly was Megrahi).
    If Gauci did not sell a shirt this chain is broken.
    What speaks against this?

  35. MISSION LOCKERBIE. attn. Adam:

    In Gauci's first personal interview (beginnig of September 1989, recorded) with Scottish police officer Mr Harry Bell Gauci said: the sale must have been after half past six in the evening, about a fortnight before Christmas 1988.
    Allegedly a Libyan citizen bought 2 pieces of Winter trousers label "Yorkie"; 2 pieces of pyjamas, label "John Mallia"; 1 jacket, label "Anglia", manufactured by a company called Bernard. 2 shirts label, "Slalom"; 2 cardigans, fabricated in Tarxien; 1 baby-overall, colour sky-blue and 1 umbrella.
    In Gauci's first personal interview (beginnig of September 1989, recorded) with Scottish police officer Mr Harry Bell Gauci said: the sale must have been after half past six in the evening, about a fortnight before Christmas 1988.
    Allegedly a Libyan citizen bought 2 pieces of Winter trousers label "Yorkie"; 2 pieces of pyjamas, label "John Mallia"; 1 jacket, label "Anglia", manufactured by a company called Bernard. 2 shirts label, "Slalom"; 2 cardigans, fabricated in Tarxien; 1 baby-overall, colour sky-blue and 1 umbrella.

    A doubtful statement made Gauci in the court, Kamp van Zeist (11th July, 2000). Excerpt:

    Q- Mr Gauci, Would you look at an item of clothing, Label No.459, please. Do you recognise Label 459? A- It's underwear, T-shirt. Q- What make is it? A- It's Abanderado make. Q- Did you, in 1988, stock T-shirts of that kind? A- Yes. Yes. When I sold this one, I didn't sell T-shirts. Perhaps sombody else was there. I never sold him a T-shirt. Q- You never sold the Libyan gentlemen a T-shirt? A- On that day, no. On that particular order, no, that we are talking about, no. He could have come another day. +++

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  36. Thank you Ebol, then that is settled!

  37. Allegedly, Mr. Bollier, didn't they keep this or a related suitcase in or around your office for a while? I don't have the exact spot in front of me, but weren't they alleged by someone to have shown you the blue babygro and tried to trick you into carrying it somewhere?

    Did they have you try to steal any luggage tags? Ask you how to spell tags in English? I'm really straining to think of another clue you might have been given up front that I haven't seen you claim yet.

    On another post, you mentioned the case against Libya was built on a sea of lies. You have some seagoing activities in the past don't you? (what? I meant the pirate radio stuff! ;) )

  38. Adam and Ebol

    On 30 Jan 1990 Scottish POlice showed Tony Gauci scraps of a Slalom shirt and a whole example of a Slalom shirt. In his statement on the saem day, Gauci says "That man didn't buy any shirts, for sure" (Ashton and Ferguson Cover-up of Convenience, Mainstream Publishing, paperback edition p314).

    I have a copy pof Gauci's first statement from from friday 1 September 1989. I lists the items the purchased by the "Libyan". These were an Anglian jacket, 2 pairs trousers, 3 pairs pyjamas, 1 unbrella, 1 Babygrow and 1 woolen cardigan. He recalls in the atement that the total was Maltese £76.50. He thinks the purchaser paid with £10 notes and that he (Gauci) gave the purchaser a 50 cent discount and gave him £4 change.

    The BBC documenary Conspiracy Files shows two handwritten extracts from subsequent Gauci statements which state "That man didn't buy any shirts, for sure" and "I am sure I did not sell him a shirt".

    On 5 January 1990 police took another statement from Gauci and also bought 2 shirts from him. Police start to show Gauci fragments of clothing between January and October 1990 and in September 1990 Gauci syas that the purchaser did indeed buy 2 shirts. (see Ashton and Ferguson pp 220-222).

    Dr Ludwig de Braekeleer has also reported these discrepancies in the Gauci statements using trial documents and transcripts as sources.

  39. Thank you, Aku. Now, could anybody help us/me out of the emerging confusion?

  40. MISSION LOCKERBIE, attn. Adam:
    The MEBO investigations is correct and no mainstream stories!

    In Antony Gauci's first police statement, start on 1st September 1989, to police officers from Malta and detektive Henry Woods Bell, from Scottish police, Gauci said he had sold the unknown buyer, 2 pieces of T-shirts, "Slalom" make, color brown, bluisch and the other one greenish, greyish.

    It is correct that Gauci in additional interviews stated that he sold never T-shirt to the Libya buyer, but this is a clear misunderstanding!

    This answer concerned only the underwear T-shirt "Abanderado" make and is not valid for the T-shirts "Slalom" make!
    At the court in Kamp van Zeist was that question and answer play confusing and "unfortunate" selected nevertheless it comes out clearly, that two "Slalom" T-shirt were sold to the unknown boyer.

    1) > Q-- You also mentioned shirts. How many shirts did the Libyan gentleman buy? A-- Two. Q-- What type of shirts were they? What make of shirts? A-- Slalom, something Slalom. The size was 16 and a half, 42. Q-- And what colour were the shirts? A-- Brown, bluish. One was blue, I think, checked, I think, and the other one greenish. If I see them, I will recognise them.
    Q-- Could you look, please, at one shirt, which is Label 452. You see that Label 452 is a Slalom shirt? A-- Yes, exactly. Q-- What colour would you describe that as being? A-- It's greenish and greyish. It's more greyish.
    Q-- And how does that shirt compare with the one you sold to the Libyan? A-- Yes, the size is 42.
    Q-- And what about the colour and material? A-- It's -- the clothing is very similar. There were two types of colours. These are winter
    shirts. ( see photograph 114).

    2) > Q-- You can close that image, please. Would you look at an item of clothing, Label No. 459, please.
    Do you recognise Label 459? A--It's underwear, T-shirt. Q--What make is it? A--It's Abanderado make. Q-- Did you, in 1988, stock T-shirts of that kind? A-- Yes. Yes. When I sold this one, I didn't sell T-shirts. Perhaps somebody else was there. I never sold him a T-shirt. Q-- You never sold the Libyan gentleman a T-shirt?
    A-- On that day, no. On that particular order, no, that we are talking about, no. He could have come another day. Q-- You did mention that you had sold the Libyan gentleman an umbrella? A-- Yes.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  41. In Antony Gauci's first police statement, start on 1st September 1989, to police officers from Malta and detektive Henry Woods Bell, from Scottish police, Gauci said he had sold the unknown buyer, 2 pieces of T-shirts, "Slalom" make, color brown, bluisch and the other one greenish, greyish.

    These are not mentioned in the PDF I have of Gauic's first statement, typed by him September 1.
    Jacket, trousers, trousers, Pajamas, umbrella, babygro, cardigan is all listed. Total = 76.50

    If there's something else to this, fine. But it's not that.

  42. T-shirts of "slalom" brand?
    As far as I understood it was a shirt, not a T-shirt. The T-shirts I use have no collar and no pockets.

  43. From the Megrahi papers:
    "In fact the witness (Toni Gauci) has significantly changed his position over time regarding the
    items sold to the purchaser:-
    (a) Statement S4677:CP452: 1st September 1989 he is very specific about what he
    sold, which list amounts to a sale of £76.50 [pdf-p19] and he lends weight to his list
    by recalling that the purchaser paid in Maltese £10 notes and he gave £4 change
    Yet within the same statement the witness gives a different amount for the sale of £56
    [pdf-p9] and at the same time he sold identical pyjamas and an umbrella to the police
    for different amounts [invoice DC58]
    (b) Statement S4677A: CP454:19th September 1989 he recalls selling the purchaser a
    second cardigan - increasing the sale to £88.00
    (c) Statement S4677L: CP464: 30th January 1990 [pdf-p4] he changes his position
    over the sale price and change given
    (d) Statement S4677Q: CP469: 10th September 1990 [pdf-p3] he changes his position
    to include in the sale 2 shirts - increasing the sale to £97 or £98.50"
    So it seems Aku is right.

  44. More from the Megrahi files:
    "It should also be noted that the witness (Toni Gauci) description of the size of shirts sold (16 1/2"
    collar ) is inconsistent with the shirts identified from the fragments found by the
    forensic scientists (14 1/2") - see SCCRC Statement of Reasons paragraph 7.47 [pdfp126].
    This inconsistency was not raised at trial."

    BTW this paragraph allone shows that it is urgently needed to publish the SCCRC statement in full(at least as far as the PII aspect is not concerned). Those who oppose a publication are guilty of hiding the truth.

  45. MISSION LOCKERBIE, attn. Caustic Logic,
    congratulation and thanks:

    Ich gebe seit heute dem ersten Statement Anthony Gauci's, from 1st September 1989, taken by Detective Chief Inspector Henry Woods Bell, Witness 344 on the Crown list, den Vorzug gegenüber den Gerichtsproto-kollen von Kamp van Zeist!
    Durch dieses Beweis-Dokument kann ich ein fragwürdiges "Puzzel" in Dr. Hayes und Allen Feraday' Examination-Reports von RARDE aufklären...

    Computer Babylon translation, german/english:

    I give Anthony Gauci since today the first statement from 1st September 1989, taken by Detective Chief Inspector Henry Woods Bell, Witness 344 on the Crown list, the preference/advantage in relation to the records of the court of Kamp van Zeist! By this proof document I can do a doubtful "Puzzel" in Dr. Hayes and all Feraday' Examination report of RARDE clear up…

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  46. It seems that there may be different versions in circulation of what we think are copies of original documents. My source for the Gauci staements was the americanradioworks documentary.

    In addition, there are concerns, as Adam points out,that the shirt sizes from which the charred fragments came are different from those which feature in the later Gauci statements. I understand there are also contradicitons about the colour of the shirt fragments supposedly found in the wreckage. These were different from any of the shirts in Gauci's shop.

    Given that it now appears that there is absolutely no trace of explosive residue on the timer fragment, that the scraps of shirt in which the tinmer fragmemnt was embedded are of the wrong size and colour and that the pages recording the finds seem to have been inseerted into the offical record a long time after the finds were supposed to have occurred, the possibility that all of this evidence was fabricated and planted seems overwhelming.

  47. Aku says:"It seems that there may be different versions in circulation of what we think are copies of original documents."

    The documents I referred to were the documents Mr Megrahgi´s lawyers had collected for the new trial. So I really hope that these are the true versions.

  48. Mystery solved re Pik Botha and the 22-strong South African delegation: they were all booked to travel (and did travel) on Pan Am Flight 101 which departed Heathrow at 11:00am and arrived safely at JFK in the afternoon of 21 December 1988.

    Full details about the apartheid regime's ruse are explained here: Why the Lockerbie flight booking subterfuge, Mr Botha?