Friday 23 October 2015

Lockerbie bombing: This ‘new’ evidence on the atrocity offers no new answers

[This is the headline over an article in today’s edition of The Independent by Kim Sengupta, the paper’s Defence Correspondent. It reads as follows:]

The news that new evidence has been uncovered about the Lockerbie bombing should have raised hopes that the truth about this terrible atrocity may at last be revealed and, at the same time, a shameful miscarriage of justice corrected.
But that is not the case. Little has emerged that is new, and what has emerged is highly questionable. The avenue being taken by the British and American authorities continues to be predicated on the basis that the Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was responsible for the deaths of 270 people, on the plane and at the crash site. But many of those touched by the events believe that his conviction was unjust, and that the authorities are covering up their mistakes.
I saw Megrahi in the winter of 2011 in Tripoli, where he had been sent from his prison in Scotland after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was lying in bed attached to a drip, oxygen mask on his skeletal face, drifting in and out of consciousness. The medicine he needed had been plundered by looters in the chaotic aftermath of the fall of the Gaddafi regime; the doctors treating him had fled.
The vengeful pursuit of Megrahi, the feeling that he had escaped justice by failing to die in a cell, persisted among those who were adamant that he was guilty. He was faking his illness, they claimed; there were demands that the post-revolutionary Libyan government should arrest and extradite him.

Megrahi died a few months later. Members of some of the bereaved families, such as Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter, Flora, in the bombing, have long been convinced that his conviction was unsafe. Their appeal to clear his name was turned down by the Appeal Court in Edinburgh three months ago because the law was “not designed to give relatives of victims a right to proceed in an appeal for their own or the public’s interest”.
The campaigners had just cause to have misgivings about what happened to Megrahi. I reported from the specially constituted Scottish court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands where he and his fellow Libyan defendant, Lamin Khalifa Fhimah, were tried. The two men were charged with what amounted to joint enterprise, yet only Megrahi was found guilty. The prosecution evidence was circumstantial and, at times, contradictory. Key prosecution witnesses were shaky under cross-examination. The evidence of a supposedly prime “CIA intelligence asset”, Abdul Majid Giaka, codename “Puzzle Piece”, who turned up in a Shirley Bassey wig in an attempt to hide his identity, was widely viewed as risible. It emerged later that important evidence had not been passed to the defence lawyers.
There was scathing criticism from international lawyers about the proceedings. Professor Hans Köchler, a UN appointed legal adviser, described them as “ inconsistent, arbitrary and a spectacular miscarriage of justice”. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission identified six grounds where it believed “a miscarriage of justice may have occurred”.
So what are the new leads being pursued by the US and Britain? They focus on Abdullah al-Senussi, who was both Muammar Gaddafi’s chief of intelligence and also his brother-in-law, and on Mohammed Masud, a regime agent. Both are being held in prison, on unrelated charges, in Tripoli, by one of Libya’s two rival administrations.
But, in fact, both men have been scrutinised by Lockerbie investigators in the past. Scottish police announced in 2013 that they were looking at information that Masud was in Malta, where prosecutors claimed the bomb was placed on the flight, at the same time as Megrahi. But Fhimah, cleared by the Camp Zeist court, was in Malta as well.
Robert Black, a law professor born in Lockerbie who played a key role in organising the Camp Zeist proceedings, later became convinced that there had been a miscarriage of justice. He warned in 2013 that British officials were trying to retrospectively buttress the case against Megrahi by implicating Masud. “It looks like the Crown Office is trying to shore up the Malta connection, which is pretty weak,” he said.
Some of the impetus for the new inquiry has come from an American documentary, My Brother’s Bomber, by Ken Dornstein, whose brother was among the victims. Most of the information for this came from a former Libyan agent, Musbah Eter, who has implicated both Megrahi and Masud.
Eter, however, has had a chequered life. He was convicted of the bombing of the La Belle nightclub in Berlin in 1986, an attack which prompted Ronald Reagan to bomb Libya, with some of the warplanes flying from British bases. A German TV investigation subsequently revealed that Eter was a CIA “asset”. We do not know why it took him more than two decades to come forward with the Lockerbie information, or what influence his relationship with US intelligence played in this.
Might Masud and Senussi end up in another Camp Zeist-type trial over Lockerbie?  One reason for the Gaddafi regime allowing the extradition of Megrahi and Fhimah  was that it was seeking rapprochement with the West at the time. The current Islamist government in Tripoli is not recognised by the West. During my recent visit to Libya I discovered some in the administration who were very keen for that recognition and the better relations, including investment, it may bring.
So, handing over the two men to Britain and America may not be an impossible scenario in the future. Senussi has already been sentenced to death on other charges and may, indeed, welcome being sent abroad. We may yet see another CIA operative, Eter this time, doing a court turn in a Shirley Bassey wig. It will not, however, bring us nearer to the truth about the Lockerbie massacre.


  1. This guy claims to go to Libya 3 times, asked around and come up with a CIA cable and a theory.

    I had a hard time going to Libya as 2 rebel groups were going back an forth in control of the airport who I did not go.

    Can you imagine a Jewish guy entering the Islamic area and saying 'who knows my brother's bomber?'.. Who here knows were the bomber of 27 years ago is.. He will be dead.. he would also have to pass around money top his 'guides' who wanted money. His guides were probably not born yet in the time of Lockerbie.

    The former FBI chief Mueller and a head of US victims group found nothing

    I have copies of fake wire transfers, fake passports (my mother-in-law had passports in different names in 2 countries, one was marked as fake by a customs official).

    The Brother had to have CIA. FBI protection and the 'guides' will take him where they wanted to take him.. It is a staged show and the really hit CNN before 1 week before Hillary spoke.

    1. You are of course quite right about its being a stage-show. How it relates to US politics I couldn't say, but it certainly suits the Scottish Lord Advocate very well indeed, him being in the position where evidence that Megrahi didn't buy the clothers, that PT/35b had no known link to Libya and that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, not Luqa, is closing in on him like a band of assassins. Smoke-screen time. Hey, look over there!

      I understand that Ken Dornstein was in Libya doing all this in 2013, not recently. According to that American guy on GMS it would have been relatively easy for him to travel around at that time compared to now. And would it necessarily have been obvious he was Jewish? I really have no idea.

      The story was that Ken, as a private citizen, had more freedom and more ability to contact dodgy people, than an agent of either the USA or Scotland. But you know what? I reckon you're right. Ken himself is probably in the "useful idiot" category, but he has been cunningly used to acquire a story that can be used to reinforce the "Megrahi did it" narrative at a time when it sorely needed it.

    The Scottish "Lockerbie Evidence Fraud"; as a reminder:

    The former Scottish SIO Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson (Crown witness number 696) - visited in June 1990 – accompanied by Chief Inspector, William Williamson and Forensic expert Allen Feraday (RARDE) - the FBI Criminal Laboratory in Washington lead by FBI Expert Tom Thurmann. Their task was to compare a manipulated MST-13 Timerfragment (PT-35) with a MST-13 Timer (K-1) in possession of the CIA. The K-1 Timer timer was allegedly found in Togo.

    The results of the investigations and comparison have been documented in a secret FBI-Report in Washington on August 20th, 1990. Dok. Nr. 262-23. The document is now declassified.

    On June 22, 1990, a side by side comparison of specimen K-l and PT 35, resulted in a positive identification of PT 35, as being similar to specimen K-l..
    In essence, it has been determined that the PT 35 circuit board fragment originated from a circuit board, that was like or identical to specimen K-l circuit board, Specimen K- 1 is described as part of a digital, battery operated, long delay timer detonator, capable of providing electrical power to fire an electrical detonator, which would initiate the high explosive main charge.
    Link to FBI declassified FBI-report:

    Based on research by Edwin Bollier & MEBO Ltd. the presented fragment (PT-35) to the FBI lab cannot be the original MST-13 fragment as allegedly found in Lockerbie. The reasons for this allegation:

    1) At the time of the presentation of the (PT-35) fragment at the FBI laboratory on June 22nd,1990, the original „carbonised“ MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35) consisted already of two pieces. The PT-35 fragment was cut by Siemens Germany on April 27th, 1990 into two pieces, 2 (two) months before the visit by Henderson & Co at the FBI laboratory in the USA. After the Siemens cutting session, the larger part was marked as (PT-35/b) and the smaller part was marked as (DP-31/a

    2) The FBI laboratory report confirms, that the examined (PT-35) timer fragment was covered on both sides with solder masque.

    3) The FBI laboratory report confirms, that the colour of fragment was green and consisted of 9 layers of fibreglass.

    All those characteristics confirm that they did not examine and compared the original black carbonised (PT-35) fragment as found in Lockerbie.
    A long time after the court verdict in Zeist - a secret kept fax by expert Feraday to SIO Chief Stuart Henderson – unveiled that the (PT-35) fragment was found on January 20th, 1990 in a Slalom shirt.
    The original fragment on the photo (red circle) showed - on a second look - 3 handmade scratches and the letter “M”. (short form for “Muster” = sample” in the German language)
    At the court in Zeist, witnesses as, Scottish Chief Inspector, William Williamson, Dr. Thomas Hayes (RARDE) and expert Allen Feraday (RARDE) made under oath, false statements. For example it was testified that the MST-13 timerfragment, registered on the additional page 51, was found already on Mai 12th, 1989 in a Slalom shirt.
    All those “flops” lead to a slowdown of a possible new review of the Lockerbie case. False statements – especially by high-ranking police officers and forensic experts - should be taken serious.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd Switzerland. Webpage:

  3. On the matter of Gaddafi's intelligence chief Moussa Koussa, we hear not a word from MI6, MI5, the Scottish police, nor the Scottish Crown.

    If Senussi was involved, then so must be Moussa Koussa. During the Libyan war (Our lovely media called it a rebellion. In fact it was insurgents, some paid and armed by outside forces including no doubt the CIA, aided by constant drone surveillance and precision guided bombs supplied courtesy of NATO and the US.) Koussa defected, was briefly accomodated in a safe house, spoken to by Scottish police and then sent on his way with his multi-million assets unfrozen.

    We know full well why there are no accusations against him. Having aided and been aided by MI6 and the CIA during the 1990s and early 2000s, in metaphorical terms he not only knows where the bodies are buried, he knows who buried them. If ever he were to be brought to court, then would the sins of many British and US ministers and government employees be exposed.

  4. Most interesting, Barry.

    "Can you imagine a Jewish guy entering the Islamic area and saying 'who knows my brother's bomber?'... where the bomber of 27 years ago is?..."

    Sure, what's the problem?
    He gets in outside the beaten path with his cameramen, travels around a little, ask here, ask there, sniffs a little around in certain locations, and so discovers the information he needs to discover and confirm. Some luck is needed, of course, but this exists.

    If you don't think this could happen I recommend you, as I have, study the following sources, which should not be hard to find in google
    "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
    "Diamonds Are Forever"
    "Columbo: Ransom For A Dead Man"
    "The Man with the Golden Gun"

    I hope Ken will consider a career as detective, because he could really teach those guys how to be effective. I mean, how often have we not heard about a small army of policemen, following thousands of leads over the years from people motivated to help, in areas they know well and have full authority to easily access - and still just maybe get further? Unreal!