[A long article headed Lockerbie -- The Eyewitness Evidence against Megrahi is published today on Dr Ludwig de Braeckeleer's Intel Today website. Part of the article consists of an interview with psychologist of memory Professor Tim Valentine about Tony Gauci's evidence at the Zeist trial. This is followed by comments from Professor Hans Köchler and me which read as follows:]
In March 2009, Mark Vella, the managing director of METEO MALTA [RB: appears on the internet as www.maltaweather.com] told me that their records “unambiguously indicate” that it did not rain in Sliema on December 7, 1988. Vella added that it was dripping during the evening of November 23, 1988.
“I can confirm there was light rainfall from 6 pm to 7:15 pm on Nov 23, 1988 as can be seen from our official weather log book of Balzan", Vella told me.
“There was definitely no rain on Dec 7 and although I cannot be 100 percent sure it most likely did not rain in Sliema either on that day as they are only a few kilometers apart. I have proof of this from the weather log book and also satellite images.”
I asked Professor Köchler — UN observer at the Lockerbie trial — and Professor Black — aka the ‘architect of the Lockerbie trial’ — to comment of this most disturbing news. [NB: The evidence, presented at the Zeist trial, regarding the weather conditions in Malta was based on data recorded at Luqa Airport.]
“From the date of Megrahi’s conviction, I have maintained that one of the principal reasons for regarding the verdict as contrary to the evidence was the court’s finding that the date of purchase was 7 December. The meteorological evidence led at the trial clearly established that of the two possible dates, 23 November was the only one that fitted that evidence. The court’s finding that the date of purchase was 7 December is explicable only on the basis that the case against Megrahi would otherwise have collapsed, ie that the court had, for other reasons, determined that he was guilty and then, in the face of strong contrary evidence, selected the date that supported that pre-formed conclusion,” Professor Black told me.
Professor Köchler told the author that he never believed in the “Malta theory” and has questioned the judges’ reasoning from the very beginning.
“My position is evident from what I wrote in Art 15 of my observer report of 26 March 2002 (!), which was submitted to the United Nations: One of the basic weaknesses of the decision of the Appeal Court consisted in its very refusal to properly evaluate, ie reevaluate, the plausibility of the inferences about weather conditions in Malta at the time in question.
"In the course of the renewed presentation of the respective evidence during the appeal proceedings it became entirely clear to any rational observer that the report on weather conditions in Malta had been interpreted arbitrarily by the trial judges and that the weather conditions described by Mr Gauci were much more compatible with the weather report of the meteorological service for 23 November 1988 than with that for 7 December.
"To the undersigned it is obvious that the evidence was 'weighted' in a deliberate manner so as to be compatible with the date of the appellant’s stay in Malta. The judges as well as the appeal judges arbitrarily excluded consideration of the fact that 7 December was a day before a high Roman-Catholic holiday (which has particular importance in a Catholic country such as Malta) and that the witness would have remembered the fact that a Libyan had bought clothes on the evening before such a holiday (on which the shop was closed).
"Put in the context of the evidence available and the circumstances in Malta at the respective period of time, the probability of 23 November 1988 as the date of the purchase of the clothes is much higher than that of 7 December 1988, when the appellant was in Malta.”