Sunday 26 August 2018

A mosaic of supposition and surmise

[What follows is a short excerpt from a profile of special prosecutor Robert Mueller published in today's edition of the Sunday Herald:]

In 1982, he became an assistant US attorney in Boston, investigating and prosecuting major cases that ranged from terrorist to public corruption. He then had spells as partner in law firms or in public service. In July 1990, he took over the criminal division of the US Department of Justice.

In his book Enemies: A History of the FBI, author Tim Weiner says FBI agents “instinctively liked [Mueller], despite his aristocratic demeanour ... [He] had a sharp mind, a first-rate temperament, and a high regard for well-crafted cases ... [He] was a born leader”.

One of the cases that fell to him was the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. Weiner says that at that time, the investigation was “a mosaic of supposition and surmise ... Someone needed to take charge”. Mueller quickly put FBI Special Agent Richard Marquise, who had been involved with the case from the outset, in full charge of it now, tasking him with turning intelligence into evidence.

Intelligence began to be shared much more widely and diligently, and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was charged and convicted.

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