Sunday 16 December 2018

Swiss forensic lab: Lockerbie circuit board fragment does not match timers supplied to Libya

[What follows is excerpted from a report by Marcello Mega today in the Scottish edition of The Sun:]

A key piece of evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial had no link to the atrocity, it has been alleged.

The shock claim emerged as relatives prepare to mark the disaster’s 30th anniversary.

Investigators suggest an electronics fragment that helped to convict Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was made after the jet blast which killed 270 on December 21, 1988.

The fresh revelations emerged in a probe by documentary filmmaker Bill Cran and ex-cop George Thomson, 73.

The tiny circuit board piece, given the court tag PT35b, was said to be part of the bomb that blew up Pam Am flight 103 over the Dumfriesshire town.

Prosecutors claimed it was made by Swiss firm Mebo and sold to Libya in the 1980s.

But a British expert told Cran the piece of board contained traces of copper foil — a technique that was not patented until 1991.

And a Swiss police forensic lab stated: “The fragment used as evidence in the Lockerbie trial doesn’t match the timers made by Mebo.”

The findings will be included in a new film about Lockerbie that Cran hopes to broadcast next year.

His lead investigator Thomson, of Kirkcaldy, was part of Megrahi’s 2009 appeal defence team.

Dr Jim Swire, 82, spokesman for the relatives of the UK victims, has said: “We need a public inquiry to explore this.”

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is considering an appeal for the family of Megrahi, who died in 2012, aged 60.

[RB: Another report by Marcello Mega appears in today's edition of The Sunday Times under the headline New evidence ‘undermines’ Lockerbie bomber trial. The subheading over the story reads "Circuit board fragment used to convict Megrahi was likely made after the atrocity, scientists say". The following are two paragraphs from the story:]

Other evidence that appears to undermine the case against Megrahi has come from Mebo’s co-founder Edwin Bollier, who recently won the right through the Swiss Federal Court to obtain government files relating to his firm.

The documents reveal that a member of the Swiss secret services visited Mebo in June 1989 and took away a circuit board made with copper foil. It was passed on to US investigators. The PT35b circuit board fragment entered the chain of evidence in the Lockerbie case in October 1990.

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