Wednesday 8 February 2023

Man accused of making the Lockerbie bomb denies all charges

[This is the headline over a report published this evening on the ITV News website. It reads in part:]

A 71-year old man suspected of making the bomb that brought down a jumbo jet over Lockerbie in 1988 has denied all the charges in court.

Abu Agila Mas'ud Al-Marimi, from Libya, is charged with the destruction of an aircraft, resulting in death.  

He appeared in court in Washington DC to face three charges related to the destruction of Pan Am flight 103. Through an interpreter, he pleaded not guilty to all of them. (...)

According to the US Department of Justice the accused worked for the Libyan External Security Organisation as a technical expert, including building explosive devices.

It is claimed he took the bomb to Malta and a few days afterwards set the timer so that the explosion would happen 11 hours later when it had been transferred from an Air Malta flight to the Pan Am aircraft. 

It is more than 20 years since Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, was found guilty of mass murder in connection with the Lockerbie disaster. He was sent to prison but later released on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. He died in 2012. 

It is claimed that he and Al-Marimi were working together to destroy the flight, along with others from the Libyan regime. 

Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime Al-Marimi was arrested and imprisoned by the new regime in Libya. It is claimed that he confessed his involvement in the Lockerbie attack at that time. 

In December he was extradited to the United States to stand trial. [RB: He was not extradited: Libyan law does not countenance extradition of Libyan citizens. If they stand trial overseas it should be because they voluntarily agreed to do so, as Megrahi and Fhimah did. There is not a scintilla of evidence that Masud volunteered.]

If convicted he faces life imprisonment. He's due in court again on the 23rd of February for a hearing to decide whether he should stay in prison until his trial.

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