Thursday, 26 November 2020

CONCEALMENT OF LOCKERBIE EVIDENCE BY POLICE PARALLELS THREE PREVIOUS MAJOR TRIALS.  

In 1975 and 1976 the "Maguire Seven" were an Irish family wrongly accused of assisting with an IRA bomb attack in London. 

A parliamentary inquiry under Sir John May into the trial of the Maguire Seven began in September 1989 and concluded in July 1990. In his interim report, Sir John discovered that the concealment of evidence by a doctor Hayes and two RARDE colleagues severely hampered cross-examination of witnesses for the prosecution. [Author note: This is the same Dr Thomas Hayes who provided forensic evidence in the Lockerbie trial as a basis for the conviction of Baset al-Megrahi].

Sir John May concluded: ‘The whole scientific basis upon which the prosecution was founded was so vitiated that on this basis alone the Court of Appeal should set aside the convictions.’ And so the appeal was successful. Meanwhile members of the Maguire family had suffered fifteen years of imprisonment. 

Below is part of the sequence of events where senior police in the Lockerbie investigation worked with US authorities to conceal a series of discussions concerning "unlimited monies" with the sole identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci. 

**

SECOND EXAMPLE: POLICE FAILED TO REVEAL EVIDENCE IN RAPE TRIALS

An editorial  by the Observer of Friday 29th December 2017 stated: - 
"The right to a fair trial is a linchpin of the rule of law and a free and democratic society. The obligation of police and prosecutors to disclose unused material that might support the defence case is critical to ensuring a fair trial. Indeed, a failure to disclose relevant information to the defence team is one of the most common causes of miscarriages of justice. 

In the cases of Liam Allen and Isaac Itiary, both accused of rape, the Metropolitan police failed to hand over relevant text messages to defence lawyers in a timely fashion. 

When this finally happened, both cases were dropped, but not before Itiary had spent four months in jail awaiting trial and Allan two years on bail. 

The [British] attorney general rightly labelled this an “appalling failure” of the criminal justice system." 
[End quote]

Current Lockerbie Appeal: Trial judges and defence  team 'should have been told witness wanted payment'

[This is the headline over a report on the website of The Guardian on the second day of the Megrahi appeal. It reads in part:]

The court that convicted a Libyan intelligence officer for the Lockerbie bombing should have been told a key witness wanted payment for his testimony, appeal judges have been told.

Gordon Jackson QC, part of the legal team acting for the family of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, said there was clear evidence that the witness Tony Gauci was interested in compensation for giving evidence, and frustrated none had emerged.

Jackson said the prosecution had an obligation to reveal that to the trial court, which convicted Megrahi of killing 270 people when Pan Am flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie in south-west Scotland in December 1988.

Instead, the relevant Scottish police interviews with Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper whose testimony convicted Megrahi, were not given to the court or the Libyan’s defence team. The undisclosed papers “showed a very clear pattern” where Gauci “had a strong motivation of a financial nature,” Jackson said.

Jackson, (...) said the defence could have aggressively pursued this with Gauci when he gave evidence, challenging his credibility.

“The information in those documents would’ve given them the basis to attack that credibility,” he told a panel of five Scottish appeal judges, headed by Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, the lord justice general.

Gauci and his brother were secretly paid $3m by the US government for their evidence,

EXTRACT FROM OUR PREVIOUS BLOG REGARDING THIS MATTER:

Concealment of a police diary recording insistent demands for payment and multi-million dollar offers by the US to the sole identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci.

During the Lockerbie trial, the senior police detective in the Lockerbie investigation was asked: Did he keep a personal record of his investigations? 

He said yes. His diary was in Glasgow, in his office.

Nothing more was asked or said about the diary.

Six years after the trial, during a case review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, the diary was 
Gauci. $2m for evidence
discovered. It contained a series of entries detailing insistent demands for money by the sole remaining identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci. 


There also were quotations from letters sent to the police by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) concerning offers of "unlimited monies, including $10,000 available immediately". The purpose of the $10,000 was not explained. 

Several later entries discussed money and conversations with Gauci in which he and his brother Paul made insistent demands for payment. When the police asked of the US DoJ what Gauci must do to receive the money, the reply was "only if he gives evidence"

The existence and contents of the diary were known to the police. Yet they did not disclose it to the defence team nor the judges. 



Monday, 16 November 2020

With the kind permission of Professor Robert Black QC, the following news has just been released. 

The forthcoming Megrahi appeal

[What follows is excerpted from a long document recently produced by the Crown in connection with the forthcoming posthumous appeal against the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.]

On 6 March 2020 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission referred the late Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s 2001 conviction for the murder of 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing back to the High Court of Justiciary. (...)

The current appeal stems from an application made to the SCCRC by Mr Megrahi’s family in July 2017. In April 2018 the Commission accepted that application and began a full review of Mr Megrahi’s conviction. In their 2020 statement of reasons the Commission summarised the application by Mr Megrahi’s family as being based on 6 grounds, they were:

1. Insufficient Evidence;

2. Unreasonable Verdict;

3. Fresh Evidence, namely the Christmas Lights;

4. Non-disclosure;

5. Evidence relating to the Timer Fragment; and

6. Evidence relating to the Suitcase Ingestion.

On 6 March 2020 the Commission published their Statement of Reasons, a lengthy volume setting out the findings of their review, and in conclusion referred the conviction back to the High Court of Justiciary for an appeal hearing.

The Commission concluded that they could only refer the conviction back to the High Court on two of the above six grounds: Unreasonable Verdict and Non-Disclosure.

In June 2020 those representing the family of the late Mr Megrahi lodged their Grounds of Appeal at the High Court of Justiciary, thereby formally beginning the third appeal against conviction in this case.

The Appeal Court is bound in law to hear the appeal on the grounds of appeals in so far as they are in line with the Commission’s reference, and there is also provision for the appellants to argue that they should be allowed to argue further grounds of appeal not covered by the Commission’s reference.

The grounds to be argued at the appeal, also referred to as the scope of the appeal, were argued at the preliminary hearing on 21 August 2020.

The Preliminary Hearing called before Lord Carloway the Lord Justice General, Lady Dorrian the Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Menzies at the Appeal Court on 21 August 2020. This was a virtual hearing of the Appeal Court. Submissions were heard from the Appellants, the Crown and on behalf of the Advocate General. (...)

The Grounds of appeal were numbered Part 1, and Part 2, A – D. Arguments were made by both sides as to the scope of the appeal and whether additional grounds of appeal, which did not form part of the SCCRC’s referral, could be argued in the appeal. The grounds of appeal which were matters referred by the SCCRC were automatically included in the scope of the appeal and no arguments were made in relation to them. These are:

Ground 1 - that no reasonable jury could have convicted Mr Megrahi based on the evidence;

and

Ground 2 Part A - the non-disclosure of information in relation to the evidence of Crown Witness Antony Gauci.

A number of documents were listed in support of Ground 2 Part A. However, one of them, (described as Part A, para 14 in the Grounds of Appeal), was not included in the SCCRC referral and has now been excluded by the Court from the appeal.

The Appellants argued that additional grounds of appeal in addition to the Commission’s grounds of referral should also be admitted, namely:

Ground 2 Part B - the non-disclosure of information in relation to the witness Abdul Majid, also known as Giaka;

Ground 2 Part C - the non-disclosure of information contained in protectively marked documents; and

Ground 2 Part D - the non-disclosure of other information which shows there was no effective system of disclosure to ensure a proper procedural safeguard to guarantee the right to a fair trial. This information was further divided into 7 distinct areas.

Parts B, C and D (and also one item from Part A) did not form part of the reasons for the referral by the SCCRC. They were points that the SCCRC considered and have commented on within their Statement of Reasons but which they did not consider were in the interest of justice to refer. The SCCRC did say, however, that the appellants might seek to include them within an additional ground of appeal.

The Crown position at the hearing in respect of the potential additional grounds of appeal inGround 2, Part A (item 14), Part B, Part C and one of the 7 areas in Part D was that whilst recognising it was ultimately a matter for the Court, the preference was that they were heard in the full appeal hearing because the Crown would wish to answer the points and consider it is in the interests of justice to do so because to leave the points unanswered may affect public confidence in the safety of Mr Megrahi’s conviction and the administration of criminal justice in Scotland more generally. In relation to part D above, the Crown asked for all but one of the 7 examples given to be excluded from the scope of the appeal.

After hearing all the arguments, the Court made avizandum (this means a pause) while they considered their decision. On 26 August 2020 the Court issued their decision on the scope of the appeal, and set out the procedure to be followed:

1. They allowed Mr Megrahi’s son, Ali Abdulbasit Ali Almaqrahi to bring the appeal on behalf of his late father.

2. They also allowed the appellants to proceed with some additional grounds of appeal that did not relate to any of the reasons set out by the SCCRC in its 2020 Statement of Reasons. These are as follows:

a) The Court allowed Ground 2, Part B to be heard at the appeal as an additional ground. This is with regard to information relating to the witness Abdul Majid, also known as Giaka.

b) In respect of Ground 2, Part C, which related to information contained in theprotectively marked documents, the court has not made a final decision about whether this will form a ground of appeal yet. Instead, it ordered that the documents in question be produced to the court and that a special hearing be fixed in a closed court in order to consider whether the Public Interest Immunity Certificate granted in respect of the documents should remain in place. A hearing took place on 11 November 2020. The result is awaited (...)

c) With regard to Ground 2, Part D, in which the appellants argued that there was not an effective system of disclosure to ensure that Mr Megrahi had received a fair trial, the court refused to allow this, excluding all 7 parts of it and the wider argument. It stated that it would not allow any ground of appeal to proceed which related to "system of disclosure which was not fit for the purpose of ensuring that all relevant information was identified and disclosed", the absence of a "robust system of disclosure", a "systemic failure of disclosure"; and “bad faith on the part of the respondent” (the Crown).

d) The court also set out that the hearing will start on Tuesday 24 November 2020 and the three following days. 

The Appeal Court will sit at 10am UK time from Tuesday 24th until Friday 28th November 2020. 

A bench of five Judges of the High Court of Justiciary will hear the full appeal hearing and rule on the merits of the appeal. They will be: 

The Right Hon Lord Carloway, the Lord Justice General

The Right Hon Lady Dorrian, the Lord Justice Clerk

The Right Hon Lord Glennie 

The Right Hon Lord Menzies

The Right Hon Lord Woolman.

The Crown will be represented at the appeal by three Advocate Deputes: 

Ronnie Clancy QC

Douglas Ross QC  

Nick Gardiner

They also represented the Crown in the 2007-2009 appealfollowing the SCCRC’s 2007 reference  which was ultimately abandoned by the appellant. At the appeal hearing, as senior Crown Counsel, Ronnie Clancy QC will make the Crown’s submissions to the Court.

The appellants will be represented by Senior Counsel and Junior Counsel. They are respectively:

Claire Mitchell QC

Claire Connelly.

[RB: It appears that the hearing will once again take place by means of WEBEX, a video conferencing online application. Log-in information for members of the public wishing to follow the proceedings will presumably be made available in due course.]

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Prosecutors destroyed hope of fair trial


An editorial  by the Observer of Friday 29th December 2017 stated: - 
"The right to a fair trial is a linchpin of the rule of law and a free and democratic society. The obligation of police and prosecutors to disclose unused material that might support the defence case is critical to ensuring a fair trial. Indeed, a failure to disclose relevant information to the defence team is one of the most common causes of miscarriages of justice. 

In the cases of Liam Allen and Isaac Itiary, both accused of rape, the Metropolitan police failed to hand over relevant text messages to defence lawyers in a timely fashion. 

When this finally happened, both cases were dropped, but not before Itiary had spent four months in jail awaiting trial and Allan two years on bail. 

The [British] attorney general rightly labelled this an “appalling failure” of the criminal justice system." 
[End quote]

In Scotland an almost exact parallel of these two cases is being ignored by Scottish ministers, and repeatedly denied by the Scottish Crown Office. 

It is 29 years since the Lockerbie bombing. On the evening of 21st December 1988, Pan Am 103, flying from London Heathrow to New York, was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. All 259 passengers and crew were killed, and 11 people on the ground in and around the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Two Libyans were accused by the US and Britain. In a trial held in Holland, one accused, Baset al-Megrahi, was found
Baset al-Megrahi
guilty. He would later be released on compassionate grounds due to the onset of terminal cancer. He died in 2012 at his home in Libya. 


During his trial, a series of mistakes  preventing a fair trial were committed by Scottish prosecutors and the police.

1. Attempt by Scottish Lord Advocate to misrepresent CIA spy record.

The Scottish Lord Advocate misrepresented the nature of several CIA case reports by
CIA witness Giaka
handlers of a so-called CIA "star witness", Majid Giaka. 


The CIA had secretly met with members of the Lord Advocate's legal team. At that meeting the CIA disclosed the contents of the CIA case reports. These recorded that CIA asset Giaka had been under threat of losing his salary and job unless he came up with information of intelligence value. If Giaka had been released, he would have been in danger from Libya's secret police.

The Lord Advocate informed the trial court of the existence of the case reports, and stated that he had studied them carefully. He had concluded that they contained nothing of relevance to the defence case.

Eventually the defence gained access to un-redacted versions of the reports. Their angry submission to the court convinced the judges that Giaka was an untrustworthy witness and he was instructed to take no further part in the trial. 

The Lord Advocate's presentation of events in this matter constituted, in the opinion of the defence, and later the campaign group "Justice for Megrahi" (JfM), an unsuccessful attempt to distort the nature of Scots law.

2.  Concealment of a police diary recording a history of insistent demands for payment and multi-million dollar offers of reward to remaining identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci.

During the trial, the senior police detective in the Lockerbie investigation was asked: Did he keep a personal record of his investigations? 

He said yes. His diary was in Glasgow, in his office.

Nothing more was asked or said about the diary.

Six years after the trial, during a case review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, the diary was
Gauci. $2m for evidence
discovered. It contained a series of entries detailing insistent demands for money by the sole remaining identification witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci. 


There also were quotations from letters sent to the police by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) concerning offers of "unlimited monies, including $10,000 available immediately". The purpose of the $10,000 was not explained. 

Several later entries discussed money and conversations with Gauci in which he and his brother Paul made insistent demands for payment. When the police asked of the US DoJ what Gauci must do to receive the money, the reply was "only if he gives evidence"

The existence and contents of the diary were known to the prosecution team, the Crown Office and the police. Yet they did not disclose it to the defence team nor the judges. 

3. Hand-written notes in a forensic diary which destroyed the provenance of a key fragment of forensic evidence.

Two forensic scientists examined the Lockerbie debris and together wrote a report to be placed before the judges, the prosecution and the defence teams.

One scientist retired. The remaining colleague presented the forensic report and defended it during the trial.

In that report it was stated that a fragment of an electronic timer board discovered at the crash site and recorded as
Timer fragment PT/35(b). 
"PT/35(b)" was "materially and structurally similar in all respects" to timer boards delivered in 1985 to Libya by Swiss suppliers MEBO.


The scientist repeated those words in court. The judges were convinced.

What the judges and defence team did not know was that the fragment and MEBO timer boards were not, in fact, "similar in all respects".

Deep within his forensic notebook, the scientist had recorded, in the margins of two separate pages, his concerns regarding metallurgical analysis of the fragment and control sample. 

He had written that fragment PT/35(b) contained a
PT/35(b) protected by "pure tin".
protective coating on its tracking of "pure tin". Separately he had written that the control sample board contained a protective coating of "70% tin / 30% lead". 


The police speculated at the time that the heat of the Lockerbie explosion had evaporated the lead. But they made no further enquiries and the records remained within police files. 

Only in 2009, when police records of the event were finally
Police control sample. Protected by alloy 70%tin/30%lead.
available to the Megrahi defence team, were the two hand-written entries regarding PT/35(b) and the police control sample  discovered.


This false forensic evidence was central to the conviction. It convinced the judges that a timer board supplied by MEBO to Libya had indeed been deployed by Libya and al-Megrahi. 

The court had been misled by either perjury, or by gross negligence, by a trusted forensic scientist. 

And so the trial of Baset al-Megrahi ended, in one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever in Scottish history

In the words of The Observer:

"The police wield immense power over our lives. From Hillsborough to Stephen Lawrence, the Birmingham Six to child sex abuse in Rotherham: the past tells us that when they are not adequately held accountable for that power, the result can be deep injustices of the very worst kind."

English law has admitted its mistakes in the cases of Liam Allen and Isaac Itiary. Does natural justice no longer hold sway north of the English border? When, oh when, will the Scottish government and legal profession act? 

For The Observer editorial, please click here.



Thursday, 21 December 2017

Will the Lockerbie truth be finally revealed?

With grateful thanks to Professor Robert Black QC, we reproduce below a report by Marcello Mega in today's edition of The Times.  It may prove to be one of the most important statements ever made concerning Scottish systems of justice


Investigation into Lockerbie prosecutors nearing completion

[This is the headline over a report by Marcello Mega in today’s edition
of The Times. It reads as follows:]

Retired detectives, former prosecutors who now serve as judges and expert
witnesses in the Lockerbie case will learn early in the new year if they will be
charged with criminal conduct.

Police Scotland said yesterday that Operation Sandwood, their investigation
into claims of criminality by investigators and prosecutors, was at the reporting
stage and was well advanced.

The evidence uncovered will set the ball rolling on what could be the final act
in the drama surrounding the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which claimed
the lives of 270 people on December 21, 1988.

As the police team conducted their inquiries investigators working for the family
Alleged bomb-timer fragment PT35(B) - said to be a fake
of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing who died in 2012,
made a breakthrough.
Baset al-Megrahi. Falsely convicted, died of terminal cancer in 2012.
Scientific tests carried out on the most crucial piece of evidence in the case,
a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that enabled prosecutors to link
Libya to the bombing, suggested strongly that it was a fake.

This means that the family will continue to push for the Scottish Criminal Cases
Review Commission to refer the case back to the court of appeal to try to clear
al-Megrahi’s name.

The Sandwood team, led by Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, is taking
advice from an independent QC.

Police Scotland took the view when the allegations were made by the Justice
for Megrahi (JfM) pressure group that it could not be led by the Crown Office as
many of the claims related to the office’s conduct.

The final report, with recommendations about any potential prosecutions, will be
with the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, QC, by February.

The Sandwood team has faced a difficult and sensitive task because it has had
to investigate the conduct of people at the heart of the Scottish justice system.
It would not be unprecedented for former police officers to face charges, and
the forensic experts under scrutiny have already been discredited through their
conduct in other trials, notably a number of IRA cases where verdicts were
reversed on appeals.

However, it would send shockwaves through the system if any of the prosecutors i
n the case, two now sitting as High Court judges and one as a sheriff, faced
questions about their integrity.

Iain McKie, a former police superintendent and now a key figure in JfM, said:
“We have been impressed by Police Scotland and the way in which Iain Livingstone
and others have dealt with this matter and kept us informed.

“If they have established there was criminality, they won’t shy away from it.
I fully believe that. But the problem might be that ultimately it would still be for
the Crown to make a final decision after considering the police report.”

It is likely that if any charges do result, the forensic experts in the case would be
the most likely targets, and the new evidence uncovered by the al-Megrahi family’s
legal team would support that strongly. One of the experts testified at the trial
that the timer fragment was “similar in every respect” to a set of timers supplied
to Libya.

However, it has emerged that while the timers supplied to Libya contained
a tin/lead alloy, the fragment came from a timer made of pure tin. It also yielded
absolutely no explosives residue when tested, so had never been at the seat of
an explosion.
Fragment PT35(B) - protective coating of pure tin. 

Police Sample board - Protective coating of 70% tin + 30% lead

Gareth Peirce, the lawyer who helped clear the Birmingham Six and the
Guildford Four, said: “[They were] the same forensic scientists who produced
the wrongful conviction of Giuseppe Conlon, the Maguire family and of
Danny McNamee, and had been stood down for the role they played.

“Yet here they were. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a prosecution, far
less a conviction in Lockerbie.”

Al-Megrahi’s elder son, Khaled, said: “We are sure that our cause is right and
we will prevail no matter how long. We know one day the truth will come out.
We will never stop our work to make sure of it.”

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Lockerbie's Twenty Nine year lie.

On the 21st December 1988 a terrorist bomb destroyed flight Pan Am 103 during its journey from Heathrow Airport in the UK to New York.



Sections of the dismembered plane, 243 passengers and sixteen crew members fell across the Scottish town of Lockerbie and surrounding farms and fields. Eleven people on the ground were also killed.

In 1991 two Libyan security officers were indicted for the crime. Their trial began in May 2000.
Al-Megrahi
The key prosecution claims were:
1.  Several weeks before the attack, one of the accused, Baset al-Megrahi, purchased a selection of clothes from a Maltese clothing shop.


2. Pieces of the clothing were found at the crash site.

3.  Embedded within one of the pieces was a 4mm square fragment - PT35(b) - of an electronic timer board.

4.  The FBI had proved that the fragment came from a batch of 20 such boards delivered in 1985 to Libya by Swiss electronics supplier MEBO.

Fragment PT35(b).
5.  Two witnesses would identify the suspects and prove the case beyond doubt. The first, a CIA informant Majid Giaka; the second, a Maltese shopkeeper Toni Gauci. 


The trial judges decided that Giaka  was untrustworthy, leaving Gauci as the sole identification witness.
Discredited CIA witness Majid Giaka
On 31st January 2001 al-Megrahi was found guilty. The second accused, Khalifa Fhimah, was freed with "No case to answer"
Fhimah: No case to answer.

In the years since the verdict it has become clear that the world has been cynically misled by the FBI, the CIA, and British and Scottish governments. 
1. In 1989 Britain's prime minister Margaret Thatcher was advised by the Americans not to enquire into the attack.


Thatcher: Knew nothing of Lockerbie.
2.  Even though she and her entourage had walked across the devastated town one day after the attack, she did not - in her 1993 memoir "The Downing Street Years" - mention the town of Lockerbie, nor the disaster that befell it with the bombing of Pan Am 103. 
When asked by Father of the House MP Tam Dalyell why, she said: "I know nothing of Lockerbie, and do not write about something I do not know about."  Tam Dalyell had the clear impression that she had avoided the question of Lockerbie because the Americans had warned her away from the subject. 
3.  Seven years after the verdict the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) discovered significant new evidence concealed by police and Crown Office from the trial judges and defence team.
4.  The SCCRC discovered a secret letter written by the King of Jordan to British prime minister John Major indicating that the Libyans were innocent of the crime.
The King's letter claimed that the attack had been Iranian-
Major: Knew Libyans were innocent.
funded in revenge for the 1988 destruction by the USS Vincennes of an Iranian Air-Bus carrying 290 pilgrims to Mecca. 

5. Unknown to most journalists and public, the King had agreed to place in protective custody Marwan Khreesat, expert bomb-maker for a Palestinian group, the PFLP-GC. Khreesat had made bombs for the group in Germany, to be used to bring down American passenger planes heading for the US. 

6.  US and German intelligence knew that Iran had funded the Lockerbie attack. They had assembled a full dossier of intelligence proving that Khreesat and the Palestinian group were guilty. 

7.  On the sudden discovery of PT35(b), however, US intelligence reversed direction and accused Libya of the crime.
    8. The British government tried on two occasions to prevent the king's letter becoming public. The first, a Public Interest Immunity Certificate signed by Foreign Secretary David Miliband; the second, an unsuccessful attempt by Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt to close down a Scottish newspaper to prevent publication of the story.
    Burt: Intended to close down newspaper.

      9.  The SCCRC re-examined evidence given in the trial and discovered that al-Megrahi was not on the island of Malta on the day that the clothing was purchased.
        10.  The SCCRC also discovered that police diaries of chief police investigator Harry Bell contained a record of multi-million dollar offers of payment to the Maltese shopkeeper Gauci "provided" - in the words of a letter to Harry Bell from the US Department of Justice - "he gives evidence." 

          Gauci. $3 million for his evidence
          11.  The SCCRC also re-examined all the evidence given by Gauci. They concluded that his so-called "identification" was founded on numerous viewings of photographs of al-Megrahi in the media and magazines, all linking him to the bombing. Gauci's evidence was therefore not credible, and the trial judges had been mistaken.

          12. From the SCCRC's finding concerning Gauci, another extraordinary fact has emerged. If Megrahi was not on the Island of Malta on the day of the purchase of clothes, Gauci never met him. How then could Gauci recall meeting him or what he looked like?

          ****
          Was the Lockerbie fragment PT35(b) a fake? During the trial in 2000 there were suspicions about how it had been discovered and reported on by government scientists. The trial judges had discounted these suspicions.

          Then in 2009 the al-Megrahi defence team made a startling discovery. In the years since the trial and first appeal they had managed to obtain a huge set of documents from police and Scottish Crown archives. Among the documents was the forensic notebook of scientific witness Allen Feraday.

          Feraday had compared PT35(b) with control samples from MST13 timer circuit boards similar to those supplied to Libya in 1985 by MEBO.

          He told the trial judges: "the fragment materials and tracking pattern are similar in all respects" to that of the MST13 timer.

          But nine years prior to the trial, on 1st August 1991, when examining both the fragment and a MEBO MST13 timer circuit board, he had made two hand-written entries in his notebook which contradicted this. 

          Here are photocopies from Feraday's notebook. The first records that the tracking on fragment PT35(b) is protected by a layer of "Pure tin". 
          PT35(b): Protective cover of 100% tin.
          Police control sample: Protective cover of alloy. 70% tin - 30% lead











          The second records that the tracking on the circuit of a control sample MST13 board is covered by an alloy of "70% tin and 30% lead".
          Feraday and the police were fully aware of the difference. Two police scientific advisers suggested that the heat of the explosion might have evaporated the lead content of the alloy, leaving pure tin. 

          Another police adviser working for Ferranti International noted that fragment PT35(b) had indications of being "home made". 

          Neither the scientist's reports nor the Ferranti letter were followed up. All remained hidden in police files. The police and Crown Office ensured that the judges and defence team remained unaware of their contents. 

          In the light of this new information the defence team consulted two prominent independent experts in the field. The experts repeatedly heat tested the evaporation theory with temperatures exceeding that of the bomb explosion. But the alloy of 70/30 tin/lead remained just that. 

          Thuring, the company which manufactured the circuit boards used in MST13 timers , confirmed in an affidavit that they had always used a 70/30 tin/lead combination.  Fragment PT35(b) could not have come from one of their circuit boards. How it was made and by whom remains a mystery.

          Feraday either perjured himself or was grossly negligent. It was upon his statement and the identification evidence by Gauci that the case against Baset al-Megrahi would turn.


          Jane and Jim Swire
          The mystery surrounding fragment PT35(b) was examined in great detail by investigative author John Ashton in his 2012 book Megrahi: The Lockerbie Evidence.

          On the morning of the book's publication, announced at Edinburgh's 2012 International Book Fair, Prime Minister David Cameron described John Ashton's account as "An insult to the bereaved and dead of Lockerbie".

          The Lockerbie campaign will continue. We intend to prove - with the help of prominent friends from around the world - that the Lockerbie verdict was a disastrous miscarriage of justice.