Monday 6 April 2015

The thunderous silence of the Lockerbie dead

On 25th September 2012 - that is, two and a half years ago - we published the following item.

In spite of what are now proven facts, the Scottish Crown Office and Government have stubbornly refused to accept that the judges in the Lockerbie trial were misled by false forensic evidence and concealment of other evidence critical to the defence case.  

 It is true that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi was found guilty in a court of law and his conviction confirmed by five senior judges.  

This - as Scottish government spokespersons continually remind us - remains the situation. 

But those judges at trial and appeal are now proven to have been misled and mis-informed by senior British scientists and senior police officers who failed in their duty to the truth and the society they were entrusted to serve.  

This also – as Scottish government spokespersons continually ignore – remains the situation. 

During the Lockerbie trial, RARDE scientist Allen Feraday in his evidence stated as follows:"The conducting pad and tracks present on the fragment PT/35 (b) are of copper covered by a layer of pure tin."  

In other words, the tracking was 100% tin. And Feraday had written in long hand on his notebook just those numbers "100% tin". 

And later in his evidence Feraday stated:- ".. it has been conclusively established that the [PT/35(B)] fragment materials and tracking pattern are similar in all respects to the area around the connection pad for the output relay of the `MST-13' timer."  

Unfortunately for Feraday it has now been conclusively established that the conducting pad and tracks present on all timer boards supplied to Libya by Swiss suppliers MEBO, and from which - according to the prosecution - came fragment PT/35(B), were of copper covered by a layer of 70/30% alloy of tin and lead.

Here are photographs of Feraday's hand-written notes about the difference between the timer fragment and the sample boards supplied to him by the Scottish police.
"Pure tin"

Feraday was aware of the difference, yet in his lead evidence and evidence given under lengthy cross-examination he never mentioned the discrepancy, in spite of several opportunities to do so.
"70/30 sn/pb (tin/lead)"

The judges remained in ignorance of the discrepancy.  The defence team knew nothing of it.

FACT: The fragment was not "similar in all respects" to a set of timer boards sold to Libya in 1985. 

This phrase "similar in all respects" formed the kernel of the judgement against al-Megrahi. 

No-one knows the origin of the Lockerbie fragment, and we will not speculate as to where it came from or who made it. It is, however, clear that PT/35(B) did not originate from any timer boards which the prosecution claimed were used by Al-Megrahi.

The prosecution did not produce any evidence as to where Al-Megrahi had used such timers, nor where or how he had constructed a bomb, nor where he had stored it or deployed it.  The judges, misled as they were by Feraday, accepted such innuendo as fact. 

The timer fragment PT/35(B) was not the only matter central to the verdict in which misinformation and concealment by the prosecution and their witnesses occurred. These are serious matters which cry out for independent investigation.  

Prime Minister David Cameron, just two days after the revelation of the above information, claimed that such revelations were "an insult" to the Lockerbie dead.  

We must leave it to objective historians to form their own conclusions on David Cameron's statement. 

An independent inquiry into the Lockerbie tragedy and its investigation and evidence submitted at trial is long overdue.

It is now almost a quarter of a century since the December 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The two hundred and seventy dead of Lockerbie still wait for truth and justice.

Jim Swire and Peter Biddulph

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