Monday, 30 January 2017

Lockerbie's 28 Year Lie: Take Two

Should a second, posthumous appeal be held on behalf of Baset al-Megrahi, it may help public understanding if we revisit two central issues of the Lockerbie case.

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.
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." 
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.
Khreesat: Bombs to destroy US planes.

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.

          All this information has been put repeatedly to the Scottish and British governments and police. They have totally ignored it. Instead, for more than two years they have claimed to be "pursuing other suspects" in the chaos that is  Libya. The "pursuit of other suspects" is by now clearly shown to be a tactic to delay matters indefinitely.

          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.


          1. It is not for the likes of me to pretend. Furthermore, despite my close association, I do not speak here in the name of JFM. However, I will inform you of this. In a private moment some few years back, a very senior foreign politician related to me, over a highly tasty and splendidly costly Mediterranean lunch, that Gauci was nothing more than a One-armed Bandit! I deeply trusted the person who said this, unfortunately, his and his cohort's hands were tied by international concerns. In other words, and far and wide, everyone, including my Glasgow taxi drivers, knows full well that the entire Kamp van Zeist episode was a blinding stitch up from start to finish. Moreover, it isn't finished yet. I cannot help but sympathise with Robert Black.

          2. I couldn't help but notice that the picture of Giaka in your article is an extremely good match for Tony Gauci's first sketch impressions made by a police sketch artist in Malta. Edwin Bollier also noticed this likeness and deduced from this that it was actually Giaka who bought the clothes and handed them over to his CIA handler. I think Edwin has hit the nail on the head here. This explains why the British Government doesn't want a public inquiry. They are protecting the real culprits who carried out this atrocity and tried to pin the blame on Megrahi and Libya by fabricating and planting evidence at the crime scene as well as being allowed by the Scottish authorities to remove any evidence linking them to the crime. There are a lot of people who played a part in this deception and they are still doing it now as they try to cover up the truth of who really was behind it. It wasn't all done in the name of national interest (Oil)Covering up their very lucrative drug dealing was as much a factor.

          3. How it was made and by whom remains a mystery? Well I know that the PCB pt35b was American glass cloth 7625 made by Hexel corporation of Texas the solder was made in Taiwan for radio shack of Texas the Togo timer that Thomas James Thurman made the famous Linc was a fake and was made after the aircraft had crashed owing to a component on the Togo timer was made after the mid year of 1986 well after that MEBO had manufactured the timers for Lybia I know what really happened to the flight that evenin of 21/12/1988 at 19'02.47s but thay will not tell you but I will if you want to listen.

          4. The crash was due to a faulty cargo door opening causing the instantaneous destruction of the plane, re. John Barry Smith. In 3 seconds the cockpit broke away to the cargo door side (opposite side to the alleged bomb) knocking off engine 3 and the alleged debris evidence 'proving' a bomb explosion, is also evidence that the bomb in question never destroyed the plane, because a bomb sufficient to destroy the plane in 3 seconds would have destroyed the alleged evidence that remained to prove a bomb was involved. I.e. thumbnail piece of circuit board and burnt clothing! And how anyone, let lone the person in question, can identity a bit of burnt clothing as a specific item of clothing purchased by a specific person on a specific day is beyond nonsense.

            And the Heathrow 'plot' promoted by the 'cat woman' is based on the notion that the 'bomb case' that the State say was loaded in Malta is real, but was loaded at Heathrow. Except the content of the 'bomb case' loaded in Malta only makes sense if loaded (it wasn't) in Malta. That is a small bomb hidden amongst clothing to pass through customs. But why would you use such a bomb if the plot is to by-pass customs at Heathrow, because this plot would allow you to fill the case with explosives!

            Megrahi is innocent and so are the other officially sanctioned scapegoats, because there was no bomb. Sadly campaigners have been encouraged to look in every direction except under their nose!