Thursday 26 November 2020


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. 



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,


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.