>GUEST POST: The Crumbling Lockerbie Case.
I have always believed and openly and clearly stated that I believed there was absolutely zero valid evidence that Pan Am Flight #103 the transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York City that was destroyed by a bomb on Wednesday, 21 December 1988, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew on board. Large sections of the aircraft crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 more people on the ground was the work of terrorists, let alone Libyian and clearly neither of the scapegoats chosen to face trial.
Let us also note that the evidence against the two unfortunate victims selected to stand trial was all but identical and that one was found not guilty and the other guilty!
Having read the transcripts of the trial and the utterly scurrilous and corrupt summing up of Lord Cullen there is no doubt in my mind the outcome of the trial was prearranged and had absolutely nothing to do with justice having been a massive cover up – seemingly for a rogue intel. department of the US, seemingly under the control of the Bush family and their associates.
Let us also not forget that Lord Cullen was seen as a safe pair of hands by deeply questionable members of the British Government and had previously orchestrated the cover-up and unlawful 100 year block on the evidence in the Dunblane Inquiry regarding the murders at Dunblane Primary School, including that of Thomas Hamilton on 31-Mar-1996!
For more facts, details and conclusions regarding the Dunblane Killings CLICK HERE
For more details regarding Lockerbie enter >Magrahi<, >Lockerbie<, >Libya< & >PanAm 103< into the search box at the head of the right side bar on this web site.
Minded that John Ashton, who worked as a defense investigator on the Pan Am 103 case, is the author of Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie Still Matters. I have little doubt that you will find his recent reappraisal of interest:
The Crumbling Lockerbie Case
January 26, 2014
A quarter century ago, the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people and later was pinned on a Libyan agent. In 2011, Lockerbie was used to justify a U.S.-backed war to oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, but the evidence now suggests the case was a miscarriage of justice, John Ashton writes.
By John Ashton
Dec. 21, 2013, marked the 25th anniversary of what, until 9/11, was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. civilians. A total of 270 people died when PanAm flight 103 was blown out of the sky over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie; 189 of the dead were Americans.
Officially the crime was partially solved on Jan. 31, 2001, when Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the murders by a panel of three senior Scottish judges, sitting at a specially convened Scottish court at Kamp Zeist in The Netherlands. His co-defendant, Lamin Fhimah, was acquitted.
Ailing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in September 2011, as he was dying from prostate cancer.
As Megrahi was allegedly a puppet of the Gaddafi regime the Scottish and U.S. prosecutors have vowed to pursue those who were pulling his strings. The ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller said on the 25th anniversary that he expected further charges to be brought. Yet, to most of those who have scrutinized the Megrahi conviction – and Consortiumnews.com is one of the few U.S. media outlets to have done so (see here, here and here) – it is, at best, odd and, at worst, a sham.
One of the UN trial observers, Professor Hans Koechler, noted: “there is not one single piece of material evidence linking the two accused to the crime. In such a context, the guilty verdict in regard to the first accused appears to be arbitrary, even irrational,” while eminent Scottish lawyer Ian Hamilton QC has said, “I don’t think there’s a lawyer in Scotland who now believes Mr Megrahi was justly convicted.”
More importantly, in 2007, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, a statutory body that reviews alleged miscarriages of justice, referred the conviction back to the appeals court on no fewer than six grounds, one of which was that the trial court’s judgment was unreasonable. Shockingly, four of the other grounds concerned the non-disclosure of important evidence by the prosecution. Sadly, Megrahi succumbed to pressure to abandon the appeal, shortly before his release from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2009.
More Promising Leads
Another reason to doubt the official line that the bombing was a solely Libyan operation is that there is ample circumstantial evidence that it was commissioned by Iran (possibly in retaliation for the U.S. military shoot-down of an Iranian airliner on July 3, 1988, killing 290 people) and carried out by a radical Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC).
Two months before the Pan Am 103 attack, on Oct. 26, 1988, the group was caught red-handed by the German federal police with a barometric bomb designed to explode at altitude. The police also uncovered a huge terrorist arsenal, which the group had amassed in an apartment in Frankfurt, the city from which PA103’s feeder flight, PA103A, would originate. Like the Lockerbie bomb, the barometric bomb had been built into a Toshiba radio cassette player. Although it was a single-speaker model – the Lockerbie device had twin speakers – by a rather sick twist, both models were from Toshiba’s BomBeat range.
The man who made the German bomb, Marwan Khreesat, turned out to be a mole for both the Jordanian and German intelligence services. He told the police that he had made five bombs, only four of which were recovered. He and another PFLP-GC member, Mobdi Goben, who led the group’s Yugoslavian cell, confirmed that the organization had other bomb makers and that the Oct. 26 raids did not snare all of its German operatives.
Significantly, both men independently named a member with the nomme de guerre Abu Elias as the operation’s linchpin. His true identity remains unknown. Declassified U.S. intelligence documents stated as fact that Iran and the PFLP-GC were behind the bombing. Another, written months after the investigation had shifted decisively to Libya, said that Iranian interior minister had paid $10 million for the hit.
The increasingly rickety “Libya-did-it” line appeared to receive a much-needed boost 2 ½ years ago with the fall of the Gaddafi regime. At the start of the revolution, in early 2011, the opposition leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who had been Gaddafi’s justice minister, told the Swedish newspaper Expressen that he had proof that his old boss was responsible for Lockerbie. Other senior government defectors implicated the old regime in the bombing.
So, when Scotland’s prosecution service, the Crown Office, announced that it would be seeking the cooperation of the new Libyan government to gather evidence against Megrahi’s alleged co-conspirators, Lockerbie watchers were braced for some rapid developments.
Unfortunately for the Crown Office and police, in the intervening 2 ½ years, they appear to have got precisely nowhere. Last December, Libya’s new UK ambassador, Mahmud Nacua, said that his government would be happy to open all of its Lockerbie files to the police, but added that this would only happen when the government had fully established security and stability – a process he believed would take at least a year. A year on, there’s no hint that the files are about to be opened.
It was not until February 2013 that the police, prosecutors and the FBI got to visit Tripoli to speak to the new government. Embarrassingly, no sooner had they left than the new deputy justice minister, Hameda al-Magery, told the Daily Telegraph that the case was closed.
The Crown Office swiftly issued a press release, which described the discussions with the Libyans as “positive” and added “it is hoped there will be further progress as a result.” That hope seems increasingly forlorn. Only last month did the Libyan government appoint prosecutors to work on the case with Scottish and U.S. investigators.
The development was hailed as a “significant step” by Scotland’s chief prosecutor, the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland. That is one interpretation, but, when viewed as a whole, the events since Gaddafi’s fall suggest that the Libyans might be trying to put off the day when they have to admit to the Scots and FBI that the cupboard is bare: they have no evidence of the Gaddafi regime’s involvement.
Since Gaddafi’s fall, the only document about the case to surface publicly from his regime’s files is a letter from Megrahi to his relative, Gaddafi’s security chief Abdullah Sennousi, in which, according to the Wall Street Journal, he protested his innocence and blamed his plight on “the immoral British and American investigators” who “knew there was foul play and irregularities in the investigation.”
What, then, of Mustafa Abdel Jalil’s proof? When asked about it on BBC Newsnight, the best he could offer was the fact that Gaddafi’s government had paid Megrahi’s legal bills. A year later Jalil insisted in another newspaper interview that Expressen had misquoted him, adding: “All I said then is what I say right now, which is that the regime was involved in this case, evident by insisting [Megrahi] returns [to Libya] and that they spent a lot of money on him while he was in jail.”
It was preposterous to claim that the old regime’s funding of Megrahi’s legal defense, and its efforts to secure his return to Libya, was evidence of its guilt.
While the police investigation in Libya has stalled, the police and Crown Office are studiously ignoring new evidence that destroys the case against Megrahi and Libya. It concerns the most important physical evidence of the entire case, a tiny fragment of circuit board, known by its police reference number of PT/35b, which was allegedly part of the bomb’s timer.
According to the prosecution case, the fragment matched boards in timers designed and built for the Libyan intelligence service by a Swiss firm called Mebo. During preparations for Megrahi’s aborted second appeal, his legal team (with whom I worked as a researcher) discovered that the fragment could not have originated from one of the Libyan timers’ boards, because it bore a crucial metallurgical difference.
When combined with a wealth of existing anomalies concerning the fragment’s provenance, the discovery strongly suggested that it was a fake that was planted in order to implicate Libya. According to the published memoir of the head of the FBI’s Lockerbie investigation, Richard Marquise, his opposite number in the Swiss police also suspected the fragment was a plant. The thought even occurred to Marquise and the Scottish police’s senior investigating officer, Stuart Henderson.
Why, then, have the Scottish police and Crown Office failed to approach the witnesses who can attest to the mismatch between the fragment and the Libyan timers – witnesses who include the man who made the boards used in the those timers, and two independent scientists? The obvious answer is that they want to avoid evidence that shows the official case to be built on sand.
To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
John Ashton, who worked as a defense investigator on the Pan Am 103 case, is the author of Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie Still Matters.
Let us not in the ongoing series of cover-ups and corrupt trials and obfuscated investigations forget the victims who died on that fatal day in 1988 courtesy of Dailyrecord.co.uk:
The 270 victims of
Pan Am Flight 103 disaster
ACT of remembrance: roll call of the 270 people from 21 nations who died in the Lockerbie bombing, aged from two months to 82 years and from 21 nations.
The Lockerbie disaster claimed the lives of 270 people on the day & destroyed the lives of many more as its outcome
Kathleen Mary Flannigan (41), Thomas Brown Flannigan (44), Joanne Flannigan (10), Dora Henrietta Henry (56), Maurice Peter Henry (63), Mary Lancaster (81), Jean Aitken Murray (82), John Somerville (40), Rosaleen “Rosalind” Somerville (40), Paul Somerville (13) and Lynsey Anne Somerville (10).
Syracuse University students
Steven Russell Berrell, Kenneth John Bissett, Stephen John Boland, Nicole Elise Boulanger, Timothy Michael Cardwell, Theodora Eugenia Cohen, Eric Michael Coker, Jason Michael Coker, Gary Leonard Colasanti, Scott Marsh Cory, Gretchen Joyce Dater, Shannon Davis, Turhan Michael Ergin, John Patrick Flynn, Pamela Elaine Herbert, Karen Lee Hunt, Christopher Andrew Jones, Julianne Frances Kelly, Wendy Anne Lincoln, Alexander Lowenstein, Suzanne Marie Miazga, Richard Paul Monetti, Anne Lindsey Otenasek, Peter Raymond Peirce, Sarah Susannah Buchanan Philipps, Frederick Sandy Phillips, Louise Ann Rogers, Thomas Britton Schultz, Amy Elizabeth Shapiro, Cynthia Joan Smith, Mark Lawrence Tobin, Alexia Kathryn Tsairis, Nicholas Andreas Vrenios, Kesha Weedon and Miriam Luby Wolfe.
John Michael Gerard Ahern, Sarah Margaret Aicher, John David Akerstrom, Ronald Ely Alexander, Thomas Joseph Ammerman, Martin Lewis Apfelbaum, Rachel Marie Asrelsky, William Garretson Atkinson III, Judith E. Bernstein Atkinson, Clare Louise Bacciochi, Harry Michael Bainbridge, Stuart Murray Barclay, Jean Mary Bell, Julian MacBain Benello, Lawrence Ray Bennett, Philip Vernon Bergstrom, Alistair David Berkley, Michael Stuart Bernstein, Surinder Mohan Bhatia, Diane Anne Boatman-Fuller, Glen John Bouckley, Paula Marie Bouckley, Francis Boyer, Nicholas Bright, Daniel Solomon Browner (Beer), Colleen Renee Brunner, Timothy Guy Burman, Michael Warren Buser, Warren Max Buser.
Steven Lee Butler, William Martin Cadman, Fabiana Caffarone, Hernan Caffarone, Valerie Canady, Gregory Capasso, Bernt Wilmar Carlsson, Richard Anthony Cawley, Frank Ciulla, Bridget Concannon, Sean Concannon, Thomas Concannon, Tracey Jane Corner, Willis Larry Coursey, Patricia Mary Coyle, John Binning Cummock, Joseph Patrick Curry, William Allen Daniels, Gabriel Della Ripa, Joyce Christine Di Mauro, Gianfranca Di Nardo, Peter Thomas Stanley Dix, Om Dixit, Shanti Dixit, David Scott Dornstein, Michael Joseph Doyle, Edgar Howard Eggleston III, Charles Thomas Fisher IV.
Clayton Lee Flick, Arthur Fondiler, Robert Joseph Fortune, Paul Stephen Matthew Freeman, James Ralph Fuller, Ibolya Gabor, Amy Beth Gallagher, Matthew Kevin Gannon, Kenneth Raymond Garczynski, Kenneth James Gibson, William David Giebler Jr, Andrew Christopher Gillies-Wright, Olive Leonora Gordon, Linda Susan Gordon-Gorgacz, Anne Madelene Gorgacz, Loretta Anne Gorgacz.
David Jay Gould, Andre Nikolai Guevorgian, Nicola Jane Hall, Lorraine Frances Buser Halsch, Lynne Carol Hartunian, Anthony Lacey Hawkins, Rodney Peter Hilbert, Alfred Hill, Katherine Augusta Hollister, Josephine Lisa Hudson, Melina Kristina Hudson, Sophie Ailette Miriam Hudson, Roger Elwood Hurst, Elizabeth Sophie Ivell, Khalid Nazir Jaafar, Robert Van Houten Jeck, Paul Avron Jeffreys.
Rachel Mary Elisabeth Jeffreys, Kathleen Mary Jermyn, Beth Ann Johnson, Mary Alice Lincoln Johnson, Timothy Baron Johnson, Jay Joseph Kingham, Patricia Ann Klein, Gregory Kosmowski, Minas Christopher Kulukundis, Ronald Albert Lariviere, Robert Milton Leckburg Jr.
William Chase Leyrer, Lloyd David Ludlow, Maria Theresia Lurbke, William Edward Mack, Douglas Eugene Malicote, Wendy Gay Forsythe Malicote, Elizabeth Lillian Marek, Louis Anthony Marengo, Noel George Martin, Diane Marie Maslowski, William John McAllister, Daniel Emmet McCarthy, Robert Eugene McCollum, Charles Dennis McKee.
Bernard Joseph McLaughlin, Jane Susan Melber, John Merrill, Joseph Kenneth Miller, Jewel Courtney Mitchell, Jane Ann Morgan, Eva Ingeborg Morson, Helga Rachael Mosey, Ingrid Elizabeth Mulroy, John Mulroy, Sean Kevin Mulroy, Karen Elizabeth Noonan, Daniel Emmett O’Connor, Mary Denice O’Neil, Bryony Elise Owen, Gwyneth Yvonne Margaret Owen, Laura Abigail Owens, Martha Owens, Robert Plack Owens, Sarah Rebecca Owens, Robert Italo Pagnucco, Christos Michael Papadopoulos, Michael Pescatore, James Andrew Campbell Pitt.
David J. Platt, Walter Leonard Porter, Pamela Lynn Posen, William Pugh, Estrella Crisostomo Quiguvan, Rajesh Tarsis Priskel Ramses, Anmol Rattan, Garima Rattan, Suruchi Rattan, Anita Lynn Reeves, Mark Alan Rein, Diane Marie Rencevicz, Edina Roller, Janos Gabor Roller, Zsuzsana Pisa’k Roller, Hanne-Maria Maijala Root, Saul Mark Rosen, Andrea Victoria Rosenthal, Daniel Peter Rosenthal.
Arnaud David Rubin, Elyse Jeanne Saraceni, Scott Christopher Saunders, Theresa Elizabeth Jane Saunders, Johannes Otto Schauble, Robert Thomas Schlageter, Sally Elizabeth Scott, Mridula Shastri, Joan Sheanshang, Irving Stanley Sigal, Martin Bernard Christopher Simpson, Ingrid Anita Smith, James Alvin Smith, Mary Edna Smith, Geraldine Anne Stevenson, Hannah Louise Stevenson, John Charles Stevenson, Rachel Helen Stevenson, Charlotte Ann Stinnett, Michael Gary Stinnett, Stacey Leanne Stinnett, James Ralph Stow, Elia G. Stratis, Anthony Selwyn Swan, Flora MacDonald Margaret Swire.
Marc Alex Tager, Hidekazu Tanaka, Andrew Alexander Teran, Arva Anthony Thomas, Jonathan Ryan Thomas, Lawanda Thomas, David William Trimmer-Smith, Barry Joseph Valentino, Tomas Floro van Tienhoven, Asaad Eidi Vejdany, Peter Petrisor Vulcu, Janina Jozefa Waido.
Thomas Edwin Walker, Jerome Lee Weston, Jonathan White, Bonnie Leigh Rafferty Williams, Brittany Leigh Williams, Eric Jon Williams, George Waterson Williams, Stephanie Leigh Williams, Chelsea Marie Woods, Dedera Lynn Woods, Joe Nathan Woods, Joe Nathan Woods Jr, Mark James Zwynenburg.
Pan Am 103 crew
Elizabeth Clement-Avonye, Jerry Don Avritt, Noelle Lydie Campbell Berti, Siv Ulla Engstrom, Stacie Denise Franklin, Paul Isaac Garrett, Elke Etha Kuehne.
Maria Nieves de Larracoechea, Captain James Bruce MacQuarrie (pilot), Lilibeth Tobila McAlolooy, Mary Geraldine Murphy, Jocelyn Reina, Myra Josephine Royal, Irja Synnove Skabo, Milutin Velimirovich and Raymond Ronald Wagner.
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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