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Old 27th January 2010, 03:20 AM   #2
Caustic Logic
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
I'll start with Bedford's suitcase story as it was reported, as it was told at trialThis is from a summary by the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit, for 25/08/2000, On day 44 of the trial, "the last day of evidence before the expected testimony of Giaka on Monday" I'll try to trim it down a bit and highlight some interesting bits.

For those who don't know, Kamboj is the other worker that Bedford says placed the mystery suitcase (along with another, gray Samsonite). Kamboj denied it. No one has fessed up to placing the bags Bedford saw.

Mr Kamboj, a security agent with Alert Management in 1988, based at Terminal 3 in Heathrow, gave evidence. In December 1988 he worked in the interline shed and was responsible for scanning the baggage from connecting flights other than Pan Am flights. In the interline shed was situated a scanning machine. After baggage had passed through the scanning machine a security tag was placed on the bag. The scanning machine was an x-ray which was black and white. Both airline and security workers were in the interline shed. The airline staff gave the baggage to the security staff for scanning. If the suitcase was destined for a Pan Am flight sometimes either Alert Security or Pan Am staff would take the bag off the belt. Following scanning the airline worker would put the bag into a container. There would normally be 2 staff members from Alert in the interline shed. 1 worker would watch the screen and the other placed a sticker on the bag. The witness said that Alert staff would sometimes place bags into containers if it was a quiet time or the airline worker was in the rest room or away, but this was not the normal routine. Mr Palmer was working in the interline shed with Mr Kamboj that day.

The witness did not remember Mr Bedford working in the interline shed that day. He remembered that a Pan Am flight was due to leave for New York that afternoon. By late afternoon it was quiet in the interline shed. Mr Palmer and the witness finished at the same time. The witness was asked to accept that Mr Bedford was working that day and he then confirmed that it was Mr Bedford's job to load the Pan Am luggage that afternoon. The witness said it was possible that he had helped Mr Bedford by loading 2 bags but that he didn't remember. He accepted that if Mr Bedford said this he would accept it, but that the bags would have gone through the appropriate security procedures.
It was not easy to identify a suspicious item using the [scanning] machine. If an item looked normal no action would be taken. If abnormal it would be sent to the gate to be investigated. He also said it would be normal to see an electrical item every day.

In cross-examination Mr Davidson asked the witness if he recalled having a break that afternoon and on his return to the shed Mr Palmer left for the day. He said he did not. He confirmed it would be usual for a container to be loaded in the interline shed with bags bound for New York and then that container would meet the Frankfurt flight. Mr Davidson then asked if it was normal for the container to be taken first to baggage build up for some time before going to meet the Frankfurt flight. Mr Kamboj said he was not sure. He confirmed that the interline area was open and was not sure if it was locked at night. He could not recall if he was the last person to leave the interline shed that night. He confirmed that the bags reached the machine on a belt which started outside the shed and that he had not seen security there. He denied that he had been aware of the 'Toshiba Warning' before December 1988 or that he had been asked to look out for a fake Toshiba radio. He was asked again whether he ever loaded luggage onto a container. He said he remembered being interviewed by the police but did not recall what he said.

A police interview on 6 January 1989 was referred to wherein the witness said that Mr Bedford had brought a metal tin into the interline shed to transport luggage for flight PA 103. He told the Police that he did not place any luggage in that tin. In a statement made to Police on 28 December 1988 the witness did not refer to putting any bag in the container on 21 December 1988 and stated that this would not be done as it was not part of his job. The Fatal Accident Inquiry transcript revealed that when giving evidence at that time, the witness said he would not have put bags into the tin container. Mr Davidson referred to the statement by the witness during the examination in chief by the Advocate Depute where he indicated that if Mr Bedford's account of 21 December included that he, Mr Kamboj placed 2 bags into container 4041 that he would accept this. This clearly contradicts statements given around the time of the disaster to the Police and the court at the Fatal Accident Inquiry.

Mr Kamboj did not recall what shift Mr Bedford worked that day or seeing the container leaving the shed. He did not recall being asked by Police officers how many bags came through Interline that day or how many were in Mr Bedford's container that day. Previous statements were referred to where the witness said he thought that there were 5 cases in Mr Bedford's container when he drove it away but that this was just a guess.

Mr Taylor, under cross-examination, referred to the lack of security at the interline shed which would have allowed anyone to drop a bag onto the belt which carried luggage into the shed to be x rayed. The witness accepted that this was the case. The witness stated that the information he gave to the police and the Fatal Accident Inquiry was truthful and accurate.

The judges asked Mr Kamboj if only Pan Am bags would come into the interline shed. The witness said that bags for all airlines would be carried on the same conveyor belt. Pan Am flights are identified by the Pan Am tag and these are picked off by the airline employees and sometimes security employees when they are beside the x-ray machine. Mr Kamboj said he did not remember seeing Mr Bedford leaving the shed with the container.

Mr Bedford then gave evidence that bags were loaded ...
Okay, that's enough for one post. I note right off that Kamboj recalls very little, seems really vague, and at every opportunity accepts that security was lax, open, people could do this or that, who knows... It doesn't feel totally level. Anyone else?
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