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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103

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Old 29th November 2010, 03:55 PM   #321
Caustic Logic
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Continuing on, then. Pete2 will be proud that I started skimming the grounds of appeal. Much of interest. This passage seems to support the "three card trick," as Rolfe put it, regarding age:

Quote:
Entry for 11th October 1989. Although redacted, this mentions a meeting with Gauci, DCI Bell and Mr Henderson and makes “reference” to the fact that Tony’s judgement of age may be questionable, and that the number of photographs being shown to him may “confuse matters”
Yet for 17 months the confusion continued until the one final point to Megrahi. Suddenly Henderson doesn't want to"taint" it any further. As Rolfe points out above, this is not a good sign as far as procedure is concerned. It was clearly only technically an ID of the Libyan, not a real, firm, repeated ID with better photos used in the other instances.

And if Tony were ever that clear, it would look even worse in a way, since Megrahi clearly is not the buyer. Again, he was too short, too young, too slight, too light, has the wrong face and wrong hair, and was was not on Malta at all the day in question.

Next I'll go find what Prof. Valentine's report said about the issue of possibly leading photo quality. It doesn't seem to be available anymore to link to, but I'll use my saved copy. Oh, and you can't copy from it. So I'll re-post Rolfe's assessment, which is pretty straightforward.

Quote:
This part is dealt with in the expert witness reports. Look at section 8.17.3 of Tim Valentine's report. They tried to make the pictures match by degrading the quality of the others, but in Prof Valentine's opinion this was not an unqualified success and "Megrahi's" picture stands out as the only one with a markedly grainy quality.

He talks about this, about the fact that all the policemen knew which was the suspect's picture and so could have put out unconscious clues, and about Tony rejecting all the pictures at first because the men are too young.
ETA: From elsewhere in the grounds of appeal, a citation of the Zeist transcripts to double-check:
Quote:
The Crown also led evidence from DC Bell regarding the compilation of the photospread
(CP436) (Trial Transcript Day 32/4877-78) [pdf –p38] where he explained that the
Maltese security supplied photos to make up the spread. The appellant’s passport photo
was of a different quality so these photos were dulled down to appear the same.

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 29th November 2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 30th November 2010, 02:36 PM   #322
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Nothing has been removed from Megrahi's web site, CL.

http://www.megrahimystory.net/downlo...9-12-2008.pdf?

I agree it's annoying these pdfs can't be used for copy/paste.

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Old 30th November 2010, 05:14 PM   #323
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Nothing has been removed from Megrahi's web site, CL.

http://www.megrahimystory.net/downlo...9-12-2008.pdf?

I agree it's annoying these pdfs can't be used for copy/paste.

Rolfe.
Oh, I see. The title confused me.

At least we can see them, when we're not supposed to. These appeal documents are the only window I know of onto the details of the SCCRC's report.
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Old 30th November 2010, 06:11 PM   #324
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Bunntamas, can I try again here? It was you who requested a discussion of Tony Gauci's identification of Megrahi. I said that if I could be persuaded that Megrahi really did buy these clothes from Tony, then I would agree he was definitely mixed up in the Lockerbie bombing. I thought you believed you could persuade me of this, but you haven't tried to make a case as far as I can see.

Tony himself said that his memory of that sale in late 1988 was much better in 1989 when he was first interviewed, than it was at Zeist. "11 years are a long time for me, but in those days I told them everything exactly, didn't I?"

This is only common sense. Tony's statements in September/October 1989 are likely to provide the most reliable evidence. However, in these statements, Tony
  • described a man significantly older, taller and more heavily built than Megrahi
  • described a day when Megrahi was not on Malta
  • made an image of the man which he said was a reasonable likeness, which looked like this
when we know Megrahi at that time looked like this

Over the following few weeks Tony picked out three or four pictures from photospreads of men he said resembled the purchaser, but at no time did he say he recognised any of these people as the purchaser. These men were all clean-shaven Arabs with quite a lot of hair. However, each time he said that the purchaser was an older man than those shown in the photos.

Abu Talb and Mohamed Salam were two of them.

Over a year later, more than two years after the actual event, Tony did it again, and picked out another clean-shaven Arab-looking man with a lot of hair, but again said he was too young.



Remember, Megrahi's actual appearance in 1988 was like this.

He was five feet eight inches tall, 36 years old, and of average build. And he was nowhere near Malta on the day the clothes purchase took place.

At no time during the proceedings did Tony ever say he recognised Megrahi as the purchaser, merely that he resembled him. Something he was apparently prepared to say about quite a number of men. Indeed, the first thing he said at Zeist when viewing the identity parade (and remember, he knew which man in the identity parade was Megrahi, because he had seen several good pictures of him in the interim, and had been coached by his brother Paul to recognise him) was, "NOT the man I saw in my shop."

Now, Bunntamas, please tell me why you think you can be sure Megrahi did indeed buy these clothes?

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 30th November 2010 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 1st December 2010, 08:03 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bunntamas, can I try again here? It was you who requested a discussion of Tony Gauci's identification of Megrahi. ...Now, Bunntamas, please tell me why you think you can be sure Megrahi did indeed buy these clothes?
I provided some ideas for conversation and was even willing to post some photos and more info from my trial booklet, in spite of my noted lack of time to jump in the conversation. Nevertheless, the discussion seemed to take off pretty well. I recognize that when I did jump in with my last comment, late in the game, I was rather flippant. Sorry about that. But it did NOT deserve this response:

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
What's that the result of? Up all night and morning catching up on some the most basic facts of the case? Doesn't sound like it.

You've never been able to explain any of your previous bizarre ramblings, but this one takes the cake. You just misunderstood what the neck measurement referred to, but darned if you'll ever confess to that little weakness.

…Let my nastiness be your escape clause and save us all some time.
LOL! Talk about techy! It’s neither a misundersatanding on my part re: neck size (obviously a babygro would not have a 17" neck size and obviously the sarcasm in my comment flew right past CL's silly little mind) nor is it an escape clause. I simply refuse to get into a pissing match with a skunk.
So, sorry Rolfe, you’re on your own now. Best of luck in schooling the child who knew nothing about this case until 2009, and still admits he knows little as he embarks upon the appeal doc’s posted on Megrahi’s web site, which are totally SLANTED by Megrahi’s counsel.

~B

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Old 2nd December 2010, 02:54 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I provided some ideas for conversation and was even willing to post some photos and more info from my trial booklet, in spite of my noted lack of time to jump in the conversation. Nevertheless, the discussion seemed to take off pretty well.
And that was good start. But you don't apparently have the time to read what anyone else types (at least carefully enough to comprehend the point).

Quote:
I recognize that when I did jump in with my last comment, late in the game, I was rather flippant. Sorry about that.
Recognition recognized. It only made you look bad, no worries here. Just slow down a bit, for your own sake.

Quote:
But it did NOT deserve this response:
In my estimation it did. Little surprise you disagree. I acknowledge the part about it being bizarre isn't quite right. Your comment made sense given what (I presume) you thought we were arguing.

Quote:
LOL! Talk about techy! Itís neither a misundersatanding on my part re: neck size
No? We talk of the buyer with his 16-17-inch neck, you go ooff about clothing measurements and what that doesn't say? I got the feeling you thought we were talking clothing measurements.

Quote:
(obviously a babygro would not have a 17" neck size and obviously the sarcasm in my comment flew right past CL's silly little mind)
Little mind? Guess that's what I get for being juvenile and non-collegial. LOL. No, I got the sarcasm. I was only pointing out the hollowness of it, being based on an obvious misunderstanding on your part. Or do you still feel the silliness of a six-foot baby suit is some sort of clever counter-point?

Quote:
nor is it an escape clause. I simply refuse to get into a pissing match with a skunk.
Acknowledgment of my smell superiority acknowledged. Yes, I'd whup you.

Quote:
So, sorry Rolfe, youíre on your own now. Best of luck in schooling the child who knew nothing about this case until 2009, and still admits he knows little as he embarks upon the appeal docís posted on Megrahiís web site, which are totally SLANTED by Megrahiís counsel.

~B
So that's you leaving this "discussion" you haven't even entered yet, in any meaningful way, on account of "the child." No, no hasty retreat here. Just the mature response to those who have learned more in a year than you have in two decades. Call names and walk away with fingers in ears.

Sorry for my part that I goofed that all up, Rolfe. It showed such friggin' promise. If only we'd hung in there and danced around on eggshells for another month, maybe we'd get an acknowledgment of one single basic fact.

ETA: The caps on "SLANTED" are a nice touch - takes the usual expected bias in information assembly and amps it up to imply made up or altered quotes. Otherwise, there's no point pointing that out, since we've mostly just been citing the official police records quoted within. The relevant ones, that were ignored by the prosecution in their own insanely slanted and criminally dishonest assembly of information.

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Old 2nd December 2010, 06:09 AM   #327
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Get a room, you two!

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 03:45 PM   #328
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Get a room, you two!

Rolfe.
Noooo!!!!

Quote:
Now, Bunntamas, please tell me why you think you can be sure Megrahi did indeed buy these clothes?
I know that question wasn't for me, and I can't answer it, except by guessing. Just noting that it was never answered. An impression was left that this was my fault, but it wasn't.

And if I were to guess, I'd say she believes that because she has to to maintain a deeply embedded internal mythology. Hence the almost religious avoidance of complicating facts.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 03:58 PM   #329
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Even by the time everyone had arrived at Zeist, why the hell did no one ever raise the small matter that the photo shown and 'identified' by Gauci as a man who resembled the clothes buyer wasn't actually anything like what Megrahi actually looked like in 1988?!

That is bonkers.

The photo of Megrahi from the Abdusamad passport, taken c1987, and available to absolutely everyone from the early 1990's onwards, does not bear any similarity whatsoever to the blurry black and white photo of Megrahi picked by Gauci as a resemblance to the buyer.

Did no one, the judges nor the defence note that Gauci, even accepting his evidence, had picked out a 'resemblance' from an undated but considerably older photo of a man who did not look anything like this at the time of the incident in question??!!

So, remind me because I'm getting confused, but where exactly is this positive identification again?

No wonder Gauci struggled to even pick Megrahi out in the Zeist courtroom. Since the black and white photo he hesitantly chose on a second request, the photofit provided to the police in Sep '89, and the artists impression described quite simply didn't look anything like Megrahi did in 1988.

Then we have Gauci's earliest description of height, age and build. Again, none of which matched the size, age and height of Megrahi in 1988.

From the US Dept of Justice own words:


Originally Posted by US DoJ Eyewitness Evidence

“Preparing Mug Books”

2. Select photos of individuals that are uniform with regard to
general physical characteristics (e.g., race, age, sex).

5. Ensure that photos are reasonably contemporary.

[...]

Photo Lineup: In composing a photo lineup, the investigator should:

3. If multiple photos of the suspect are reasonably available to the
investigator, select a photo that resembles the suspect description
or appearance at the time of the incident.
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/178240.pdf

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Old 3rd December 2010, 06:04 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Even by the time everyone had arrived at Zeist, why the hell did no one ever raise the small matter that the photo shown and 'identified' by Gauci as a man who resembled the clothes buyer wasn't actually anything like what Megrahi actually looked like in 1988?!

That is bonkers.

I agree it's bonkers. I can't explain it. I have to accept that picture really is Megrahi with a terrible 1970s hairstyle, because it seems he has never said it's not his picture, but I still can't see it as being him.

How can you accept a witness having picked out a blurry, low-resolution B&W photo that isn't recognisable as a likeness of the suspect, as a reliable identification?

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
The photo of Megrahi from the Abdusamad passport, taken c1987, and available to absolutely everyone from the early 1990's onwards, does not bear any similarity whatsoever to the blurry black and white photo of Megrahi picked by Gauci as a resemblance to the buyer.

Correct. And the Abdusamad passport photo does look like Megrahi, as can be seen by comparing it with other photos of the man, and it's pretty close to contemporary with the actual purchase.

So if the police were concerned about the fuzzy, poor-quality nature of the Czech photo shown to Gauci in 1991, there was an obvious solution. Run another photospread, using the Abdusamad picture. If the purchaser was Megrahi, and Tony remembers him well enough to recognise him, he'll pick that photo out, won't he?

Er, no. It's perfectly obvious the police weren't concerned with finding out whether Megrahi was really the purchaser or not, but with obtaining a statement from Tony that could be used to assert that he was. His picking of the Czech photo could be used in that way, so quit while you're ahead. I think it's clear they were -scared that Tony would NOT pick out the Abdusamad photo, because actually the purchaser didn't look much like that photo (the recognisable photo of Megrahi, that is), so they didn't show it to him.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Did no one, the judges nor the defence note that Gauci, even accepting his evidence, had picked out a 'resemblance' from an undated but considerably older photo of a man who did not look anything like this at the time of the incident in question??!!

Apparently not. I didn't realise it myself until we got on to this subject in this very thread. There's quibble about the age of the photo and how this relates to Tony's assessment of the age of the purchaser, but the fact that the photo is simply unrecognisable as actually being Megrahi at all never rates a mention.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
So, remind me because I'm getting confused, but where exactly is this positive identification again?

Now that is a whole other question. It really seems to be, Tony says the purchaser was a clean-shaven Arab man with quite a lot of hair. Megrahi is a clean-shaven Arab man with quite a lot of hair. Hey, an identification!

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
No wonder Gauci struggled to even pick Megrahi out in the Zeist courtroom. Since the black and white photo he hesitantly chose on a second request, the photofit provided to the police in Sep '89, and the artists impression described quite simply didn't look anything like Megrahi did in 1988.

You raise a separate and interesting point there, which I'd like to raise in a separate post, if I may.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Then we have Gauci's earliest description of height, age and build. Again, none of which matched the size, age and height of Megrahi in 1988.

From the US Dept of Justice own words:

http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/178240.pdf

Indeed, the conduct of this case seems to fly in the face of proper procedure in many respects.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd December 2010, 08:17 AM   #331
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So thie initial stages of this identification are that Tony describes a six-foot-plus, heavily-built Arab man of about 50 years of age. These features of his description are essentially ignored by the police, who proceed to show him face-only photos of men who could be any height or build at all.

Tony's best shot at a facial description was clean-shaven with quite a lot of hair. His artist's impression and his photofit look like two completely different people, suggesting his memory of the face was poor, and probably not sufficient to recognise the man again if he saw him - or at least, not from the face.

When examining the endless parade of mugshots put before him, Tony proved willing to pick out a variety of different photos of clean-shaven Arab men with rather frizzy hair, fingering about five different people as "resembling" the purchaser. One of these was a picture that is said to be of Megrahi, but is such a poor likeness that it can scarcely be called an identification.

That's how it was left for the next nine years. Tony only ever got to see that one picture of Megrahi, the one that didn't look like him. But it was enough, along with Giaka's fantasies, to get Libya blamed and the indictment issued, case solved, relax chaps.

Now, fast-forward to 1999.

Against everyone's expectations Megrahi surrendered himself for trial. This inevitably meant that Tony would be required to attend a live identity parade with the warm breathing Megrahi in person, as opposed to a blurry unrecognisable photo.

So what happened?

What happened was that every newspaper and glossy magazine in western Europe felt free to print recent, good-quality, recognisable photographs of Megrahi, identifying him as the man alleged to have bought the clothes from Tony Gauci.

This is completely outrageous, and in flagrant breach of Scots law to boot. If a Scottish publication had done that, they'd have been charged with contempt of court. But these were European papers, and not subject to Scots law. The pictures probably couldn't have been stopped.

They should have caused Tony's identification evidence to collapse. The defence did make this point, but the prosecution just brushed it aside and the judges let it happen. Did I mention this is outrageous?

It wasn't just theoretical, either. Paul was collecting these articles and made a scrap-book of them for Tony. When Inspector Scicluna went to brief Tony for his trip to Zeist in April 1999, Tony mentioned a particular article, with a photo, which he dug out on request and gave to Sgt. Bussuttil on 9th April. He pointed to Megrahi's picture in the magazine at that point, and said, "That's him."

What did Tony mean by "That's him"? That's the man who bought the clothes? Hardly, though that's what the prosecution would like it to mean. It's far more likely that he meant, that's the accused, that's the man in the cell at Zeist, that's the man I have to identify.

9th April, remember? He went to Zeist and picked Megrahi out of the identification parade on 13th April. Only four days after having seen the photograph - a recent, recognisable, good-quality photograph of Megrahi - knowing that this was a photograph of the accused whom he would be asked to identify.

It wasn't the only photo either. Prof. Valentine gives details of 16 articles which published photographs of Megrahi up to August 1998, several more up to February 1999 and a positive flurry in the first week of April 1999.

Did I happen to mention that this is outrageous? And that Paul Gauci made a scrapbook for Tony, and that customers often came into the shop and showed Tony these articles?

Originally Posted by Prof. Valentine
Viewing these articles afforded Anthony Gauci the opportunity to learn how to recognise Mr. al-Megrahi. [....] Anybody who viewed these pictures several times over the period of time that they were available to Anthony Gauci could have identified Mr. al-Megrahi from a subsequent lineup or photospread.

I don't think there's any doubt at all that Tony knew exactly which man in the lineup at Zeist was Megrahi. Anyone who had been following the case from the press reports would have known, even if they'd never seen him in their lives.

All he had to do was decide whether he would pick Megrahi out or not.

How must it really have been for Tony? He saw the purchaser once, for a short period of time (half an hour? less?) in 1988. He had no idea this incident was significant until September 1989. It seems he didn't have a clear memory of the man's face even then. Between then and February 1991 he was shown a very large number of photographs of vaguely similar men and asked to pick someone out. Knowing how memory works, how memories are re-recorded and change over time, especially when subjected to suggestion, it's highly likely Tony's memory of the original purchaser, such as it was, was completely gone by 1999.

What he did have was the knowledge of what Megrahi himself looked like, gained from all these magazine articles. And he knew he'd picked a photo of Megrahi out, once, as "resembling" the purchaser. So, big dilemma. He knows which man is the accused, and he knows he once picked out the accused as resembling the purchaser.

Originally Posted by Tony Gauci, transcript of contemporaneous remarks
Not exactly the man I saw in the shop ten years ago I saw him but the man who look a little bit exactly like is [Megrahi].

So he decided to go for it. He may have genuinely believed that the police had good reason to think Megrahi was the purchaser, and reluctant to spoil their case. And then of course he was in financial difficulties, and he knew there was a good chance of becoming rich beyond his wildest dreams if he made an identification that was useful to the prosecution. Which was of course what Paul had been grooming him to do, with the scrapbook and the collection of photos of Megrahi-over-the-years.

If anything is surprising, it's just how tentative the identification really is. "Exactly" seems to be something of a punctuation word with the Maltese speakers - it can be seen in the speech of other Maltese witnesses too, and doesn't seem to mean anything much. Tony's more or less saying, this isn't really the man in the shop, but I identify him as the man who looks like the man in the shop.

There's where we are by the time the court hearings actually start.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th December 2010, 05:47 PM   #332
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I guess I really did get annoyed there, so some of what I said was surely unwisely influenced by negativity. So I felt unable to come back right away.

All-in-all, we've got this largely sewn up and are starting to almost go in circles to keep the discussion going. Tony Gauci has never identified al Megrahi in any meaningful eyewitness evidence sort of way. A lot of improper proceudres creating something that, with some imagination, could be argued as an identification, but that's not the same thing.

But some new thigs were added recently, and others are still there if we care to keep finding them. Prof. Valentine's report mentions several, just connected to this one 15 Feb. session. The extra large photo display, making obvious head turns from one to the next necessary, and possibly alowing well-timed reinforcing body language from the officers present. The issue of Abu Talb being mentioned here again (did he think he was IDing him again?) Tony's sudden concern for his safety after selecting thee Czech photo ... suddenly the Libyans have been out to get him for a while now because of this photo he just pointed to ...

Buncrana's and Rolfe's analyses above are hardcore and apropos. I was not familiar with the scrapbook before, but unsurprised by it. The emphasis on the one known showing from just before the parade always seemed disingenuous to me - the main point obvious point for me is that any ID after ANY photos of Megrahi were publicized (these go back to '91, don't they?) is meaningless.

Originally Posted by Rolfe
This is completely outrageous, and in flagrant breach of Scots law to boot. If a Scottish publication had done that, they'd have been charged with contempt of court.
Really? Even if the rest of the world is showing it, and the witness' supposed purity is ruined anyway? If I were in charge, I'd just rule out any further meaningful ID. Maybe for form let him point to the guy and it's "okay yeah, he pointed to the "Lockerbie bomber," it's on the books, means nothing. Now let's get back to the real evidence..."

It's only about what he he said from September '89 up to Feb '91 that should matter, and that's why pointing out his twelve-year-old emories being pretty good is worse than meaningless. It suggests his memory of the Megrahi sale improved and clarified itself over the years, while he was grossly mistaken on nearly every single point in '89, except for "Libyan" and describing a male with a face.

Quote:
So he decided to go for it. He may have genuinely believed that the police had good reason to think Megrahi was the purchaser, and reluctant to spoil their case. And then of course he was in financial difficulties, and he knew there was a good chance of becoming rich beyond his wildest dreams if he made an identification that was useful to the prosecution. Which was of course what Paul had been grooming him to do, with the scrapbook and the collection of photos of Megrahi-over-the-years.

If anything is surprising, it's just how tentative the identification really is.
Indeed. It almost seems he wanted to make the case work, but didn't want to really lie. But I'll be gobsmacked if he doesn't show strategic awareness in where his memory changes. I thinks it's pretty outrageous for one that the judges let slide his rebranding of "six feet or more in height." At trial, he denied ever saying "or more," but affirmed saying six feet. Which he then clarified meant "below six feet," taken as consistent with 5'8".

Did he REALLY mean to describe Megrahi as "below six feet" (and a wee bit "under 60") but phrased it as "six feet or more" (and "around 50")? Or did he perjure himself in court? Were the judges awake for this part?

Quote:
"Exactly" seems to be something of a punctuation word with the Maltese speakers - it can be seen in the speech of other Maltese witnesses too, and doesn't seem to mean anything much. Tony's more or less saying, this isn't really the man in the shop, but I identify him as the man who looks like the man in the shop.
That's interesting. "Exactly" features twice in that short passage, important in both. "Not the man" does essentially mean the same as "not exactly the man," but that could read more vaguely - sort of the man, possibly the man, maybe a nephew who looks similar but ten years younger... and again, possibly, probably, obviously the man. Just not "exact," whatever that means. The same as "a little bit like exactly?"
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Old 9th December 2010, 04:36 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There's where we are by the time the court hearings actually start.

Sorry, I ran out of steam before the last post in the sequence I was planning. This was to address a point made by Buncrana several posts ago.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
No wonder Gauci struggled to even pick Megrahi out in the Zeist courtroom.

It seems as if he did, and yet he should have had no trouble. These dock identification rituals are a formality. There is no doubt which is the dock, and who the prisoner is. The only question is, is the witness prepared to accede to the suggestion that the prisoner is the person he's been talking about.

In this case there were two people in the dock, but as Fhimah had an impressive moustache and Tony always said the mystery shopper was clean-shaven, it still came down to a choice of one.

It was in fact no different from the identity parade, though admittedly 15 months later. Easier, in fact. No need to pick Megrahi out of a line-up, even if assisted by some very recent photographic aide-memoire. Just, here's the guy, OK Tony?

Here's what happened.

Originally Posted by Zeist transcript
Q Mr. Gauci, I wonder if now you would take a moment to look around this courtroom and tell me if you see the man who bought the clothing in your shop in 1988 in court here today.
A He is the man on this side. He resembles him a lot. On this side, on my side.
Q And when you say on your side, could you indicate by pointing to the man you are talking about. [4778]
A This side.
Q You are pointing to the -- towards your left-hand side?
A Yes, exactly.
Q I wonder if you could point to the man directly to whom you are referring, please.
A That gentleman over there.
Q Now, there are a number of rows of people sitting. You can see three rows, a row near you, a row in the centre, and a row at the back. Which row is the man sitting in?
A The last row.
Q Do you see police officers sitting in the last row?
A Yes. Yes, next to him.
Q Next to the police officer. Now, there are two men sitting between the police officers. Which one are you referring to?
A Not the dark one. The other one; that is, not the dark one, the one next to him. That is the man I see resembles the man who came.
Q You can see that of the two gentlemen sitting between the police officers, one is wearing glasses and one is not wearing glasses. Which is the man you are talking about? [4779]
A The one -- the man without glasses.

It's a pity we don't have a video of this. David Benson did a little skit on it, in Unfinished Business, I think taken from Jim Swire's recollection, but I've read other descriptions of it (Paul Foot? David Morrison?).

There are other parts of the transcript where other witnesses (e.g. Bollier) are asked to point to Megrahi in court. They just do it, and confirm "the one without glasses". What was going on with Tony?

He was apparently pointing to other people, I'm not sure who, and deeply hesitant about indicating Megrahi directly. Never mind all the "resembles the man" part, which is par for the course, why the inability to point straight at Megrahi? Anyone at all, on request, could have pointed to "the clean-shaven prisoner in the dock", so it wasn't uncertainty about who he was supposed to be picking out.

I think this was Tony at his most conflicted. I don't think he had a clue what the actual purchaser looked like by then, after not really remembering the face to start with, and a photofit session and an artist's impression session, and being shown scores of pictures of clean-shaven Arab men with a lot of hair, and Paul's scrap-book of contemporary photos of Megrahi, and nearly twelve years having passed.

I think he realised by then, having been taken through his 1989 statement about the six-foot-plus burly dark-complexioned fifty-year-old man, that it wasn't Megrahi, or at least wasn't likely to be him. He had a choice. Say he can't confirm the man who bought the clothes is in the court, and ditch the case - and face Paul's wrath and the future with his financial difficulties instead of a few million dollars - or just say, that's him.

Part of him wanted to be honest, but then part of him wanted the money, and didn't want to face Paul after blowing the whole thing. And the result is that shuffling, reluctant, point-anywhere-but-at-Megrahi wreck that Tony was at that moment.

I hope he gets savaged by a koala bear.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th December 2010, 04:55 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Really? Even if the rest of the world is showing it, and the witness' supposed purity is ruined anyway? If I were in charge, I'd just rule out any further meaningful ID. Maybe for form let him point to the guy and it's "okay yeah, he pointed to the "Lockerbie bomber," it's on the books, means nothing. Now let's get back to the real evidence..."

So far as I know, the Scottish press would be on the hook for contempt of court if they had published any photos, no matter how many German or Italian publications were splashing front-page spreads on it. Anyway, they didn't.

The Scottish judiciary couldn't do anything about the publication in other countries. However, the existence of these publications should have rendered the identification evidence unacceptable.

Don't quote me on this, but I think the defence objected, and the judges said something like, noted, but this case is far too important to be concerned with trivialities like that.

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Old 9th December 2010, 05:03 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
It almost seems he wanted to make the case work, but didn't want to really lie. But I'll be gobsmacked if he doesn't show strategic awareness in where his memory changes. I thinks it's pretty outrageous for one that the judges let slide his rebranding of "six feet or more in height." At trial, he denied ever saying "or more," but affirmed saying six feet. Which he then clarified meant "below six feet," taken as consistent with 5'8".

Did he REALLY mean to describe Megrahi as "below six feet" (and a wee bit "under 60") but phrased it as "six feet or more" (and "around 50")? Or did he perjure himself in court? Were the judges awake for this part?

That's a point we haven't gone into in detail. "Strategic awareness" describes it very well. Tony knew exactly how his original description varied from the evidence required to pin it on Megrahi. And at each point, in court, he was at pains to say the opposite of what he'd said in his original statements. Even after agreeing that his memory was much better in 1989, and "in those days I told them everything exactly, didn't I?"

Not so stupid, really. Cunning to go with the detailed memory of the sale and the vital statistics.

He kept it up right till he was asked to point to Megrahi, and look him in the eye.

I said before he hadn't given very good value for the $3 million they were paid, but you know what, I'm revising that opinion somewhat.

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Old 10th December 2010, 04:42 AM   #336
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I would like to make two comments about the dock "identification" which the judges, as their opinion makes clear, seem for some reason to have treated as worth serious consideration.

The first is that Mr Gauci gave his evidence in Maltese, so words used such as "He is the man on this side" were translations.

Incidentally, I was baffled by the legal meaning of the words "closed bar" at one point in the transcript until I realised that it meant "clothes buyer". That may not be a translation issue, but it illustrates that one must keep in mind the actual process by which the thoughts or intentions of the witness get into the transcript.

The second is that he identified Mr Megrahi (as being whatever he meant by his statements in Maltese) just after being shown the photo from the magazine. It was put up on the screen in court.

But in any case, the long-drawn-out process of the police interacting with Mr Gauci - not just during interviews but also buying Slalom shirts and taking him to Scotland among other events - gives rise to this question:

Is it reasonable to exclude the possibility that communications by police (whose careers might depend on the outcome) about descriptions of the buyer were successfully avoided? It isn't just in the interview room that suggestion can happen.

That doesn't mean it did happen, but the possibility does have to be, I "suggest", taken into account in assessing Mr Gauci's evidence.

A dodgy part of the verdict is where the judges wrongly imply that Mr Gauci remembered the Slalom shirts in September 1989. The process by which he came to say he remembered selling them to the man only after the police bought similar shirts must be suspect.

How can we be reasonably sure that a similar thing did not happen in the case of the description? Showing slight disinterest or disapproval when Tony says "and he was a tall guy" outside the formal interview, for example, can have an effect over time.

(The judges may have erred in a similar way to that above in misrepresenting the evidence about decorations, eliding court and police evidence.)

General pressure on Mr Gauci not to upset the police he had got to know over the years cannot be excluded either, as a possible factor leading him to ignore his previous statements about height, age and skin colour at the ID parade and at court and changing his "identification" from people who, really, didn't look much like either Mr Megrahi or his 1986 passport photo used in the 1991 spread.

The 1991 "identification" is the strongest evidence the prosecution had, and we have to ask whether it is reasonable to think he must have later had different and accurate memories about both the body and the face (as well as the decorations, the shirt and the rain), or there may be some other reasonably possible explanation.

Going on and on until the witness changes their story and description to fit those of the investigators isn't the best way to arrive at the truth.

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Old 10th December 2010, 05:27 AM   #337
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Regarding the translation issue, I wonder a lot about the frequent occurrence of the word "exactly" in the transcripts of the Maltese witnesses. It seems almost like a punctuation word. What was the actual Maltese word that gets translated as "exactly"? Is it really a relevant part of the text, or is it maybe a peculiarity of the translator?

If you simply leave the word out, some of the statements have a distinctly different emphasis.

"Not the man I saw in my shop, but the man who looks a little bit like is that one."

Uh, right....

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2010, 05:57 AM   #338
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It seems bizarre to put so much emphasis on the dock identification, especially when it was so tentative and used the word "resembles" so much.

Dock identifications are pretty much a formality, to check that the witness does indeed accede to the proposition that this is the individual we're talking about. The witness knows by that time that the man in the dock is the man he picked out of the identity parade, so it's essentially a "do you stand by that identification?" question.

Anyone coming into the Zeist court room cold would have been able to point to Megrahi with no trouble, so long as they had the information that the man to be identified was clean-shaven. Tony should have had no trouble pointing to the right person. And yet he did have trouble.

I see it as conflict. He's been learning to identify Megrahi from photographs, for months if not for years. He picked the right man at the identity parade, but he didn't have to go up and point to him in person there - just indicate later that number five is the man who "looks a little bit like" the purchaser. He's been in the witness box, carefully revising his original evidence so that it now fits Megrahi, reversing himself on age, height, build, presence of Christmas lights and the amount of rain falling. It's a careful, deliberate exercise to do what the police want him to do, with the carrot of a nice retirement in Australia with no money worries if he gets it right.

Then he's asked to look Megrahi right in the eyes and say, that man was the purchaser. He can't do it.

And when he does, it's that pesky "resembles" thing again. Yes, the purchaser was an Arab man who was neither a youth nor geriatric, clean-shaven and with a full head of hair. Megrahi fits that description. But so do about 25% of the male Arab population, I think.

However, take the very beginning of the statement right out of context.

Q Mr. Gauci, I wonder if now you would take a moment to look around this courtroom and tell me if you see the man who bought the clothing in your shop in 1988 in court here today.
A He is the man on this side.

I know what advocates are like. Get a form of words they're pleased with, and they'll ride it to death even though it's obviously not quite what the witness meant, and may be contradicted elsewhere in the statement. Forget the following sentence and all the rest of them about "resembles", just hoist the flag, Gauci identified Megrahi as the purchaser.

Juries see through this sort of thing, if they're awake and unbiassed. The judges however seem to have been behaving more like advocates. Right, he said "He is the man on this side." That'll do. (Just like "Joseph Mifsud said there was maybe a 10% chance of a few spots of rain on 7th December, right, it rained on 7th December, that's fine," and "Wilfrid Borg said he couldn't theoretically rule out the possibility of someone getting an unaccompanied bag on an Air Malta plane, though he's buggered if he knows how that could possibly have happened to KM180 that day and the records showing it didn't happen are tight as a duck's arse, fine, it's possible an unaccompanied bag did get on so we'll find that's what happened.")

The final piece of ludicrousness, however, was their interpretation of Tony's hesitancy. Well, he's trying so hard to be fair, bless him, when he could just have said, I'm sure I recognise him. That shows his identification is reliable! He's not sure, of course he isn't, but we're sure he would have made a positive identification but for the 12-year gap, so that's fine. Guilty beyond reasonable doubt!

It's bizarro-world.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2010, 06:23 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by Matt Berkley View Post
General pressure on Mr Gauci not to upset the police he had got to know over the years cannot be excluded either, as a possible factor leading him to ignore his previous statements about height, age and skin colour at the ID parade and at court and changing his "identification" from people who, really, didn't look much like either Mr Megrahi or his 1986 passport photo used in the 1991 spread.

Matt, I made that mistake earlier. It wasn't a 1986 passport photo that was used in the 1991 photospread. This post sort of summarises it, but there's a lot of discussion of this just a little way back in the thread.http://www.internationalskeptics.com...postid=6582571

For more detail see Caustic Logic's blog post, Gauci and the Czech photo. The comments afterwards are particularly interesting. It appears the investigators did have the 1986 or 1987 Abdusamad passport photo at that time, but they also had that blurry, low-resolution black-and-white photo from Czechoslovakia, which they didn't know the date of. These two photos look wildly different, and they asked Edwin Bollier to tell them which was the better likeness. Edwin, inexplicably, picked the Czech photo - which, while it looks nothing like Megrahi as he is or was, does look quite like the photofit Tony produced. Edwin was commenting on the blog, but vanished in a puff of smoke the minute that was pointed out.

What was that all about?

Also see Pete's remarks about the trick the investigators pulled to change Tony's statement that the man was about 50 so that it could support someone in their mid-30s.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2010, 07:01 AM   #340
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Harry Bell identified the photo as belonging to the 1986 Megrahi passport, which was shown on the screen in court.
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Old 10th December 2010, 07:25 AM   #341
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I'll need to read the transcript on that, because I'm not quite following you. Did Harry Bell say the Czech photo was from a 1986 passport? He was also busy saying that photo was taken in about 1978.

When you say a photo was shown on the screen, do you mean the Czech photo? Did anyone happen to mention it's actually unrecognisable as an image of Megrahi, certainly as he was at the time of the purchase, which we know from the Abdusamad photo.

Which photo did you mean was shown on the screen before Gauci made the dock identification?

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2010, 02:36 PM   #342
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DCI Bell said in court that the photo used in the 1991 spread and the photo in the 1986 passport were the same. Both were shown on the screen.

I'm unaware of anyone mentioning in court a lack of resemblance between that photo and either the Abdusamad passport photo or the late-1991 TV interview.

(Incidentally, we might think it would have been a good idea for the police to show Mr Gauci the video for confirmation - if that were appropriate, given the reach of publication and/or broadcast of those images and/or others at the time and the circumstances under which the video was made including the nature of the interview. A video has the sound of the person's voice as well as usually showing the person from different angles and moving, all features of real life not shared by photos. Perhaps they could have taken an excerpt, or maybe there was no fair or permissible way to do it.)

The photo shown on the screen just before Mr Gauci's dock "identification" was in the magazine he said he was shown by the other shopkeeper.


...............................


On the passport photo, the trial court Opinion says (paragraph 62):

"DCI Bell later gave evidence that the person shown in photograph 8 was the first accused, being apparently the same as the photograph in the first accused's 1986 passport."

The transcript says (page 4862):

"Q Could we have on the screen, please, Production 436 at image 1. Is that the photo spread that you showed Mr. Gauci that day?

A That is. Yes."

then at 4865-6:

"[Q] Could we have on the screen now, please, Production 1771....How does the passport photograph on the passport compare with the photograph that you included in the photo spread of the man called Abdelbaset?

A I would say it's the same photograph."


I'm wondering how the investigators came to be saying the photo was much older. It does look to me like a younger man than in the 1987 Abdusamad photo, but if it came from the Czech authorities did the investigators already know that it was from a current passport?

Whether the fact that in 1989 it was renewed until 1994 (as the translator said, pages 4585-6) is of any significance I don't know.

As an aside, the Abdusamad passport said he was born in 1957 rather than 1952. If that was thought credible, then maybe he looked younger than 36 at the time, and Mr Gauci's initial evidence on age might weigh even more against Mr Megrahi being the purchaser.

I'm also wondering about any difference in quality between the photo and the others in the spread. If Mr Taylor was right that that photo was less clear, and the police were giving off, unsurprisingly, signals that this was a big event, then that route is an easy candidate for how this photo was chosen by Mr Gauci. No need even for the police to see which photo Mr Gauci is looking at.

At page 10644 in the first appeal Mr Taylor says:

"the submission I make is that that photograph, to which I have just referred, is plainly less clear than the others".

It might be interesting to see the whole spread.

........................................


On the magazine photo shown to Mr Gauci just before his dock "identification":

[Page 4774]

Q Could we have on the screen, please, Production 451....Was that the article in the magazine which a fellow shopkeeper showed to you?

A Yes.

...Q Towards the bottom of the page in the article, is there a photograph in the centre, of a man wearing glasses?

A Yes.

Q Did you recognise that photograph?

A That day I thought he looked like the man who bought from me, but his hair was much shorter, and he didn't wear glasses.

Q And did you show that photograph to Mr.

4775
Scicluna?

A Yes.

Q Do you remember what you said to Mr. Scicluna when you showed it to him?

A Well, now, I told him, "This chap looks like the man who bought articles from me." Something like that I told him.

Q If Mr. Scicluna says that you said "that's him," would that be correct?

A I don't remember now. I remember I told him, "This man looks like the man who bought articles from me." This is what I said -- I don't know exactly what I said. But I said he might have said that, but his hair and his glasses were not like that, the day he bought from me. And it was much shorter than that and he was without glasses."

Then the dock "identification" begins at page 4777.

Last edited by Matt Berkley; 10th December 2010 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Clarification and formatting
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Old 10th December 2010, 03:16 PM   #343
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Three other things.

Mr Taylor said at the first appeal (page 10666) something else about the article:

"This issue was obviously one which had the potential to influence Mr. Gauci in that identification and the one he made in Court. The article not only showed a photograph of the appellant and named him as a suspect, but also stated that he had been identified by Mr. Gauci as the purchaser of the clothes. It, therefore, went to the heart of Mr. Gauci's evidence."

....

Mr Megrahi's height: At page 4585 it is read from the 1986 passport as being 1 metre 70. That is under 5 foot 7 - so, less than measured at the ID parade and further from the "about six foot or more" mentioned by Mr Gauci to begin with.

One question is - did the person or people measuring the height at the ID parade know about Mr Gauci's evidence about six feet? I realise that measurements may vary and/or be rounded up or down, that the discrepancy may be a small matter and that it may be unfair and unnecessary to mention the possibility of even unconscious communication or influence.

But in any case, if he were really shorter than 5'8" (rounding up and/or down in two instances, and variation in measurement and posture, could together make for some difference greater or smaller than an inch), then that would mean he was nearer to Mr Gauci's own height.

Since people might reasonably be expected to judge height more accurately when dealing with people close to their own height, a small difference could make it appreciably less likely that Mr Gauci would describe a tall man.

....

Possibly in the other general direction of evidence against Mr Megrahi, a page I linked to at twitter dot com slash mattberkley says no measurable rain on 23 Nov 88.

Last edited by Matt Berkley; 10th December 2010 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 10th December 2010, 03:16 PM   #344
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You beat me to that Matt!

However, it's interesting, the whole short passage in Para 62 of the judgement

Originally Posted by Zeist Judgement
DCI Bell later gave evidence that the person shown in photograph 8 was the first accused, being apparently the same as the photograph in the first accused’s 1986 passport. He also said that before showing Mr Gauci the card of photographs he had all the other photographs dulled down to the same level of brightness as the first accused’s photograph. He said that he did that simply for fairness because the rest of the photographs were brighter and sharper than that of the first accused and he wanted them all to look the same. Counsel for the first accused submitted that DCI Bell’s attempts to make the quality of all the photographs similar had failed, but in our view this criticism has no validity.

Now, where I'm confused by this assertion is that DCI Bell is stating that the photograph picked out by Gauci is the one which is from Megrahi's "Abdusamad" passport photo.

Here:



I'm also presuming it was this photo, above, which was shown on the screen at Zeist..?

Which then doesn't make sense to me whatsoever.

Because, this photo wouldn't appear to be dull or lacking quality thus requiring the other photo's in the spread shown to Gauci in Feb 1991 to be "dulled down" as Bell intimated. Unless the other photo's used in the spread before Gauci, of terror suspects, underworld operators and criminals were all of almost digital clarity?...

....


In stark contrast however, and which was my assumption, that Gauci had, in Feb 1991, picked out this (date unknown, but thought to be late 1970's) photo of Megrahi

Here:


This photo does indeed appear to be severely lacking in quality, definition and brightness. Therefore, this photo when placed in amongst a spread of photos shown to Gauci, would indeed probably require the other photo's to be "dulled down" to replicate the quite obvious problems inherent in this photo. I mean even if taken in the 1970's, what the helll camera was that photo taken with? A Box brownie for goodness sake?

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Old 10th December 2010, 04:26 PM   #345
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The 1986 passport was in Mr Megrahi's own name.
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Old 10th December 2010, 05:06 PM   #346
Buncrana
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Originally Posted by Matt Berkley View Post
The 1986 passport was in Mr Megrahi's own name.
I see.

Okay, so Megrahi had his own passport, issued in 1986, and then was issued with the Abdusamad passport by the ESO in 1987.

So, the Abdusamad passport and its, presumably, associated photo of Megrahi was never used, or referred to, either in the photospreads or in court, but was perhaps the same photo Megrahi had used on his own passport anyway?

Was this ever confirmed that both passports, the one issued in 1986, and the Abdusamad one issued in '87, both carried the same photo of Megrahi?

Nevertheless, my point still stands that DCI Bell's statement and testimony at Zeist regarding the events and details of how the photospread was conducted, and the standard of photographs used, when Gauci remarked on a possible resemblance to the purchaser, does not indicate a photograph was used that is either dull or lacking sharpness by any standard.

Unlike the black and white photo, which is most certainly a poor quality photo, and that when presented along with 11 other photograqphs, may well require the other photo's to be appropriately "dulled down".
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Old 10th December 2010, 05:07 PM   #347
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That photo seems so unlike him, I'd have been surprised if he'd actually been allowed to travel on it without at least some query.

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Old 10th December 2010, 05:14 PM   #348
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Sorry, bit of cross-posting there.

I just want to clarify things here.

DCI Bell is saying the photo that Gauci picked out in Feb '91, was actually the colour photo of Megrahi taken c1986, yes? And this was the photo taken from Megrahi's genuine passport he applied for in 1986?

However, at the same time, we have Bell stating that the photo, no.8, the colour one, picked out by Gauci was poor quality, lacking sharpness and brightness? Hmmm..

So, where does the Czech photo come in here?

And no photo was ever produced from the Abdusamad passport, or was it thought to be the same photo as Megrahi used in his genuine 1986 passport?

So, why the discussion by Henderson about the date of the Czech photo, and why does Marquise say in his book, "Giaka had looked at the Czech passport picture identified by Gauci."??

Last edited by Buncrana; 10th December 2010 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 10th December 2010, 05:22 PM   #349
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Here's what Pete2 said on Caustic Logic's blog.

Originally Posted by Pete2
What's baffling me is that, according to the records, the Americans had two different photographs of Megrahi, and got Edwin Bollier to pick out the best likeness:

Memo M2618 from SIO to WMFO (11/2/91): “…It would be very much appreciated if the Quantico team could introduce as early as possible the photographs of the Libyans to Bollier. It is imperative to determine which photograph of Abdelbaset is the best reproduction of how he looked in December 1988 before the photograph selection is shown to Gauci. Is it the one with the collar and tie or the one with the open neck shirt?...I would wish to avoid misleading the witness Gauci during the photograph viewing, if at all possible. It would avoid the impossible situation of showing two photos of the same suspect…”


Extract from DCI Bell Diary (11/2/91): “Attended US Embassy with McAdam. Met with SA Reid who produced a number of photos…Two photos of Abdelbaset one with collar/tie, one with open shirt. Point: Bollier in his statement picks out photo 18 stating it is Baset. We must confim the ID and use this to show witness in spread.”

So what was the other photo, and was it really a worse likeness than the Czech photo?

Where's Bollier when you need him?

This does sound very much as if it's the Abdusamad photo and the Czech photo they're talking about, especially as we know the Czech photo showed Megrahi wearing a collar and tie before it was cropped for the photospread. This is saying they asked Edwin which of these two very different images was the best likeness, and Edwin chose the one that doesn't look a lick like the man.

If that was a photo from a 1986 passport, I'm assuming that they got it via a bad photocopy that existed in Czechoslovakia?

Harry Bell estimated it had been taken in about 1978-9 I think. That was the three-card trick about the age. After Tony rejected all the pictures as too young, Harry Bell told Tony to try again, and implied that the man might have been 10 or 15 years older when Tony saw him. (That would potentially put it as far back as 1973, dammit!) Tony said, well, that seems to be a man in his thirties. If he was about ten years older he would look like the purchaser. This maintains his position that the purchaser was around 50, or maybe a bit under in this case.

However, Harry Bell then decided Megrahi was actually about 26 in that photo, so Tony's statement can be taken to be consistent with a man of 36, bingo. Fourteen years vanish in a puff of logic.

But age aside, the fact is Tony seems to have identified a photo which is such a bad likeness it's well-nigh unrecognisable as Megrahi, and certainly totally unlike the 47-year-old Megrahi Tony met at Zeist.

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Old 10th December 2010, 05:26 PM   #350
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Oh, here's a full picture of a passport with the photo we've been calling the Abdusamad picture in it.

http://images.news10now.com/media/20...i_passport.jpg

Unfortunately I don't read Arabic so I can't tell what the name or anything else is.

And here's an oddity. It seems to be the same photo, but degraded to try to make it look more like the Czech one. Without success, I'd say.

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/507...1E70F2B3269972

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Old 10th December 2010, 05:54 PM   #351
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Ok, the BBC say the colour photo is taken from the Abdusamad passport, and Gauci picked out the Czech photo, which seems to have no reference except it was obtained via the Czechs.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1145884.stm


So, what the devil is DCI Bell playing at now??!
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Old 10th December 2010, 05:58 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, here's a full picture of a passport with the photo we've been calling the Abdusamad picture in it.

http://images.news10now.com/media/20...i_passport.jpg

Unfortunately I don't read Arabic so I can't tell what the name or anything else is.

And here's an oddity. It seems to be the same photo, but degraded to try to make it look more like the Czech one. Without success, I'd say.

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/507...1E70F2B3269972


Rolfe.

Actually, I think I've seen, or possibly got somewhere, a better quality version of that whole passport photo. I'll try and track it down and put it up.

I've never seen that second one before Rolfe. Very interesting...
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Old 10th December 2010, 06:19 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Ok, the BBC say the colour photo is taken from the Abdusamad passport, and Gauci picked out the Czech photo, which seems to have no reference except it was obtained via the Czechs.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1145884.stm

So, what the devil is DCI Bell playing at now??!

OK, so that confirms that the whole passport with the picture we're calling the Abdusamad photo is indeed in the name of Abdusamad.

They also confirm that what Tony Gauci identified in 1991 is what we're calling the Czech photo.

So far so good. This all checks, along with the appearance of the photos because Edwin chose the one with the collar and tie to be used in the photospread, and we know that because of this the bottom had to be chopped off all the pictures to conceal the fact that none of the others featured such sartorial elegance. The Abdusamad photo shows Megrahi wearing an open-neck shirt, while the bottom of the Czech photo is indeed cropped where a collar and tie would be.

Matt seems to be saying that the "Czech photo" is from a passport issued to Megrahi in his own name in 1986. This is quite odd in the context of Bell claiming that the photo was 12 years old or something like that. Surely most people have a new photo taken for a new passport?

It's also extremely peculiar in other ways. Why even consider using such a grainy, poor-quality picture when you have a good-resolution colour photo? Especially as the good-resolution one doesn't even have a collar and tie which have to be chopped off.

And why has nobody noticed that the picture Tony picked out doesn't look a lick like Megrahi at all?

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2010, 06:46 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Matt seems to be saying that the "Czech photo" is from a passport issued to Megrahi in his own name in 1986. This is quite odd in the context of Bell claiming that the photo was 12 years old or something like that. Surely most people have a new photo taken for a new passport?


Rolfe.

Yes, but that's not all.

This particular passport seems as though it may have been issued in 1984. Later there is reference to this same passport being renewed in 1989 and valid until 1994. Therefore, if the passport is valid for 5 years, the picture used would be contemporary, and presumably, also from that time the passport was issued - 1984. So, what are Marquise and Henderson so concerned about the photo being undated and going back to the late seventies?


Originally Posted by Zeist Transcripts
4865-6:

"[Q] Could we have on the screen now, please, Production 1771....How does the passport photograph on the passport compare with the photograph that you included in the photo spread of the man called Abdelbaset?

A I would say it's the same photograph."
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Old 11th December 2010, 09:52 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, so that confirms that the whole passport with the picture we're calling the Abdusamad photo is indeed in the name of Abdusamad.
That passport with Megrahi's photo, and the name Abdusamad has been all over the web for years. And you criticize me for not being well versed on the case? Sheesh.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Surely most people have a new photo taken for a new passport?
Most people don't have false passports. It's a criminal offense; punishable in the UK with 10 years in prison - Megrahi served less time than that for murdering 270 people.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/s...s_with_intent/

~ B.

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Old 11th December 2010, 10:23 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That photo seems so unlike him, I'd have been surprised if he'd actually been allowed to travel on it without at least some query. Rolfe.
Megrahi himself, in an artilcle by Marcela Mega, linked from Robert Black's blog says:
Quote:
"...as an Libyan Arab Airlines employee and as someone well known in Tripoli and at the airport in Malta, I could get away without using a passport or an identification card but simply by wearing my LAA uniform. This may sound ridiculous but it is true. If I wanted to do something clandestine in such a way, there would be absolutely no record at all of me going from Tripoli to Malta and back again."
.

Kinda puts a wrinkle in that so-called high security at Luqa.

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Old 11th December 2010, 01:17 PM   #357
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Sorry, meant to type Marcello Mega. Not Marcela.
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Old 11th December 2010, 03:30 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
That passport with Megrahi's photo, and the name Abdusamad has been all over the web for years. And you criticize me for not being well versed on the case? Sheesh.

Indeed. But as you may have noted, some things Matt said made it reasonable to question whether we were all on the right page, and as I said, I can't read Arabic. But the BBC article confirmed it was indeed the Abdusamad passport. I expect I saw it other places as well, but it never hurts to double-check.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Most people don't have false passports. It's a criminal offense; punishable in the UK with 10 years in prison - Megrahi served less time than that for murdering 270 people being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/s...s_with_intent/

~ B.

Megrahi didn't have a false passport, and you know that perfectly well. It was a coded diplomatic passport, legally issued to him by Libya for whatever diplomatic/undercover reasons there are.

The USA does exactly the same thing when CIA agents and so on are sent abroad under cover. Provides them with legal passports bearing false names. So does everywhere else, come to that.

So don't come out with this nonsense about a "false passport", when it wasn't.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th December 2010, 03:56 PM   #359
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[quote] I worte this: Most people don't have false passports. It's a criminal offense; punishable in the UK with 10 years in prison - Megrahi served less time than that for murdering 270 people [quote]

I did NOT write
Quote:
[for]being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Please don't change my posts or their meaning. I said what I said and I meant what I said.

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Old 11th December 2010, 04:15 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Megrahi didn't have a false passport, and you know that perfectly well. It was a coded diplomatic passport, legally issued to him by Libya for whatever diplomatic/undercover reasons there are.
Call it whatever you will. It was a passport issued to him under a false name. He was employed by LAA and allegedly traveling for business purposes for LAA, even using his LAA discount at the hotel in Slima. This is NOT a diplomatic reason for using a FALSE passport, hence committing FRAUD.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The USA does exactly the same thing when CIA agents and so on are sent abroad under cover. Provides them with legal passports bearing false names. So does everywhere else, come to that.
Everywhere else? You're kinda reaching there. Right, others WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT, and conducting governmental business undercover may use diplomatic passports. So, now what was it Megrahi was doing whilst traveling under a false passport again? Working for the government? Checking out someone to build his staircase? Buying parts? Working for LAA? Or planting a bomb? I, the courts, and many others think it was the latter. Clearly we disagree on that last one, but that is a bit of a rhetorical point, isn't it.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
So don't come out with this nonsense about a "false passport", when it wasn't.
Charming. You're losing it a bit here. Suggest you take a breath darling.

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