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

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Old 11th December 2010, 05:56 PM   #361
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Megrahi himself, in an artilcle by Marcela Mega, linked from Robert Black's blog says: .

That's a really interesting article, Bunntamas, thanks for the link. The Daily Record is a horrible downmarket tabloid which I normally wouldn't use to line the cat's litter tray, so I never saw that before. Just shows, it can print decent journalism when it likes.

Now, note that the passport was issued to him. Not forged, faked or otherwise illegal. If you read Trail of the Octopus you'll read about the US DIA doing exactly the same thing when it wants to send an agent abroad without him being recognised or traced. You think James Bond always went to confront Blofeldt with "James Bond" written in his passport?

Quote:
Megrahi, who is doing a life sentence in Greenock prison, said: "The Libyan government developed a policy of giving certain people a passport in a different name and identity so that these people could be involved as agents trading with foreign entities on behalf of Libyan government bodies.

"But the passport would not identify the holder as someone involved with a Libyan government organ.

"If I used my passport in my real name then it would be very easy for someone to see I was a representative of LAA. I was therefore only one of a number of people who were given an extra passport.

"It was not obtained by cheating or falsehood and it was not obtained for intelligence purposes but in order to do business with other bodies for Libya."

It was entirely accepted in court that this passport was legally issued by the Libyan government. It was not forged or faked or illegal. His possession of that passport was in no way a criminal offence, as you stated.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Kinda puts a wrinkle in that so-called high security at Luqa.

Er, no, not really.

He's only talking about travel between Luqa and Tripoli, which apparently didn't require a full passport to be produced, and let airline personnel go back and forward informally.

He's not talking about flights between Luqa and Frankfurt, and he's not talking about unaccompanied baggage. That statement has no bearing on the presence or absence of an unaccompanied bag on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th December 2010, 06:14 PM   #362
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
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.

That is complete nonsense. You said he was committing a criminal offence by having a false passport. This is entirely untrue. He had a legally-issued passport in a false name, which is something every government does, to allow people it wants to be able to travel untraced, to do just that.

And according to him, "it was obtained in order to do business with other bodies with Libya." You don't get to decide what is proper use of such a passport and what isn't. Screaming FRAUD doesn't make it so.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Everywhere else? You're kinda reaching there. Right, others WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT, and conducting governmental business undercover may use diplomatic passports.

Every country on the face of the globe that has progressed out of the stone age issues passports to its agents in false names. The passport was not illegal, forged or fraudulently obtained, Megrahi was not committing a criminal offence by using it, and he was not committing fraud.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
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.

Well, yes, you're big on rhetoric. It's not much of a substitute for reasoned argument though.

What was Megrahi doing that day with the Abdusamad passport? That's getting quite a long way off topic for this thread you know. It's something you've asked many times before though. Always demanding, why has Megrahi not explained what he was doing that day. I gave a handful of possible reasons, which seemed perfectly plausible to me.

Now, however, you have linked to an obscure article I was previously unaware of, which shows that he had indeed given an explanation, but that his own advocate decided not to bring it out in court.

Quote:
In his most recent statement, which he gave in Arabic to a translator, he says he was in Malta on domestic business the day before the tragedy.

Megrahi said he went to buy some carpets and to find a carpenter willing to bring materials to Libya to fit a banister at his home.

He says: "You have to understand the situation Libya was in at that time.

"Our border with Egypt was closed, our border with Chad was closed, our border with Tunisia was uncertain as they had just changed leadership.

"Malta was the only gate and you did not need a visa or a passport. It is a very short flight, 30 minutes, and Libyan people often go and come home on the same day.

And there's more, about why he was using the Abdusamad passport for this mundane domestic trip.

You may decide you don't believe him. Who knows, I may decide I don't believe him, after I've thought about it for a bit. However, you cannot go on asserting that he has not given any explanation.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Charming. You're losing it a bit here. Suggest you take a breath darling.

I really don't think it's me who's "losing it" here.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th December 2010, 06:38 PM   #363
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You may decide you don't believe him. Who knows, I may decide I don't believe him, after I've thought about it for a bit.
Sigh... Yes, perhaps one day, we will agree on something. Obviously, today is not that day. I'll leave it at that and take the high road.

Happy and safe holidays to you and yours, Rolfe.

Cheers,

~ Buntamas
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Old 13th December 2010, 04:40 AM   #364
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Hm. When I think high road, I think something like "moral high ground," or the noble path, or something. Not sure what was meant here, in the context of people of being unable to agree with each other. Who's actually trying to use relevant evidence to communicate and convince here?

Well here's part of why I've been not commenting as much myself the last few days:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1mPEIebdzk

That's actually me narrating and everything, good for a laugh if nothing else. A bit dense, a little rushed in the production, no pro clearances or anything, but it's informative, I think watchable, and it's up on Youtube. Well, the second half won't be up 'til tomorrow.

Can anyone spot any factual errors or the like?
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Old 15th December 2010, 02:20 AM   #365
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I probably should have just let that sit there. It's pointless my asking Bunntamas a question. As soon as she's got something to laugh at me for, it's a go, but anything else, ignore.

Well, here's part two of the video I narrated while sometimes stuffed up, tired, half-drunk, etc. Full of conspiracy nonsense about lying paid witnesses not even identifying Megrahi anyway. Got to be something in there one could find hilarious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSlFb...layer_embedded
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Old 15th December 2010, 11:22 AM   #366
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It's pretty astonishing really. You often hear, or read about, suggested anomalies or contradictions in high profile investigations and court cases. Whether people then actually take an interest, for a variety of reasons, and commit themselves to the time to look thoroughly and examine the evidence produced by the investigation, not simply deduced from mainstream media reporting, which, on occasion can be itself obviously skewed towards particular viewpoint itself, is quite another matter.

However, all too often the apparent inconsistencies or contradictions alleged by some have been simply exaggerations, falsehoods or lacking any credible support from the hard facts and evidence established and available. Then again, some may draw questions around the facts and evidence presented itself.

The bombing of Pan Am 103 is a widely known tragedy, and the conviction of the sole Libyan Megrahi is relatively well documented throughout a wide range of media resources with the actual Kamp Zeist court determination and conclusion arrived at by the 3 Scottish judges in the trial of Megrahi is available for everyone to read. The critical details case itself against Megrahi are however not so well recognised by the wider public even allowing for most peoples acknowledgement of some of the lingering doubts that have surrounded the conviction since 2001. I don't really think anyone could however imagine that these doubts and anomalies are actually considerably underemphasized in this case and conviction.

Once again, even for those who are quite familiar with the difficulties and inconsistencies with the case, examining in closer detail the processes that these doubts emanated from, merely reveals further illogical conclusions, and more deeply concerning, highlights a raft of wholly improper procedures used by the investigators in an attempt to construct, no matter how absurd or tenuous, some form of case against a suspect. As a few of us, and no doubt many other readers on the Jref forums who have not commented, have discovered, the doubts, inconsistencies and questions that have surrounded some of the absolutely critical areas the investigation, evidence and trial; the MST timer fragment, the Toshiba manual, the Frankfurt records and the unaccompanied bag from Malta, when examined, are actually far more serious than just 'doubts'.

The provenance of evidence, standard documenting procedures significantly altered without plausible reason, statements and reports suppressed, testimony given that has altered significantly since first interviewed, financial rewards discussed and the credibility of those involved in many of these aspects should set alarm bells ringing in any rational person.

And once again, as with the other critical areas of the case against Megrahi mentioned above, this is precisely the case with the 'identification' of him by the Maltese shopkeeper, who allegedly sold him the clothes that were then packed around the bomb used to bring down the jumbo jet just before Christmas nearly 22 years.

The doubts often raised relate to the fact that the shopkeeper received substantial 'compensation' for his evidence provided and testimony given at Kamp Zeist. Of all the evidence produced by the investigators showing Megrahi's complicity in the bombing, it was perhaps the Maltese shopkeepers evidence and identification that was the primary foundation of the case and the most damning resulting in the Libyan's conviction. Other areas of importance alleging Megrahi's guilt, could perhaps falter, but not his identification as the buyer of the clothing. This was fundamental to the case built subsequently on inference upon inference stemming from the clothes purchase.

Megrahi was never shown to have done anything untoward at Luqa airport the morning the bag was said to be loaded, unaccompanied on the flight tagged for Pan Am 103, and no evidence was ever found at Malta by the US, UK, German or Maltese investigators to show how he, or anyone for that matter, managed to achieve this. There was no evidence produced directly linking him to the timers sold by the Swiss company allegedly used in bomb. There was no evidence of Megrahi with access to or using Semtex. No evidence of Megrahi with a Samonsite suitcase that he then packed his purchase of clothes into, took to Luqa airport and no evidence or suggestion presented by the investigation or court that he had ever been involved in past terror atrocities or activities.

However, if it could be shown he had indeed bought the clothing from the small shop in Malta, found scorched from it's proximity to the bomb, then the rest of the prosecutions case, where inference built upon inference leads to "a pattern" as the judges put it, then maybe, just maybe, the whole highly circumstantial and tenuous case could just about hold together. Enough for a conviction? Not in my opinion, and many others including highly respected legal observers, but astoundingly the court and judges saw differently. It's suggested, quite reasonably, for many other politically potent reasoning.

So, we have the Maltese shopkeeper, 9 months after the disaster, giving his first known statement to the investigation which suggested that he had indeed remembered in some quite remarkably detail, the purchase of the clothing, a possible description of the buyer and a rough date all this had occurred. "Too good to be true" as one investigator put it. Quite.

The problem was however that the Maltese shopkeeper and his recollection of the clothing sold was evidently quite accurate and thus the same reliability show be given to his description of the buyer and circumstances of sale, and none of these provide an identification of Megrahi, or to have occurred when Megrahi was even on Malta. Megrahi was 36 at the time, 5' 8" and was not well built. The Maltese shopkeeper's recollection was of a man of 6' or over, 50years+ and well built. Together with the sale happening when the Christmas decoration were not yet up, it was raining slightly and his brother was absent from the shop. Megrahi was on Malta on December 7th, but no rain was recorded that day, the Christmas decorations went up the day before on the 6th and his brother was likely to have been in the shop on the 7th. Could it have been another day?

Yes, the 23rd November, the shopkeepers brother was away watching football, slight rainfall was recorded and, of course, the decorations weren't put up for nearly another 2 weeks. The slight problem with this was that Megrahi wasn't on Malta on the 23rd November.

Worse still, when the Maltese shopkeeper finally did pick Megrahi's picture tentatively out of a photo spread more than 2 years after the sale had occurred as a 'resemblance' but 'too young' of the buyer of clothing, it was from a photograph of Megrahi which bore no semblance to his actual appearance in 1988 at the time of the incident.

By the time Kamp Zeist came around, Gauci had already also identified no less than 4 other men in the interviews and years since 1989, and was allowed to make an initial identification just before Kamp Zeist during a line-up when Megrahi's contemporary photo (although quite distinctly different from the photo the shopkeeper had originally picked out in 1991) had been plastered all over the media in all the years since the indictment had been issued by the US and UK govt officials and anyone, even with just a passing interest in the case, would have known Megrahi.

The shopkeepers testimony and recollection in the courtroom then either utterly contradicted his initial description of the buyer and the probable date of purchase, or became increasingly vague. The buyer was now "under 60", "not more than 6ft" and the circumstances that the purchase occurred became confusing with the rain becoming lighter and lighter while the Christmas decorations were likely "up" now but "can't remember"..

So, in actuality there was no independent identification of Megrahi, and in fact the description given by the Maltese clothing shopkeeper all but completely excluded any possibility of it being Megrahi. The date of sale was, given the evidence known, was also most likely on a day Megrahi wasn't even on the Mediterranean island, and no one need ever consider the values and merit of possible financial inducement or subsequent rewards paid to witnesses for testimony at trials, and therefore the credibility of such a witness.

The facts and evidence from the shopkeepers earliest recollection can not in any sense be attributed to be Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi.
So, if he did not buy the clothes and there wasn't a shred of evidence uncovered throughout the 11 years of investigation from Malta to show the bag was actually introduced there, then who really bought the clothing and where was the bag inserted into the system?.

Well, there's certainly stronger evidence suggesting a Samsonite was surreptitiously introduced at Heathrow which would also help explain away the peculiar and irregular provenance of the timer found to be allegedly used in the bomb if it had been loaded at Luqa - as we're supposed to believe, without evidence, it was. Because, 38mins after 103 left the Heathrow tarmac, it disintegrated 6 miles above Lockerbie, and which fits snugly in the precise timeframe of the barometric devices found just 6 weeks before in Germany, and not the digital timer Megrahi was said to have set from Malta.

The SCCRC ultimately found the Maltese shopkeepers evidence in identifying Megrahi as inconsistent, while many of the Police notes and statements regarding his evidence had also been withheld from Megrahi's defence at the original trial. They did however, in recommending the case back to appeal, dismiss many of the allegations and questions surrounding much of the forensic evidence presented at Kamp Zeist.

As many experts, commentators and writers have continually noted there are a great many mysterious anomalies and doubts which persist regarding the calibre of this evidence and the 'experts' who were assigned to carry out the forensic analysis and documentation on the case. An unholy trinity of experts, Hayes, Feraday and Thurman were used by the UK and US authorities respectively when all three had already been utterly discredited and criticised by the own peers and associates, and even in previous court cases that had resulted in high profile miscarriages of justice.

One apparent whistleblower from within the Scottish police investigation had alleged manipulation and misconduct in the forensic evidence supposedly found around Lockerbie and presented at Kamp Zeist. The fragment of microchip, the Toshiba manual and an item of clothing it was claimed had been either fabricated or manipulated in order to steer the investigation towards an entirely different set of culprits as oppose to that the investigation had been following since the fall of Pan Am 103.

One of the additional claims made by the whistleblower in 2007, which is interesting and relevant given what has been discussed in this thread, was that before the Maltese shopkeeper had, in Feb 1991, cautiously picked out an old black and white photo of Megrahi, he had been presented with the more contemporary colour photo of Megrahi available to the investigators in other photospreads and had failed to identify it as the buyer of the clothing.

Last edited by Buncrana; 15th December 2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 16th December 2010, 04:27 AM   #367
Caustic Logic
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Thanks, Eddie, for a nicely voluminous comment. If I may go straight to the end of it:

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
It's pretty ast
One of the additional claims made by the whistleblower in 2007, which is interesting and relevant given what has been discussed in this thread, was that before the Maltese shopkeeper had, in Feb 1991, cautiously picked out an old black and white photo of Megrahi, he had been presented with the more contemporary colour photo of Megrahi available to the investigators in other photospreads and had failed to identify it as the buyer of the clothing.
Yes, the "Golfer." I'm intrigued by many of these claims, have heard there are some question marks over his credibility, and have been meaning to take a closer look. I wouldn't be surprised to find that claim at least was true. The reason it seems Tony was shown the Czech photo instead of the Abdusamad one, could be because we were just never told about this first pass, where he declined the picture that actually looks like Megrahi, and only pretended that grainy "undated" shot was the ONE they chose to use. How many records of his meeting with police turned up missing? It was quite a few as I recall...
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Old 16th December 2010, 10:09 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
As soon as she's got something to laugh at me for, it's a go....Well, here's part two of the video I narrated while sometimes stuffed up, tired, half-drunk, etc. Full of conspiracy nonsense...
Yep, well what can I say? Thanks for the latest opportunity to laugh.Your posts do typically provide great fodder for laughter, but this one absolutely takes the cake!

Thinking back on the criticism you made about Richard Marquise's latest speech at Syracuse University, and comparing it to this... LOL! It goes without saying, there is absolutely no comparison between Marquise's presentation; extremely well attended by many, many scholars, press and dignitaries, at a highly regarded academic institution and this ... whatever you call it...

Hang on a sec.... I need to stop for a minute and pick myself up off the floor after falling off my chair in laughter after watching your cartoon.
It is... OMG... LOL! LOL! LOL!.. Dude you should give up CTs and go into comedy. Seriously!
I love the "bugs bunny" music and "alien" glow you gave to the prosecutor cartoon character. Thanks for giving us all more insight into this shining representation of the "depth" in your adolescent thought process.

Still laughing....tears rolling down my face and stomach hurts. Thanks CL! I needed a good belly laugh.
~B.

Last edited by Bunntamas; 16th December 2010 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 17th December 2010, 03:29 AM   #369
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Well, at least you are watching (albeit in uncontrollable laughter, or so you say) and presumably listening too Bunntamas. Which is the whole point really.

It may look hilarious to you, but its a damn sight more accurate with regards to Tony Gauci's identification (which you were insistent was discussed) than anything that might spring from Mr Marquise's lips. And yes, despite the convulsive laughter, rest assured you know that too.

And now this particular discussion has quite evidently shown the identification of Megrahi by the shopkeeper to be wholly unreliable - even ignoring the subsequent financial inducements made - and that the description of the buyer, as first recollected by Mr Gauci, does not equate to someone matching Megrahi, and the photo of him eventually hesitantly picked by Gauci in Feb 1991 bears absolutely no similarity to Megrahi at the time of the incident.

Gauci's recollections of the day of sale are confusing and unrelaible, but given the evidence that is known and confirmed by independent sources, such as the meteorological dept on Malta, then on balance the date is most likely the Wed Nov 23rd and not two weeks later. On a day when there is no evidence of Megrahi presence on the island. Or have the met office in Malta, just like all the airport staff and Air Malta workers, been all paid to lie by the Libyans too?

And surely therefore no one, let alone a court, nor especially those seeking justice for their loved ones, can be satisfied or comfortable with this conclusion as a basis of identification?

What say you about this preposterous notion that a positive identification of Megrahi was made despite virtually all the known evidence, as discussed in this thread, indicates the contrary?

Last edited by Buncrana; 17th December 2010 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 17th December 2010, 04:11 AM   #370
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Yep, well what can I say? Thanks for the latest opportunity to laugh.Your posts do typically provide great fodder for laughter, but this one absolutely takes the cake!

Thinking back on the criticism you made about Richard Marquise's latest speech at Syracuse University, and comparing it to this... LOL! It goes without saying, there is absolutely no comparison between Marquise's presentation; extremely well attended by many, many scholars, press and dignitaries, at a highly regarded academic institution and this ... whatever you call it...

Hang on a sec.... I need to stop for a minute and pick myself up off the floor after falling off my chair in laughter after watching your cartoon.
It is... OMG... LOL! LOL! LOL!.. Dude you should give up CTs and go into comedy. Seriously!
I love the "bugs bunny" music and "alien" glow you gave to the prosecutor cartoon character. Thanks for giving us all more insight into this shining representation of the "depth" in your adolescent thought process.

Still laughing....tears rolling down my face and stomach hurts. Thanks CL! I needed a good belly laugh.
~B.
Well I'm glad I was able to make your day. Laughter is good medicine and all that. Do be sure to tune out the informational content, which will likely cause a less favorable emotional reaction once it sinks in. There's been no meaningful identification of your villain as having a thing to do with those clothes.

There's nothing there behind the myth of Megrahi's guilt but some kind of will to power cloaked, for half its lifespan now, in a legal technicality of a highly questionable verdict.

But it was actual hands and a physical bomb, not legal opinions, that blew up that airplane. No evidence they were ever caught.

I feel okay saying this seeing your filters are in good working order anyway. I'm seriously glad I gave you a chuckle or, apparently, a lot more than that. And hey, it's almost Christmas and closer yet to another date I'm sure has always blended with the holidays in a weird way. If anything "nasty" has sunk in, sorry. Just shake it off and enjoy the brighter side of the season and do some soul-nourishing family stuff.

Originally Posted by Buncrana
Gauci's recollections of the day of sale are confusing and unrelaible
Gotta disagree. His relevant evidence is clear and unequivocal in pointing to 23 November, when Megrahi was nowhere near Malta. Only if you take the silly step of merging his police statements with his 1999-2000 "evidence" at Zeist does it become highly garbled, from the changed story he told the udges, which they perversely accepted. Then it's quite clear what's going on, from mapping the obvious channels of the unreliable confusion emerging over: buyer age, height, rainfall, Christmas lights, at least. Everything that never lined up with Megrahi, suddenly comes closer at trial.

Only if one goes to the sillier extreme of considering only his statements at trial without even considering his police statements as read back at trial, could conclude his testimony tends to support Megrahi even possibly being the man. If one then goes back and accepts what he said in '89 as valid and his best memory at the time, but accepts it fits Megrahi, it must be due to some ten-year memory burst, or random memory loss that happens to make him more accurate on all these crucial points, by sheer coincidence.

That's just not rational thinking.
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Old 17th December 2010, 04:15 AM   #371
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Excerpt from missing police statement I imagine could exist, circa mid-1991:
Quote:
I said over six feet? I must been been drunk. I meant to say well under that. Didn't I say five-foot-eight? Meant to exactly. Swore I did. Also, he came into the store later and confessed to the bombing ... said he'd kill me if I told anyone. I'm exactly scared. Can I have a million dollars yet? The Libyans are scaring me again for telling too much. I only try to help you, good sirs. They look at the shop and it looks mean...
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Old 2nd January 2011, 04:09 PM   #372
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Ah, I was having a bit of a break. I'll start re-joining the human race, although I'm going on holiday in ten days so I'll be away again.

I think Tony's initial description is enormously significant. How many of us would volunteer that sort of detail about a man we'd seen once, for maybe half an hour, nine months earlier? Height and age, possibly. Neck, chest and waist measurements? I doubt it.

This is the description of a man who had been working in men's outfitting for 25 years. It's a skill most people don't have, but which you develop in a job like that. How to pick items out of the stock that will fit this particular customer.

Then, at Zeist, Tony doesn't just back-track on this evidence, he denies the skill he undoubtedly has. Supposing it was true, what he said at Zeist, that he actually wasn't any good at estimating these measurements? How would he have behaved in his original police interview?

He wouldn't have volunteered that information.

Bell and Armstrong didn't ask him to guess the customer's vital statistics, resulting in Tony making an inexpert and erroneous stab at it. Tony himself automatically came out with that information because that was what he remembered. That was what he was good at, and that was how he remembered customers.

But oh dear. Tony realises from various sources that the man in the cell at Zeist isn't built like that at all. Shorter, slighter, and without the large head and big chest he originally remembered. If you're Tony, good memory for his work but not very bright, what do you do? Do you insist that your memory is accurate, and scupper the prosecution, or not?

I think even without any external encouragement, he might have begun to lose the courage of his convictions. Many people have an ingrained belief that the police know who they're going after, and go after the right man. Terrible thing, if the police have gone to all this trouble in this big international case, for me to mess it all up by saying the wrong thing.

But if he had been thinking about sticking to his guns and insisting that he remembered a much older, taller and heavier-built man, $2 million is quite an incentive not to go there. The court didn't know about the money of course, but how can anyone impartial handwave away that original, detailed list of measurements, and believe Tony that a man who spontaneously came out with that detail was actually no good at judging build?

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 2nd January 2011 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 4th January 2011, 01:58 PM   #373
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Thanks, Rolfe. It's been a slow conversation lately, eh? I'm pretty tied up myself with projects and work and things. So just a quick couple of thoughts/questions I have floating around:

Two points
1) Did he describe buyer build at trial? It doesn't seem like such a clear issue as height or age, but it is relevant, as the buyer was described in diimensions that seem too large and muscullar for Megrahi. He said he has no experience in height or age, so build can't be far behind among things a clothier should know. Was it made much of by the defense? Did anyone bother to look up (from Libyan tailor?) Megrahi's measurements for comparison? I don't imagine so...

2) Earlier you spoke of Tony's frequent use of the word "exactly." I was thinking about that again, and remembered he was, IIRC, giving evidence in Maltese, translated. So it's some equivalent word in Maltese and, from what I can tell, he means it is the usual way, just over-uses it.
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Old 4th January 2011, 03:27 PM   #374
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One, it's in the transcript. I think Mr. Taylor tried to challenge him with what he'd said in his initial statement, and he tried to back-pedal. I've never seen anything but Megrahi's height stated, but to me he seems much slighter than the measurements stated.

Yes, it was the nature of the word being translated as "exactly" I was interested in. If you look at the evidence of the other Maltese witnesses, they all do it to some extent.

I'm tearing down Christmas decorations at the moment, and getting ready to go to Egypt for two weeks. (Just had a major panic that my passport didn't have a long enough validity on it - apparently one needs six months still to run to enter Egypt - but I checked and I'm OK.) However, I've been thinking quite a bit about that Czech photo. I might find some time to post about it before I go.

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Old 6th January 2011, 09:38 PM   #375
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Safe Travels, Rolfe.

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Old 7th January 2011, 03:36 PM   #376
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Thank you Bunntamas. We hope to avoid becoming a shark's dinner....

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Old 26th February 2011, 03:26 PM   #377
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Managed not to become a shark's dinner. Snorkelling was wonderful. Also managed to avoid the beginnings of the Egyptian uprising, by leaving Cairo about two days before it all started.

I'm reposting below a post from a few pages back, because I want to link to it and the pictures I put on a web server are 404ing for no reason that I can see. I've re-posted them elsewhere but I can't edit the links in the old post.

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Old 26th February 2011, 03:31 PM   #378
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Here's at least the important highlights of the identification process.

In 1988 Megrahi was 36 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and looked like this (the Abdusamad photo, which seems to be a reasonable likeness when compared to other photos we have). For an Arab, he has light skin.



Tony's original description of the purchaser was given on 1st September 1989, the day he met the Scottish police for the first time, and first realised he might have information of interest to some inquiry or other.
  • Six feet or more in height
  • Big chest
  • Large head
  • Well built
  • The 42" jacket would have been too small
  • Not fat or paunchy
  • Black hair
  • Dark skin
  • Clean-shaven
  • Arab, and was speaking Arabic (which Tony spoke a little)
  • Libyan (or possibly, Arab and doesn't speak French, i.e. not Tunisian)
This is all from his first police statement. He was interviewed on a number of occasions during the next couple of weeks, and added a bit more.
  • About 50 years old
  • 36" waist
  • 16½ to 17 inch collar size
On 13th September Tony produced two images of the purchaser - an artist's impression (left) and a photofit (right).



He said the artist's impression was a closer resemblance to the purchaser than the photofit. (I think they look like two different people, personally.)

The following day he picked out Mohamed Salam (left) from a photospread, and said while he resembled the man he was too young by about 20 years (Mohamed Salam was 32 years old in that picture). About two weeks later he picked out Abu Talb (right), and said he might have been the purchaser.



There were more statements and suggestions in the following months, which I'll skip for now. Fast forward to 15th February 1991, over two years later. By this time the investigation had become interested in Megrahi, which they weren't during the initial stages.

Tony was shown a photospread which included a picture of Megrahi allegedly!). There has been much criticism of this process, which I've outlined before, but I'll skip it for now. Here is the picture of Megrahi he said looked most like the purchaser of the pictures in the photospread (but was too young) - compared to the Abdusamad picture again, which is a decent likeness (right).



I have great difficulty in seeing the picture on the left as being a picture of Megrahi at all. It's a terrible likeness. But it's that likeness Tony picked as resembling the purchaser.

And there the matter was allowed to rest, for ten years. The only picture of Megrahi Tony had identified was one that didn't look like him.

However, that wasn't the only picture of Megrahi Tony saw during these ten years. Lockerbie was big news and the blockade of Libya was big news and many articles and features were published about it. Most of them with a picture of Megrahi, identifying him as the suspect.

Tony is known to have seen a number of these pictures. In fact, Paul was keeping a scrapbook of the things for him! Prof. Valentine's report lists a large number of articles with photos Tony had an opportunity to see, including one which Tony definitely had in his possession probably from December 1998 until it was taken from him only four days before the identity parade at Zeist.

During these ten years, and in particular during the months and weeks leading up to Zeist, Tony (in common with anyone else following the case) was able to learn what Megrahi really looked like. Anybody who had seen these better likenesses published in the press could have picked Megrahi out of a police lineup even if they'd never seen him before - much the same as any of us could identify someone we'd seen pictured in the papers on a number of occasions.

(And as an aside, the articles also revealed that Megrahi was 36 in 1988, not 50, and the pictures showed that he was of only average build and not especially tall.)

So, having picked out the round-faced blurry photo (left) in 1991, Tony was presented with Megrahi himself (right) in 1999. All he had to do was to decide whether to pick him out or not.



So he did.

So, of all the middle-aged-ish Arabs with a full head of black hair and no beard or moustache, what on earth about this makes us think the man Tony saw is at all likely to have been Megrahi?

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Old 20th April 2011, 02:09 AM   #379
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In view of the way the photos disappeared from the earlier posts, I thought it might be desirable to have a more permanent record of this aspect of the case. I therefore cobbled up a pdf document with what I think is a better summary, including the Welsh photo.

I can see two or three errors, that I'll correct later. I was trying to keep it short, but even so it ran to four pages. If I've missed out anything major, please someone let me know and I'll include it.

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Old 29th April 2011, 01:42 AM   #380
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Oh, by the way, thanks for that. Excellent resource. I need to get a more reliable file storage solution and host that plus the transcripts PDF. One of these days ...
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Old 31st May 2011, 07:31 AM   #381
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Some thoughts about the photographs.

It's true that Harry Bell's diary entry for 11th February, 1991 implies that the FBI has two different photographs of Megrahi:

Quote:
Two photos of Abdelbaset one with collar/tie, one with open shirt.
On reconsidering, though, I think it becomes clear that Bell was initially mistaken: there was only one photograph. This was the one obtained, according to Marquise, from Czechoslovakian immigration records, which was a photocopy (presumably) taken from Megrahi's current passport. Bell justifies the Scots' indecent haste to show the photo to Gauci, despite its unknown age and bad quality, by the claim that no better one could be obtained. (Even with the CIA involved in the case.) SA Philip Reid records four photos of four individuals, and Marquise also mentions only the one photograph. FWIW Bollier also recalls only seeing the passport photograph.

We've speculated that the passport photo may have been chosen to show to Gauci, rather than a better one, because it looked more like the photo-fit. However, it does seem that Bell was pretty certain he'd got his man this time, and would have used the best and most recent photo he could get his hands on. I think he truly believed Megrahi to have been the purchaser of the clothes, and in that case the most accurate and up-to-date photograph would be the most likely to get a positive ID. I find it really hard to believe that Bell wouldn't have used the 'Abdusamad' photo if he'd had it.

As it was, he risked using the passport photo, but was concerned that Gauci wouldn't pick it out because he'd been led to believe it was 10-15 years out of date. Hence the 'three card trick' when Gauci declared all the men to be too young. (Aside: being as charitable to Bell as possible here, remember he had no idea what Megrahi actually looked like apart from that one bad copy of an old picture. So, from Bell's POV, it was possible that in 1988 Megrahi looked older than he actually was; also, the police thought Tony a bad judge of age for some reason. Of course, that doesn't justify asking Tony to look at the pictures a second time, or telling him that the suspect might be 10-15 years older than his picture - in other words, just look for a photo that looks older than the others. Or, for that matter, having DI Crawford sat opposite Tony, able to see which picture he was looking at, and in a heightened state of anticipation:

Quote:
Wee Tony began to look carefully at each photograph in turn. I watched his eyes as he scanned each picture, his expressionless face moving from one to the other as he concentrated his thoughts on each...
When he was finished he looked again at number eight and I thought, he's gonna pick him! He looked carefully at all of them in turn once again and then said solemnly, pointing to number eight, 'that is the man', or words to that effect.
(Crawford, p219))

To be honest, the more you look at it, the more the whole thing looks more like cock-up than conspiracy, with the exception of that bloody timer fragment.

Pete
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Old 31st May 2011, 07:48 AM   #382
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More about photographs.

Just to add to the general confusion, here, FWIW, is the dialogue CL and I had with Edwin Bollier on 'The Lockerbie Divide', prompted by Bell's reference to two photographs of Megrahi and the need for Bollier to indicate the best.

Herr Bollier:
When you were in America in February 1991, according to DCI Bell's diary you were shown some photos in the hope that you would be able to identify them. Mr Bell wrote that the Americans showed you two photos of Megrahi, and that you picked out one of them, No. 18, in which he wore a suit and tie, as a good likeness of Megrahi. Can you describe the second photo for us? I'm amazed that there could have been a worse picture of Megrahi than the one they used in the photo spread of 15.2.91
.

During my visit to the FBI in Washington in 1991 a portrait photograph of Abdelbasset Al Megrahi was shown to me in the course of my questioning. I recognised Al Megrahi without a doubt. Parallel to that I was shown an identikit picture which was almost a 100% match for the first portrait!

I was astonished, and said to my American handler, FBI Attache Robert Fanning, that the identikit picture was practically a tracing of the original photograph...I wanted to hear what he said to that.

He could not answer; therefore I decided not to assume too much, and stated that the identikit picture was a 50% match for the original picture. The interviewer said, no more that that, as a percentage? On this I increased, being convinced myself, to 70%. The interviwer said ok and entered "70%" on a preprinted FBI document with attached identikit picture.


Whether the identikit picture did correspond to any known published FBI "artist rendition", I doubt it! By my recollection the identikit picture was a perfect tracing of the picture of Mr Al Megrahi.

Herr Bollier:
Just to be completely clear:
In the article "Gauci and the Czech photo" on this blog there are several photos, including an artist's sketch and a photofit. Can you say whether you recognise the pictures you were shown in Washington among them?



Before my visit to the FBI in 1991 I had already seen the photos, the photofit and the drawing of 13.9.89 with the Swiss police. I first saw the University of Wales pass photo this year on DIVIDE.

At the FBI I saw a good portrait photo of Al Megrahi, and at the same time a perfect tracing (not photofit). I have previously described this drawing wrongly as a photofit. The tracing of Al Megrahi corresponded almost 100% to the photographic image. I did not see this tracing later in photospreads with the Scottish police or the Swiss police.

The police-document I had to sign at the FBI was already filled in with text as far as the figure 70%. The tracing, in postcard size, was clipped to it, along with the photograph.

The photo was the one discussed here, the "Czech photo," correct? This "identikit" image sounds like the "photofit" or "composite face" image? Robotphoto? I'm confused what it is you're saying was such a suspicious match.

The photo was the one discussed here, the "Czech photo," correct? No, the "Czech photo" has nothing to do with the drawing in the FBI. The FBI was signed artist rendition of a photograph of Al Megrahi. Passport Porträt.
The Czech photo I have only seen on their website DIVIDE.

NB Bollier posted the 'Czech photo' on his own website in 2009, labelling it correctly as Megrahi's passport photograph.

Marquise, OTOH, has Bollier spontaneously identifying the sketch made with Gauci's help as Megrahi:

Quote:
That morning [(February 15th, 1991), Bollier] was shown the drawing of the individual who had purchased the clothing at Mary's House in Malta over two years before. He said the drawing resembled a man he knew as Abdel Baset Ali al Megrahi. They had done business together and Megrahi rented office space at MEBO in Zurich. Bollier had been shown the drawing before but now said it had been a bad photocopy and he did not notice the resemblance then.
Given Bollier's relaxed attitude to veracity, I'm not sure what we can make of this. Reading between the lines, my best guess is that Bollier was shown the sketch when he had recently seen the photograph of Megrahi, or at the very least in the knowledge that the FBI was interested in Megrahi: I can't believe it was as spontaneous as RM makes it sound. No suggestion any where, though, that there was any other photograph available at that time.

PS An unrelated point re photos: the picture labelled 'zeist1999' is actually of Megrahi under arrest in Libya in 1992: check out the policemen's cap badges.
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Old 31st May 2011, 12:54 PM   #383
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Hi Pete!

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it's tenable that they only had one photo. I know Bell contradicts himself, but he's just too definite about there being two. Here's the extract from the HOLMES records I posted in the other thread.

Quote:
Extract from DCI Bell Diary (22/1/91) (HOLMES version) "They, the FBI, have supplied photocopies of photographs of Abdelbaset [....] and in the margin the summary: "Reference to Americans having photocopies of Abdelbaset's photograph.”
The Manuscript Version suggests that 2 photographs of the appellant were supplied: “… they have supplied photocopies of photographs of Abdelbaset (2)”

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. [....]

Memo M2618 from SIO to WMFO (11/2/91): [....] 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? [....]

HOLMES Statement S609BG
DC John Crawford (14/2/91): Compilation of photospread DC912 and covering portion of photographs to conceal fact that appellant’s photograph shows him wearing a tie.

Extract from DCI Bell Diary
(15/2/91): [....] Reid has been worried in case there is no identification made by the witness because [the photo] of Baset we have is too young. I explained that as we have no other and no indication that we will ever get one, then we can only proceed with what we have. If no identification is made and we later get a better photograph showing his true age and appearance in December '88, then the Lord Advocate may accept an argument for showing this to the witness.

The Memo M2618 is extremely clear on the subject. As far as I can see the open-necked shirt photo can only be the Abdusamad photo or the Cardiff one, and I really don't think they'd be playing around with a photo of Megrahi when he was barely out of his teens even if they had it. Why Bell later said they had only one photo I don't know.

I think there may be two reasons for not using the Abdusamad photo. One is what I said before, that the Czech photo looked more like Tony's photofit, but the other is that the diary suggests that they only had black-and-white photocopies of both pictures at that time. So it may be that the contrast in quality wasn't anything like so great, and so it wasn't so self-evident which one was the better pick.

I don't know what to make of the story that they asked Edwin which was the better likeness. Edwin, of course has a different tale. It appears that Edwin is trying to allege that the so-called photofit wasn't a photofit at all but was made by tracing the Czech photo of Megrahi. Which is of course rubbish, but par for the course as regards the green/brown board and other stories.

I also have never really got any feeling that Bell especially thought he had his man. He thought he had someone he could pin it on, which isn't quite the same thing. But if there wasn't a huge quality difference between the two pictures as he had them at the time, it could be that his choice of which picture to use was passably honest.

Your quote from Crawford, assuming it isn't mostly Crawford's imagination, is an absolutely classic scenario for a "Clever Hans" effect. He knows which photo is Megrahi's, and he's watching Tony look at the photospread and reacting when he can be seen to be looking at the right one. It's absolutely not on, and was known to be not on certainly by the time of the trial.

Originally Posted by Pete2
PS An unrelated point re photos: the picture labelled 'zeist1999' is actually of Megrahi under arrest in Libya in 1992: check out the policemen's cap badges.

The photo is a detail from a larger picture reproduced in Paul Foot's essay, Flight From Justice. There is a companion photo of Fhimah in a similar predicament, but surrounded by many more people including western-ethnicity press personnel. Both pictures are clearly captioned as depicting the arrival of the two Libyans at Zeist in April 1999 (which would be four days after Megrahi's 47th birthday as if happens). I assumed these were Dutch police officers, and I thought Megrahi looked more than five years older than the Abdusamad picture. (I did wonder about the style of Megrahi's specs though....)

On the other hand the accompanying text says that Fhimah was also wearing a suit, which he isn't in the companion picture, and I found a different photo (very low resolution unfortunately) on the BBC web site where both men do look older and are wearing clothes closer to the verbal description in the Foot essay. The BBC text also implies the men were escorted by Scottish police officers, which these goons certainly are not.

It doesn't make much difference to the argument in my little essay, except that I'd need a better picture of Megrahi in 1999 to show how he looked when Tony picked him out of the line-up, but I'd like to get the facts as correct as possible. Do you have any links to a definite identification of these photos Foot dates to 1999 as actually being from 1992?

Rolfe.
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Old 31st May 2011, 01:07 PM   #384
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Pete or anyone - the best image I can find which genuinely seems to be from the early stages of the Zeist process is this one, and indeed Megrahi looks older in it than he does in the Foot picture.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/715000...usedone150.jpg

Unfortunately he has his hand over part of his face. Have you any idea if there is a clearer picture available from about the same time period?

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Old 31st May 2011, 02:09 PM   #385
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OK Pete, or anyone for that matter. New version of my essay now up, using Pete's date for the picture with the big specs. I've found two pictures from Zeist, though nothing usable from 1999. Neither is perfect, one having his hand partially covering his face and the other wearing a small hat, but together I think they'll do the job unless someone can find something better.

Comments welcome.

ETA: Heartfelt thanks to Pete. Although I thought the style of the specs was anachronistic, it wouldn't have occurred to me to question Foot's provenance of that photo. Another win for accuracy!

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Old 1st June 2011, 02:01 AM   #386
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Supplementary thought. I remember finding a black-and-white version of the Abdusamad photo online, some time ago, and wondering what that was all about. Was someone trying to make the Abdusamad picture resemble the Czech one?

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_NE-72ZXux-...20/megrahi.jpg

Now I've realised that the investigators were given photocopies of both mugshots in 1991, I wonder if in fact this version of the Abdusamad picture is actually the version the police were looking at when they were trying to decide which to put in their photospread.

If that's the case, the quality difference isn't nearly so marked as when one has access to the colour original, and it makes it a bit more likely the choice was at least semi-honest. The Abdusamad picture still looks a lot more like a real person though.

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Old 1st June 2011, 06:26 AM   #387
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I think this is a slightly better capture of Megrahi in his 1999 interview and it's the best I can find from around the trial.




I hate to be a total pendant but I think that the picture with Megrahi and the black chechia hat is from his first appeal in 2002.
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Old 1st June 2011, 06:44 AM   #388
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That is certainly better. Do you have a link to the provenance? You say 1999 interview, and it looks as if it was taken on the same occasion as the picture I captioned as 2000 (because I got it from a BBC report dated 2000 on the beginning of the trial). I'm not aware of this 1999 interview, did it happen before or after he travelled to Zeist? Either way, if the year is 1999 it's the best fit for the person Tony Gauci picked out of the identity parade.

You know, with the right pictures, this argument is getting even more compelling.

I know the second picture is from the appeal, but the appeal started in 2001 and I thought it was from that period. If you think it's from the end, I can change it. In fact, with the better picture you provide above, I think dumping the one with the hat would be better. Again, I've never felt that picture was a particularly good likeness of him in the context of all the other pictures we have, including the interview in TMDC and the later pictures when he was in Greenock.

Rolfe.
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Old 1st June 2011, 08:58 AM   #389
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Actually Rolfe, I'm wrong, it's earlier. According to this article it appears these caps of Megrahi being interviewed are from late 1998. October to be exact. The whole interview is actually before they had even agreed to the trial at the Netherlands.

Interestingly though, contained on that article are two b&w, what appear photocopies, photographs of Megrahi and Fhimah.

Here is a link to the video of that interview (unfortunately the whole thing is in Arabic) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rLEydIXNkk


I've had a look at the photos taken during the first appeal with Megrahi wearing the black cap, and the only references I can find are ones attributed to Jan 2002 and some later in March 2002 during the verdict. Both photo's suggest he wore that same outfit throughout the appeal. So it's quite plausibly either late 2001 or early 2002.

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Old 1st June 2011, 09:31 AM   #390
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That's an interesting article, I hadn't seen it. I see it's hosted by the same site as has the transcript of the Shadow Over Lockerbie documentary, but I didn't spot it before.

The black and white pics are first a photocopy of the Abdusamad picture, which I think is the alternative image the cops had in 1991 that they didn't show to Tony, and secondly what appears to be a photocopy of a passport photo of Fhimah's.

I read that Megrahi brought the Abdusamad passport with him to Zeist, voluntarily, so it's possible the colour version of that photo wasn't available until then.

If that series of pictures with Megrahi in the black shirt and often gesturing so that his hand is over his face is October 1998 then it's close enough to April 1999 to serve as a decent image of the person Tony identified at Zeist, which is the main thing.

Echoing something said in the article, it's quite striking how much Megrahi appears to have aged between 1992 and 1998, taking into account what we now know to be the correct dating of the photos. Booth separately remarked that he aged a great deal during the Zeist trial. The most recent pictures of him (from 2009 I think) show someone who looks like an elderly man, although he's only 59 - though I suppose cancer does that to people as well as stress.

If he really did only go to Malta that day to buy a carpet and find a joiner to fit a bannister rail, these photos are quite an indictment of our criminal justice system.

ETA: Surely someone could subtitle that video!

Rolfe.
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Old 1st June 2011, 01:32 PM   #391
Rolfe
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I've re-done the article again, now using both website stills from the interview rather than a screen cap because the screen caps seem to have poorer definition and are very red-toned.

You know, this whole thing is ridiculous. I just don't see how anyone could maintain there was any case to be made that Tony genuinely identified Megrahi.

I can see now why the expert witnesses (I think it's Valentine who brings up this point) don't seem to have noticed that the photo Tony picked out was nothing like Megrahi. Valentine merely mentioned another photo which was "similar" to the one used in the photospread, without saying anything about colour or quality or whether either of them was recognisable. Of course, if he, and the police in 1991, were working with the black-and-white photocopy of the Abdusamad picture, then these considerations wouldn't arise - particularly if they had no other pictures to allow them to gauge which was the truer likeness.

Here's the two photocopies side by side.



The Abdusamad one still looks the better bet to me, but the quality is badly degraded and it's much less obvious which one is the more lifelike. And perhaps my perception is coloured by having looked at the colour original, and so many other pictures of Megrahi.

Of course the original of the Czech photo has never been made available. I genuinely wonder what it would look like, if it was ever recognisable as the man himself.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 03:25 AM   #392
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Pete2 - could I ask you again for a link that confirms the provenance of the picture where Megrahi is wearing the big specs and being escorted by a couple of Arab-looking cops to 1992? I've incorporated that information, because it fits the rest of the data, but I could do with confirmation.

The reason is, I'm thinking (in fact have suspected for some time) that the "Abdusamad" photo may have been taken some time before the issue date of the passport, that is 1987. He really doesn't look 36 in that picture. I thought appearances might be deceptive, because some people do look younger than their years, but with the big-specs picture now dated to 1992 rather than 1999, that moves the whole time-line back.

What I am considering is whether we should in fact be looking at the big-specs picture as being the one most comparable to Megrahi's age as he would have been in December 1988. If that picture was taken early in 1992, as I suspect it was if it followed soon after the indictments which were November 1991, then it would be barely three years older than Megrahi was at the time of the alleged clothes purchase.

If some some reason Megrahi was using a stock of old "passport" photos taken some years before when getting new documents, rather than having contemporary pictures taken, the "Abdusamad" image might date as much as 5 or 6 years before the actual purchase. It would thus be more realistic to use for comparison a picture we know was taken only about 3 years after it.

One really ridiculous feature of the prosecution's argument was thet Gauci could ever have assessed the age of the man in the Abdusamad photo as being anywhere near 50. We lose that point slightly, if we use the big-specs picture, which would actually show Megrahi at 39 if it was taken in say January 1992 (which is why I would be really grateful for a precise date of the Libyan arrest). He still doesn't look 50 though, in that picture, and it's three years post-purchase.

However, although the point about the age is weakened slightly, the general comparison argument becomes even sillier. If what actually walked into Tony's shop was approximately the man we see in the big-specs picture, then what on earth are we to make of his identification of the Czech picture in the photospread?

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 06:30 PM   #393
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It's OK, I found the date of the picture. February 1992. Megrahi was 39.

With all this new information, I've re-done my little article yet again, and it now has an appendix page with all the photos (and a few more) shown together.

Any further comment welcome.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th June 2011, 05:09 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Pete2 - could I ask you again for a link that confirms the provenance of the picture where Megrahi is wearing the big specs and being escorted by a couple of Arab-looking cops to 1992? I've incorporated that information, because it fits the rest of the data, but I could do with confirmation.
I'd say it was around that time, just by the Libyan guards' leather jackets. They look like members of Public Enemy.

Quote:
And perhaps my perception is coloured by having looked at the colour original, and so many other pictures of Megrahi.
No, it definitely is. Right?

Again, sorry I'm not adding anything lately. It is a thing I'm a little sorrowful about ... eventually it'll motivate me at the right time ...

Hey, is it worth mentioning that someone out there might think Tony is living in St. John, Netherlands? It's actually a possession in the Bahamas ... intriguing. Evidence is a hit on my blog following a search for "Tony Gauci, St. John, NL." Not much, maybe just someone's odd hunch ... ?? He lives on islands, was last seen in the Netherlands, had a reported location of Australia, suggestiing he's anywhere but there ...
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Old 5th June 2011, 07:36 AM   #395
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Just to add to the ever-growing collection, here are a couple of vidcaps from Pierre Salinger's ABC interview with Megrahi in November 1991.



Notice he's had that floppy hair tidied up for the interview. On the subject of the Megrahi barnet, have you noticed that in all the photos, aged 19 to 57, he wore it off his ears, even when he had that big afro. The 1989 sketch has the hair covering the ears. I'm just mentioning that because it must have been one of the details the police artist asked Gauci about in order to produce the sketch. Ditto the photofit.
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Old 5th June 2011, 03:43 PM   #396
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I wondered about that film, and also there's TMDC from 1993-4, except the quality of the prints of that is appalling. And there's that pic from the appeal, but that's another photo that doesn't actually show a good resemblance.

The Salinger interview must be the closest we actually have to how he looked in late 1988 though, so I should maybe try to work it in. Are there any stills without the subtitles?

You know, after having a Saudi PhD student for several years, every time an Arab says, "believe me" to me, I KNOW he's lying.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th June 2011, 04:10 AM   #397
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Well, well. Here's a PA photo dated 14 Nov 1991. It's a copy of the Abdusamad photo, with staples, as noted earlier by Rolfe, and is part of an information sheet produced for the investigation complete with aliases etc.




So, remind me again, was it Marquise who was claiming that he never saw the colour Abdusamad until just before the trial?? Given the rest of his 'facts' this would seem about right. And yet we're to believe that they wouldn't have presented Gauci with this far more contemporary photo of Megrahi for fear of 'confusing' poor Tony? Confusing and muddying their own investigation more like!

Of course all this equivocation by the investigators with Gauci's "identification" of Megrahi allowed them to press on with the fantastic Malta-Frankfurt-Heathrow theory, initially prompted by the clothing discovery, reinforced by the B8849 revelation, and shortly afterwards addtionally supported with the miraculous fragment identification.

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Old 6th June 2011, 06:56 AM   #398
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Wow, where did you get that??? Srsly? Is there a copy with the rest of the information that's cut off the side?

What Marquise is said to have stated is that the investigation never saw the Abdusamad passport before Megrahi brought it with him to Zeist. (Sorry, I haven't got that far in his book myself, but I think that's what pete2 said he said.) Fair enough, that's possible. However the photo that was in that passport is a photo they quite obviously had in the early 1990s, from a different print.

Whatever that document shown above by Buncrana is, it is not the original document that the staples were attaching the photo to, because the staples are part of the image there and are cut off at the edge of the image. I want to know where they got that photo and what document it was stapled to.

This puts their possession of that photo right back to November 1991 according to Buncrana's information, but it's still not quite far enough. What I would like to prove is that the photo with the "open neck shirt" referred to by Bell in his February 1991 diary entries is this photo. I would also like to know whether he had a colour version available.

Realistically, I can't see what else the "open neck shirt" photo can possibly be other than this one. Bell initially refers to being supplied with photocopies of two pictures of Megrahi, which would imply black-and-white, but surely to God if they had a colour print that (or a good colour reproduction) would be made available for a photospread if required?

As far as I can make out, the "Czech" photo is a routine photocopy made by the Czech immigration authorities of Megrahi's own passport, when he passed through there. Which would explain why the quality is diabolical, and no better version was available. Funnily enough, no image of that original passport photo has ever surfaced. It would be interesting to know what it looked like and if it ever bore any seious resemblance to its subject. On the basis of the photocopy, I'm surprised he was allowed to travel on it!

I had thought, at one point, that the provenance of the "open neck shirt" picture in 1991 was similar - that in fact they had a routine photocopy from somewhere taken from the Abdusamad passport. Which might have meant that it too was black-and-white, and possibly not quite so obviously a better image than the Czech one.

However, that does not seem to be the case. At the time they had the "open neck shirt" picture, they were still (ostensibly) unaware that Megrahi was Abdusamad. Which suggests that wherever the stapled copy of the photo came from, it was a document with Megrahi's own name on it. Given that they had an extremely similar photo of Fhimah too, staples and all, I wonder about LAA identity passes.

Looking at that photo in the context of the other images of Megrahi we have available, I seriously doubt that he was over 30 when it was taken. Which of course would make it a bit problematic to show Tony as regards someone Tony said was about 50 when he saw him. But then the investigators were making the same objection about the Czech picture, that it was (they hypothesised) as much as 12 years old. Frankly, the quality of that picture is so bad that I don't think it's possible to make a serious estimate of the age of the subject.

Where I'm going with this is to suggest that they did indeed have a colour print of the open neck shirt photo, the one with the staples in it, in February 1991. And that instead they chose to show Tony the low-resolution black-and-white Czech print. They specifically decided against showing him the colour photo, and again that was explicitly because they were concerned that it might muddy the water - in other words, that Tony might not heplfully agree that this man resembled the clothes buyer "a lot".

But then they ditched the Czech photo for the purposes of the investigation, and it never seems to have surfaced again. When they needed a picture for a Wanted poster, they chose the staple-photo.

Something about this stinks to high heaven. I dearly want to know where and when they got that staple-photo.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th June 2011, 11:44 AM   #399
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For the complete document in Buncrana's image, see http://www.justice.gov/nsd/foia/read...-documents.pdf pp 47-48

The staple to the right of Megrahi's head is clearly part of the photograph, but it's possible that the staples above the suspects' heads are attaching the photographs to this document.

In the absence of any definite proof to the contrary, the most likely source of this photo must be McCulloch's visit to the Libyan passport office in early November 1991. It's normal for a reference copy of one's passport photo to be kept by the issuing office, and McCulloch would have taken or at least photographed the documentation, as it proved that the JSO had asked for the Abdusamad passport to be issued to Megrahi.

Clearly, it's possible that the FBI had two photographs of Megrahi in February 1991 and, once the Czech photo was decided on, the second was for some reason 'forgotten', in the same way that the 23rd November was 'forgotten' as a possible date for the clothes purchase. But although Bell is clear about a second photograph, he only seems to be so on February 11th. By the 15th he's saying they only have the one. And Reid is equally clear that he has four photographs of four individuals. So I can't help feeling that there's a strong possibility that Bell was mistaken about that second picture, but never admitted it explicitly.

Pete
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Old 6th June 2011, 01:41 PM   #400
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Ah, it's the US indictment. That year's main nomination for the Booker Prize.... I see that's a black-and-white version. Does anyone know where Buncrana got his colour version from? Buncrana?

I have to say that I think both staples are from a prior incarnation of the photo. The normal place to put a first staple attaching any photo to the document it was originally intended for would be at the top. I would have expected one at the bottom too, but perhaps these were cropped off as the top ones were by some publishers.

Passport office. Indeed. That was my thought too. But that wasn't the photo on Megrahi's passport, was it? The Czech photo was that. I'd have expected a visit to the passport office to yield a decent copy of the Czech photo, and yet no such thing has materialised. Instead, we have the photo that was on the Abdusamad passport.

Very strange. Particularly strange when we consider that Marquise is still dementing on about needing proof that Megrahi is Abdusamad in November 1999, after Megrahi was at Zeist. He says that only then was a document found on file from the Libyan passport office, requesting a passport for Megrahi in the name of Abdusamad, and they couldn't believe it had been overlooked all these years while they were still wondering if the two men were really one and the same!

So they cannot have got the staple-photo from the Libyan passport office. Any photo of Megrahi they got from there would have been a print of the Czech photo. If they'd got the staple-picture from the passport office it would have been attached to the name Abdusamad, and they'd hardly have been using it on wanted posters and indictments as an image of Megrahi if they weren't sure the two men were one and the same.

I think it's unarguable that the staple-photo was from some other identity document with Megrahi's own name on it.

Keep digging.

Rolfe. Sitting looking at six books on Lockerbie, tossing Booth as rubbish, wondering whether to read Marquise or Ashton/Ferguson first, and settling for Johnston as being less heavy going....
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