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

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Old 8th December 2009, 03:52 AM   #81
Rolfe
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I'm not sure how much reliance we can put on Gauci's identification of the purchaser as "Libyan". It's been said that there are many Libyans in Malta, and he would have been familiar with the nationality and the accent.

However, I'm not clear that he wouldn't simply have assumed all Middle-east Arabs he couldn't immediately peg as something else were generic "Libyan". Somewhat similar to the situation here, when we have a lot of Polish immigrants around, anyone from Eastern Europe is likely to be assumed to be Polish unless we have some reason to think otherwise.

That second quote doesn't inspire great confidence in me that Tony really could place a Libyan reliably by his accent.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th December 2009, 03:57 AM   #82
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I would agree that there probably was a purchase of some clothes, by a man of Arab origin, some time around the period in question. However, I'm not yet convinced that this purchase had anything to do with the bombing. I'm still suspicious that Tony originally remembered a possibly relevant purchase when first questioned about the matter, and was then encouraged by leading questions, subliminal clues and latterly promises of large sums of money to make this poorly-recalled purchase a fit for the blast-damaged clothing.

If that's the case, then the identity of the purchaser is irrelevant. Only if we can be fairly sure that the clothes that hazily-remembered customer purchased really did end up on the ground in Dumfriesshire, does the identity of the purchaser start to matter.

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Old 8th December 2009, 04:03 AM   #83
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I too doubt mr. Gauci could tell a "Libiyon" from, say, a Palestinian any better than most shopkeepers around here could discern a Puerto Rican from a Honduran when all they're used to dealing with (or perceiving) is "Mexicans."

What strikes me is how oblivious he acts in boldly saying Libyan everything. It's almost, not to jump too far, but almost as if he was really just saying "I understand you guys want a Libyan." I think by September, especially considering Giaka and his tales festering in the shadows, the "script" had turned fully to Libya, if it wasn't fully settled there to outward appearances.
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Old 8th December 2009, 04:19 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If that's the case, then the identity of the purchaser is irrelevant. Only if we can be fairly sure that the clothes that hazily-remembered customer purchased really did end up on the ground in Dumfriesshire, does the identity of the purchaser start to matter.
No, no, we just can't do that. I do sense reading this that there's a core of truth to a genuine encounter, and possibly even a connection to the Lockerbie evidence. But as always, eyewitness testimony is already the weakest evidence. It gets no better when further softened after years of simmering and seasoning and repeated questioning and uncertain methods, and possible leading... In his first statement, is that Tony typing in the evidence production numbers to describe the items sold? Is that normal?

This is almost CIT-grade material in my opinion. (the "flyover witness" people). He describes a different guy on a different day, thus exculpating the otherwise suspect. To accept the evidence, the Crown must admit he can be wrong by four inches, 20 years, a few skin shades, and yet use it as definitive evidence as long as a shopping list can somehow be made to appear a match? We also have to presume faulty weather records and a flaky brother, neither too odd really, but these in coincidental tandem with a weak "Libyan" ID that counts for zero. Libyan al Megrahi is proven to have been at Mary's House on Dec 7.

And we still have no evidence (do we?) other than this mess, that said clothes were ever even in Mary's House. Do we really know Gauci ever had anything to do with the exact items recovered in Scotland and England? If they found him by canvassing shopkeepers, then the point is all but proven. All we know for sure Gauci was for the investigation is a good enough storyteller.
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Old 8th December 2009, 07:10 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
No, no, we just can't do that. I do sense reading this that there's a core of truth to a genuine encounter, and possibly even a connection to the Lockerbie evidence. [....]

You misunderstand. The key word there is possibly.

What I mean is, we should examine the evidence and decide how strong the connection between Gauci's "Libyan" and the actual clothes found at Lockerbie really is.

If there is a genuine probabilty that these clothes were purchased at Mary's House, then the question of who bought them (and why he did it that way) is obviously crucial. However, if the whole mystery shopper thing is a red herring, then the more interesting question becomes, where did the clothes actually come from then?

In the initial stages, it seems as if the police would have been quite happy with an identification of Abu Talb. Even though he wasn't Libyan. But on that one, I can't help wondering what Abu Talb would be doing buying clothes from Tony Gauci, when he had a stack of stuff at home bought from the factories.

I think the first question is, did those clothes really come from that shop? And I've too much work on here to look, right now.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th December 2009, 07:34 AM   #86
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Thanks CL for the digging around and clearing up any confusion surrounding the times that the football matches were broadcast on the 23 nov and 7 dec. And as has been pointed out, it supports Tony's original claim that the clothes were purchased when Paul was not there, precisely because of a football game, and the info you've pulled up indicates the 23rd as the most likely as it coincides with the times Tony gave as when the purchaser of the clothing entered the shop.
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Old 9th December 2009, 02:04 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You misunderstand. The key word there is possibly.
No, I understood, I just went off on a tangent. Basically I guess all I can see linking these clothes to Mary's House at all is words from Gauci.

Quote:
What I mean is, we should examine the evidence and decide how strong the connection between Gauci's "Libyan" and the actual clothes found at Lockerbie really is.

If there is a genuine probabilty that these clothes were purchased at Mary's House, then the question of who bought them (and why he did it that way) is obviously crucial. However, if the whole mystery shopper thing is a red herring, then the more interesting question becomes, where did the clothes actually come from then?
Right on. I can't see how to accept these statements as good evidence, and they're all we have. A definitive case would, I think, involve serial numbers from clothes tags (?) and factory records, compared with sles records showing "Mary's Hose, Silema Malta." Stuff like that. Maybe not? Just asking around until you find a guy that can smell the cheese even before you unwrap it is all it takes to get bad evidence.

Quote:
In the initial stages, it seems as if the police would have been quite happy with an identification of Abu Talb. Even though he wasn't Libyan. But on that one, I can't help wondering what Abu Talb would be doing buying clothes from Tony Gauci, when he had a stack of stuff at home bought from the factories.
I wonder why such suspicions ever surfaced to be leaked and such? Wrong age. Not Libyan (tho not Tunisian), there too early (AFATK?), and didn't he link back to the PFLPGC or is said to? Maybe they were gonna ignore his other suppliers, but I think they were looking for Libyans by the beginning of September. Gauci's first words awkwardly hint that he'd become aware of that (contaminated). Perhaps the whole "maybe it was Talb" episode was arranged to obscure that too-abrupt shift, give the old line one last hurrah before they found one more thing and just HAD to say Libya.

I think the timer fragment was finally identified a few months later.

Quote:
I think the first question is, did those clothes really come from that shop? And I've too much work on here to look, right now.

Rolfe.
Who said they probably did? Buncrana, that was you, right? Ya, here:
Quote:
Well, at the moment, I am slightly more at ease believing the clothes are actually from Malta, and probably Gauci's shop, simply because I accept that the clothes presented as evidence were the items around the bomb or at least in the suitcase and the explosion. I think they may well have been purchased from Gauci's shop, although not neccessarily by one person on just the one date.

I suppose I'm also a little more at ease accepting this source for the clothing due to the fact I am reasonably satisfied the suitcase was not introduced at Luqa. For some reason this adds plausibility.
So with a little reflection, I think we could all agree there's no reason aside from stuff Tony said to say this is where they came from. I'm not 100% the clothes were around the bomb, but inclined to accept it by dafault. It's only Tony's tortured mutant recollection-like things that ties some person to the majority of the stash. If they found him by canvassing shops, rather than following paperwork, it's almost a lost cause from the start, in my mind.

On the core truth of a purchase apparently on 23 November, I'm not as sure today it's probable. It does have a bit of fiction feel to it, if inspired by a real day (likely 11/23). It was a dark and stormy night, I was all alone, my nipples hard with fear. A tall dark Libiyon stranger entered, his face lit from below by the blinking Christmas lights, speaking guttural Libyan at me. ... etc ... it gets even worse later with the agents following him, and him following them, and them watching and not buying anything and the pressure it was putting on him...

Originally Posted by Buncrana
Thanks CL for the digging around and clearing up any confusion surrounding the times that the football matches were broadcast on the 23 nov and 7 dec. And as has been pointed out, it supports Tony's original claim that the clothes were purchased when Paul was not there, precisely because of a football game, and the info you've pulled up indicates the 23rd as the most likely as it coincides with the times Tony gave as when the purchaser of the clothing entered the shop.
Yeah, I think we can all agree now the 23rd is - at the least - a far better fit. It's good to be agreed on something and based on the best evidence. Dec 7 requires faulty weather records plus a flaky brother gone hours for post-game activities, not for the game itself. The 23rd had recorded rainfall AND a game from 5-7, when Paul was described as gone around 6pm. (all local times and approximate )

Also I apologize to the CIT for comparing them back to this. They are just jokers without the powers to get their fake cases triggering incarcerations and sanctions and war if need be, and among their dishonest methods, offering $2 million (even if never explicitly enumerated) is not one we need to worry about.

Random thought: Did Paul Gauci get his million to keep him cooperative, since he was always miffed he hadn't been at the shop when the fuzz came canvassing? Upset he missed his chance to say HE was alone in the store since his brother had gone home early to watch a football game?
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Old 9th December 2009, 02:52 PM   #88
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It's not that simple, and we have to remember the tweed jacket and the umbrella (that latter is a strange story though). The CIA knew Megrahi was in Malta on 7th December even before the plane blew up, which is interesting.

I have a feeling I don't have time to look at this before Christmas.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:41 AM   #89
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's not that simple, and we have to remember the tweed jacket and the umbrella (that latter is a strange story though). The CIA knew Megrahi was in Malta on 7th December even before the plane blew up, which is interesting.

I have a feeling I don't have time to look at this before Christmas.

Rolfe.
Sorry, what exactly isn't so simple? It was a long post. That last line isn't ringing any bells as something I know. You should explain that interesting tidbit, perhaps early next year.

To clarify my overly-strong arguments here against any value to Tony's story are just to help break the trance of accepting this stuff without deep questioning. There may well be a kernel of even relevant truth to this alleged encounter. I just wanted to say "not necessarily." Sorry if I've grossly over-said it.

FWIW, Gauci's first statement gives the items handed over to police with prefix "prod no." or production number. I'm pretty sure he typed this up himself, so where did he get that from? There are no numbers, it's almost like something he saw attached to items on a list he was shown and decided it was the right thing to use when reciting them back. Example, the jacket actually:

Quote:
... I have supplied the police with a similar jacket.

Prod No. 1 x Gents Jacket "Anglia" make.

I now recall that I left the "coat hangers" on the jacket when I sold it to the man. I have also given the police a

Prod No. 1 x "plastic hanger" with brand name Anglia
It might mean nothing, just made me go hmmmm.

Also, I was curious since Mr. Wright's testimony was being cited earlier, and I've cast some doubt on it since (post #62), what did you guys think now? Is Wright's story worth serious consideration among all this?
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Old 10th December 2009, 01:39 AM   #90
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Okay, I was being a little slow. Crawford's "Detective's Tale" gives some details of the kind of tracing I would hope to see aside from Tony's yakkity-yak. I'm not sure this is on the level, but he says they were surprised to find a Yorkie clothing company on Malta, and that the fabric they found was not from another source, like the Yorkie candy bar company. (??) On page 127 he writes of their visit to Yorkie:

Quote:
The results were very positive. From a series of stick-on numbers that were recovered in similar patches of cloth the manufacturer was able to sort out the actual order for the cloth. It had been a very exclusive order indeed; the cloth was used to make up six pairs of gent's trousers and all of them had gone to the same outlet, Mary's House' in Valetta.
...
Harry had the paperwork for the trousers that traced them from manufacturer right to Mary's House.
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Old 10th December 2009, 06:13 AM   #91
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If that's right, then it proves the clothes did come from Mary's House. Remarkably fortuitous, if so, that one of the items the terrorist purchased in his rather conspicuous shopping spree was an almost unique item available from no other outlets.

I'm not sure this is correct though, if Crawford is the only source. He's writing it all from memory, and he's sometimes wrong. It doesn't entirely square with other accounts, as far as I can see.

Why on earth would anyone bent on this sort of mayhem go shopping at Mary's House? It's baffling.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th December 2009, 11:39 PM   #92
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If that's right, then it proves the clothes did come from Mary's House. Remarkably fortuitous, if so, that one of the items the terrorist purchased in his rather conspicuous shopping spree was an almost unique item available from no other outlets.

I'm not sure this is correct though, if Crawford is the only source. He's writing it all from memory, and he's sometimes wrong. It doesn't entirely square with other accounts, as far as I can see.

Why on earth would anyone bent on this sort of mayhem go shopping at Mary's House? It's baffling.

Rolfe.
I'm willing to say there is more than Gauci's word going on here is all. I kind of thought there was, but hadn't seen it yet (that I remembered anyway). There are some questions about the method used - like where those "similar patches of cloth" were recovered from and are they in fact the same as the cloth found in Scotland?

Now even if these items found were all bought by one person, at Mary's house, on 23 November, and packed by terrorists into that suitcase, as most of us have presumed most of the time, obviously there are still problems like, for one, that person was NOT al Megrahi. And whoever they were, why did they chose such a risky method for getting the clothes? A pair of pants from an order of SIX sent only to that store where Arab-types buying odd assortments are easily recalled.

Also, who makes a run of SIX pairs of pants in their factory? Did "they" just fudge their order of six to Mary's House as the whole batch, to help narrow the field and make the choice all too obvious? It wouldn't be the first time, even just in this case. (the Libya-exclusive Mebo timer, etc.)

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 11th December 2009 at 11:40 PM. Reason: SUX to SIX
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Old 12th December 2009, 01:11 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Also, who makes a run of SIX pairs of pants in their factory? Did "they" just fudge their order of six to Mary's House as the whole batch, to help narrow the field and make the choice all too obvious? It wouldn't be the first time, even just in this case. (the Libya-exclusive Mebo timer, etc.)
Nobody. It doesn't justify setting up the patterns. This has bothered me from the start.
CL - is the question raised in the court transcripts?
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Old 12th December 2009, 01:41 AM   #94
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Nobody. It doesn't justify setting up the patterns. This has bothered me from the start.
CL - is the question raised in the court transcripts?
Oh, jeez... maybe. Why're you asking me?

No, kidding. I'll check if the day is narrowdownable - it was probably not a day Gauci was sitting. If I find anything, I'll post it.
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Old 12th December 2009, 02:39 AM   #95
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Harry Bell, Malta, manufacture, Yorkie, clothes, clothing, trousers, etc. gave me no help using the LTBU daily reports. So I start opening doc a dozen at a time and word-searching, just for Yorkie. So far

Days 14, 16, 17, 20, maybe others. I'll just be thankful I found it in folder 2. I'm not copy-pasting them all, but the first instance, Day 14 may do it. Lessee:
THE MACER: Number 668, William Armstrong.
...
Q When you went to Malta, were you interested in particular items of clothing?
A Yes, I was, sir.
Q Did these include damaged pairs of trousers?
A Yes, they did, sir. That's correct.
Q On the 1st of September 1989, did you go to the premises of Yorkie Clothing in Malta?
A I did, sir.
Q And did you there meet a gentleman called Alexander Calleja?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you understand him to be the company manager?
A He was the company manager, sir. That's correct.
Q Did you have with you photographs of damaged clothing?
A Yes, I did.
...
Q And did you show these photographs to Mr. Calleja?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you then obtain a number of items from Mr. Calleja?
A Yes, I did, sir. That's correct.
...
Would you look, please, at Label 446. Is that a sample of cloth?
A Yes, it is, sir.
Q And was that given by Mr. Calleja to you?
A That was handed over to me by Mr. Calleja.
Q Would you now look, please, at Production 424.
Is that available as a principal?
Is the document that you have in front of you, is that a delivery note?
A Yes, it is, sir. That's correct.
Q And do you see on the screen a label?
A Yes, I do, sir.
Q Is that the label that's attached to it?
A Yes, it is, sir.
Q And is that, then, the delivery note that you took possession of from Mr. Calleja on Saturday, the 2nd of September 1989?
A Yes, it is, sir.
Q And I think we can see your signature on the label; is that right?
A Yes, my signature is on the label, sir. That's correct.
Q Would you now look at Production 491, please.
Is Production 409 [sic] part of a cutting control book?
A Yes, it is, sir.
Q And on the screen we see the label?
A Yes, I do, sir.
Q Do we see that it's described as "Certified true copy of cutting control book, Yorkie Clothing," and it's dated -- what date?
A It's dated the 4th September, 1989.
Q And then, again, do we see the label has been signed by you?
A That's correct, sir. It has been signed by me.
Q Now, did you, in the presence of Mr. Calleja, attach some material to that --
A Yes, I did, sir.
Q Can you explain what you did?
A This page is a copy from the cutting control book. In the original book, down the right-hand side of the page there had been stapled pieces of material which were against a particular order. Mr. Calleja removed these pieces of material from his original book, and he gave them to me, and I stapled them against the relevant entry on the copy that I obtained from him. And you can see them on the copy here.
Q Could we have the next image on the screen, please.
We can see there the document that you've been talking about, and on the right-hand side the various pieces of cloth which you've explained you yourself attached --
A Yes, that's correct, sir.
Q You can close that now, please.
And if you can look at Production 492. And is 492 a certified true copy of a control delivery book?
A Yes, it is, sir.
...
That's about it for that chunk. Didn't answer much but gives some material to ponder on. I'll have to look some more later. Interesting questions.
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:39 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Oh, jeez... maybe. Why're you asking me?
I'm sorry. You're the only person I know of with the transcripts. How do I get hold of them myself? Downloadable?

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Old 12th December 2009, 08:06 PM   #97
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Quote:
The results were very positive. From a series of stick-on numbers that were recovered in similar patches of cloth the manufacturer was able to sort out the actual order for the cloth. It had been a very exclusive order indeed; the cloth was used to make up six pairs of gent's trousers and all of them had gone to the same outlet, Mary's House' in Valetta.
...
Harry had the paperwork for the trousers that traced them from manufacturer right to Mary's House
This quote from DC Crawford relating to the yorkie trousers seems to be at odds with Tonys testimony on Day 31 starting at page 4732 line 23

Q I wonder if you would look, please, at a
document, Production 424, which will be shown on the
screen. We see that that's a delivery note from Yorkie
Clothing.
A That's right.
Q And has that been signed by you?
A That's right. Yes.
Q We can see that it's dated 18 November
1988, and it's to Messrs. Gauci
A That's right.
Q It's a delivery note, and it identifies
20 pairs of trousers. I think we can see it says 20
pairs of "TRS" for "trousers," "ORD" for "order," 1705.
Is that right?
A Yes.
Q And the particular these particular
20 trousers are described as checked?
A Yes.
Q And then it refers to 98 pairs of
trousers, order 1705; is that correct?
A Yes. Yes. It is.
Q Giving a total of 118?
A Yes, that's right.



The lead to the Yorkie clothing company first came to the Scottish detectives according to DC Crawford (page 126 A detectives tale)
After a wild goose chase to Cadburys- Rowntree the manufactures of the Yorkie brand chocolate bar in the UK they contacted Jim Friel an FBI agent in Rome whom they asked to find out if there was a Yorkie clothing company in Malta. It took him a hour to find this out and report it back to them
Kind of odd that they didnt bother to make the effort themselves


D

Last edited by realdon; 12th December 2009 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 13th December 2009, 12:51 AM   #98
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I'm sorry. You're the only person I know of with the transcripts. How do I get hold of them myself? Downloadable?

No worries, of course. It was my way of saying "Oh boy..." I gave you the link in the PM, let me know if that doesn't work.

I am considering another site, more public. I hope this can happen soon-ish. Similar to the wiki idea but non-wiki, viewable by all but only members (those given the passwords and sworn to not share it) can edit. Anyone interested in membership, drop me a line.

Realdon, welcome back and I'm glad you seem to have the docs too. I just can't dig anymore tonight, but your addition is interesting. It would seem the smaller subset of order 1705, the 20 pair, must be what Crawford recalled as six?

Crawford's story is also strange with the Malta lead preceded by a detour to Candyland. Nestle just started re-distributing the Yorkie bar around here, so I know what they're talking about, maybe. Is it the one labeled "not for girls," or is that just our version? It's chunky and brags about having lots of calories. I don't think I'd ever suspect them of making pants.
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Old 17th December 2009, 03:02 AM   #99
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Trousers news: I think the "run of six" oddity was just Campbell's recollections being off. And besides, the machines could be set to cut a set pattern into hundeds of pieces of cloth, with say 40 of this fabric, 8 of this, 80 of that stuff, based on orders they got. So long as the cut doesn't change, right?

The trousers as evidence:
PI/221 – Primary suitcase clothing
Feraday, 1989: "One pair of dark brown chequer-patterned trousers, severely damaged, with large sections missing. The trousers were wet when received, dried out and returned to a polythene bag.

The damaged remains consist of the major part of the front portion of both legs. The upper and lower extremities are missing, together with the seat area. The regular repeat pattern of damage indicates the trousers were folded when subjected to blast.
"Penetrations and carbonaceous deposits."

Two examinations were made, 16 May and 4 July 1989. He explained the second look was to better identify the recovered materials. These were listed as:

"A, a fragment of lining from the primary suitcase.
"B, five fragments of soft black plastics from the Toshiba RT-SF16.
"C, four paper fragments from the Toshiba
RT-SF16 owner's instruction manual.
"D, two fragments of red-faced cardboard.
"E, four fragments from divider of the primary suitcase.
"F, five clumps of blue/white fibres from Babygro garment.
"G, a fragment of red plastics.
"H, three fragments of yellow plastics.
"I, a fragment of silver plastics from umbrella."

Gauci News, a faux joke with hidden "punchline"
Transcripts, Day 31 (11 July 2000). On first question, Mr. Gauci identifies Mr. Campbell as a Lybian!

Quote:
EXAMINATION IN CHIEF BY MR. CAMPBELL:
Q Mr. Gauci, do I understand that you wish to give your evidence in Maltese?
A I can't understand you. You are speaking Arabic to me.
No French in there, so he ain't Tunisian...

Quote:
LORD SUTHERLAND: Channel 1, please. Now, could the interpreter try again, please.

A (Gauci) Yes.

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Old 27th December 2009, 02:54 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
It's McHrozni, not McHronzi.

I fully intend to

McHrozni
(and not McHronzi)

Calling McHrozni!

I already apologised for getting your name wrong, it was pure accident.

Have you looked at the evidence? Do you have any contribution yet?

Rolfe.
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Old 28th December 2009, 03:01 AM   #101
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Seemed like a good moment for a bump-a-roo. Progress report, McH?
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Old 30th December 2009, 03:11 PM   #102
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McHrozni?

Rolfe.
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Old 12th January 2010, 03:10 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
McHrozni?

Rolfe.

Any further thoughts, McH?

Really, honestly, if you can support the proposal that Megrahi really did buy these clothes from Gauci on 7th December, I'm all ears.

(Though to be honest I'm more interested in establishing whether we can be reasonably sure that anybody bought these clothes from Gauci, on any date.)

Rolfe.
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Old 13th January 2010, 06:25 PM   #104
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?

Oh well, never mind McH.

Have we decided that these trousers proved the clothes in the suitcase were definitely purchased fro Gauci?

Rolfe.
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Old 14th January 2010, 07:18 AM   #105
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Lacking anyone prepared to support the position that Megrahi bought these clothes, can I try to advance this thread?

I'd first like to establish whether we can be reasonably sure that the items found on the ground at Lockerbie really were bought from Gauci's shop in the first place. It may be we've already shown that, but I'm a bit hazy about how definite this is and on what grounds. (I haven't been into this in the same depth as the timer fragment.) Anyone care to recap?

My alternative thought, as I said before, is that the clothes were simply picked up from the stack that Abu Talb had accumulated, which I think were mainly sourced directly from the manufacturers. I don't think Megrahi bought these clothes, for all the reasons we've been over, but I don't really see Abu Talb or any of that gang going into Mary's House and flashing money around in the obvious way the Mystery Shopper is said to have done either.

What would be interesting is information about how Gauci was originally identified as the probable vendor (I believe by the Maltese police), and how much he volunteered (as opposed to how much he was prompted). Also, I understand there was some investigation into the clothes in Abu Talb's winter collection, but I'm not sure if anything was established one way or another. Does anyone have any links to this information?

I do find the whole Mystery Shopper tale to be very very strange, and I'd like to know how well-supported it really is.

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Old 14th January 2010, 02:52 PM   #106
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Rolfe: have you read this book?

The Lockerbie Incident: A Detectives Tale - John Crawford.

JC is apparently one of the police minions who was involved in the case and the investigation.

I've skimmed it so far and it seems to follow the official story pretty much but it gives a good perspective on that point of view of the investigation and also gives some interesting detail about how "Mary's House" was first identified. pg 121 onwards.

Basically they found the baby gro fragment that had "Made in Malta" on the label that lead them to Malta. A while later they discovered the Yorkie trousers with Yorkie on the label and after much searching discovered "Yorkie Clothing" based in Malta, the source of said trousers. Yorkie clothing identified the batch of cloth they had used to make these, turns out it was to make 6 pairs of trousers, and all 6 had been ordered by Mary's House.
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Old 14th January 2010, 03:11 PM   #107
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I didn't get as far as the Malta chapters before Google Books decided I'd read enough. Maybe it will have forgotten by now and let me have another look?

I wouldn't trust Crawford too far - he admits he's doing it purely from memory and he's flat wrong about some stuff. He relates that Tommy McColm found the piece of circuit board that identified the Toshiba radio, for example.

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Old 14th January 2010, 04:09 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I wouldn't trust Crawford too far - he admits he's doing it purely from memory and he's flat wrong about some stuff. He relates that Tommy McColm found the piece of circuit board that identified the Toshiba radio, for example.
Ah.

I'll add that to the pile of books that are not all that great then.
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Old 14th January 2010, 06:05 PM   #109
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There's valuable stuff in there. His pen portrait of Tommy McColm is a revelation. However, I wouldn't trust him on any fact he didn't have personal knowledge of - or maybe even ones he had.

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Old 19th January 2010, 03:01 AM   #110
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Previously I had noted how Gauci had performed pretty weakly for someone who would eventually get $2 million for his consent to fudge Megrahi into his scopes. "sort of like" "resembles" etc... he gave the wrong date, so at the least this wasn't a total "here's your script, these are YOUR memories now, okay?" kinda situation. I wondered if Gauci had actually held out, watered down his certainty, out of partial conscience - hoping to get that money that was *hinted at* while also not convicting an innocent man for sure.

But the test would be the trial. He's presumably been paid by then (??) and relocated, etc. and so his coming through more clear at Camp Zeist may not be required. Maybe he would be put under pressure. I've been skimming through his testimony and from what I've seen, for one, the guy does sound like a bit of an idiot - often pathetic and groveling, but underneath it staying uptight and trying to stick to certain points - mostly being to fudge all the discrepancies closer together. Some excerpts:
Rainfall
Quote:
”Q Do you remember what the weather was like when the man came to the shop?
A When he came by the first time, it wasn't raining, but then it started dripping. Not very -- it was not raining heavily. It was simply -- it was simply dripping, but as a matter of fact he did take an umbrella, didn't he? He bought an umbrella.” [Day 31, P 4741]
...
“Q … on the 1st of September of 1989 your memory was that the man purchased the umbrella, he didn't leave it for you to bundle up with the other things he had bought in the shop, but he left with the umbrella and put it up outside the door of the shop because it was raining?
A Exactly.” [p 4815]
...
"A It wasn't raining. It wasn't raining. It was just drizzling.
Q We'll come to --
A I can't remember the dates. I don't want to say -- I don't want to give out dates if I am not that sure, sir.
Q Indeed. What I am endeavouring to do, Mr. Gauci, with your help, is to illustrate --
A I always thank you, sir. I am here to help you, sir." [p 4816]
...
"A I don't want to cause confusion. I don't know dates." [p 4820]
age and height
Quote:
Q What sort of build did he have?
A I'm not an expert on these things. I think he was below six feet. I'm not an expert on these things. I can't say.

Q You mentioned an estimate of height. What sort of shape was he?
A He wasn't small. He was a normal stature. He had ordered a 16-and-a-half shirt.
Q What age would you say he was?
A I said before, below six -- under 60. I don't have experience -- I don't have experience on height or age.[p 4752-53]
The bolded just popped out to me - sounds like a mnemonic device he got mixed up, sincee at first the man was "six foot or more in height" and about 15 years too old to be Magrahi. It's the right message ("below six feet, under sixty, I don't know, I don't know" repeat as needed)

I had asked Mr. Marquise recently how it was they decided the purchase Tony Gauci described happened on December 7. The weather, time of the football game, the Christmas lights situation, all fit like a glove with Nov 23. All points conflict with 7 Dec. I asked "Why doesn’t November 23 work again, aside from Megrahi not being there?" He stopped following those comments, I guess and never saw the question. I did some more research and found one of his colleagues, DCI (Or is it DI?) Bell tacitly and directly admitted it was Megrahi's presence that caused the decision. He cites "confusion" (feigned, IMO) about the date in a private 2006 interview with the SCCRC. I found this in Megrahi's grounds of appeal doc. The link's around. Page 229
Quote:
DI Bell SCCRC interview (25-26/7/06)
"...The evidence of the football matches was confusing and in the end we did not manage to bottom it out..."
"...I am asked whether at the time I felt that the evidence of the football matches was strongly indicative of 7th December 1988 as the purchase date. No, I did not. Both dates 23rd Nov & 7th Dec 1988 looked likely.
"...It really has to be acknowledged how confusing this all was. No date was signficant for me at the time. Ultimately it was the applicant's [Megrahi’s] presence on the island on 7th December 1988 that persuaded me that the purchase took place on that date. Paul specified 7th December when I met with him on 14th December 1989 and I recorded this..."
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Old 19th January 2010, 03:24 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Previously I had noted how Gauci had performed pretty weakly for someone who would eventually get $2 million for his consent to fudge Megrahi into his scopes. "sort of like" "resembles" etc... he gave the wrong date, so at the least this wasn't a total "here's your script, these are YOUR memories now, okay?" kinda situation. I wondered if Gauci had actually held out, watered down his certainty, out of partial conscience - hoping to get that money that was *hinted at* while also not convicting an innocent man for sure.

But the test would be the trial. He's presumably been paid by then (??) and relocated, etc. and so his coming through more clear at Camp Zeist may not be required. Maybe he would be put under pressure. I've been skimming through his testimony and from what I've seen, for one, the guy does sound like a bit of an idiot - often pathetic and groveling, but underneath it staying uptight and trying to stick to certain points - mostly being to fudge all the discrepancies closer together.

I think it makes sense if you realise that the pressure was really coming from Paul. If it had just been between Tony and the police I doubt if they'd have got anywhere. However, it's clear from the evidence that Paul was always there in the background - showing Tony photographs, going over his story with him, telling him what he was supposed to "remember". I think this is why Tony comes over so hesitant, and yet at the same time holding the line that will net the cash.

Remember, Paul got $1 million for himself, as well as the $2 million Tony got. I thought that was odd, but reasoned it was for the evidence he gave about the football match and so on, that helped establish the date they wanted. However, I read in the official notes that he was actually given the money partly for keeping Tony up to the mark (I was amazed they admitted this!) and partly so as not to destabilise the relationship between the brothers by leaving Tony as the sole wealthy brother.

Can you credit it!

Oh, and as far as I know, the money wasn't paid out until some time after the trial. They haven't been in Australia for very long.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Some excerpts:
Rainfall
age and height

As I read it, Tony originally said the purchaser was over six feet tall and over 50 years old. And that it was raining that evening. However, it became obvious (to Paul if not to Tony) that the police wanted the description to be of someone shorter and younger, and for it not to have been raining too much. Thus the later interviews mention the same basic points, but get very hazy about what he's actually saying.

"Did I say he was over six feet? Oh no, about six feet! No, under six feet! Look, I'm not very good at this!" (This from a man who sold clothes for a living.)

"Did I say it was raining? Well, a few spots maybe. Oh yes, he did buy the umbrella because it was raining, but really, it wasn't enough to wet the ground...."

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
The bolded just popped out to me - sounds like a mnemonic device he got mixed up, sincee at first the man was "six foot or more in height" and about 15 years too old to be Magrahi. It's the right message ("below six feet, under sixty, I don't know, I don't know" repeat as needed)

And if Tony had been the bright one, no doubt it would have sounded a lot more convincing and he'd have identified Megrahi with just the right mixture of caution and confidence. But since Paul was having to coach sandwich-short-of-a-picnic Tony to do it on his own in interviews and the witness box, that's the way it came out.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I had asked Mr. Marquise recently how it was they decided the purchase Tony Gauci described happened on December 7. The weather, time of the football game, the Christmas lights situation, all fit like a glove with Nov 23. All points conflict with 7 Dec. I asked "Why doesn’t November 23 work again, aside from Megrahi not being there?" He stopped following those comments, I guess and never saw the question. I did some more research and found one of his colleagues, DCI (Or is it DI?) Bell tacitly and directly admitted it was Megrahi's presence that caused the decision. He cites "confusion" (feigned, IMO) about the date in a private 2006 interview with the SCCRC. I found this in Megrahi's grounds of appeal doc. The link's around. Page 229

That's actually quite shocking. The case abounds with that circular logic, but it's still shocking to see it admitted as clearly as that. IANAL, but I would have thought that was a pretty good ground for appeal right there on its own.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th January 2010, 06:20 AM   #112
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Bell above cited Paul Gauci, on December 14 1989, specifying December 7 (88) as the likely day he watched that game on a rainy day and missed the big purchase. Yet two months earlier (19 Oct), by police interviews republished in Paul Foot' book, he said and I quote:
Quote:
“I was shown a list of European football matches I know as UEFA. I checked all the games and dates. I am of the opinion that the game I watched on TV was on 23 November, 1988: SC Dynamo Dresden v AS Roma. On checking the 7th December 1988, I can say that I watched AS Roma v Dynamo Dresden in the afternoon. All the other games were played in the evening. I can say for certain I watched the Dresden v Roma game. On the basis that there were two games played during the afternoon of 23 November and only one on the afternoon of 7th December, I would say that the 23rd November 1988 was the date in question.” [p 21]
Which brings us bak to this point you made, Rolfe, which I'd like to see the source for:
Quote:
Remember, Paul got $1 million for himself, as well as the $2 million Tony got. I thought that was odd, but reasoned it was for the evidence he gave about the football match and so on, that helped establish the date they wanted. However, I read in the official notes that he was actually given the money partly for keeping Tony up to the mark (I was amazed they admitted this!)
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Old 20th January 2010, 06:53 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Maybe there was more stuff that was never recovered. Sure. But then, how do you explain that everything the cops identified as being in the suitcase was confirmed as being sold by Gauci, and everything Gauci says he sold, was found scorched (I think)?
It's awfully convenient. [/twoofer]

Rolfe.
Haven't worked myself into the case, but two points:

1) To the above: Well, once one connection was made between clothes sold by Gauci and that suitcase, might they have looked rather selectively for that? If there were other clothes in there, the connection to the suitcase might not have been so obvious, and it might have escaped attention. I assume there was lots of scorched clothes at the crash site, and surely, not all of it was identified.

2) The Libyan Secret Service needs not be that competent. Secret services around the world have been noted on occasion to do surprisingly incompetent things. Very competent people can probably get better (at least safer) jobs elsewhere, and in Libya, the main qualification might be good standing with the government.....

Just my two pennies..

Hans
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Old 20th January 2010, 08:37 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Haven't worked myself into the case, but two points:

1) To the above: Well, once one connection was made between clothes sold by Gauci and that suitcase, might they have looked rather selectively for that? If there were other clothes in there, the connection to the suitcase might not have been so obvious, and it might have escaped attention. I assume there was lots of scorched clothes at the crash site, and surely, not all of it was identified.

I was wondering the same thing myself. However, there don't seem to have been many scorched clothes recovered, because the plane was never on fire. The only burned objects (apart from what went into Sherwood Crescent, which was a holocaust, but that's not what we're talking about here) were those in proximity to the IED. Thus, the investigators concentrated very closely on everything found with burn or scorch marks.

I think it more likely that some of the suitcase contents were never found. The Kielder Forest canopy isn't a complete red herring. It's that which makes me a little suspicious that the subset of items in the case which were recovered, matches so closely with Tony's recollection of what he sold. I don't think he remembers selling anything that wasn't recovered.

However, it's not a perfect match, and this is probably an irrelevance.

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
2) The Libyan Secret Service needs not be that competent. Secret services around the world have been noted on occasion to do surprisingly incompetent things. Very competent people can probably get better (at least safer) jobs elsewhere, and in Libya, the main qualification might be good standing with the government.....

Just my two pennies..

Hans

Why Libya? Seriously? The connection between Libya and the bombing is tenuous and circumstantial. If you're talking about Megrahi in particular, it's perfectly clear from all accounts that whatever else he is or isn't, he's an intelligent, educated man.

Quote:
Megrahi was born in Tripoli, and was educated in the United States and Cardiff in Wales. He was the head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA), and director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli, Libya.

However, my main question applies to whoever planted the bomb - Libya or the PFLP-GC, or the South African apartheid regime or any of the other suspects accused by the various CTs. That purchase is very strange indeed. Given the many ways virtually untraceable clothes can be obtained, and how simply this can be done, I'm deeply puzzled.

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Old 23rd January 2010, 02:15 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Haven't worked myself into the case, but two points:

1) To the above: Well, once one connection was made between clothes sold by Gauci and that suitcase, might they have looked rather selectively for that? If there were other clothes in there, the connection to the suitcase might not have been so obvious, and it might have escaped attention. I assume there was lots of scorched clothes at the crash site, and surely, not all of it was identified.
Looking selectively... Hmmm... I'm not sure how they did it, but I think maybe they showed him photos and got him to identify damaged items as things he sold, and then he related how he'd sold these precise items on a certain day he remembered. Don't quote me on that. Actually there should not have been much scorched clothing. The bomb bag's contents should have been largely reduced to ash, but only a few closer bags would probably be ruptured and contents burnt. Most of this would leave the plane early, and scatter the farthest. Searchers were told to look for anything burnt, but I can't imagine they found anything very often.

Quote:
2) The Libyan Secret Service needs not be that competent. Secret services around the world have been noted on occasion to do surprisingly incompetent things. Very competent people can probably get better (at least safer) jobs elsewhere, and in Libya, the main qualification might be good standing with the government.....

Just my two pennies..
We're playing with whole dollars here, boy! Kidding. It's true that incompetence can happen and shouldn't itself be a clue that someone's been framed. But no one here is doing that. All other evidence also supports that this guy was framed, so the *alleged, improbable but possible* incompetence becomes another circumstantial clues. "No wonder it didn't sound right..." That sort of thing.

That goes for all such alleged incompetence in this case: the early setting on the timer (oops or frameup?), the conspicuous alleged clothes purchase (oops or frameup?), etc... What say you to that? Thanks for the comment, mate.

Originally Posted by Rolfe
"Did I say he was over six feet? Oh no, about six feet! No, under six feet! Look, I'm not very good at this!" (This from a man who sold clothes for a living.)

"Did I say it was raining? Well, a few spots maybe. Oh yes, he did buy the umbrella because it was raining, but really, it wasn't enough to wet the ground...."

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic
The bolded just popped out to me - sounds like a mnemonic device he got mixed up, sincee at first the man was "six foot or more in height" and about 15 years too old to be Magrahi. It's the right message ("below six feet, under sixty, I don't know, I don't know" repeat as needed)

And if Tony had been the bright one, no doubt it would have sounded a lot more convincing and he'd have identified Megrahi with just the right mixture of caution and confidence. But since Paul was having to coach sandwich-short-of-a-picnic Tony to do it on his own in interviews and the witness box, that's the way it came out.
I wanted to give a smile that you summed up my own impressions so well. And now I've learned Paul also earned his million by changing his own stories, aside from possibly steering his brothers'. On October 19 1989 Paul clearly states Nov 23 was the day. Two months later on Dec 14 he's telling the same Bell it was Dec 7.

In another thread, way back, Rolfe, we were discussing how early a plot to blame Libya was in place. I was inclined to see it from near the beginning, the first months of '89, and absolutely by the end of the year, while you were looking at a shift somewhere in 1990 IIRC. (wasn't it Lumpert you were waiting on? giggle)

Anyway, I think that's another solid clue they were gunning for Megrahi long enough by Dec 14 that Paul had picked up the hint. I still say it was earlier, at least as a "plan B", perhaps set up by Bollier's and Giaka's early input plus the panic to hide Khreesat and London.

ETA: New post at my blog on Bell and the Gaucis.

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Old 24th January 2010, 04:41 AM   #116
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And Prof. Black re-posts excerpts. More comments.

Ebol's pyjama's evidence - Rolfe? I think it sounds pretty good, but it's ebol. Do you suspect it's a fatally-flawed booby-trapped clue? :

Quote:
Tony Gauci told Bollier on 25.01.2008 in Malta, that the 2 pieces of pyjamas, label "John Mallia", were the last two pyjamas he had sold to a Libyan in his shop. On the other day, the 24th of November 1988, Gauci by phon ordered at the company "John Mallia" additionally 8 pieces of the same pyjamas. The 8 pyjamas were delivered on the 25th of November 1988 with the calculation/delivery note, dated 25th of November 1988 to Gauci' s Mary' s House at Sliema Malta. Prod. 477-1.

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Old 1st February 2010, 08:23 AM   #117
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I've been neglecting this aspect for a bit, probably because it's quite complex, but I'm just bumping it to see if McHrozni has had a chance to come back on this issue, as he promised.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th February 2010, 07:30 AM   #118
Buncrana
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Just a few remarks and thoughts on this subject, which I will give much more thought to later, before it slips onto page 3…

It's interesting, I had never really given that much thought to Tony's brother Paul other than he was partner/co-owner and his apparent absence when "Megrahi" entered the shop on 7 December. You know, when it wasn't raining, but it was. That is, until it was revealed that he had received substantial compensation from the JD Lockerbie funds, and as has been pointed out here, that he was perhaps far more influencial and instrumental in the coercement of his brother's dealing with the investigators and the recollection of the sale to "Megrahi".

It's claimed that by July '89 UK investigators had started making enquiries about the remnants of Trouser and Babygro found amid 103's debris. These enquiries led to the 'Yorkie Clothing Company' and 'Big Ben' respectively. Now we know that after the explosion around the clothing, what wasn't obliterated was blown out of the suitcase and aircraft, leaving the remnants to reveal this to investigators. Thus, Yorkie Clothing in Malta, and their order sent to Mary's House of 20 pairs of this batch of Trouser.

However, quite how, and when, exactly they managed to track down the manufacturer of the Babygro, which, much like the page of manual discovered by Mrs Horton, seems to be some dispute over the condition the garment was in when discovered and it's condition when presented to the court at Zeist. Even more curiously, it would appear, and it's seems has never been disputed, that not only was Paul Gauci co-owner of Mary's House, but he was infact also Managing Director of Big Ben, the manufacturer of the Blue Babygro.

I hear alarm bells.
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Old 11th February 2010, 10:54 AM   #119
Rolfe
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My spidey-sense tingles like mad every time I think about the whole Gauci story.

Yes, I know, terrorists aren't smart and why shouldn't one of them have decided to puchase clothes for the bomb bag in such a remarkably conspicuous manner, yadda, yadda.... But honestly, this one is just bizarre. When you think of the numerous ways of getting hold of clothes that would be pretty much untraceable, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Along with using a radio of a model, the vast bulk of which had been supplied to Libya, and packing the manual with it just in case the investigators missed it, and using a bespoke timer, all of which had been supplied to Libya, and setting this timer so ridiculously early that all this lovely evidence was strewn across Dumfriesshire instead of going straight to Davy Jones's locker.

I don't really go for the suggestion that the whole bomb bag was a fabrication. And I don't see how that would explain the Gauci part anyway, unless you're into some sort of MIHOP theory with the purchaser deliberately trying to be remembered. However, we rather think the timer fragment was fabricated. And we rather think the manual of the radio was planted to point to the Libyan model. I don't really know how the evidence of the clothes was manipulated (beyond trying to get Gauci to identify Megrahi, which was a bit blatant), but I'm hugely suspicious of the entire tale.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th February 2010, 06:13 PM   #120
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Even more curiously, it would appear, and it's seems has never been disputed, that not only was Paul Gauci co-owner of Mary's House, but he was infact also Managing Director of Big Ben, the manufacturer of the Blue Babygro.

I hear alarm bells.
Indeed. Details?
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