ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing

Reply
Old 18th October 2010, 04:34 PM   #41
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
dbl post

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 18th October 2010 at 04:36 PM.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2010, 04:36 PM   #42
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Yaaaaawwwwnnnn....
Ooh, disinterested dismissal! How novel!

Anything constructive to add?
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 03:20 AM   #43
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Quote:
It's not often you find a court judgement where commentator after commentator points out that the verdict is simply not supported by the text of the judgement itself, and I make no apology for pointing that out.
Nor does anyone have any good reason to try and compel you to. One commentator worthy of note at the moment, from another blog post.

Quote:
Reconciliation, Sort Of
Ronald Cotton is yet another victim of a miscarriage of justice, convicted of two rapes and later exonerated. One of the victims who had helped misidentify Cotton spoke with the authors, and the media at large, about her complex feelings. She felt repudiated and hated for putting an innocent man way and even though another man, Bobby Poole, was later identified by DNA as her assailant, “when I have nightmares about the rape, I still don’t see Bobby Poole,” she explained.

It’s still Mr. Cotton haunting her mind forever despite a face-to-face meeting she arranged with him after learning of his innocence. Cotton forgave her for the mistake that cost him part of his life, and expressed sympathy for her own shattered years. She told the authors “It’s weird, I hated him so much I wanted to watch him die. And now I care a lot about him. He taught me grace and forgiveness.”

Any of these victims who had wrongly identified someone, who lunged at them across the witness table and convinced a jury to send him off for half a lifetime, could have asked questions. They had or should have had the right to go back and review their own case, to be sure the right process was followed and the right man punished. Depressingly few do so, preferring to move on, in whatever direction has been established. They only face the error and its implications as well as they can once it’s proven without doubt. If even then.

In the Lockerbie bombing, at least one victim isn’t waiting for the far-off or unreachable exoneration. On his own, Dr. Jim Swire has re-assessed the case against his daughter’s convicted murderer, as he was being tried. The far-seeing Dr. Swire says the evidence led at trial in 2000 convinced him the men in the dock were innocent, and helped him see just who was likely behind it – the PFLP-GC, with a Khreesat bomb loaded at London, as an increasing number are now accepting. He literally fainted at the verdict of guilty for the clearly innocent Megrahi.

Meeting Megrahi again in 2010, a year after his controversial release, Swire said
Quote:
"We are friends. I believe he is the 271st victim of Lockerbie. We know enough about the other to be confident to know we're trying to achieve the same thing - a re-examination of the verdict [… and] of the available evidence which led to a verdict we believe was reached under political pressure rather than the rules of justice.”
Is this case different, or what?
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 05:26 AM   #44
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Well, the thread's really about the attitudes of long-standing JREF posters to the question of Megrahi's guilt. I'm beginning to think that's the dead horse we might as well stop beating. The chances of anyone admitting that they have little or no clue about the evidence in the case, and have absolutely no intention of examining it, but every intention of continuing to proclaim Megrahi's guilt regardless, seem remote.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic
People here will argue back and forth at great length about chalky rocks chucked through windows and glass in leaves and dust-tainted bra clasps and just where how many fingerprints were left in Fiolmena's room, or whatever, but not a thing need be known about the pivotal day Megrahi's supposed to have purchased the clothing that was stuffed into a suitcase that killed 270 people in the worst pre-9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. civilians.

That's the part that confuses me. Obviously not everyone is interested in the Meredith Kercher murder case, but there is sufficient interest on both sides to keep a very lively discussion going strong since December of last year. It's also noteworthy that posters who aren't interested, and aren't familiar with the minutiae of the evidence, don't as a rule jump in loudly asserting that Knox is guilty and everyone else should just shut up about it.

I think we all know why the difference, but I do find it very disappointing behaviour among self-identified "sceptics".

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 05:52 AM   #45
Cainkane1
Philosopher
 
Cainkane1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The great American southeast
Posts: 8,422
if this man was innocent why did a jury of his peers find him guilty? Of course there have been miscarriages of justice but did any evidence surface that would prove him innocent? If there is no such evidence then it was absurd to release him.

Heres the verdict which I found on wikipedia.

[edit] Verdict
The judges announced their verdict on 31 January 2001. They said of Megrahi: "There is nothing in the evidence which leaves us with any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the first accused, and accordingly we find him guilty of the remaining charge in the indictment as amended."[15] Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he should serve at least 20 years before being eligible for parole.

The judges unanimously found the second accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, not guilty of the murder charge.[16] Fhimah was freed and returned to his home at Souk al-Juma in Libya on 1 February 2001.

Megrahi was sent to Barlinnie Prison. In February 2005 he was transferred to Greenock Prison.[17]

If he was guilty and a jury found him guilty then he should have died in prison.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed try try again. Then if you fail to succeed to Hell with that. Try something else.
Cainkane1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 07:32 AM   #46
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
There was no jury trial.

The entire point of the discussion is that the content of the judgement issued by the judicial bench did not support the verdict arrived at. Even once you've caught up with the fact that there was no jury, it doesn't make much sense to answer a proposition that the judges' verdict was perverse with "the judges found him guilty".

In addition, the 2007 SCCRC report noted, after a four-year investigation into the case, that there were no less than six counts for believing that a miscarriage of justice had occurred.

All this and more has been stated in this (and other threads). I don't want to sound tetchy, but please try to keep up.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 07:43 AM   #47
Professor Yaffle
Butterbeans and Breadcrumbs
 
Professor Yaffle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Emily's shop
Posts: 17,578
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

That's the part that confuses me. Obviously not everyone is interested in the Meredith Kercher murder case, but there is sufficient interest on both sides to keep a very lively discussion going strong since December of last year. It's also noteworthy that posters who aren't interested, and aren't familiar with the minutiae of the evidence, don't as a rule jump in loudly asserting that Knox is guilty and everyone else should just shut up about it.
If you look at who is posting on that thread these days, you'll see the vast majority are people who were already interested in the case and joined JREF to discuss it -hardly any of them post on any other subjects. I think this forum is just neutral ground where the pro and anti people can meet and argue with eachother.
Professor Yaffle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 09:40 AM   #48
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Indeed, I've noticed the same thing. I started to follow the thread at first, but it grew faster than I could read it and I decided I didn't care much anyway.

The comparison is interesting, though, in that both sides of that debate seem able and willing to argue their position with reference to the evidence in the case. With all due respect to Bunntamas, that isn't the case with the Megrahi conviction.

I also fail to notice posters piling into the Knox/Kercher debate announcing that if a jury found Knox guilty she should die in prison, end of argument. (At least there actually was a jury in that case, as far as I know.) Miscarriages of justice are sadly a fact of the judicial systems of all countries. Simply announcing that a trial court can never, conceivably, convict an innocent defendant, is ridiculous.

There is uncommonly good reason to suspect the Megrahi conviction to be a miscarriage of justice, not only because of the high level of disquiet that has been expressed in many quarters since the verdict was announced, but because of the contents of the SCCRC report.

I can understand peple not caring either way, just as I don't really care about the Amanda Knox case. However, to be in the position of not caring whether the conviction was sound or not, but at the same time baying for the defendant to die in jail, seems somewhat perverse.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 04:44 PM   #49
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
if this man was innocent why did a jury of his peers find him guilty? Of course there have been miscarriages of justice but did any evidence surface that would prove him innocent? If there is no such evidence then it was absurd to release him.

Heres the verdict which I found on wikipedia.
<snip>
If he was guilty and a jury found him guilty then he should have died in prison.
Hey, thanks for speaking up. That's a valid point, not unlike those made earlier, in other threads, by our only two debunk attempts by McHrozni and Kopji (unless I'm forgetting someone). Obviously, a Wikipedia entry telling us the guy was convicted isn't going to go far, however, when we're well into considering how they decided that, based on what evidence, and considering the finer points of that evidence.

To be pedantic, as I hear it, the three judges could be referred to as a jury, but certainly not of peers. Not many peers to Libyan intel agents can be found in Scotland. I believe it was Megrahi's team that asked for judges and no jury, which, given what I've seen of the public attitude on this, was a wise choice. It wasn't enough, of course - the judges weren't reasonable either.

While not even denting our side, that's a good start, Cainekane. Next you should check the Opinion of the Court (Scotscourts PDF link) where they explain why they decided Megrahi was guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" (as they wrongly put it) and why Fhimah was found innocent. The devil really is in the details, as with any case of wrongful conviction. It's not a huge tome and easily word searchable.

Again, the two main points connecting Megrahi to the crime center around Air Malta flight 180 (KM180) and Tony Gauci's identification. What is so convincing about this evidence? There is a case to be made, and maybe someone here can make it well and add some personal insights to enhance it, and put the E in JREF.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 05:07 PM   #50
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
If you look at who is posting on that thread these days, you'll see the vast majority are people who were already interested in the case and joined JREF to discuss it -hardly any of them post on any other subjects. I think this forum is just neutral ground where the pro and anti people can meet and argue with eachother.
So long as they're interested. A small and heated issue like the Kercher murder, or a truly vast issue like 9/11 or ridiculous and sick like holocaust denial will get all kinds of discussion about the evidence that will just continue forever. But something on a scale between, less ridiculous and perfectly rational, suddenly it's not fun and no one wants to push ahead. They ll linger at the edge of the woods, insisting it's all been mapped out just fine.

I haven't followed the Knox case and thread at all until scanning it a few days ago. Are most of the innocent camp Americans, by chance? I've seen talk of "anti-Americanism" being behind the conviction.

And it remains puzzling why don't they care about the minutiae of the worst terrorist attack on Americans prior to 9/11. Just accepted without question, no matter who tells them there's a solid reason to fear the real terrorists are still at large and unpunished.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2010, 05:29 PM   #51
Bunntamas
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Ooh, disinterested dismissal!
Been there since 21 Dec. 1988. You?

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
How novel!
Not surprised, considering the source, that you find all of this novel.

Good luck with getting your T-shirt.
Bunntamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 03:56 AM   #52
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Thought I heard a small irrelevant sound, but then I turn and look and see nothing. Refreshing.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 07:34 AM   #53
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
Of course there have been miscarriages of justice but did any evidence surface that would prove him innocent?

In the hope that this wasn't just a drive-by post, I'll answer that bit in particular.

There was a four-year investigation into the case by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, from 2003 to 2007. In 2007 they delivered their findings, that they had identified no less than six grounds for believing that the conviction may have been a miscarriage of justice. They outlined these findings in a "press release" which only listed four of the grounds, and declined to comment further. Their full report, which is secret, is known to run to 800 pages plus appendices. Some of the grounds were indeed related to new evidence, although some related to deficiencies in the original trial judgement.

Megrahi had his appeal before the court when he was released. It was going well. As Architect observed in a different thread, by any fair reading of the evidence he was likely to be acquitted.

However, the appeal wasn't scheduled to be completed until the spring of this year. Megrahi was being given a cancer prognosis suggesting he would probably be dead by the end of 2009. He was also led to believe that dropping the appeal would improve his chances of being allowed to return to his family in Libya before he died. What would you have done?

That's only half the issue, of course. The first half is that the original 2001 court judgement against him is riddled with flaws, illogic, circular reasoning and unsupported innuendo. The main motivation for many people supporting the campaign to have the appeal re-opened is horror that the Scottish criminal justice system was able to perpetrate such a blatant miscarriage of justice in the first place.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 02:00 PM   #54
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
I confess I'm a little obsessed with this issue, although I try to not contibute so much to the "walls of text" problem that's reportedly kept some people from learning what's in the text. I'll try to be both informative and brief, or at least non-wallish.

Real truth and legal truth can in fact be different. If one can agree to that possibility, however distant in this case, then we're on the first step. Next would be considering the details of the Lockerbie case to see how much place they have in actual reality (how much sense do they make?)

I've found the date of clothing purchase is the clearest point people can see with little ambiguity, and the actual ID of Megrahi is a close second. I'll deal with the day right now.

Day of purchase:
Tony Gauci, 1 September 1989: “I had been working alone in the shop. It was about 6:50 pm just before closing time at 7pm. ... I cannot remember the day or date that I met this man. I would think it was a weekday..."
Other bits show it was a Wednesday in late November or perhaps early December 1988. Two possible days come into play with the account of Tony Gauci. The following are the solid facts for each day, established in court. Below that, some primary quotes from Gauci's first police statements. Given the inaccuracies of eyewitness evidence (well-known), I think it's fair to consider his first statements more accurate than his testimony 11 years later.

23 November 1988
  • Wednesday
  • weather: Major Mifsud at Camp Zeist: light rain all day from noon to 19:00 (7pm) local, at which time .6 mm was recorded at the airport.
  • Football match, Rome-Dresden: 16.55.45 to 18.44.00 (5-7 pm) local time.
  • Christmas decorations: Not up (erected December 6).
  • Megrahi: Verified not on Malta at all.

7 December 1988
  • Wednesday
  • Westher: “trace rainfall," less than 0.5 of a millimetre, at the airport from 8:44 to 8:45 am. All else, island-wide shows nothing, including in Silema around 7 pm.
  • Football match, Rome-Dresden: 12.55.30 to 14.53 (1-3 pm) local.
  • Christmas Decorations: Had just gone up the day before
  • Megrahi: Verified on Malta, under an alias

Weather on the purchase day:
TG 1 September 1989:
Quote:
“I even showed him a “Black coloured (umbrella?) and he bought it. … The man said he had other shops to visit and he picked up the “umbrella” and he said he would come back shortly … [and] walked out of the shop with the “Umbrella” which he opened as it was raining.”
See Chart, 7 Dec and Silema highlighted - days as listed are midnight to midnight

Football match on the purchase day:
TG 19 September 1989:
Quote:
My brother Paul did not work in the shop that afternoon, as he had gone home to watch a football match on television. He may be able to recall the game, and this could identify the day and date that I dealt with the man in the shop.”
Paul Gauci, 19 October 1989:
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.”
Christmas Decorations on the purchase day:
TG, 19 September 1989:
Quote:
“At Christmas time we put up the decorations about 15 days before Christmas. The Christmas decorations were not up when the man bought the clothes.”
TG, 10 September, 1990:
Quote:
“I’ve been asked to try again and pinpoint the day and date I sold the man the clothing. I can only say it was a weekday; there were no Christmas decorations up, as I have already said, and I believe it was at the end of November.”
Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission:
Quote:
New evidence not heard at the trial concerned the date on which the Christmas lights were illuminated in the area of Sliema in which Mary’s House is situated. In the Commission’s view, taken together with Mr Gauci’s evidence at trial and the contents of his police statements, this additional evidence indicates that the purchase of the items took place prior to 6 December 1988. In other words, it indicates that the purchase took place at a time when there was no evidence at trial that the applicant was in Malta.
Are these facts wrong? Was Gauci more accurate at trial when he seems more confused and unclear, specifically, on the Christmas lights and the rainfall (as well as on each of his discrepant details regarding Megrahi's appearance)? The Judges were told all the above facts and ruled the purchase was made by Megrahi on 7 December. Can you see why someone would consider that an unwarranted ruling? Does anybody want to argue why they were right to do so?

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 20th October 2010 at 02:06 PM.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 02:08 PM   #55
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Just a quick correction and clarification. First, Megrahi wasn't travelling under an alias on 7th December - he was using his own passport. It was 20th-21st December he was using the assumed name.

Second, 8th December was a public holiday on Malta, and the Gauci shop was shut. This to some extent argues against Tony's recollection that "the purchase was midweek" applying to 7th December, if the shop was closed the day after.

Also, invoices demonstrated that Tony had ordered more pyjamas on 24th November - the mystery shopper bought two pairs.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 02:39 PM   #56
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
I admit I'm the one responsible for the walls of text. Mostly. But I'll try to say what Caustic Logic is saying, even more succinctly.

Tony Gauci's original statements described a purchaser who was at least 50 years old, over 6 feet tall and heavily built. He reeled off a string of measurements, as a shopkeeper might who was sizing his customer up for the fit of clothes.

Megrahi is 5 feet 8 inches tall, of normal-to-slim build, and he was 36 in late 1988.

Tony described the day of purchase in terms which clearly fit 23rd November, It was raining in the evening, it was midweek, the Christmas lights were not yet lit, and Paul was away watching the football (the relevant football match on 7th December was an afternoon fixture). It required serious torturing of the facts to allow 7th December to be accepted as the day at all, but the original trial judges duly did that torturing.

The SCCRC report both noted that the original finding that the purchase happened on 7th December had no basis in fact, and that subsequent evidence about the Christmas lights actually ruled that date out.

The only day Megrahi could possibly have been the purchaser was 7th December.

I haven't heard anyone try to "debunk" this, at all. I'd be interested to see if anyone can.

Oh dear, did I just "wall of text" again?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 03:31 PM   #57
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just a quick correction and clarification. First, Megrahi wasn't travelling under an alias on 7th December - he was using his own passport. It was 20th-21st December he was using the assumed name.
Oops. He was on the island that day, anyway.

Quote:
Second, 8th December was a public holiday on Malta, and the Gauci shop was shut. This to some extent argues against Tony's recollection that "the purchase was midweek" applying to 7th December, if the shop was closed the day after.
Because he didn't mention that it was the day before the holiday? That's a point but rather a small one.

Quote:
Also, invoices demonstrated that Tony had ordered more pyjamas on 24th November - the mystery shopper bought two pairs.

Rolfe.
Yes, Bollier helped with that point, one of his worthwhile contributions. It was also discussed at trial, IIRC dismissed with a note that it wasn't proven that he didn't sell out again on 7 December. (he says they were the last two sets in stock and would re-order after)

Another point, considering the decorations, the rain, and the football match, the last is the easiest to fudge into 7 December - perhaps Paul was absent to watch the 1-3 game, followed by something else that kept him away til closing. So do note this from DI Harry Bell, interviewed by the SCCRC in 2006 - he ignores the rain and lights (and pajamas and etc.)
Quote:
"...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..."
One changed story from money-grubber Paul and Megrahi's presence is all he can cite. The weather records must be wrong or altered, the memory of no lights on that dark evening was wrong, Paul was off doing who knows what, and it had to be 7 December since Megrahi (whom Gauci never identified) was there.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 03:44 PM   #58
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Hmmm. Paul Gauci and the date of the football match.

Originally Posted by Paul Foot
The Eye has obtained some of Paul Gauci’s statements to the police, including one on 19 October, 1989 to DCI Bell from Dumfries and Galloway and Inspector Scicluna of the Malta police. “On Thursday 19 October 1989 Mr Bell called at my shop at 63 Tower Road where 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.” No wonder Paul Gauci was not called to give evidence for the prosecution.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th October 2010, 04:20 PM   #59
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
More wall of text, just for the hell of it. I'm sure I've missed some, but fill me in, guys

Examples of the reasoning at Camp Zeist.
  • Tony Gauci says Megrahi is not the man he saw in his shop. But it’s been ten years, his memory can’t be so good after all that time, we’re perfectly satisfied it was him all right.
  • Tony says he’s no use at estimating height or build, and we believe him - even though he made his living selling clothes.
  • Tony has been very hesitant to identfy Megrahi all along. That’s good, because it shows he’s being careful, which makes us even more certain Megrahi was the clothes purchaser.
  • Joseph Mifsud says there was a shower of rain in the early evening of 23rd November, just as Tony said happened when his customer left the shop. He’s 90% sure it didn’t rain at all on 7th December, and if it did, it was only a few spots that wouldn’t have wet the ground. Ah, he has admitted the possibility of rain, that’s fine, it must have been 7th December when the clothes were purchased.
  • Taken in isolation, Koca’s entry for tray B8849 is more likely to be an item of luggage from the Malta flight than a coding error, although we do agree coding errors happened quite commonly at Frankfurt. Therefore, we find that an unaccompanied item of luggage arrived at Frankfurt on that flight.
  • Although superhuman efforts failed to find any trace of a method whereby an unaccompanied suitcase could have been smuggled on at Malta, the Maltese general manager admitted one could never eliminate human error - even though he was at a loss to see how any such error could have happened on the flight in question. Well, it must have happened because we already decided there was an unaccompanied bag on that flight.
  • The explosion happened in a suitcase on the second layer up on the outside section of baggage container AVE4041. There was a suitcase answering to the description of the bomb bag just there at Heathrow before the Frankfurt flight landed - but on the bottom layer, not the second. The suitcase in that position during the flight was one of the Frankfurt cases. So the suitcase that looked like the bomb suitcase must have been moved. And if it had been moved, it could just as easily have been moved to a far corner of the container as up a layer, so there’s no reason to think it could have been the bomb bag.
  • The case that looked like the bomb bag was never found - the only brown Samsonite case found at Lockerbie was the one in tiny pieces that had had the bomb in it. And no relative reported they thought their loved one had had a brown Samsonite case that didn’t show up. Well, never mind that, some cases were never recovered, that one probably belonged to one of the (15?) interline passengers and was never found.
There's something about the PFLP-GC not having the means to carry out the Lockerbie bombing as well....

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 02:16 AM   #60
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Breaking it up into points always helps.

I heard someone complain about having to "wade" through posts. A better idea, as time-consuming as it is, is to read through them instead. It's more graceful than wading and you can learn. But there's no rule against skim-reading or simply skipping long posts as tl;dr. So long as you're willing to skim the page for high points, bolding, etc. it's really not that hard to learn enough of this stuff to allow that little light bulb of a new idea to turn on. Then you might want to go back and gather more.

But it's understandable to be afraid of the light, and only natural to feel in your gut that something of this scale and nature couldn't possibly be gotten so wrong. I'd add "by accident" and agree, but that points to frame-up and conspiracy, which we're trying to avoid to keep this thread right here.

However, it is right there and will emerge, and remain a stumbling block. People will think "it would have to be a conspiracy" and instantly dismiss it, to the extent of refusing to ever discuss it again. To avoid this pitfall, let's just try to say it might well be a conspiracy, and it may not be, and that's it. The question at hand, whatever set the evidence up, looking at it, was the guilty verdict justified and correct, or was it not? To consider that, we'll need to be as much like judges as we can be - open-minded, honest, rigorous, well-informed.

I've seen it happen here before.

So ... What do any of the lurkers or skeptics have to say about the date of purchase information above? (just to keep it simpler for the moment, Rolfe). So far all I've heard is agreement that Gauci clearly describes a day Megrahi was not on Malta. This obviously goes pretty strongly against him being the buyer.

Can anyone try for a rescue of the pivotal 7 December purchase? If not we can move onto what then remains of the case. There are other points, but this one is key - don't surrender it without a fight, "guilters!"

[Note: If anyone who's got the links to online transcripts at archive.org would be willing to add something constructive, a link to the day(s) where Gauci gave evidence would be cool (I didn't save the one link and not sure of the days to find) Then anyone willing to 'talk this to death' a little more can find their debunk material.]
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 06:13 AM   #61
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Caustic Logic is of course right. I was hoping Bunntamas might get on to the question of the clothes purchase in one of the threads in Conspiracy Theories where we were discussing the issue, so that we could explore it - because it's absolutely crucial. However the conversation somehow never went that way.

Having read Tony Gauci's evidence, I'm quite convinced that someone did come to his shop, at about the time he says they did, and buy that curiously mis-matched assortment of clothes. (Brand new clothes, all made by manufacturers in Malta, all with labels that could be traced to these factories on Malta.)

I'm also convinced this person wasn't an innocent passenger whose luggage happened to be adjacent to the bomb bag. Also, the idea that the purchase was an innocent one and the clothes were subsequently passed on to a passenger doesn't make sense - why wouldn't that person have come forward?

So, the mystery purchaser was likely (very likely) to be a terrorist out shopping for (brand new, traceable) clothes to pack round the bomb. If the purchaser could be identified, for sure, I'd convict the man based on that alone.

The converse is that if Megrahi wasn't the purchaser, then the case falls apart. The inference that the bomb travelled on KM180 is so ultra-tenuous that it needed the presence of the clothes purchaser at the airport that morning to make it stand up. If Megrahi wasn't the clothes purchaser, the entire feeble chain of innuendo collapses in a heap.

So can anyone at all make a case for Megrahi being the man who bought the clothes, given that that would have had to happen on 7th December? Also factoring in Gauci's description of a man significantly older, taller and heavier than Megrahi? And accepting that Gauci actually said "NOT the man I saw in my shop," and that it was the judges who chose to interpret this as "yes this is the man"?????

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 21st October 2010 at 06:15 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 03:19 PM   #62
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
It's very easy for a single poster to say, what, because I haven't argued against no planes hitting the Twin Towers, that means I agree with the no-planers? Of course not. No individual can or will respond to every assertion.

The surprise here is that nobody is tackling it. I can't think of a single other proposition of this nature that attracts no reasoned debunking at all. From Amanda Knox to the Pentagon flyover theory, there's always someone prepared to step up to the plate and present the counter-argument.

It's not as if the PA103 situation is hard to understand, or hard to research, at the level of "did he buy the clothes" and "did the bomb travel on KM180". Simplicity itself, really. But nobody at all prepared to maintain that Megrahi bought the clothes (well, apart from one entrant that more or less came out as "I just think he bought them anyway").

So at some point I think there is legitimacy to the conclusion that silence indicates assent.

I just wish, given the high-profile hate-fest that has been mounted against Megrahi, that more posters had the guts to say so.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 04:14 PM   #63
dirtywick
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,974
It happened a long time ago I guess is why.

I don't know anything about this case besides what I read here, but I don't understand why the date the clothes were purchased is such a sticking point. He still bought them and they were still on the plane apparently, so what's the difference?
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 04:36 PM   #64
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
It happened a long time ago I guess is why.

I don't know anything about this case besides what I read here, but I don't understand why the date the clothes were purchased is such a sticking point. He still bought them and they were still on the plane apparently, so what's the difference?
The day they were bought, by Tony Gauci's description, was a day Megrahi was not on Malta. The store in question is on Malta, so he can't have bought them. Note the quote above from Harry Bell - they decided the day was different from the one Gauci described, because they had to do that to make Megrahi the buyer. You can't do that, just change the dates of crucial events. The SCCRC found it strong enough to make it one of their six grounds for possible miscarriage of justice.

Hope that helps.

And yes, the bombing was over two decades ago, the trial just about one decade ago. And the release that got helf the world so pissed off was just one year ago. So it's current events to discuss whether the man was even guilty or not. Try telling Bunntamas for example it's all in the past and we should forget it. You won't get far.

Thanks for speaking up. We could use more of that.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2010, 05:44 PM   #65
dirtywick
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,974
Oh, OK. So if they were bought on the 23rd and not the 7th it was a different guy. I'm assuming that the only evidence for the clothing is the shopkeep then, and that he doesn't keep very good records of his sales.

If so, that's problematic. Can't really argue with you on that.
dirtywick is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd October 2010, 01:04 AM   #66
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Oh, OK. So if they were bought on the 23rd and not the 7th it was a different guy.
Exactly. It was a different guy, that I'm not 100% convinced ever existed (at least not as a terrorist plotter). No alternate person has been floated that works. Megrahi was too short and too young. Mohammed Abu Talb, widely cited by alternative theorists, was shorter and younger yet. Tony gave them a tough form to fill, among short and swarthy and 30-ish Arab terrorists. FWIW, that's one point arguing against him fully concocting his buyer to fit the police suspect - unless they were originally gunning for a 6' plus 50-year old Arab terrorist)

Quote:
I'm assuming that the only evidence for the clothing is the shopkeep then, and that he doesn't keep very good records of his sales.
You know, the issue of record for the sale is an interesting one that just never comes up that I'm aware of. Rolfe or Buncrana, do you know anything about the book-keeping or lack of?

For all we know there was a record, but it said 23 November and so became the first thing we were never allowed to hear about. Alternately, Tony and his family (Dad and brother) just sold things and didn't note what and when, It seems an old fashioned place in 1988, with no computerized tills or anything, and Tony speaks of tallying the bill by pencil on brown paper.

For what it's worth, the early reports about Gauci's sale all specify November 23 as the date of the sale. Back then, in 1989 and 1990, the PFLP-GC were still the main suspects, and even as "clues" started pointing to Libya, the date wasn't changed. Not until sometime after Megrahi was identified and "investigators" started thinking it through, did the sale start being reported as 7 December. The 1991 indictments set it in stone, and even the Zeist judges accepted it. But the facts are right there.

Quote:
If so, that's problematic. Can't really argue with you on that.
Acknowledgment!


If one could accept all the various clues, in general, pointing to a Megrahi plot, it could be seen, with some squinting, to all fit together nicely. The date could potentially be 7 December, and the buyer Megrahi, if we already were sure Gauci's identification of Megrahi was uncannily precise and clear, and that a suitcase with those clothes and a bomb was inserted onto flight KM 180. I'll try my best to see how it could work with a 7 Dec. purchase:

- Gauci's memory of rain or an umbrella for the rain must be either wrong, or the Maltese weather records were altered. Neither was proposed at court, seeming to settle on a fudge-field in between - it was sprinkling enough to warrant an umbrella, but not enough to even register as trace rainfall (.5 mm or less).
- His recall of the Christmas decorations was just wrongly embellished. The early winter dark of 7pm, cheered by pre-Christmas lights in warm colors, was replaced as the ambient context by a memory of it being just dark. That's possible, but problematic.
- Paul's absence is not so hard to explain alternately - he was just doing something else besides working four hours after his match ended. It's still a better match with the 23rd, but not unthinkable for the 7th.

That's a rather steep order, but if we had darn good reasons to supect it must be so, then perhaps it was so. Do we have such reasons?

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 22nd October 2010 at 01:09 AM.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd October 2010, 03:13 AM   #67
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
You know, the issue of record for the sale is an interesting one that just never comes up that I'm aware of. Rolfe or Buncrana, do you know anything about the book-keeping or lack of?

Alternately, Tony and his family (Dad and brother) just sold things and didn't note what and when, It seems an old fashioned place in 1988, with no computerized tills or anything, and Tony speaks of tallying the bill by pencil on brown paper.

There appear to have been no records of individual sales that could have been referred to. I wouldn't have expected it in a small shop like that.

There was one definite clue. The trousers that were part of the sale were only supplied to the shop on 16th November 1988, which put an early marker down on when the sale could have happened. And of course it must have happened before 21st December.

Otherwise there are some records of when new stock of pyjamas was acquired, which again might point to 23rd November as the day of the sale, but I'm not so clear about that.

Much of the rest of your post belongs in the CT forum, quite frankly, and if you go on doing that, someone is going to move this thread.

I can see no rational way Tony's evidence was prompted as to facts that would specifically incriminate Megrahi. His first statement is detailed enough to indicate that he remembered a real sale, the sale of these clothes, and that the purchaser was very very probably one of the terrorist gang.

He gave a good description of the man's height, build and body shape at that time, as of someone who had sized a customer up for fit, and there's no way he was describing Megrahi - the customer was significantly older, taller and more heavily built. He also tried to recall details of the day. As far as we can tell, these details seem to be a best fit for 23rd November.

You must bear in mind that for a full year, the investigation in Malta, talking to Tony, had no clue they wanted to implicate Megrahi. They were trying to implicate Abu Talb, if anything. Abu Talb didn't fit the description either though, which was a pain. Abu Talb was however possibly on Malta on 23rd November so that was OK.

It was only later, when they gave up on Abu Talb and started trying to make Megrahi the purchaser, that the day became a problem. So for a full year, the investigation had no motivation to fudge the date to 7th December. They only started doing that after Megrahi was in the frame.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd October 2010, 04:23 AM   #68
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
It happened a long time ago I guess is why.

I don't know anything about this case besides what I read here, but I don't understand why the date the clothes were purchased is such a sticking point. He still bought them and they were still on the plane apparently, so what's the difference?

Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Oh, OK. So if they were bought on the 23rd and not the 7th it was a different guy. I'm assuming that the only evidence for the clothing is the shopkeep then, and that he doesn't keep very good records of his sales.

If so, that's problematic. Can't really argue with you on that.

It's not that long ago. The trial only concluded a few months before 9/11 happened. And so far as the hate-fest against Megrahi is concerned, that's happening right now. All some people seem to be able to think about is, why isn't the bastard dead yet?

Your second post gets the point. If the clothes weren't bought on 7th December, "it was a different guy". The evidence now available indicates that the purchase couldn't have happened on 7th December.

It's not just the date. Gauci gave quite a detailed description of the man's height, age and build, and this simply didn't match Megrahi at all. The police kept showing him photos of people much younger than the age he said the purchaser was, and he kept rejecting all of them, including Megrahi, as being too young.

Finally, when he was told to forget about age and pick one anyway, he chose Megrahi as the picture that looked most like the purchaser, but always said it wasn't him. It was similar with the live identity parade. All the participants were too young to have been the purchaser, and Megrahi was the second-oldest in the group. Also, there had been so much media coverage by then that Megrahi's appearance was well-known. Anyone viewing that group would have been able to pick him out on that basis.

Even so, Gauci said, "NOT the man I saw in my shop, but the man who resembles him is [Megrahi]."

We only found out much later that Tony Gauci and his brother were pressing to be paid for their evidence, knowing that a $4 million reward had been offered. And that plenty hints had been dropped that they might be lucky if a conviction was achieved. And that they were duly paid $3 million between them.

There's no real evidence that Tony lied up-front for that money. He merely became vaguer and vaguer about things he had originally been certain of, when he realised that they didn't identlfy Megrahi, such as the age and height and build and some of the details about the day. And then was prepared to say that Megrahi resembled the purchaser rather than simply refusing to identify anyone.

However, it was the judges, not Tony, who made the identification. They decided that it was too much to expect Tony still to recognise the man after 12 years, so decreed that his non-identification was actually a positive identification "beyond reasonable doubt".

And you wonder why we're critical of this court process?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 22nd October 2010 at 05:14 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd October 2010, 06:06 AM   #69
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Can I repeat something I said about the sale in one of the threads in the other forum? What Megrahi is alleged to have done in respect of this purchase is batsqueak insane.

He is alleged to have been connected to the bombing in two ways. One by buying the clothes, and the other by being at Malta airport (catching a flight for Tripoli) on the morning of 21st December 1988. The prosecution allege that the bomb was smuggled on board a flight from Malta to Frankfurt that morning.

If Megrahi is guilty, then he was an absolute bloody genius in respect of the latter part. If this bomb was manufactured on Malta, or in Libya and then transported to Malta, no trace of this exercise was ever found. There is absolutely no evidence the bomb was ever on the island of Malta. In particular, there is absolutely no evidence that anything was smuggled on board the Frankfurt flight that morning. On the contrary, the airport baggage records show that this DID NOT HAPPEN. In addition, although Megrahi was at the airport that morning (and under an assumed name, too), there's no evidence of him doing anything suspicious. All he apparently did was show up for his flight and get on it. He certainly didn't go airside. So quite what he did to get that bomb on board, nobody knows. (He was never actually convicted of being the bomber anyway, just of being mixed up in it all somehow.)

But then, as regards the clothes purchase, he was positively suicidal. Why buy a batch of brand new clothes at all, for this purpose? Old clothes, second-hand clothes, would have been fine. If you want new clothes for some reason, why pick a small owner-operated shop at a quiet time of day, and make a positive effort to get yourself noticed?

In particular, why pick a shop like that, situated only three miles from the airport where this machiavellian, undetectable operation to smuggle the bomb on board was planned? A bit pointless concealing the bomb's presence on Malta so well, then advertising the connection with the island by buying new Maltese-manufactured clothes in a Maltese shop, and shoving them in beside the bomb complete with all their "Made in Malta" labels, no?

Then to cap it all, he himself personally both bought the clothes and showed up at the airport that morning. Even though we don't quite know why he showed up at the airport. Didn't this plot have access to an errand boy or something?

It's completely ridiculous.

The entire clothes purchase is ridiculous at first sight, no matter who did it. Untraceable clothes are very easy to find. But not only did this guy buy traceable clothes, he did it in such a way as to make it likely the shopkeeper would remember the sale. Why the hell would any terrorist do that?

Maybe, if you are planning to smuggle the bomb on an aeroplane in London, planting a batch of clothes traceable to the island of Malta, a thousand miles away, isn't so daft after all.

Malta at that time was in a bit of a state of flux. There were Libyans all over the place, and Libya was a recognised state sponsor of terrorism. There were Palestinian terrorists operating there as well, and God alone knows what else. Perhaps quite a fertile place to choose if you're thinking about sending cops on a wild-goose-chase.

I think it worked beyond someone's wildest dreams.

There must have been hundreds of people at Malta airport that morning. Probably quite a few Libyans among them. That would probably be true any morning of the year, especially with a flight for Tripoli scheduled. That one of these people happened to be a JSO officer with a background that made him a good bet to be branded as a suspect, might not have been a terribly unlikely coincidence.

I think that's what happened. The investigation had been spectacularly reluctant to acknowledge the possibility that the bomb might have been introduced at Heathrow, right from the start - even though there was some pretty good evidence pointing that way. They fell on the suggestion of a Maltese connection like starving hyenas, and never looked back.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 12:29 AM   #70
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There appear to have been no records of individual sales that could have been referred to. I wouldn't have expected it in a small shop like that.

There was one definite clue. The trousers that were part of the sale were only supplied to the shop on 16th November 1988, which put an early marker down on when the sale could have happened. And of course it must have happened before 21st December.

Otherwise there are some records of when new stock of pyjamas was acquired, which again might point to 23rd November as the day of the sale, but I'm not so clear about that.
As a Bollier point, I've chosen to not follow up on that. But I believe the replacement order was placed 24th November. And IIRC at court the rebuttal was something like "well, for all we know the last two pairs of those were sold on 7th December and another replacement order was placed on the 8th." It doesn't seem anyone found a record supporting that, it just hadn't been ruled out.

Quote:
Much of the rest of your post belongs in the CT forum, quite frankly, and if you go on doing that, someone is going to move this thread.
Oh, you exaggerate. I'm not 100% convinced the tall dark Arab was ever that, but otherwise I'm willing to call it the most likely possibility by far and proceed on its basis. Whatever he was describing, it couldn't reasonably be ruled to be a purchase by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. And this purchase is one of two points of direct linkage to the crime, and probably the most widely cited.

To be puritanical about avoiding conspiracy thoughts, we wouldn't go onto half the points we both have suggesting investigatorial misdeeds turning things to Megrahi. I'm for meeting the mods half way. We've earned our right, but let's keep the frame-up and CT musings (mine included of course) at most limited to passing side-notes of opinions for potential context. So long as we avoid them becoming an issue by being drawn into complex defenses of them, I foresee no problems.

I would like to see someone else attack something here, even if it's one of these bits of bait at the fringe to start with.

So far Dirtywick's got my respect. Few others do just yet.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 07:50 AM   #71
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
As a Bollier point, I've chosen to not follow up on that. But I believe the replacement order was placed 24th November. And IIRC at court the rebuttal was something like "well, for all we know the last two pairs of those were sold on 7th December and another replacement order was placed on the 8th." It doesn't seem anyone found a record supporting that, it just hadn't been ruled out.

When you look at Bollier's points, they're based on the evidence whenever they cover this sort of thing. He quotes from the transcripts a lot. So although I haven't checked up on this one, I'm inclined to think it will check out.

If Tony said these were the last two pairs of pyjamas and he re-ordered afterwards, this is quite a strong point for 23rd November. There seems to be an actual order or invoice or something dated 24th November, which corroborates it. On the other hand, 8th December was a public holiday and Tony wasn't going to be ordering anything that day. So he would have had to have re-ordered on Friday 9th. If there is no record of any re-order on that date, then it definitely argues against the 7th.

Then again, if Tony is talking about re-ordering pyjamas following the ourchase, surely that starts him thinking about the day following, and you'd have thought he might have remembered if that day was a holiday.

OK, he could also have ordered on 9th December and the order confirmation got lost. Though it does make you wonder how fast he was selling pyjamas an how often he needed to re-order, two weeks seems a bit quick even for December. He could have done. Just like the Bedford suitcase could have been moved to "a far corner of the container" and Kurt Maier could have missed a bomb on his x-ray machine, and it could have rained a few drops on the evening of the 7th.

Just how many times do these judges have to dismiss the probable explanation with "but it could have been this other way" before it becomes perversion of the course of justice?

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Oh, you exaggerate. I'm not 100% convinced the tall dark Arab was ever that, but otherwise I'm willing to call it the most likely possibility by far and proceed on its basis. Whatever he was describing, it couldn't reasonably be ruled to be a purchase by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. And this purchase is one of two points of direct linkage to the crime, and probably the most widely cited.

I can't see how the tall dark mystery shopper didn't exist. There's too much detail on Tony's first statement. (I know the Golfer said that statement had been altered, but he hasn't come forward and presented his evidence so I'm not taking it into account till he does.)

As a result, my best guess is that it was someone laying a speculative false trail leading away from Heathrow and towards a place where all sorts of potential suspects might be running around to distract the investigation.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
To be puritanical about avoiding conspiracy thoughts, we wouldn't go onto half the points we both have suggesting investigatorial misdeeds turning things to Megrahi. I'm for meeting the mods half way. We've earned our right, but let's keep the frame-up and CT musings (mine included of course) at most limited to passing side-notes of opinions for potential context. So long as we avoid them becoming an issue by being drawn into complex defenses of them, I foresee no problems.

I'm just averse to continual speculation about - hey, maybe that existed but was covered up right at the start, and so on. The investigation wasn't trying to pin it on Megrahi until the start of 1991. So they would have had no motivation to tamper with any evidence with that aim, before that. In paricular, since 23rd November fitted Abu Talb as the puchaser, I think we'd definitely know about it if there was a record of sale saying it was that day,

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I would like to see someone else attack something here, even if it's one of these bits of bait at the fringe to start with.

So far Dirtywick's got my respect. Few others do just yet.

I'd honestly have thought that a forum full of critical thinkers would be led by the evidence and acknowledge where it fetches up. That Megrahi is not "the Lockerbie bomber". But it seems as if the twin pulls of disdain for "conspiracy theories" and anger at his release are too strong.

Though having said that, I think a good dozen JREFers signed the JFM petition.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 01:47 PM   #72
McHrozni
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,479
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
MC, you poser. You never smashed a thing with anything.
And I wasn't claiming I did. I said that trying to convince Rolfe into anything is about as pleasurable as smashing brick walls with your forehead, but someone might pay you for the latter. Video would certainly be quite cool.

McHrozni
McHrozni is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 01:52 PM   #73
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
How do you know? You never tried to convince me of anything.

All you said was that you still thought Megrahi did it despite realising the evidence was weaker than you had realised.

Just repeating, well I think he bought the clothes anyway, I just think Gauci was wrong about everything else but recognised the man, isn't going to convince a five-year-old. Especially when we can read Gauci's statements and see that he never said he recognised Megrahi as the man in the first place, just that he resembled him, but was too young.

As I remarked above,

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'd honestly have thought that a forum full of critical thinkers would be led by the evidence and acknowledge where it fetches up. That Megrahi is not "the Lockerbie bomber". But it seems as if the twin pulls of disdain for "conspiracy theories" and anger at his release are too strong.

Go away and find out what the evidence in the case is, then come back and see if you can convince anyone of anything. 'Cos if you think you've presented any sort of argument so far, you're delusional.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 23rd October 2010 at 02:02 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 02:01 PM   #74
McHrozni
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,479
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
All you said was that you still thought Megrahi did it despite realising the evidence was weaker than you had realised.
Evidence against anyone else is weaker still. Realizing as how it's entirely possible Megrahi wasn't the sole culprit, I fail to see how believing a court that assumed he was innocent before the trial can be completely irrational.

Now excuse me, I'll go see a demolition contractor about a possible career change ...

McHrozni
McHrozni is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 02:15 PM   #75
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
You seriously think that court assumed he was innocent before the trial? After the UN having imposed sanctions on Libya for eight years, on the assumption that he was definitely guilty? What are you smoking? (Have you read the court judgement? It's online, right there for you. Try reading that and then come back and try to claim that it wasn't irrational.)

You know, there are two threads already active here about miscarriages of justice, which were finally overturned on appeal. As Megrahi's would have been, had he not been persuaded to drop the appeal. The annals of the law are littered with cases where courts who were supposed to have been impartial convicted people who were later shown to be innocent. I don't think you have the first clue how weak-to-nonexistent the evidence against Megrahi actually is, and I wish to hell you'd find out before spouting off about it.

And it is absolutely not necessary to have better evidence against someone else in order to recognise a wrongful conviction. The murderers of Jill Dando and Bille-Jo Jenkins have never been found, for example.

McHrozni, you constantly side-step the question. Please explain, with reference to the evidence, how you believe Megrahi bought those clothes, when the new evidence put forward by the SCCRC showed that the purchase could not have taken place on the only day he could possibly have been the purchaser?

That's what this conversation is about, not handwaving about whether there's any evidence against anyone else.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 23rd October 2010 at 02:31 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 02:39 PM   #76
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic
MC, you poser. You never smashed a thing with anything.
And I wasn't claiming I did.
Well then there and above, what you should have said is "I would imagine that..." and I couldn't have called you a poser. Because you were talking like it was a direct experience you had.


Quote:
Evidence against anyone else is weaker still. Realizing as how it's entirely possible Megrahi wasn't the sole culprit, I fail to see how believing a court that assumed he was innocent before the trial can be completely irrational.
Well, the official take by investigators and judges was that Megrahi himself, not some other Libyan, bought the clothes. So that's a problem with the case against Megrahi, even if you wanted to argue that an affiliated Libyan bought them on 23 November.

Do you have any proof that he was considered innocent by the judges before the trial? A time that is also after years of strong-arm sanctions and world power posturing based on Libya's guilt via Megrahi. A guilt established by the man's clothing purchase and presence at Malta airport 21 Dec plus nothing but weak circumstantial hints strung together?

I'm not going to just assert the judges were more concerned with upholding the popular mythology than with establishing the truth, but how can we rule it out? Certainly the content of their judgment is not encouraging for your view, like looking at the same facts above (including the pajamas) and deciding the purchase was on 7 Dec.

Any thoughts on that?
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 02:55 PM   #77
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Thoughts? I'm not holding my breath.

I don't understand why McHrozni so often piles into this debate asserting this or that, when he quite blatantly has no clue about the actual evidence one way or the other. Obviously nobody needs to know everything about everything. I personally have no clue whether Amanda Knox murdered Meredith Kercher, but then I don't leap into that thread announcing that there's no better evidence against anyone else and a court that assumed she was innocent at the beginning couldn't have been irrational, as if that means anything.

This apparent need to assert a man's guilt on the basis of almost total ignorance of the evidence is a great puzzle to me.

British courts have convicted many, many people who were later shown to have been completely railroaded. Some of them even on the forensic evidence of one Thomas Hayes, too. Why wasn't Megrahi one of these?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 23rd October 2010 at 02:57 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 03:26 PM   #78
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,983
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Now excuse me, I'll go see a demolition contractor about a possible career change ...

Was that a declaration of victory or something? You think simply declaring you don't think a court can ever produce a wrongful conviction is a victory?

You do know about the Black Knight, right?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd October 2010, 05:14 PM   #79
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Was that a declaration of victory or something? You think simply declaring you don't think a court can ever produce a wrongful conviction is a victory?

You do know about the Black Knight, right?

Rolfe.
The one that's "INVINCIBLE!!11!" ?

Speaking of overturned verdicts, and mentioning Dr. Hayes. As you know I just put up a pretty detailed blog post about his involvement with the Maguire Seven case and Lockerbie. On the latter he was the head of the RARDE explosives lab and default lead analyst of the explosives evidence. This time he wasn't looking for nitroglycerine.

Mr. Feraday (post coming up) took over after Hayes left in the middle of the investigation to be a foot doctor, just as the Maguire Seven inquiry was beginning 13 years later. Feraday is worse yet. Consider Hassan Assali among at least three overturned high-profile cases.

Quote:
Libyan national, Hassan Assali, came to Britain in 1965. In 1985, Assali was convicted of constructing electronic timers in contravention of the 1883 Explosives Substances Act on the basis of Feraday's testimony that the timing devices were designed specifically for the triggering of IEDs. Assali's appeal against conviction was rejected in 1986. He applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in 1998 to review his case and, following a second appeal when other electronics experts disputed the trial evidence given by Feraday, Assali's conviction was quashed in 2005.[source for now]
A Libyan convicted based on Feraday's irrational presumptions about a circuit board. It took 20 years to overturn it. Appeals were denied. This Libyan, if he and his boards were truly innocent, was innocent that whole time, not just following the CCRC ruling. The same would be true of Megrahi right now with a denied appeal, his CCRC one mysteriously dropped (an unprecedented move, isn't it?), and all these flaws that can be pointed out and understood anywhere but a court of law.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th October 2010, 09:45 AM   #80
commandlinegamer
Philosopher
 
commandlinegamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mazes of Menace
Posts: 8,580
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Evidence against anyone else is weaker still
Doesn't matter: there is no absolute need to find another party guilty in order to show that Megrahi is innocent*. Or: if Megrahi is the only suspect for the crime, despite there not being sufficient evidence, you can't convict just because no one else can be put in frame.

* - That would be the ideal outcome, though, of course.
__________________
He bade me take any rug in the house.
commandlinegamer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:17 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.