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

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Old 9th October 2009, 03:51 PM   #321
Rolfe
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Yes. The story about the $3 million was around for most of the summer, but didn't seem to be corroborated. If it's in the Appeal papers, though, it's corroborated. I had also read that Tony and Paul are now living in Australia - I hadn't heard the "in luxury" part before, but I thought that must be the case.

The interest in these new papers is largely in the illumination of the Gauci family. Tony Gauci was described (by Peter Fraser) as "an apple short of a picnic". It's fairly clear he remembered something, but exactly what isn't as clear as I thought it was. (I thought his first statement was reliable, but even that is a bit dubious in places.) Paul Gauci and the father seem to have been the controlling influences, but unfortunately it was the rather simple one who actually made the sale and had to make the identification without direct prompting.

So we have a picture of Tony having some idea of the circumstances of the sale, and a description of the purchaser. This is followed by a dozen or so more interviews where the police try to get him to remember more - specifically, to remember stuff about items they want him to remember about. Oh, and they want him to identify the purchaser. Specifically, they want him to identify Megrahi, so they downplay the age and height differences between Megrahi and his original description. Gauci does think the purchaser was Abu Talb, but doesn't pick him out when given the chance. When he identified Megrahi, he actually seems to have thought he was identifying a picture of Abu Talb.

Mainly, Gauci is trying to please the police. He wants to give them what they want. So he didn't sell the man a shirt. Then he remembered selling him a shirt. He was over 50 and over 6 feet and heavy-set. Or maybe not. I'm not so good on ages (or heights? this from a man who reputedly could pick the right size out for a customer just by looking at him). The Christmas lights weren't up. Oh, they were just putting the Christmas lights up. No, didn't I say the Christmas lights were up when this happened? Does he really know what he remembers after this lot? I doubt it.

And as for him picking out Megrahi in court, well, really. You'd have to be dimmer even than Tony not to know you're supposed to pick out the guy in the dock, and Fhimah looked quite different from all the descriptions he'd been rehearsing. Even then, he apparently had to be prompted a bit. And in any case, as a couple of people said, there had been so much publicity by this time, with a number of pictures of Megrahi in circulation, that anyone who had never clapped eyes on the guy could have picked him out by that time.

A moderately bright person who wanted the reward would have been a lot clearer, and eventually given a much more confident identification. But a rather dim, slow, apple-short-of-a-picnic guy who was being pressurised by Big Brother to get it right for the money might come over exactly like that. I love the way they decided to give Paul $1 million of his very own for supporting Tony and getting him to step up to the mark.

The Herald ran with this one day this week, on the front page and an inside page (I think it was Monday but I'd have to check the paper recycling basket). No letters (or maybe one short one) and no follow-up. It's not buzzing enormously.

But I totally fail to see how that can be described as a reliable identification, given the contradictions, the changing of the story, the passage of time, and the uncertainty. Gauci never did say, that's the guy. He only ever said he resembled the guy. It looks as if Megrahi did look a bit like the purchaser, except he was younger, not so tall, and not so heavily built.

That case should have been thrown out ten years ago.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th October 2009, 02:29 AM   #322
Caustic Logic
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Sorry to bump all these threads, just another thought I posted on the wrong one but here's hwere it belongs:

Quote:
$4 Million Reward Offered in Pan Am Case

By Pierre Thomas and Thomas W. Lippman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 24, 1995; Page A30
The FBI yesterday announced a $4 million reward for two Libyan intelligence officers charged with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and said it planned a worldwide information blitz seeking help in bringing them to justice.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...ward032495.htm

See the poster for it as shown in Conspiracy Files, adapted by me. Clever. Suitcase bombers, we bomb back with cash, this cash could be yours if whatever. We're serious, these guys, we know it, support the war effort. Buy bonds. Offer false leads. We got filters...

Okay, so point here is this legendary $4 million dollar offer was only put up in 1995. Now, what evidence that mattered had they not already secured by then? The Mebo chip, the baggage printout, both were secured and IDd and understood by mid-1990, and helped form the 91 indictment. Giaka was in protection and off Malta and cooperating by 91 I hear. When was gauci secured? That's less clear to me, but well before 95, right?

Now, Giaka's gotta have been payed out of this, if grumbled over too. The Gaucis were paid $3 million we know of. Thurman was able to "retire" fine. I don't know about Erac. Marquise insists no one was offered money for their testimony. Only Bollier says he was offered the $4 million back in 91 IIRC. Meh.

So... did this official offer ever get paid out for anything new after 95? If not, why no more evidence unless this was a ghost of a case? Was the offer in effect before 95? Was it just a smokescreen to post-facto explain any previously agreed payouts like those to the Gaucis? Oh no, that was all BEFORE 95, so it doesn't apply we didn't buy THAT... Really, after all the evidence they had by 91, why offer up any money for a few more tidbits unless you really expect to get no more? And why even then? Simply for a public relations "blitz?" To get those faces out there and show how serious they were?

ETA: Another plea for debunk-like counterpoints! Cmon folks! I'm blogging this stuff. Many of you worry about conspiracy theorists spoutimg dangerous nonsense on the unternets, and here I am giving you an opportunity to stop the stuff at the gate and you're all just acquiescing. Shameful!

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Old 10th October 2009, 12:57 PM   #323
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That is interesting. I thought the reward was very strange all along. It's not so unusual to offer a reward for information that leads the police to identify the perpetrator, but offering a reward for help in convicting a named person is very unusual, surely. (That link is broken by the way.)

I think the indictment against Megrahi and Fhimah was in 1991. That's when Gadaffi refused to extradite them, and the UN sanctions were imposed. I'm sure at that stage the story was that there was "incontrovertible evidence" against them. And I'm not aware of any further evidence that was secured after that date. I think they stopped interviewing Gauci after late 1990.

I can't understand what they hoped to achieve by the reward offer. They had their evidence, allegedly. They knew where the accused were, in Libya with no extradition. Were they advertising for someone to go and kidnap them or what?

All we know about the reward is that the Gaucis allegedly got $3 million. Giaka's evidence was thrown out, and in any case his main reward was the witness protection programme and the salary the CIA was paying him. I don't see any reason to libel Mrs. Erac, as there's nothing against her except a rather unusual, coincidental story. Nobody has ever suggested she reveived any money, and I can't actually see any great motivation for anyone going to the trouble of subverting her and fabricating a link to Malta at that stage of events.

I'd love to know the reason for that reward offer. Did I mention your link is broken?

Rolfe.

ETA: OK, found it, it's here.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...ward032495.htm

According to the article, it was about trying to bribe Libyans or other Arabs who might have information about how the pair might be apprehended, possibly information about them occasionally having ventured out of Libya.

Quote:
Seeking to rekindle international interest in the bombing, the FBI and State Department said they will work with the U.S. Information Agency to communicate with persons in Libya who might assist in bringing the suspects to court.

[....]


Federal officials also plan to use radio, facsimile and matchbook covers written in Arabic in the campaign, which will concentrate on the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the FBI will circulate traditional wanted posters and a glossy new poster showing a suitcase full of money to attract tips.


[....]


While both men are now believed in Libya, Bryant noted the bureau has received intelligence the two occasionally have left the country.

Nevertheless, it's perfectly clear that the Gaucis, especially Paul, were very keen indeed to be paid for their evidence, and every reason to suspect they were trying to please the police for this reason.

http://www.megrahimystory.net/downlo...%20Appeal.pdf?
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Old 10th October 2009, 11:32 PM   #324
Caustic Logic
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I s'pose actually reading the article would help.

Indeed, good catch: the reward (publicly at least) was about physically getting their men, rather than the evidence they needed to get them. Which they already had.

So the suggestions I've seen around that this money might be tied to testimonies and evidence are misleading. Conspiracy Files did mention it in that context.

The amount does simulate somewhat what the Gaucis finally got (up to 4, they got at least 3 we know of). Four million is the exact amount "ebol" claimed to be offered, itself good evidence they were not running around offering 4 million to all witnesses. There might be something to this of the smokescreen category, but it's not an in-the-open "of course we paid for information" type of deal.
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Old 11th October 2009, 01:37 AM   #325
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
They knew where the accused were, in Libya with no extradition. Were they advertising for someone to go and kidnap them or what?
That appears about the closest thing they were looking for.

Quote:
I don't see any reason to libel Mrs. Erac, as there's nothing against her except a rather unusual, coincidental story. Nobody has ever suggested she reveived any money, and I can't actually see any great motivation for anyone going to the trouble of subverting her and fabricating a link to Malta at that stage of events.
Mentioning her and Thruman was hyperbole. I don't see reason to rule out secret, highly sensitive rewards, but nothing to support it either. Thurman is actuall perhaps the less likely, since all he did was look at pictures and say "yup." It was thhe American go-ahead in a previouslt Bitish operation, however, so an important yup.

Quote:
Nevertheless, it's perfectly clear that the Gaucis, especially Paul, were very keen indeed to be paid for their evidence, and every reason to suspect they were trying to please the police for this reason.

http://www.megrahimystory.net/downlo...%20Appeal.pdf?
[/quote]

I did skim that, big document. It would be stupid to pay these guys by the terms of publicly announced reward system. However, having people believe it was that system, swindled or twisted by a moneygrubbing witness, might have been preferable to the real trade-off becoming public. Paying people money to show the bros "their position is recognised and they continue to receive the respect their conduct has earned." Conduct was to steer Tony into an increasingly Megrahi-implicating stance over the course of a dozen-plus re-interviews. That is hard work, not some simple task like telling clearly what you remembered and being done with it. Hard work deserves good pay, dontcha think?
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Old 11th October 2009, 08:28 PM   #326
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I'm continuing to follow this thread with no small amount of fascination.

Still a bit behind in digesting some of it but at least one question has popped into my head that I don't think I've seen addressed.

Is there any evidence that PanAm 103 was specifically targeted?
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Old 11th October 2009, 09:59 PM   #327
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
I'm continuing to follow this thread with no small amount of fascination.
Fascination, huh? Great, thanks!

Quote:
Still a bit behind in digesting some of it but at least one question has popped into my head that I don't think I've seen addressed.

Is there any evidence that PanAm 103 was specifically targeted?
Yes, apparently you are a little behind, but at least you stepped up and said something, which is way more than most are doing. That's a question with different answers, depending what you mean. The official story is yes, the suitcase was tagged to go through Frankfurt to PA103. I'm not sure but I think it's presumed they'd have the timetable and know roughly when it was to be over the mid-Atlantic, and instead set the timer for its very edge at farthest, making an overland crash most likely, depending on delays. As happened. Boy, that was dumb...

On this I love the BBC Conspiracy Files opening line:
Quote:
"In the end, it came down as most things do to a simple twist of fate. 600 seconds, that's all that was left. Had the bomb ... exploded just ten minutes later, the plane would have been over open water, and all the evidence most likely lost at the bottom of the sea. But as it was the bomb blew up over land <snip, just 15 seconds of video and no words between the undoing> The investigation turned on one tiny piece of evidence ... this fragment <of a TIMER> was the breakthrough that cracked the case."
So the timer was set to "simple twist of fate" mode?

Anyway, I don't have a handy source where the presumed intent was stated clearest and most officially. You could check the Opinion of the Court PDF (2001), using searches for relevant words/phrases, like "tags" "interline" "routed" etc.

Officially I know of no reason this flight was targeted in particular except that it fit the right criteria in general. Rolfe will certainly have more insights on that, and hopefully this will help you get a grip on some other questions, and so on...

Side-note that ties in a bit, opinion of the court
Quote:
[38] Luqa airport had a relatively elaborate security system. All items of baggage checked in were entered into the airport computer as well as being noted on the passenger’s ticket. After the baggage had passed the sniffer check, it was placed on a trolley in the baggage area to wait until the flight was ready for loading. When the flight was ready, the baggage was taken out and loaded, and the head loader was required to count the items placed on board. The ramp dispatcher, the airport official
on the tarmac responsible for the departure of the flight, was in touch by
radiotelephone with the load control office. The load control had access to the computer and after the flight was closed would notify the ramp dispatcher of the number of items checked in. The ramp dispatcher would also be told by the head loader how many items had been loaded and if there was a discrepancy would take
steps to resolve it. ... <snip, more there>
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Old 12th October 2009, 03:48 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
I'm Is there any evidence that PanAm 103 was specifically targeted?

Sorry, another tl;dr post coming up....

There are two answers to that, I think. One is that apart from a very isolated suggestion from one online source that the bomb was really intended for a direct Frankfurt to New York flight but was mis-directed, nobody has seriously claimed otherwise. If it had been a serious possibility, like with actual evidence, I would have expected the point to have been raised at least somewhere in the voluminous documentaries and discussions published by the serious investigators.

What the suggestion does address is the blatant insanity of the timing of the explosion. (Actually, it's odd how infrequently this is mentioned.) Many discussions state blandly that the bomb was intended to explode mid-Atlantic, but because the plane was late, Lockerbie happened. This is nonsense. The plane was only about 15 minutes late. It was scheduled to leave the stand at 6pm, and it more or less did that. How long does it take a plane to leave the ground, from leaving the stand, usually? Ten minutes? PA103 left the ground at 6.25, due to rush-hour traffic at the airport. That's fifteen minutes late, which is frankly nothing. Even if it had been on time, on the route it took, it would barely have cleared the coast. If it had taken the more southerly route it apparently usually took, had it not been for a bad weather system, it might have ditched in the Irish Sea. Maybe.

They had the whole bloody Atlantic out there. Four or five hours of it. WHY?

There would have been no reasonable advantage to crashing the plane on land. Trying to cause additional ground casualties that way is a small chance. Once you've cleared Manchester, habitation is the exception. Lockerbie was really bad luck. All you achieve is to leave shed-loads of evidence (literally!) for the authorities to rake over. (If you really want the chance of a crash on a city, short of a suicide hijacking, your best bet is to aim for the destination city and hope the plane is up to time - that way, even if it's late, you still get your crash.)

So, the 7.03pm explosion makes no sense in the context of PA103. It might make good sense in the context of a different flight that was supposed to be well out over the Atlantic at that time. However, if that was the case, show us the evidence, not just speculation. (And since there is no positive evidence of how the bag got on PA103, whose it was, or where it came from, you're struggling.)

If there were such evidence, then we could dismiss the 38-minute explosion, which was bang on schedule for a Khreesat-make device loaded or activated at Heathrow, as just one more spooky coincidence to join all the others surrounding this flight. But I've not seen any such evidence, merely assertion and speculation.

The second answer really hinges on whether many of the other spooky coincidences were really coincidences or not. We know there were various warnings floating around about a possible attack on a transatlantic Pan Am flight, some mentioning Frankfurt to New York (which would of course cover a direct flight as well). Evidence of people "in the know" about these warnings having changed their travel plans is usually attributed to a general avoidance of all flights in that category. However, there have been serious suggestions that those really in the know were aware that PA103 on 21st December was the specific target - even to the point that it was a LIHOP of some description.

The plane appears to have been used for smuggling heroin. One of the dead passengers was a known drug courier. Some of the most persistent CTs hinge on the suggestion that a drug suitcase was taken off and the bomb suitcase substituted (see The Trail of the Octopus). The point being that the drug suitcases were being routed past the security inspections wholesale, which is why the bomb wasn't detected. If this is the case, then there is no question of a mistaken plane.

There were a number of CIA operatives on the flight. One CT version suggests that these people were being specifically targeted. Some authors go further and link the CIA operatives to the drug smuggling, and a "drugs for hostages" deal parallel with the Oliver North "arms for hostages" affair. Which of course is one possible reason for a cover-up. There certainly seems to have been something on that flight that the US authorities didn't want to fall into the wrong hands, if even half the stories about US agents interfering with evidence on the ground from the very early stages are even close to true. There's even a suggestion that a body was spirited away.

Then again, the South African part of the CT also implies specific knowledge that PA103 was the target. Pik Botha was booked on the flight, but inexplicably at the last minute his itinerary was changed so that he caught the earlier PA101 flying the same route. Conversely, Bernt Carlsson was originally intended to catch an earlier flight (to the same conference), but may have been deliberately delayed by SA authorities so that he ended up on PA103. There is a CT that says the South Africans knew the plane was the target, and simply took appropriate steps to make sure their own people weren't on it and someone they wanted rid of was.

I haven't investigated these aspects in detail. There are certainly problems with some of these assertions, but I don't know how deep they run. It's a helluva lot of smoke to have absolutely no fire attached, but I don't know. What's the chances of any random transatlantic flight being that far up to its neck in intrigue?

Rolfe.
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Old 12th October 2009, 04:25 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sorry, another tl;dr post coming up....
.
Lol. Sorry I'm a jerk sometimes about things like that. I suppose a veneer of smartass is one of my shields. I actually did read that, thanks for the SA VIP summary. I think I get that part better now. Compelling, but could well be coincidental.

ETA: Right brain says: of course, South Africa did the bombing itself, and framed North Africa, for some super-Rhodesian Pan-White-African-Anglo-American arching axis psyop or... hmm, nevermind. Hmmm... Mandella has been really active in all this...

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Old 12th October 2009, 12:53 PM   #330
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I got the link to this article from Robert Black's blog.

http://www.hlrecord.org/opinion/who-...erbie-1.632554

I note Marquise is again very active in the comments section. I feel he may be protesting too much. It's all a bit pointless, in a way. Perhaps he just wants to set the record straight, right enough. But then, it's very easy just to parrot the official line and announce that your sooper-seekrit inside knowledge allows you to pontificate any way you like. Who can say?

I see another comment declaring that there was "overwhelming" evidence against Megrahi. Maybe he could show it to us, because I cannot find it anywhere in the Court publications.

Rolfe.
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Old 14th October 2009, 05:47 AM   #331
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And the plot thickens even further. More from the Black blog.

Quote:
Labour Peer Baroness Kinnock has been unexpectedly replaced in her post as Europe minister, only hours after pledging to investigate whether Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was pressured into dropping his ongoing appeal against conviction before being transferred to Libya. [....]

In a debate in the House of Lords on Monday Lord Lester of Herne Hill said he was “very concerned about the circumstances in which Megrahi was persuaded to drop his appeal and to go and die in Libya.”

“I saw him in Barlinnie myself. I would like to know, and I would like the Government to find out whether, when he was visited in prison, it was made clear to him that if he dropped his appeal he would be allowed to go and die in Libya, so that there would then be no appeal and the relatives—Dr Swire and the others—would never know the truth,” he said.

“I would therefore like an assurance that there was no quid pro quo and no pressure put upon him. The Government may not know the answer, but they should find out. Was any pressure put on Megrahi that he would be sent to die in Libya only if he dropped the appeal?”

Baroness Kinnock said in response that she was “not aware of what the answer might be,” but would ask for advice and respond.

Within hours, Kinnock had been replaced amid what the Daily Mail described as “farcical scenes” as her replacement, junior minister Chris Bryant “broke with protocol and announced his new role on the Twitter website before Downing Street or the Foreign Office had a chance to issue a statement.”

You couldn't make this up.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th October 2009, 05:23 AM   #332
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I see Private Eye is back on the case.

Lockerbie: the $3 million questions.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th October 2009, 07:55 AM   #333
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Tam Dalyell raised an important question in the Hiuse of Commons in 2002. He was concerned with the destruction of records pertaining to Lockerbie.

He stated, "Now that the appeal is over, what steps are being taken to preserve the productions amassed by the Crown for use in the Lockerbie trial? Can an assurance be given that they will not be destroyed in the same way as certain police note books have apparently been destroyed?"

Dalyell went onto to the matter of police notebooks. Former Woman Police Constable Mary Boylan, a thoroughly credible retired police constable had stated:

Quote:
"Towards the latter part of 1999, I was asked to attend at Dumfries Police Station, to give a statement to the Procurator Fiscal regarding my duties at Lockerbie. Almost eleven years had elapsed since the disaster, so I phoned 'F' Divisional HQ at Livingston Police Station to request my notebook to refresh my memory. I was told that someone would be in touch with me, and after a few days I was informed that my notebook could not be found. Shortly after this I read in a Scottish broadsheet that Lothian and Borders Police notebooks had been destroyed."
Her statement continues:

Quote:
"I recovered the handle and rim of a brown coloured suitcase (Production Label No. unknown to me). This was entered in my notebook. PC Forrest corroborated the find and signed my notebook and production label.

Towards the latter part of 1999 . . . On attendance at Dumfries Police Station I was asked to describe some of the debris from memory. I was then shown the suitcase rim with handle I had found and was asked to identify it, which I did. The Production Label with my signature and that of PC Forrest, and of others whom I did not know, was still attached. A photograph was then shown to me of the said suitcase rim I had found, plus other pieces of the suitcase material. I recognised the rim but not the material. I asked the Fiscal about the significance of the suitcase and he said he could not tell me. What he did say was that the owner of said suitcase was a Joseph Patrick Curry and that I would be hearing and reading a lot about him at the time of the trial."
This full statement is available through google and typing the key words: Dalyell, Lockerbie, Notebooks.
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Old 19th October 2009, 08:55 AM   #334
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Buncrana's link:

http://www.i-p-o.org/lockerbie_dalyell.htm
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Old 19th October 2009, 09:47 AM   #335
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Oh. Thanks. Every time you think you've begun to get your head round this, some other huge confounder emerges.

It's like a huge tangled ball of string, maybe several bits of string, and several ends dangling. Which end is the key to unravelling it? I have no clue!

Rolfe.
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Old 19th October 2009, 02:33 PM   #336
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Frankfurt baggage records disappear. Police noteooks disappear.

I was tentatively thinking about one tiny piece of planted evidence. But just how big is this, and is it ridiculous to think it could be as big as some people suggest?

Rolfe.
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Old 19th October 2009, 03:53 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Tam Dalyell raised an important question in the Hiuse of Commons in 2002. He was concerned with the destruction of records pertaining to Lockerbie.

He stated, "Now that the appeal is over, what steps are being taken to preserve the productions amassed by the Crown for use in the Lockerbie trial? Can an assurance be given that they will not be destroyed in the same way as certain police note books have apparently been destroyed?"

Dalyell went onto to the matter of police notebooks. Former Woman Police Constable Mary Boylan, a thoroughly credible retired police constable had stated:
Joseph Patrick Curry, huh? Never 'eard of 'im. I'd heard before about destroyed notebooks, but this is a very interesting new tidbit. I'll check out the link later on. Thanks!
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Old 19th October 2009, 04:02 PM   #338
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I'd heard this mentioned, but only when I was at the stage of being totally overwhelmed by anomalous information.

Tell you what, Googling his name gets you nothing. Just pages repeating what Tam said, and lists of the victims, and other people of the same name.

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Old 19th October 2009, 04:05 PM   #339
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Apologies if this has already been linked to, I've lost track in trying to keep up with all of this. When searcing for references to Joseph Patrick Curry (again the reference comes as part of Tam Dayell's speech), I came across this collection of documents compiled by Hans Koechler - you can read some of it online:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=X...age&q=&f=false

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Old 20th October 2009, 12:08 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Joseph Patrick Curry, huh? Never 'eard of 'im.
"killed in the line of duty"
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Old 20th October 2009, 01:51 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Apologies if this has already been linked to, I've lost track in trying to keep up with all of this. When searcing for references to Joseph Patrick Curry (again the reference comes as part of Tam Dayell's speech), I came across this collection of documents compiled by Hans Koechler - you can read some of it online:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=X...age&q=&f=false

I think you might find that most of these are available from Hans Kochler's own web site.

http://www.i-p-o.org/lockerbie_observer_mission.htm

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Old 20th October 2009, 02:41 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
"killed in the line of duty"
Hey, Glenn's back! I did the searches now - I have to wonder just who would be telling random cops on the case that a US Special Forces guy was going to be blamed for this. Depends on who, and how they found out, etc.

I have always wondered about the suitcase and just what's known about it - were the tags blown off or what? I should know that...

Originally Posted by Opinion of the Court, point 9
... Fifty-six fragments which showed various signs of explosives damage were identified as forming part of what had been a brown hardshell Samsonite suitcase of the 26" Silhouette 4000 range (“the primary suitcase”). The nature of the damage indicated that it had been inflicted from within the suitcase.
Originally Posted by Opinion of the Court, point 25
It was argued on behalf of the accused that the suitcase described by Mr Bedford could well have been the primary suitcase, particularly as the evidence did not disclose that any fragments of a hard-shell Samsonite-type suitcase had been recovered, apart from those of the primary suitcase itself. ...
Rolfe covered their strange logic with the Bedford suitcase earlier. Here they're saying 'Well there was only one like that around the explosion, and it was the one from Malta, so whatever Bedford's talking about is irrelevant, somehow. EOS.' Anyway, there's nothing about ID with it, I don't know how one would know it was a certain person's (or tagged as such), except by looking at the tag or the contents. Was there an attempt to recover fluttering tags and find a possible match to the primary suitcase with some forensic voodoo?

I'm just not sure what to make of it.
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Old 20th October 2009, 02:50 AM   #343
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I don't think we can conclude that Curry was going to be blamed for the bombing. He was killed, remember?

I was thinking more about the possibility that the bomb bag had been switched for his bag at some stage. But then, he travelled from Frankfurt, didn't he, and the Bedford suitcase was seen before PA103A landed from Frankfurt.

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Old 20th October 2009, 03:50 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't think we can conclude that Curry was going to be blamed for the bombing. He was killed, remember?

I was thinking more about the possibility that the bomb bag had been switched for his bag at some stage. But then, he travelled from Frankfurt, didn't he, and the Bedford suitcase was seen before PA103A landed from Frankfurt.

Rolfe.
Sorry, I got two lines crossed there - but that a SF guy was specified as the suspicious point-of-entry person, perhaps the owner of the bag replaced with Bedford's samsonite, which raises questions. Then I see you think Curry came in from frankfurt after all, so apparently not... I guess what I'm saying is I'm a little suspicious when someone reveals that a major clue that will later unravel the whole case is just casually handed to low-level people to later reveal. Suspicious but open-minded.
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Old 20th October 2009, 05:16 AM   #345
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But Boylan states:
"What he [the Procurator Fiscal] did say was that the owner of said suitcase was a Joseph Patrick Curry and that I would be hearing and reading a lot about him at the time of the trial."

Well, that a member of US Special Forces was killed in the bombing would, perhaps, be briefly newsworthy. That Boylan would be 'hearing and reading a lot about him at the time of the trial' appears very unlikely from the p.o.v. of that time. Unless Curry was more than a coincidental victim. The CTist in me thinks that the Proc.Fisc. was maybe a little over-excited about how he saw things panning out and blabbed something to Boylan that he(?) should have kept under his hat. But then I constantly fight my own CTist tendencies and sometimes lose.

p.s. I've been following virtually your every word, folks Excellent stuff it is too, though as mentioned this particular pile of spaghetti is growing and has more dangly ends almost by the day, it seems. As Dalyell said "There is a whole literature on this subject—one almost needs to be a professor of Lockerbie studies—"

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Old 21st October 2009, 04:26 PM   #346
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I see there were reports earlier today that Megrahi has died, however this has been denied by his legal team. It does sound as if his condition is very poor, however.

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Old 22nd October 2009, 03:01 PM   #347
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Apparently he is not dead just yet, as there's no more news on it.

In other news, as calls for an inquiry into Megrahi's release seem to have paid off. MacAskill's "quasi-judicial" decision has led to speculation of a deal over his appeal (drop it and go), and others want to investigate oil deals with Libya and their affect on releasing a convicted mass-cal terrorisist:

Quote:
MPs will investigate the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing as part of a wider probe into relations between Westminster and Holyrood, it has been announced.
...
Throughout the controversy, Westminster insisted that decisions on Megrahi were the sole responsibility of the Scottish Government.

And the Scottish Government said the decisions were made by Mr MacAskill alone, acting in a quasi-judicial capacity.
...
Peter Wishart, a member of the committee and SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said:
...
“We will quite rightly not consider the decisions made by the Scottish Justice Secretary.”
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/p...unced-1.927714

So I guess that may cover the possible oil deals with Libya only. ??
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Old 23rd October 2009, 02:22 PM   #348
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Dunno. I only know that there seems to be a huge political will to thwart that appeal, and then as soon as that is achieved to crow that Megrahi "will die a guilty man" and dismiss everything he says with "well you should have thought of that before you abandoned your appeal, so shut up, mass murderer."

I'd pay good money for a factual text that wasn't running with an agenda or theory, but merely presented what was known for sure, and what could be established regarding the credibility (or otherwise) of claims that can't be objectively verified.

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Old 24th October 2009, 12:42 AM   #349
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To clarify the above, they won't be able to examine any of the reasons or decisions, oil or no, sine the only thing that mattered was macAskill's reasons, and those won't be talked about. Since it's about 'the release of al Megrahi,' I presume they'll be looking at narrower questions like which door was he escorted out of, in what weather, taken to what airplane, etc. Should e historic.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Dunno. I only know that there seems to be a huge political will to thwart that appeal, and then as soon as that is achieved to crow that Megrahi "will die a guilty man" and dismiss everything he says with "well you should have thought of that before you abandoned your appeal, so shut up, mass murderer."

I'd pay good money for a factual text that wasn't running with an agenda or theory, but merely presented what was known for sure, and what could be established regarding the credibility (or otherwise) of claims that can't be objectively verified.

Rolfe.
On the bolded... how much?

On dying a guilty man and not yet, your wonderful Scotman paper has dipped to a ghoulish level, counting his survival time compared to other compassionate releases under macAskill. As one commenter said, but spelled better, "What? Not dead yet? Sack MacAskill!"
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Old 24th October 2009, 02:40 PM   #350
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Now that is quite disgusting. A new low has been reached. (I don't read the Scotsman, and the Herald hasn't printed that one that I noticed.) Of course the Hootsmon hates the SNP like poison, so I suppose it shouldn't be that much of a surprise, but really, have they no sense of decency at all?

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Old 25th October 2009, 11:44 AM   #351
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Every Single Time I sit down to post on one of the PA103 threads, a picture of the plane on the grass, or of Megrahi, comes on the TV.

Now, the police are re-opening the enquiry, and they are going to re-examine the forensic evidence. However, it seems as if they are taking Megrahi's guilt - or at least the "it was Libya" theory - as read, despite the SCCRC report. They're not going to look at Jibril or Abu Talb, but about Megrahi's supposed co-conspirators.

Christine Creech/Grahame thinks this has more to do with stifling other enquiries such as her FoI requests than finding out any actual truth.

Lockerbie Families Welcome New Inquiry

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Old 26th October 2009, 04:01 AM   #352
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Uh, here we go again. Every TV news bulletin I watch has footage of Maid of the Seas lying on the grass at Tundergarth, and Sherwood Crescent in flames. I wake up to the normal breakfast radio news team raking over the case One More Time. This is a seriously hot topic, and while I think our conversation is constructive and productive, I'm very surprised by how few people are participating.

Anyway, I sat down to eat breakfast, opened the dead-tree paper which had been delivered earlier in the morning, and here's what was in it. (This paper is probably the best source for the Pan Am 103 case, because it's the national Scottish paper covering that turf. And the Scotsman has just forfeited any right to be called a serious newspaper.)

The front page (not headline).

Lockerbie relatives' cautious welcome for review

Originally Posted by Torcuil Crichton
Relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims have welcomed a review of the criminal investigation into the atrocity but warned that it should not stand in the way of a full public inquiry.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was among the 270 killed, said yesterday a desktop review of the criminal inquiry has always been the excuse to block a full investigation into how Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on December 21 1988. [....]

He also told reporters yesterday: "I think if they are really going to have a meaningful investigation then that is all well and good and long overdue. But if it is just a dodge to prevent an investigation into why the lives of those killed were not protected then I would be livid."

Inside article, page 9. Actually, the online version is quite a bit longer and more detailed than what is in the printed paper - as well as having a different headline. Oddly, there seems to be nothing in the printed paper about Henderson - the police point of view is solely represnted by Patrich Shearer. Quite a lot from Henderson online though.

Police hunt for eight 'high level' Lockerbie accomplices

Originally Posted by Torcuil Crichton
Detectives investigating the Lockerbie atrocity want to talk to eight suspects linked to the bombing, according to a former head of the investigation.

Stuart Henderson, a former detective chief superintendent with Lothian and Borders Police, led the Lockerbie Incident Control Centre from 1988 until 1992.Chief Constable Patrick Shearer of Dumfries and Galloway Police said officers were following new lines of inquiry after Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi dropped his appeal against conviction. [....]

Mr Henderson told the paper: "We submitted eight other names of people that we wished to interview that were strong suspects. Unfortunately, we never got that opportunity.

"I am delighted they are making moves to see if there is anything further, because no matter what anybody says, we did not ever say it was just Megrahi we were after. We never said that.

"We were after his bosses."

It is reported the "high level" suspects were all male and have never been ruled out of the investigation into the explosion onboard Pan Am Flight 103 which killed 270 on December 21 1988. [....]

Main editorial, page 12. This starts to ask some more searching questions.

Lockerbie questions

Quote:
[....] The view persists that the main suspect was not Libya but Iran, which had an obvious motive: revenge for the Iranian airliner shot down by the Americans earlier in 1988 with the loss of 290 lives. Suspicion initially focused on Ahmed Jibril, leader of a Syrian-based Palestinian terrorist group linked with Iran. Conspiracy theorists maintain that it became politically inconvenient to implicate either Iran or Syria at a time when the western allies needed their support during the first Gulf War. The more prosaic reason is that investigators failed to pinpoint any evidence that a prosecutor could use to convict either an Iranian official or Jibril. The same applies to Abu Talb, another Palestinian, later jailed for terrorist offences and who had circled the fateful day – December 21 – in his diary. Another aspect of the case that deserves further investigation is a suspicious break-in at the secure baggage area of Heath­row Airport the night before the explosion, an incident not raised at the original trial.

This police review of the Lockerbie case raises several questions. Given how much uncertainty surrounds what happened, would a major wide-ranging investigation not be more appropriate? And is it right to entrust such a review to just four officers from the Dumfries and Galloway force, headed by an officer who was involved in the original investigation? A limited review that does little more than cover old ground would serve little purpose except, possibly, to delay the wide-ranging independent government inquiry into the atrocity demanded by relatives of the British victims. As Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the disaster, argues in a letter published in The Herald today, the “ongoing criminal investigation” has been repeatedly used to deny relatives the full inquiry they demand and deserve. [....]

And that letter, on page 13 (scroll to last letter).

Original suspect in Pan Am atocity should be the starting point for further examination of evidence

Originally Posted by Dr Jim Swire
[....] The ongoing criminal investigation has been used repeatedly as a reason for denying us the full inquiry into the truth as to why our families were not protected back in 1988. We are entitled under human eights law and now the Inquiries Act 2005 to an inquiry.

If further serious meaningful investigation really is to be pursued by the police and Crown Office as to who else might have contributed to the murder of our loved ones in 1988, I would be the first to applaud it. Mohammed Abu Talb, the original suspect in the bombing, has now been released from jail and, according to the Crown Office, was not granted immunity against prosecution over Lockerbie, though appearing as a prosecution witness at the Camp Zeist trial. That might be no bad place to start looking for the truth. Honest further investigation is almost bound to embarrass the Zeist verdict, on which the Crown Office’s reputation depends heavily.

The UN’s specially appointed international observer at the Lockerbie trial, Professor Hans Koechler of Vienna, found the verdict against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi incomprehensible and a travesty of justice.[....]

Listening to the BBC reporting of the matter, it was clear that Megrahi's guilt is not to be questioned, despite the report of the SCCRC which stated that he might heve been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. Rather, this is all about identifying his "co-conspirators".

Duh? It was always contended that he had co-conspirators. And I don't just mean Fhimah. The question we should be asking is, why now? Why did this investigation ever sit on its laurels with the indictments against Megrahi and Fhimah, right back in 1991 or whenever? Even more importantly, when Fhimah was acquitted ("no case to answer", remember?), and it was quite obvious that Megrahi could not possibly have done what he was alleged to have done on his own, why was this new investigation not launched then. In 2001?

The first thing that happened last night was Christine Grahame on TV saying this was all highly convenient, as the "ongoing investigation" meant that her FoI requests could now be denied. And indeed, it does seem as if this is nothing but a ploy to prevent inquiry into the possibility that someone other than Megrahi put that bomb on the plane, by instituting an ongoing enquiry into who may have helped him. By reviving the case in this way, it ensures that official investigation doesn't go anywhere near any alternative explanations, while allowing any other investigations to be blocked.

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Old 26th October 2009, 02:29 PM   #353
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Sinking feeling. Sounds like a lame investigation of the same old crap. Don't even bother investigating the MST-13 paperwork or missing Senegal timer, or the lack of BKA response over Frankfurt Airport's records. Looking for Megrahi's "bosses?" How much deeper will they insist on plunging into this delusion? Why not also look into who really sponsored the MacGuire family and gave them that gelignite chalk? That's worth asking after, isn't it? Surely they didn't act alone! To paraphrase the Conspiracy Files, "the big ones got away." Let's go for it, those Senegal arrestees and Gaddafi himself! Maybe Iran is involved too, paying Libya, there is a world of witnesses and clues to be found. Sanctions this time, or bombs?

Your first link above is broken, even from Google, guess they pulled or moved it. Another similar headline:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...y-1809424.html
Quote:
Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, has been convicted of the attack which the authorities insist was carried out by Libya. But many British families of those who died believe the full truth of the attack has yet to be revealed.
And there are others who feel not even part of the truth was reveled by that conviction. How in the hell do you get eight new accomplices when it took such machinations just to secure a 50% conviction of the first two? New technology, I presume. So let's just elaborate on it, "for the families"TM.

Sorry for the rant that adds no new information.

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Old 26th October 2009, 02:37 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by Rolfe
It was always contended that he had co-conspirators. And I don't just mean Fhimah. The question we should be asking is, why now? Why did this investigation ever sit on its laurels with the indictments against Megrahi and Fhimah, right back in 1991 or whenever? Even more importantly, when Fhimah was acquitted ("no case to answer", remember?), and it was quite obvious that Megrahi could not possibly have done what he was alleged to have done on his own, why was this new investigation not launched then. In 2001?
Ah! Well, ... ahem. You see, well, ... 2001 was a different year. And, uh... certain limitations, diplomatic something... bureaucracy... inter-agecy feuding?

Quote:
The first thing that happened last night was Christine Grahame on TV saying this was all highly convenient, as the "ongoing investigation" meant that her FoI requests could now be denied. And indeed, it does seem as if this is nothing but a ploy to prevent inquiry into the possibility that someone other than Megrahi put that bomb on the plane, by instituting an ongoing enquiry into who may have helped him. By reviving the case in this way, it ensures that official investigation doesn't go anywhere near any alternative explanations, while allowing any other investigations to be blocked.
That could well be it. I'm having a hard time visualizing even Mr. Henderson or anyone producing a whole new second novel expanding on the secrets revealed in part one. That's just too much. A ploy to maintain the staus quo with delays and things again put out of range until a few more people get older and tireder, then maybe they can finally scrape the whole thing gracefully off their shoe well out of eyesight. That does sound entirely plausible.
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Old 26th October 2009, 03:09 PM   #355
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Link not broken for me.

The official reason for reopening this case now is that Megrahi dropped his appeal so there are now no ongoing legal matters relating to it. It's news to me that ongoing legal proceedings stops the police investigating whether an accused person had accomplices. Nobody ever mentioned this as a problem over the past 17 years when no other suspects were being sought.

They were wittering on about DNA on the radio this morning while I was getting dressed. Yeah right, they'll get meaningful DNA from the dregs of an explosion that happened over 21 years ago, after the evidence has been trawled over for explosives residues and all sorts - not.

Robert Black has a bit more to say about this.

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Old 27th October 2009, 03:16 AM   #356
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Mmm, maybe I was too hasty in dismissing the possibility of DNA evidence coming up with something. If the DNA of a suspect were to be found on any of the clothes packed in the bomb suitcase, that would certainly be pretty sensational. I only hope that stuff has been stored sufficiently well that DNA evidence would be preserved and contamination impossible.

Christine Grahame (blogged by Robert Black today)

Quote:
Ms Grahame has called on Detective Chief [Inspector] Michael Dalgleish who is heading the current review of evidence related to the Lockerbie bombing to explain why materials which it was claimed were packed along with the bomb were only checked for DNA in 2006.

Ms Grahame has also called on the police to confirm that a report dated 18th October 2006 by the Forensic Science Service commissioned on behalf of the Crown Office did find a DNA profile in the remains of an umbrella which the prosecution claimed was one of the items Megrahi had bought in Malta, but that it did not match his DNA.

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Old 27th October 2009, 04:43 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
ETA: Another plea for debunk-like counterpoints! Cmon folks! I'm blogging this stuff. Many of you worry about conspiracy theorists spoutimg dangerous nonsense on the unternets, and here I am giving you an opportunity to stop the stuff at the gate and you're all just acquiescing. Shameful!
You are implying that state agents planted evidence. You must really hate authority. I bet you hate your dad too.

Furthermore, what about Occam's Razor, entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ?

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Old 27th October 2009, 11:02 AM   #358
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I think Occam would have had apoplexy over this one. It seems to be necessary to multiply hypotheses to an absolutely insane degree, and even then some anomalies are left dangling.

Of course we're suggesting agents of the state planted evidence. That's what about 80% of the people who've studied this incident seem to be asserting. Does anybody really think that has never, ever been done? The only question here is, is it a plausible suggestion?

So far, we have a maybe.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st October 2009, 05:20 AM   #359
Caustic Logic
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
You are implying that state agents planted evidence. You must really hate authority. I bet you hate your dad too.

Furthermore, what about Occam's Razor, entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ?

That is a pretty debunker-like statement, in a sense, as has swayed me over. Certainly if a conviction was handed down by Scottish Judges after hearing evidence put together by Scottish police and American FBI, the simplest explanation is that it was a fair and sound verdict.

What's that about explaining ALL the facts? Aw, c'mon!

Okay, that was brief flip. In the news: Scottish authorities announce the investigation is not re-opened, it's just being reviewed as it sits, as has been done beofore to see if it should be officially re-opened. Henderson et al. are seeming keen to do so and go after Megrahi's BOSSES! The US ambassador to the UK stresses the two countries will NOT be getting a "divorce" over the release of Megrahi, as upset as they are he didn't die in writhing agony and loneliness in prison, and especially angry how his wife kids got to hug him one last time. If they had lnown, in fact, the US would have extradited the kiiller to a decent American prison where he'd be sure to die. Professor Robert Black explains why this is nonsense and wonders why the guy would say something so stupid.

And finally, following suggestions by Dr Swire, et al, an investigation is (reportedly) opening - in Malta, of witness Tony Gauci's testimony. This is bound to be interesting one way or another.
Quote:
A Maltese legal official told The Daily Telegraph: "Tony Gauci is an area where we have to investigate more thoroughly and we are preparing for this.

"There was never enough proof, to be frank, on the circumstances of his evidence and there is pressure coming from many quarters on Malta to move to resolve the issue." (...)
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Old 31st October 2009, 05:49 AM   #360
Bobby
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
You are implying that state agents planted evidence. You must really hate authority. I bet you hate your dad too.

Furthermore, what about Occam's Razor, entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ?

Welcome aboard. To my knowledge the conviction of Megrahi essentially boils down to eye-witness testimony that Megrahi was the purchaser of certain items of clothing. The eye witness concerned does not appear credible, or, at least, the manner in which his testimony was presented to the court was biased. It is clear that the defence was not provided all the details of the investigation (for instance they were not told of the break in at Heathrow), which makes it plausible to believe they were also not told that the eye witness had said another person looked more like the purchaser of the clothing than the accused. While this may be a challenge to authority, it's one that has been made on several different occasions wrt the British judicial system (unsafe convictions).
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