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lockerbie bomber is innocent?
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ted_bloody_maulOffline
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 10:42    Post subject: lockerbie bomber is innocent? Reply with quote

THE LEAST I CAN DO IS SHAKE HIS HAND AND SAY SORRY Oct 25 2004


SWIRE TO APOLOGISE TO LOCKERBIE BOMBER

By Magnusgardham



LOCKERBIE justice campaigner Dr Jim Swire wants to apologise to jailed bomber Abdelbasset al Megrahi - because he reckons he is innocent.

Dr Swire campaigned tirelessly for a trial under Scots law in a neutral country - which ended in al Megrahi being found guilty of blowing up Pan Am flight 103.

But he now believes al Megrahi will have his conviction overturned on appeal following the trial verdict three years ago at Camp Zeist in Holland.

Dr Swire, 68, said: 'If he is not guilty - as I believe - then we all owe al Megrahi a profound apology.

'I will have no hesitation in apologising to him and shaking his hand for the part I played.

'That is why I want to meet him. Sorry is the least I can say to him.

'I have a feeling of guilt over what has happened.

'I have no problem at all in visiting al Megrahi because of the responsibility I feel and I would like to see him once the appeal process is settled.

'I believe the verdict was unsafe and it will be overturned.

'However, I will accept the appeal verdict and if I am proved wrong I will still seek a meeting with al Megrahi to tell him I have no hatred.

'My own view is that we will never get to the bottom of Lockerbie if this verdict is not overturned.'

Dr Swire's daughter Flora was among 270 killed in the 1988 blast.

The spokesman for the UK Families Flight 103 support group met Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi three times as he campaigned for the trial.

But he now believes evidence which could have cleared al Megrahi was not heard in the case.

The retired GP believes a Palestinian group, acting on behalf of Iran, carried out the atrocity.

Al Megrahi, 52, is serving 27 years. He is held in solitary in a specially built £250,000 double cell dubbed the 'Gaddafi Cafe' at Barlinnie.

But - as exclusively revealed in Saturday's Daily Record - he will be moved to Greenock prison in December because he is lonely.

The bomber has already lost an appeal against his conviction.

But his case is being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which could allow a second appeal.

Al Megrahi's lawyer, Eddie McKechnie, has confirmed that the bomber is willing to meet Dr Swire.

He said: 'My client has been encouraged by these warm words of support.'

Source

[Emp edit; Fixing big link]
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Mighty_EmperorOffline
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PostPosted: 27-10-2004 12:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private Eye released a book (wrtten by the late great Paul Foot) investigating the whole Lockerbie incident and concluded that it wasn't anything to do with the Libyans but was probably a group connected with the Syrians. Its no longer in print but copies can often be found around if you look for it - its Lockerbie: Flight from Justice:

https://secure2.subscribeonline.co.uk/PEYE/product.cfm?cmp=SPECRPTS
http://i-p-o.org/private-eye.htm

General links:

http://members.aol.com/bblum6/panam.htm
http://www.portia.org/chapter12/lockerb.html
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DrPLeeOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2005 11:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be of interest!

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1855852005
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Timble2Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2005 12:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

My feeling was that a political deal was done with Megrahi, even if he was involved, he was the scapegoat, the expendable team member who could be thrown to the wolves.
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Mal_AdjustedOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2005 15:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

greets

another couple of books:

"Trail of the octopus - from beirut to lockerbie - inside the DIA." by Donald Goddard with Lester K Coleman. Bloomsbury. 1993

John Ashton and Ian Ferguson "Cover-up of Convenience - the hidden scandal of Lockerbie" Mainstream, 2001

not sure how easy they are to get hold of, the first was (IIRC) subject to a libel prosecution which lead to it being withdrawn (one dealer is asking over £200 for a copy!!) (at that price he can have my copy!!)

see also paul foot's review of the goddard / coleman book at:

http://www.psychedelic-library.org/lockerbie.htm

and subsequent correspondence

mal
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techybloke666Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2005 16:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

have a look at this

http://www.copi.com/octopus/
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techybloke666Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2005 16:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

have a look at this

http://www.copi.com/octopus/


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Mal_AdjustedOffline
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PostPosted: 30-08-2005 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

greets

TB666 - interesting but very dated

the text "trail of the octopus - a novel" is totally different to the book, which is non-fiction.

the text of the book is available from american buddha website (but you have to register and jump through hoops to get it)

mal

another interesting article though is:

Quote:
Bush Administration's Involvement in Bombing Pan Am 103

by Joel Bainerman
(May/June 1997 issue)

If the entire story behind the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December l988 is ever fully exposed, most people just simply wouldnt believe it. Not only were various agencies of the U.S. Government at least partially responsible for the terrorist attack, the Bush Administration tried to cover up their involvement; and, as vice president, Bush is reported to have made as many as four secret trips to Damascus offering arms to Syria in return for the hostages held in Lebanon.

If the true story behind Pan Am 103 ever finally does come out, Yuval Aviv can take much of the credit.

I met a lot of strange characters during the research for my book The Crimes of a President (SPI Books, 1992), but Yuval Aviv was by far the most intriguing. I met Aviv for the first time in October l991. After a three-hour meeting, I walked out of his Madison Avenue office with my head spinning. Aviv had a certain charm about him that made him very likable, even if you didnt quite trust his information or understand his motives. He claims to be a former Mossad official who immigrated to the U.S. in l978. Shortly thereafter, he opened his own investigating firm called Interfor.

Aviv told me a lot of stories, some of which I had already checked out and found to be false. Some were verified by other sources. Like most sources investigative journalists come across, some of Avivs information was good, some wasnt. Where Aviv does come through with flying colors though is in his version of what happened to Pan Am 103, the plane that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland on 21 December l988.

Avivs firm was hired by Pan Ams insurer in the Spring of l989 to investigate the crash. Of all the journalists and intelligence sources I met who knew Aviv, all of them agreed that his report on Pan Am 103 is the closest thing yet to the truth. The only problem is that what he has to say about the incident isnt what the Bush Administration wants to hear. In September l989, Interfors report was made public. In it, Aviv claimed that a CIA team headquartered in Western Germany is largely responsible for the bombing.

Thats not what the U.S. Administration claims. For the first two years after the crash, all the evidence pointed to Syria and Iran as the culprits. It was believed that Iran bankrolled the operation in retaliation for the 3 July l988 shooting down of a scheduled Iranian airbus in the Persian Gulf by the USS Vincennes, killing 290 people. Previously, U.S. investigators had traced a wire transfer of several million dollars from Teheran to a bank account in Vienna controlled by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command under the leadership of Ahmed Jibril (US News & World Report, 25 November l99l).

The outbreak of the Gulf War changed all that. When Saddams troops rolled into Kuwait, the Administration needed to bring Syria into the coalition effort. The following Summer, Bush sat down with Syrian President Hafez Assad in Geneva and ushered in a new era in Syrian-American relations. As a result, focus had to be deflected away from Syrian-sponsored Ahmed Jibrils terrorist group.

Lo and behold, in November l99l, U.S. prosecutors announced that their three-year investigation produced no evidence that either Iran or Syria were involved. Instead, they believed two Libyan intelligence officials and the Tripoli Government were responsible for the bombing (New York Times, 15 November l99l). President Bush would publicly remark: "The Syrians took a bum rap on this" (Time, 27 April l992).

The U.S. Government based its case on a tiny piece of plastic embedded in a shirt that had come from the suitcase that held the bomb. Miraculously, it survived two harsh Scottish winters. A British forensic expert matched the fragment of the bomb timer used to destroy a French DC-10 jet that exploded over Africa nine months after the Lockerbie tragedy and found them to be identical. Based on this evidence, indictments were issued for Libyan intelligence officials. (It seems the Justice Department would have looked a little silly asking Mummar Gaddafi to turn himself in to the American authorities.)

American and British investigators speculate that Iran and Libya were plotting simultaneously to blow up an American jet, but the Libyans succeeded first. Gaddafi, it was claimed, wanted revenge for the l986 bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi by U.S. warplanes. (Why did he wait more than two-and-a-half years to get it?) They say the bomb was first loaded as unaccompanied baggage on an Air Malta flight which departed Lauq Airport in Malta and connected with the Pan Am flight in Frankfurt. Why a terrorist would take such an indirect route and risk detection was left unexplained.

The official U.S. Governments version of events is quite different from that of the former Israeli intelligence official. Aviv explains that his investigation revealed that the origin of the terrorist attack was actually a rogue CIA group protecting a Syrian drug operation which transported drugs from the Middle East to the United States via Frankfurt. Aviv says the CIA did nothing to break up the drug operation because the traffickers were also helping them send weapons to Iran and to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Part of Avivs assertions were backed up by NBC News a year later when it reported, on 30 October l990, that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was investigating a Middle East-based heroin operation to determine whether it was used by the terrorists to place a bomb on Pan Am 103. NBC said Pan Am flights out of Frankfurt had been used by the DEA to fly informants and heroin into Detroit as part of its sting operation. It claimed the terrorists might have discovered what the DEA was doing and switched one of their bags with one containing the bomb.

The DEA denied any connection to the undercover operation (Barron's, 17 December l990). Aviv explains that the method of drug smuggling was quite simple. One person would check a piece of luggage onto the plane and an accomplice working in the baggage department would switch it with an identical piece containing the narcotics. He says that on that fatal night, a Syrian terrorist organization knew how the drug operation worked and slipped a bomb inside a suitcase on the plane.

Aviv asserts that Monzer Al-Kassar, a Syrian drug and arms smuggler, set the drug smuggling operation up through Frankfurt in l987. The CIA, the DEA and the West German secret police, the BKA, observed its activities, but didnt interfere so as to acquire information. Al-Kassar is well connected. The head of Syrian intelligence, Ali Issa Duba, is his brother-in-law, and his wife is related to Assad.

This was the same Monzer Al-Kassar who helped Oliver North supply Polish-made weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras in l985 and l986. Along with his three brothers, Al-Kassar had built a multi-million-dollar empire on military deals in Eastern and Western Europe. Administration officials who discussed these deals said Al-Kassar had clear business links with the Abu Nidal terrorist organization (Los Angeles Times, 17 July l987).

The officials said that Al-Kassar maintained offices in Warsaw and was a major broker of the Polish-owned weapons company, Cenzin. The first arms purchase by North from Al-Kassar totaling $1 million was sent by boat to an unidentified Caribbean port in the Fall of l985 and was later distributed to the Contra fighters. In April of that year, a second shipment of Polish arms was sold to the CIA as part of this transaction (Los Angeles Times, 17 July l987). In another part of the deal, more than $42 million was laundered through BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) accounts in the Cayman Islands. Al-Kassar earned more than $1 million (Private Eye, 25 October l99l).

Aviv wrote in his report that a special hostage rescue team was on the doomed aircraft, led by Army Major Charles McKee, who had discovered that a rogue CIA team in Frankfurt, called COREA, was protecting the drug route. According to a special report in Time (27 April 1992), COREA used front companies for its overseas operations: Sevens Mantra Corp., AMA Industries, Wilderwood Video and Condor Television Ltd. The report revealed that Condor did its banking through the First American Bank, a subsidiary of BCCI.

After explaining what he had learned to CIA headquarters in the U.S. and receiving no response, McKee decided to take his men home without the required permission. He planned to bring back to the U.S. proof of the rogue intelligence teams connection to Al-Kassar. If the government tried to cover it up, he would release it. Al-Kassar discovered this and reported McKees attempt to make their own "travel arrangements" back to the U.S. through the rogue CIA team in Frankfurt (Covert Action Information Bulletin Number 34, Summer l990).

Although neglected in the American press, there were at least four, and possibly as many as eight, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agency operatives from Beirut aboard Pan Am 103 (ibid.). Could they have been the target? In his book, Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103, David Johnson disclosed that CIA investigators removed a suitcase from the crash site that belonged to McKee. It was returned a few days later, and "found" empty.

The PBS investigative program Frontline reported in January l990 that the bomb was put on the plane at Londons Heathrow Airport where a baggage handler switched suitcases belonging to CIA officer Matthew Gannon. According to the Frontline investigation, the only piece of luggage not accounted for from the flight belonged to Gannon.

Frontline claims the intelligence officials were a "strong secondary target." A May l989 report in the Arabic newspaper Al-Dustur revealed that McKees teams movements were being monitored by David Lovejoy, "an American agent" whom Aviv claims was passing information to the Iranian embassy in Beirut which told the Iranian charge daffaires of the teams travel plans (Time, 27 April l992).

Aviv believes that the CIA team in Frankfurt allowed Al-Kassar to continue to smuggle drugs into the U.S. in return for help in arranging the release of the American hostages. The drug operation, he says, went as far back as Spring of l987.

In the Fall of l988, Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, discovered the operation. So as not to interfere with Al-Kassars activities, Jibril originally targeted an American Airlines plane, but the Mossad discovered this and tipped off the airline. When the plan changed and the target became a Pan Am airliner, once again a Mossad agent tipped off German secret police 24 hours before the flight. When a BKA surveillance agent keeping watch over the suitcase supposedly filled with drugs noticed that this time the luggage was a different color and size, he passed this information on to the CIA team, who relayed it to their superiors. They reportedly said, "Dont worry about it. Dont stop it let it go" (Barron's, 17 December l990).

Aviv says the BKA did just that.

A lengthy article on Avivs report in the financial weekly, Barron's, quotes one Mideast Intelligence specialist in the government as suggesting, "Do I think the CIA was involved? Of course they were involved. And they screwed up. Was the operation planned by the top? Probably not. I doubt they sanctioned heroin importation that came about at the more zealous lower levels. But they knew what was going on and didnt care." The expert went on to say that his agency has "things that support Avivs allegation, but we cant prove it. We have no smoking gun. And until the other agencies of the government open their doors, we will have no smoking gun."

These government agencies didnt open their doors. In September l989, Pan Am subpoenaed the FBI, CIA, FAA, DEA, National Security Council, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department, requesting documents relating to the case. According to Pan Ams attorney, Gregory Buhler, "the government quashed the subpoenas on grounds of national security" (ibid.).

Further signs of a cover up were revealed by investigative columnist Jack Anderson, who claimed that President Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher held a transatlantic phone conversation after Bushs inauguration in which they agreed that the investigation into the case should be "limited" in order to avoid harming the two nations intelligence communities. Thatcher has acknowledged that the conversation took place, but denied she and Bush conspired to interfere with the investigation (Covert Action Information Bulletin Number 34, Summer l990).

In its investigative report, Time revealed that a former agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lester Knox Coleman, III, has signed an affidavit which described the CIA-sanctioned operation. In l987, Coleman was transferred to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and was assigned to Cyprus, where he witnessed the growing trade in heroin originating in Lebanon. Colemans DEA front in Nicosia was the Eurame Trading Co. Ltd., located near the U.S. Embassy. His job was to keep track of Al-Kassars movements and report to the DEA attach in Cyprus, Michael Hurley. Coleman says he was paid in checks drawn on the BCCI branch in Luxembourg (27 April l992). (Read Trail of the Octopus: Behind the Lockerbie Disaster, Donald Goddard with Lester K. Coleman, 1994 although this was only published in Great Britain and is a bit hard to get a copy of. ARH.)

A number of investigative journalists believe that Aviv stumbled onto just one piece of a larger puzzle. In August l991, Larry Cohler, a writer for the Washington Jewish Week, reported on a set of secret negotiations which took place between Syria and the United States Government over the release of the hostages and which led to a number of covert trips by Bush to Damascus.

Over an all-you-can-eat Indian lunch one afternoon, Larry told me an incredible story that compliments Avivs conclusions.

According to a confidential Pentagon memo that Cohler gained access to, for reasons still unknown, officials in the Reagan Administration failed to pursue a series of Syrian offers to free the American hostages held in Lebanon. The Syrian overtures began in l985 and continued through mid-l989.

A number of former government officials involved in the secret Syrian negotiations say they were never told why the Syrian offers were not acted upon, while others say the Syrian offers were not genuine. Still others claim there was too little preliminary action by the U.S. Government to determine for certain whether the initiatives were genuine or not (San Francisco Chronicle, 21 July l99l).

The center of the controversy was a memo dated 17 March l987, which described a meeting attended by Lawrence Ropka, Jr., a principal deputy of Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Security Affairs Richard Armitage. Written by Ropkas military assistant, Lt. Andrew Gambara, it claimed that American businessmen and a former executive secretary to Richard Nixon, Robert D. Ladd, told Pentagon officials in December l985 that he had a contact with a Lebanese businessman who introduced him to Fasih Makhail Ashi, a judge in Syrias inspector generals office. The judge claimed he had information regarding the fate of the seven American hostages held in Lebanon. Ashi said: "the Syrians were prepared to assist in the release of the hostages if Reagan called Assad and requested his support" (San Francisco Chronicle, 21 July l99l).

Syrias aims were simple enough: It wanted closer ties with the United States. The memo said that once Reagan called, "Syria would facilitate the release and transfer of the hostages without any quid pro quo from the U.S." It said further that Ladd had already brought this to the attention of Oliver North at the National Security Council (NSC) and that someone would follow it up. A former official in Armitages office said the memo was sent to a special government agency, the Vice Presidents Task Force on Terrorism, a group of high-ranking officials from the White House, State Department, NSC and the CIA.

Two of Armitages aides acknowledged that the Syrian initiative was discussed during a number of interviews with Ladd and his attorney. Ladd said that, after hearing the Syrian offer, he arranged for Ashi to come to the United States; he was then questioned over a period of a number of days by the Task Force. Ashi asserts he spoke in the name of General Ghazi Kenaan, head of Syrian military intelligence, and even passed on details about the fate of kidnapped CIA chief in Beirut, William Buckley.

Ashi returned to Syria but received no reply. In February l987, he contacted Ladd and again said Syria would help the Americans release the hostages. Ladd tried unsuccessfully to persuade government officials to meet in Paris with Ashi. A longtime senior aid to Armitage claimed Ashi could not prove the offer was genuine. "It was my sense there was nothing there," he said (San Francisco Examiner, 21 July l991). "I was told there wasnt enough information from Ashi to run it upstairs."

However, a former official in Armitages office said that he thought Ashis overtures should at least be checked out, as the American Government could have sent someone from the Paris embassy to meet him. Ladd said that, only because of his persistence, U.S. intelligence officials eventually agreed to meet with Ashi. Then, in the early part of the Summer of l989 the CIA, without any explanation, canceled the meeting.

Despite the cancellation, Ashi called Ladd back saying that the hostages would be released if Ladd would come to Damascus for them. In August, Ladd was prepared to fly to Damascus when Ashi called back to take back the offer, saying that a tug of war over releasing the hostages had developed between Kenaan and other factions of the Syrian army.

The Congressional investigators did look into why the Administration didnt follow up on these initiatives and why, when Syria offered to help release the hostages, they were put on hold. They questioned a number of individuals, including a former Pentagon official, Peter Probst, who took part in some of the meetings; he told Cohler that it was one of several he and other officials had with Ladd on the Syrian overture. He said nothing further on the matter.

Could the Administration have been pursuing another path to free the hostages? Cohler learned from different sources that Bush made as many as four secret trips to Damascus in early l986, allegedly offering arms to Syria in return for the hostages. Congressional investigators were told by their sources that in the Spring of l988, in the middle of the presidential campaign, Bush made one final trip to Syria, telling the Syrians that the time was right to make a deal. Then, the Syrians stalled.

At that point, the Syrians might have grasped the leverage they actually had over Bush and wanted to up the ante (In These Times, 7 August l991). Its also possible that Bush might have been attempting an "October Surprise" of his own by having the hostages delivered to a Republican White House just in time for the Presidential election in November l988.

Aviv says that when these overtures failed, Bush and the CIA turned to Al-Kassar as a middlemen. (A covert deal made with drug smugglers is less likely to be exposed than one with a government or head of state.) Al-Kassar had some experience in these types of operations and at least one victory under his belt: He was used by the French Government in March l988 to free its hostages held in captivity in Lebanon.

George Bush may have wanted the same deal. M

[Joel's book, The Crimes of a President: New Revelations on Conspiracy & Cover-Up in the Bush & Reagan Administrations, is (as its back cover says), "an important document of our times and necessary reading for all who want to know what really went on during the Bush-Reagan years." We highly recommend it.

Joel also publishes The Israel Technology Letter, P.O. Box 387, Zichron Yaacov, Israel 30900; Voice: 972-6-639-6673; Fax: 972-6-639-8880; E-mail: isratech@netvision.net.il]


http://www.lossless-audio.com/usa/index0.php?page=1107560966.htm

mal
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crunchy5Offline
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PostPosted: 07-05-2006 11:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1855852005

Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked
MARCELLO MEGA

A FORMER Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.

The retired officer - of assistant chief constable rank or higher - has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.

The police chief, whose identity has not yet been revealed, gave the statement to lawyers representing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, currently serving a life sentence in Greenock Prison.

The evidence will form a crucial part of Megrahi's attempt to have a retrial ordered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC). The claims pose a potentially devastating threat to the reputation of the entire Scottish legal system.

The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses "wrote the script" to incriminate Libya.

Last night, George Esson, who was Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway when Megrahi was indicted for mass murder, confirmed he was aware of the development.

But Esson, who retired in 1994, questioned the officer's motives. He said: "Any police officer who believed they had knowledge of any element of fabrication in any criminal case would have a duty to act on that. Failure to do so would call into question their integrity, and I can't help but question their motive for raising the matter now."

Other important questions remain unanswered, such as how the officer learned of the alleged conspiracy and whether he was directly involved in the inquiry. But sources close to Megrahi's legal team believe they may have finally discovered the evidence that could demolish the case against him.

An insider told Scotland on Sunday that the retired officer approached them after Megrahi's appeal - before a bench of five Scottish judges - was dismissed in 2002.

The insider said: "He said he believed he had crucial information. A meeting was set up and he gave a statement that supported the long-standing rumours that the key piece of evidence, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that implicated Libya, had been planted by US agents.

"Asked why he had not come forward before, he admitted he'd been wary of breaking ranks, afraid of being vilified.

"He also said that at the time he became aware of the matter, no one really believed there would ever be a trial. When it did come about, he believed both accused would be acquitted. When Megrahi was convicted, he told himself he'd be cleared at appeal."

The source added: "When that also failed, he explained he felt he had to come forward.

"He has confirmed that parts of the case were fabricated and that evidence was planted. At first he requested anonymity, but has backed down and will be identified if and when the case returns to the appeal court."

The vital evidence that linked the bombing of Pan Am 103 to Megrahi was a tiny fragment of circuit board which investigators found in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity.

The fragment was later identified by the FBI's Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device used to detonate explosives, and manufactured by the Swiss firm Mebo, which supplied it only to Libya and the East German Stasi.

At one time, Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was such a regular visitor to Mebo that he had his own office in the firm's headquarters.

The fragment of circuit board therefore enabled Libya - and Megrahi - to be placed at the heart of the investigation. However, Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials, and it emerged that he had little in the way of scientific qualifications.

Then, in 2003, a retired CIA officer gave a statement to Megrahi's lawyers in which he alleged evidence had been planted.

The decision of a former Scottish police chief to back this claim could add enormous weight to what has previously been dismissed as a wild conspiracy theory. It has long been rumoured the fragment was planted to implicate Libya for political reasons.

The first suspects in the case were the Syrian-led Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC), a terror group backed by Iranian cash. But the first Gulf War altered diplomatic relations with Middle East nations, and Libya became the pariah state.

Following the trial, legal observers from around the world, including senior United Nations officials, expressed disquiet about the verdict and the conduct of the proceedings at Camp Zeist, Holland. Those doubts were first fuelled when internal documents emerged from the offices of the US Defence Intelligence Agency. Dated 1994, more than two years after the Libyans were identified to the world as the bombers, they still described the PFLP-GC as the Lockerbie bombers.

A source close to Megrahi's defence said: "Britain and the US were telling the world it was Libya, but in their private communications they acknowledged that they knew it was the PFLP-GC.

"The case is starting to unravel largely because when they wrote the script, they never expected to have to act it out. Nobody expected agreement for a trial to be reached, but it was, and in preparing a manufactured case, mistakes were made."

Dr Jim Swire, who has publicly expressed his belief in Megrahi's innocence, said it was quite right that all relevant information now be put to the SCCRC.

Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the atrocity, said last night: "I am aware that there have been doubts about how some of the evidence in the case came to be presented in court.

"It is in all our interests that areas of doubt are thoroughly examined."

A spokeswoman for the Crown Office said: "As this case is currently being examined by the SCCRC, it would be inappropriate to comment."

No one from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland was available to comment
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ted_bloody_maulOffline
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PostPosted: 25-06-2007 11:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lockerbie police face ‘plot’ inquiry

ALLEGATIONS that police plotted to mislead the original inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing, resulting in a wrongful conviction, have been passed to official investigators, it is understood.

The file being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission claims that evidence gathered at the scene of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people, was lost or destroyed.

False evidence, it is alleged, was then provided to incriminate Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan agent convicted of the atrocity at a trial in the Netherlands in 2001.

According to the file, the police investigation of Megrahi was reverse-engineered with evidence provided to match the thesis that he was guilty.

The claim, made by sources close to Megrahis defence team, comes as the commission prepares on Thursday to report the results of its three-year investigation into the case. The commissions 800-page report is expected to conclude that Megrahis conviction is unsafe.

If, as expected, his case is referred back to the appeal court, his legal team plans to lodge an application for him to be freed while the court decides whether to quash his conviction or to order a retrial.

The development could bring embarrassment for the government, coming the day after Tony Blairs departure from Downing Street. The surrender of suspects by Muammar Gadaffi, the leader of Libya, was a key element in Blairs dealings with Tripoli.

This led in 1999 to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Libya after a 15-year hiatus. The commissions report is expected to include allegations by Megrahis defence team that crucial statements made to police by Tony Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper who sold the Lockerbie bomber clothing which was later found wrapped around the bomb, were withheld by the prosecution. Gaucis statements are believed to have implicated Mohammed Abo Talb, a terrorist with links to the Iranian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC), and one of the early suspects for the Lockerbie bombing.

The commission is also said to be in possession of a press statement, prepared by Dumfries and Galloway police in 1990, which named members of the PFLP-GC as its chief suspects but which was never released.

Talb is serving life in Sweden for bombing an airport in Denmark, but was a free man operating in Europe in 1988.

The commission is also understood to have investigated allegations that a police officer showed Gauci a photograph of Megrahi in a magazine shortly before he was asked to identify the Libyan at his trial. The shopkeepers eventual identification of Megrahi in court was regarded as pivotal in persuading the three Scottish judges of his guilt. Theres no doubt that Megrahi was convicted because of Gaucis identification, said a source. If Gauci was shown a single photograph of Megrahi shortly before he went in to give his evidence, that would be explosive. The quality of evidence concerning a fragment of circuit board allegedly found at the crash site - which was instrumental in convicting Megrahi - has also been questioned. Megrahis trial was the longest and most expensive in Scottish legal history. A second defendant was acquitted.

An appeal in 2002 upheld the original verdict, but that may now be overturned amid doubts cast by Megrahis legal team on the testimony of expert witnesses and questions over why some material not aired at the trial was not made available to the defence.

It lends further weight to claims that it was politically unacceptable to pursue the PFLP-GC when the Gulf war in 1991 made it necessary to maintain good relations with Iran and Syria.

Robert Black, emeritus professor of Scots law at Edinburgh University, who helped to broker Megrahis trial in the Netherlands, said: My concerns have always been about what actually happened and getting to the truth. [Megrahi] should not have been convicted on the evidence before the trial judges. Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the bombing, said: If the Crown Office [public prosecutors] deliberately withheld relevant material it would be a very significant development. I also hope the allegations of fabricated evidence will be addressed by the commission. Tony Kelly, who is Megrahis solicitor, and Dumfries and Galloway police and the Crown Office all declined to comment on the case.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article1977670.ece
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 29-06-2007 07:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smart money was on Syria, at the time. But, politics got in the way and Quaddafi's Libya was the West's official Public Enemy Nº1.
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/6246574.stm

Lockerbie bomber allowed appeal

28 June 2007

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has been granted leave to make a second appeal.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed for the 1988 atrocity in which 270 people died when Pan-Am flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which has been investigating Megrahi's case since 2003, recommended the second appeal.

In light of the review findings, the Libyan reiterated his innocence.

The commission is responsible for looking into possible miscarriages of justice.

...

Altogether a bad business.
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ted_bloody_maulOffline
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PostPosted: 29-06-2007 10:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
The smart money was on Syria, at the time. But, politics got in the way and Quaddafi's Libya was the West's official Public Enemy Nº1.


As I recall it was also linked, through the PFLP-GC, to Iran.
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DrPLeeOffline
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PostPosted: 30-06-2007 00:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

How come Iran is not a favourite suspect?

July 1988 - US warship Vincennes brings down an Iran airbus containing hundreds of people on their way to Mecca

December 1988 - US flight downed.

Seems to be an obvious revenge attack. And when did the Salman Rushie fatwa occur?
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 30-06-2007 01:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPLee wrote:
How come Iran is not a favourite suspect?

...

I don't know. Syria was the smart money back then. Possibly because it was a Socialist style Baath Sunni secular One Party State, back when there as still a Soviet Union and people still talked about the secular style commie PLO.

Iran was, then, as now, a Shiite Islamic Theocracy, with Democratic overtones.

So, what chances on them working together, back then? confused
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ted_bloody_maulOffline
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PostPosted: 30-06-2007 01:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bombing was believed to be the work of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command. They've received assistance from Syria and Iran as well as Libya - Ghaddafi actually cut any ties with them in 1989, apparently, and most of their assistance then came from Iran. Before that Syria had been backing them in addition to Libya. Iirc, one of their bases on Syrian soil was shelled by the Israelis a few years back. I'm not sure they was neccessarily any direct cooperation between Iran and Syria.
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