18 January, 2010

Who bombed Lockerbie?

I have previously mentioned the release from a Scottish jail of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. Mr al-Megrahi was convicted for causing the Lockerbie bombing. In my previous post I mentioned how the relatives of the British victims are much more open to the idea that Mr al-Megrahi was framed, while relatives of the American victims seem to be uniformly outraged at his release. I suggested this might be because of a series of high-profile miscarriages of justice, in which convictions for terrorist and other crimes were quashed, often after those falsely convicted had served many years in jail.

The solicitor Gareth Peirce played a major role in overturning those Britiish miscarriages of justice. Now she has written on the al-Megrahi case in the London Review of Books. She asserts that his conviction is a stitch-up and a travesty of due process. Forensic and eye-witness evidence were used to convict al-Megrahi. Peirce suggests these are both deeply flawed. The forensic evidence was largely prepared by the same dodgy scientists who produced the flawed evidence used in earlier miscarriages of justice. The eye-witness, meanwhile, initially failed to pick out al-Megrahi in an identity parade, but subsequently was miraculously able to do so and now is living in suddenly acquired affluence.

Peirce also points out that in the early stages of the Lockerbie investigation, the finger of suspicion was pointing at Iran. The Iranian regime had a motive – a US warship had just shot down an Iranian airliner, and then, grotesquely, the crew of that ship had been honoured by President Reagan. As the US regime started to engage with the Iranians to buy out its hostages in Lebanon, it became inconvenient to blame Iran for Lockerbie. Someone had to pick up the tab, with Peirce arguing that that someone ended up being Libya and Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

It is unfortunate that al-Megrahi was required to drop his appeal when he was released on compassionate grounds, as it would surely be better for everyone if these allegations could be addressed in an open court.

See also: 'Flaws' in key Lockerbie evidence (BBC)


Charles said...

I believe that Lockerbie was a one and one only agreement between the Iranian Government and the US one designed to give the Iranians a "one and one only" measured "qesas" revenge fro the downing of IR-655.

You will find some of my cntributions on Professor Blacks (QC)'s blog

Patrick Haseldine said...

The finger of suspicion points firmly towards the South African apartheid regime.

The regime's target on Pan Am Flight 103 was UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

An online petition calling for a United Nations inquiry into Bernt Carlsson's murder can be signed here.

But be quick: the petition closes for signature on 28 January 2010!

Caustic Logic said...

Charles blames CIA, Patrick the SA regime, and I believe it was done by Mossad!

Kidding. Most of us agree it was Iranian-paid, Syrian-supported, PFLPGC, based in W Germany, with Khreesat as bomb maker, and bomb intoduced at Heathrow. At least that's the bestt posssible fit with what's "known."

Thanks for the post, Ian. Now some plugging:

Charles said...

Dear Caustic,

"Most of us agree" is a "wisdom of crowds" argument, which one instinctively rejects.

The PFLPGC out of Iran theory neglects so much. Why was Lockerbie infested with the CIA after the crash? How does it explain a second bomb (read AAIB report carefully), and John Parks? It is essentially Paul Foot's theory circa 1994, which Private Eye still holds, but that august organ has managed to make no progress with in in 15 years. I think if Paul had lived, he wouldn't be saying exactly what he did then with a trial, appeal, UTA trial and SCCRC reference out of the way. Caustic is right that the artfully contrived press release of 22 December 1988 mentioned Mossad, Iranian revolutionaries and the Ulster Defense League (who they, you may ask?).

It is also two-thirds of Cannistraro's kitchen sink theory. Iranian commissioned, PFLPGC contacted, Libyan handover, and if you follow that, I am sure you are being misled.

Patrick Haseldine said...

On 29 June 2007, The Scotsman published this article But if he didn't do it, who did? The other theories:

"According to the luggage swap theory, apartheid South Africa was responsible for the sabotage of Flight 103.

"On 22 December, 1988 - the day after the Lockerbie bombing - the Namibia independence agreement was signed at UN headquarters in New York.

"A 23-strong South African delegation, headed by foreign minister, Pik Botha, cancelled a booking on the flight at short notice.

"There was also a last-minute change of travel plan by the UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

"Carlsson is alleged by some to have been the target of South African military intelligence operatives, having been the architect of Namibian independence.

"Instead of flying direct from Brussels to New York, Carlsson was persuaded to stopover in London and join the Pan Am 103 transatlantic flight.

"On the day of the bombing, he arrived at Heathrow from Brussels at 11:06 with a booking to travel onward to New York by flight PA 103 at 18:00.

"Carlsson was met at the airport by Bankole Timothy of De Beers and taken by car to central London.

"After the meeting with De Beers, Carlsson was brought back to Heathrow Airport, arriving at about 17:30.

"His already checked-in suitcase would have remained at Heathrow airport for about seven hours, thus providing South African airside-authorised personnel with ample opportunity to substitute it for the bomb suitcase.

"That South Africa Airlines were involved in unlawfully switching baggage that day was confirmed by a Pan Am security officer, Michael Jones, at the Lockerbie fatal accident inquiry in October 1990.

"Within a week of the death of Bernt Carlsson on flight PA 103, his office safe at the United Nations had allegedly been broken into. And his apartment, which had been sealed by UN security staff, had also apparently been burgled.

"Neither his girlfriend nor his sister could identify a single shred of anything in his luggage at the property store in Lockerbie."

In apparent confirmation of the luggage swap theory, Bernt Carlsson's girl-friend, Sanya Popovic, is quoted as saying:

"[Bernt's] bag was sitting at Heathrow, in the baggage area, from early that day. There is quite an important question about it, as neither I nor his sister was able to identify the bag. Just didn't seem like his (it was apparently immediately underneath the one containing the bomb, and quite considerably shattered). Not to mention the size was totally off (much too small).

"I was quite surprised to find that despite our reactions to that bag, the Crown chose to say there was a definitive identification. Which there certainly wasn't."

A United Nations inquiry into Bernt Carlsson's murder will doubtless focus upon this evidence from Sanya Popovic and his sister, Inger Carlsson-Musser.

ian said...

my new theory is that all the different bombing theories are being put out to discredit anyone who doubts al-Megrahi's guilt.

Charles said...

Why should anyone believe in Mr Megrahi's guilt, when the evidence has been slowly peeled away to show he can't be?

ian said...

Well.... throwing out an endless series of different "who really bombed Lockerbie" theories makes it easy to cast anyone who doubts al-Megrahi's guilt as some kind of conspiracy theory nutter.

Charles said...

I think that's possibly right.

Just keep throwing any sort of dirt and then we'll come round to accepting the big lie.

I must say, nobody in any authority has influenced me in what I say, to which some of my critics will say "and it shows", but I got there first!

Just keep on digging, repeating the manifold discrepancies in the official theory, and eventually we might get listened to.

And I've got more sitzkreig than them!