Lockerbie Bombing - Pan Am Flight 103
On the 23 09 2003 Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) for his conviction to be reviewed following which on the 28 06 2007 The SCCRC announced its decision to refer the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh after it found he "may have suffered a miscarriage of justice" – almost 4 years later. On the 15 10 2008 Five Scottish judges then decided unanimously to reject a submission by the Crown that the scope of Megrahi's second appeal should be limited to the specific grounds of appeal that were identified by the SCCRC in June 2007. Add to this undisclosed documents and lies to cover tracks and the real truth!.
Its becoming clearly obvious that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi’ constant plea of innocence was never meant to escape prison and given the number of miscarriages of Justice which occurs within the UK just how many other cases are there eroding British Justice such that Politicians have their crime targets met in pre-gathering votes for the next election?.
British “standards” seemingly are about what others dictate they will be but will the British General Public further tolerate been made fools of by the very people whom they place trust in. Matters cannot continue as they are and especially since those deserving a prison sentence be Politically free while having no respect for British Laws.
21 December 1988 / Pan Am Flight 103 / Lockerbie, Dumfries and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Galloway, Scotland.
Fatalities - 270 (259 in aircraft, 11 on ground)
Boeing 747-121 / Aircraft name: Clipper Maid of the Seas. Operator: Pan American World Airways / Tail number: N739PA. Flight origin: London Heathrow Airport. Destination: John F. Kennedy International Airport
The jumbo jet was the fifteenth 747 built and was delivered in February 1970 - one month after the first 747 entered service with Pan Am.
05 12 1988 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues a security bulletin about a threat towards Pan Am flights over the next 2 weeks. The FAA sent it to all U.S. carriers, including Pan Am, which had charged each of the passengers a $5 security surcharge, promising a "program that will screen passengers, employees, airport facilities, baggage and aircraft with unrelenting thoroughness". The security team in Frankfurt found the warning hidden under a pile of papers on a desk the day after the bombing.One of the Frankfurt security screeners, whose job it was to spot explosive devices under X-ray, told ABC News that she had first learned what Semtex (a plastic explosive) was during her ABC interview 11 months after the bombing
13 12 1988 The warning (see 05 12 1988 ) –As a result, a number of people allegedly booked on carriers other than Pan Am, leaving empty seats on PA103 that were later sold cheaply in "bucket shops". PA103 investigators subsequently said the telephone warning had been a hoax and a chilling coincidence.
21 12 1988 Wed: Pan Am Flight 103 – A flight from Los Angeles and San Francisco, USA before touching down at London Heathrow Airport (noon) - the aircraft parked at stand Kilo 14, Terminal 3. where it was guarded for two hours by Pan Am's security company, Alert Security, but was otherwise not watched. In 2009 It was revealed that a security guard had reported that Heathrow's Pan Am baggage area had been broken into 17 hours before flight 103 took off. Police lost the report and it was never investigated or brought up at trial.
01 10 1990 Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry opens. Prominent among the passenger victims was the UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, At least four U.S. intelligence officers on the passenger list with a possible fifth. (1) Matthew Gannon, the CIA's deputy station chief in Beirut, Lebanon (2) Major Chuck "Tiny" McKee, an army officer on secondment to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Beirut (3) Two Diplomatic Security Service special agents, acting as bodyguards to Gannon and McKee also (4) Ronald Lariviere a security officer from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (5) Daniel O'Connor a security officer from the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus (6) There was also a Department of Justice Special Agent on the flight, Assistant Deputy Director Michael S. Bernstein.?? ?? 1992 Pan Am found guilty of willful misconduct due to lax security screening. Alert Management Inc. and Pan American World Services, two subsidiaries of Pan Am, were also found guilty; Alert handled Pan Am's security at foreign airports.
05 04 1999 Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah handed over to Scottish police at Camp Zeist, Netherlands, chosen as a neutral venue for their trial. United Nations sanctions against Libya and protracted negotiations with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi forced the hand over
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was convicted of murder by a panel of three Scottish judges and sentenced to 27 years in prison.Fhimah was acquitted.
?? 02 2001 REPORT 1 by Hans Köchler, who had been an international observer at Camp Zeist, Netherlands appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
?? 03 2002 REPORT 2 by Hans Köchler, who had been an international observer at Camp Zeist, Netherlands appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Köchler described the decisions of the trial and appeal courts as a "spectacular miscarriage of justice".Köchler also issued a series of statements in 2003, 2005, and 2007 calling for an independent international inquiry into the case and accusing the West of "double standards in criminal justice" in relation to the Lockerbie trial on the one hand and the HIV trial in Libya on the other.
14 03 2002 al-Megrahi – appeal against his conviction refused
?? 07 2003 al-Megrahi– Application to the European Court of Human Rights was declared inadmissible
23 09 2003 al-Megrahi - applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) for his conviction to be reviewed
28 06 2007 The SCCRC announces its decision to refer the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh after it found he "may have suffered a miscarriage of justice". Köchler criticised the SCCRC for exonerating police, prosecutors and forensic staff from blame in respect of Megrahi's alleged wrongful conviction.
29 06 2007 Köchler tells The Herald of 29 June 2007: "No officials to be blamed, simply a Maltese shopkeeper." Köchler also highlighted the role of intelligence services in the trial and stated that proper judicial proceedings could not be conducted under conditions in which extrajudicial forces are allowed to intervene.
18 07 2007 Ulrich Lumpert admitted he had lied at the trial.. In a sworn affidavit before a Zurich notary, Lumpert stated that he had stolen a prototype MST-13 timer PC-board from Mebo and gave it without permission on 22 June 1989, to "an official person investigating the Lockerbie case". Dr Hans Köchler, UN observer at the Lockerbie trial, who was sent a copy of Lumpert's affidavit, said: "The Scottish authorities are now obliged to investigate this situation. Not only has Mr Lumpert admitted to stealing a sample of the timer, but to the fact he gave it to an official and then lied in court".
Mebo's owner, Edwin Bollier, later revealed that in 1991 he had declined an offer from the FBI of $4 million to testify that the timer fragment was part of a Mebo MST-13 timer supplied to Libya.
11 10 2007 Procedural hearing at the Appeal Court took place when prosecution lawyers and Megrahi's defence Counsel, Maggie Scott QC, discussed a number of legal issues with a panel of three judges. One of the issues concerned a number of documents that were shown before the trial to the prosecution, but were not disclosed to the defence. The documents are understood to relate to the Mebo MST-13 timer that allegedly detonated the PA103 bomb. Maggie Scott is also asking for documents relating to an alleged payment of $2 million made to Maltese merchant, Tony Gauci, for his testimony at the trial, which led to the conviction of Megrahi.
15 10 2008Five Scottish judges decided unanimously to reject a submission by the Crown that the scope of Megrahi's second appeal should be limited to the specific grounds of appeal that were identified by the SCCRC in June 2007.
?? 01 2009 Reported that Megrahi's second appeal against conviction was scheduled to begin on 27 April 2009, the hearing could last as long as 12 months because of the complexity of the case and volume of material to be examined.
12 08 2009 Sky News reported that Megrahi was "to be freed on compassionate grounds" in consideration of his having terminal Prostate cancer.
12 08 2009Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi applied to have his appeal dropped. Megrahi's defence team stated in a press conference that their client had been pressurised into dropping the appeal prior to the decision being made on compassionate release, however in his public statement Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill stated that that decision had been entirely Megrahi's own choice.
20 08 2009 . Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi released from Prison. The news of his release sparked rage and admonitions from families of the US victims - contrasting with the families of British victims who, in general believe Megrahi to be innocent and support his release.
27 04 2009 Documentary entitled "Lockerbie revisited" aired in which the film's director and narrator, Gideon Levy interviewed officials involved with the case. Former FBI laboratory scientist Fred Whitehurst described the FBI laboratory itself as a "crime scene", where an unqualified colleague Thomas Thurman would routinely alter his scientific reports. The interviews also revealed that the timer fragment had never been tested for explosives residue due to "budgetary reasons". Thurman, who led the forensic investigation and identified the fragments' Libyan connection, confirmed that it was the "only real piece of evidence against Libya" and when asked of the importance of the timer in the conviction of al-Megrahi, FBI Task Force Chief Richard Marquise stated, "It would be a very difficult case to prove ... I don't think we would ever (have) had an indictment". Investigators also discovered that an unaccompanied bag had been routed onto PA 103, via the interline baggage system, from Luqa airport on Air Malta flight KM180 to Frankfurt, and then by feeder flight PA 103A to Heathrow. This unaccompanied bag was shown at the trial to have been the suitcase that contained the bomb.
?? ?? 2009 Revealed that security guard Ray Manley had reported that Heathrow's Pan Am baggage area had been broken into 17 hours before flight 103 took off. Police lost the report and it was never investigated or brought up at trial.21 08 2009 Fury at 'hero's welcome' for bomber。The return of the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing to a "hero's welcome" in his native Libya has been met by a volley of criticism. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, was met in his homeland by a jubilant crowd.
/////////////////////////////////l Lord Fraser was the lord advocate (1989-92) who initiated the case against Megrahi. Five years after the trial, Lord Fraser allegedly described Gauci as a “simple” man who might have been “easily led”. On 2006 12 20 Fraser detained - Dundee Airport - reports of a disturbance on board an aircraft - charged with disorderly conduct. On 2007 02 02 Fraser - disorderly conduct – The Crown Office drops charges - insufficient evidence.
l Lord Hardie, as Lord Advocate 1997-2000, was due to lead the prosecution team in the Lockerbie trial. He resigned just before the Lockerbie trial began.
l Colin Boyd was Lord Hardie’s successor as Lord Advocate. He became Lord Boyd of Duncansby.
l John Orr, joint head of CID in Strathclyde police, was the chief investigating officer in the Lockerbie case. Sir John Orr got promoted to Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police (1995 to 2001).
l Two state prosecutors from the US Department of Justice played an important role in the Lockerbie trial. The United Nations observer at the Lockerbie trial, Dr Hans Kochler, reported that two state prosecutors from the US Department of Justice were in court, and, although not listed in any of the official documents about the Court’s officers, they were constantly briefing Scottish prosecutors.l Norman McFadyen, then regional procurator-fiscal for Edinburgh, headed the Crown Office trial team at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. He got promoted to Crown Agent, head of department for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
l Alan Turnbull, QC, was one of the two senior counsel leading the Crown team in the Lockerbie trial. In 2006, he became Scotland’s youngest judge at the age of 47.
l Alastair Campbell- Advocate-depute - senior prosecution counsel in the Lockerbie trial . In 2003, he was appointed a judge and became Lord Bracadale.
l Bill Taylor,QC, was defence counsel for Megrahi at Camp Zeist. He has been heavily criticised for failing to defend Megrahi successfully.Professor Hans Koechler, the United Nations’ observer at the Lockerbie trial and appeal, has accused Mr Taylor and Mr Duff of betraying Megrahi by failing to represent him properly.
l Eddie MacKechnie was solicitor to Fhimah who was acquitted.
l Tony Gauci was a key Lockerbie witness. According to The Herald, on 20 February 2009, previously undisclosed documents show that Scottish police recommended to US authorities that both the main witness in the Lockerbie trial (Gauci) and his brother should be paid up to $3m.l J Thomas Thurman was the FBI man who identified a fragment of a circuit board from a timing device which, he said, was from the Lockerbie bomb. Thurman was later removed from his FBI job after a US Department of Justice investigation concluded his FBI forensics lab had a record of fabricating evidence.
l Edwin Bollier is head of the Swiss-based Mebo group which was supposed to have sold the timing device reportedly used in the Lockerbie bomb. Bollier claims that one of his employees supplied the Scottish police with a stolen timing device, which was then presented in the trial as having been found amidst the plane’s wreckage.
l Lord Cullen was head of the five-judge panel which presided over the appeal of Megrahi at Camp Zeist in 2002. The other four judges were: Lord Kirkwood, Lord Osborne, Lord Macfadyen, and Lord Nimmo Smith.