The Lockerbie Bombing (Pan Am Flight 103; December 1988)

rynner2

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Lockerbie bombing: Megrahi relatives want to appeal

The family of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi has told the BBC they want to appeal against his conviction.
Megrahi died at his home in Tripoli in May last year from terminal cancer. He had always protested his innocence.
His brother Abdel-Hakim Al-Megrahi said the family "wanted the truth to be revealed".
He also said he was hopeful the Libyan government would help to fund the appeal.

In an interview with the BBC's Libya correspondent Rana Jawad, he said: "Yes, we want to appeal and we wish for the truth to be revealed and this is not just for our own benefit but also for the benefit of the families of the victims and for public opinion.
"We need to know who committed this horrible crime. But, as you know, we as a family cannot afford to pay for the appeals process.
"God-willing, the Libyan government will do this, but it has to be launched by the family first. As a family, we want to appeal; we want the Lockerbie files to reopen to know who is responsible."

He said the family were sure the Libyan government would held to fund the appeal because clearing his brother of committing the atrocity would also be "an acquittal for all Libyans and Libya".
"At the moment, it is perhaps difficult for the Libyan government to help us," he added. "But we hope, and we are very optimistic, that when the government stabilises it will help us because the Lockerbie problem is not an individual or family issue, but rather a Libya problem."
"My brother Abdelbaset could not have committed this heinous crime. He could never hurt any single person, let alone 271 innocent victims".

Abdel-Hakim Al-Megrahi insisted his brother had not been a Libyan intelligence officer, and claimed he had instead been a graduate in aviation engineering who had been employed by Libyan Airlines.
He added: "However, if he was used [as a scapegoat] for this problem [Lockerbie] - it's possible that he was used because the Gaddafi regime used to use any Libyan. In truth Libya was like a farm for Gaddafi and his sons and as Libyan nationals, we were like slaves - we couldn't say "no". We couldn't, this is the truth.
"But I assure you, and with reference to all the universities my brother studied in, be it in the US, Britain and Pakistan - he is a graduate of aviation engineering."

Megrahi was found guilty at a trial in 2001, and jailed for life. His co-accused Al-amin Khalifa Fimah was acquitted.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died when the Pan-Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, said earlier this week that some families of those who died may seek a fresh appeal against Megrahi's conviction.
Mr Swire believes that Megrahi was wrongfully convicted of the atrocity.

But Scottish and US investigators stand by the evidence presented at his trial and are pursuing other potential suspects.
In a BBC interview on Monday, the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said "the conviction stands".
"We were ready to meet the arguments and challenges that Mr Megrahi and his lawyers were placing before the court," he said.
"If there's any further evidence, if anyone's got any concerns about it, they should make it known to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission."

A spokesman for the Crown Office said:"This is a matter entirely for the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the High court of Justiciary. If the appeal is reinstated the Crown will defend the conviction."

The 25th anniversary of the bombing, which claimed 270 lives, will be marked in ceremonies in the US and the UK on Saturday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-s ... s-25465662
 

Cochise

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I'm with Dr. Swire on this one. Not gone into it in enough depth, though, so I'll refrain form saying more.
 

balding13

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Best source, as so often, is Private Eye's report, originally by Paul Foot. Possibly the most important fact to remember is that the evidence was largely based on a shopkeeper, almost a decade after the event, who 'recognised' the suspect. Also he didn't recognise him originally. After rebriefing and being given expenses to the tune of $100k he then did.

All the original reports stated a Syrian cell, operating out of Hamburg was responsible; CIA agents in Europe were warned of this in advance. With the exceptions I've cited, it looks like a safe conviction!
 

rynner2

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Interesting though the alleged bomber's story is, let's not forget all the victims of the crash (better have a hankie handy...):

My lost son: Carol King Eckersley retraces Lockerbie victim's life
By Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland news

A mother who only learned last year that her son was killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing has made an emotional visit to the town.
Carol King Eckersley travelled from America to see the spot where the child she gave up for adoption fell from the sky when his plane blew up.
She also laid flowers in the remembrance garden in the town's Dryfesdale cemetery for the first time.

She wept and said: "It shouldn't have happened. It just shouldn't have."
Mrs Eckersley's son, Kenneth Bissett, was one of the 270 people killed in what remains the deadliest terrorist attack in the UK.
It took almost 25 years for her to find out he was on Pan Am flight 103 when it exploded over southern Scotland.

As an unmarried mum in 1967, Carol King, as she was then, gave her newborn son for adoption and promised not to interfere in his life.
At the time she felt it would have been socially unacceptable for her to bring him up on her own
.

For decades, she longed to know what had become of her only baby and secretly hoped for a reunion.
It was only when she decided to search for him in April 2013, after her husband passed away, that she discovered the awful truth.
She typed his name into a computer and found his details on a memorial website.
"I just said 'my God, my baby's dead'," Mrs Eckersley told the BBC in December 2013.

Her heartbreaking story made headlines around the world and prompted some who had known Ken to share their memories and photographs with her.
"That's all I have," she said.
"I can never touch him. I can never hear his voice. The things that mothers always take for granted."

Ken was among 35 Syracuse University students who died on the flight home for Christmas after a term in London.
It was the 21st of December 1988 - two days after his 21st birthday


His birth mother has now travelled from her home in Portland, Oregon, to London, Edinburgh and Lockerbie to learn more about his life and his last moments.

In Portland, she met one of his best friends from high school, Mike Nicholas, who told her of Ken's love of jazz and Bruce Springsteen.
Mr Nicholas has named one of his children in Ken's memory.

In London, Mrs Eckersley met a photography lecturer, Ian Hessenberg, who remembers Ken as a "lovely cheeky boy" with a "very dry sense of humour".
She broke down in tears as he showed her where Ken had lived and studied in the last months of his life.
"I felt that he was right there with me and I was walking with him, not just where he had walked," she said.
"I felt him so strongly at one point, I thought I might pass out
."

In Edinburgh, she visited the castle to have her photograph taken on the same spot where her son posed for a picture shortly before his death.

The most emotional part of her journey was the time she spent in Lockerbie.
"I have knots in my stomach," she said as she travelled to the town by train.

Asked why she was putting herself through such a painful experience, she said: "He had a short life. I want to find out as much about those 21 years as I can.
"So how can I not do this?"

In Lockerbie, a local police officer, who was called out on the night of the disaster, became her guide.
Colin Dorrance took her to the major crash sites including Tundergarth, where the jumbo jet's nose cone came down and Rosebank Crescent where her son fell.
As she peered into the garden where Ken's body was found, a large aeroplane flew overhead.
Mrs Eckersley looked up at the sky and said: "It's so damned far to fall."


In the Lockerbie remembrance garden, laying flowers for the child she never got the chance to know, the enormity of the tragedy overwhelmed her.
"All the horror and the sorrow just kind of all came together," she said.
"At one point I thought 'I just want to wail and wail and not stop'. But I was afraid I would not be able to stop."

There are parallels with the story of Philomena Lee whose search for the son she lost to adoption was made into a film starring Dame Judi Dench.
Unlike Carol King Eckersley, Philomena had no choice in the adoption of her son.
But both women traced their boys on the internet only to discover they were dead.

"Even though the treatment of the person can be different, the emotions are the same," Mrs Eckersley said.
"The deep longing for your child is the same."

Ken Bissett's mum is almost certainly the last person in the world to learn of a loved one lost at Lockerbie.
More than 25 years after his death, she is still in the early stages of grieving for him.
"I gave Ken an adoption for what I thought were all the best reasons," Mrs Eckersley said.
"So he would have a home with a mother and a father who loved each other and could love him.

"But I didn't know what it was going to do to me and how it would affect me for the rest of my life," she said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-28817552
 

rynner2

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23 January 2015 Last updated at 01:06



Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi case goes back to court


Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted since the bombing

A High Court judge is to be asked if members of the families of some of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing can launch an appeal on behalf of the only man convicted of the atrocity.
It is the latest attempt by the relatives to bring the case back to court.

BBC Scotland Home Affairs Correspondent Reevel Alderson said it could be the start of a protracted legal battle.
The families want the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi overturned.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) wants the court to rule whether it is allowed to investigate the Lockerbie case again, on behalf of members of victims' families.

Al-Megrahi died three years ago, having abandoned his own second appeal brought by the SCCRC.
The application will be contested by the Crown Office, and it is likely a formal hearing will be arranged later for full-scale legal arguments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-30945057
 

rynner2

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Two new Lockerbie bombing suspects identified

Scottish prosecutors want to interview two Libyans they have identified as new suspects over the Lockerbie bombing.
They believe the two suspects were involved, along with Abdelbaset al-Megrahi - the only person to have been convicted of the 1988 atrocity.
A total of 270 people died in the bombing.

Megrahi was released in 2009 on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in 2012, protesting his innocence.

Scotland's Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC recently met the US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in Washington to review progress made in the ongoing investigation.
They have now requested permission from the Libyan authorities for Scottish police and the FBI to interview the two named suspects in Tripoli.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The Lord Advocate and the US Attorney General have recently agreed that there is a proper basis in law in Scotland and the United States to entitle Scottish and US investigators to treat two Libyans as suspects in the continuing investigation into the bombing of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.
"The Lord Advocate has today, therefore, issued an International Letter of Request to the Libyan attorney general in Tripoli which identifies the two Libyans as suspects in the bombing of flight Pan Am 103.

"The Lord Advocate and the US Attorney General are seeking the assistance of the Libyan judicial authorities for Scottish police officers and the FBI to interview the two named suspects in Tripoli.
"The two individuals are suspected of involvement, along with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, in the bombing of flight Pan Am 103 in December 1988 and the murder of 270 people."

A number of alleged new suspects were named last month by American TV, including a brother-in-law of former Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34543983

Here we go again...
 

Heckler

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<Opens Libyan phone book>

"Our suspects are Aaron A Aardvark and" <Flicks to end> "Zebedee Z. Zzapper"

I mean when was this intelligence gathered and why are we hearing of it just now?
 

ramonmercado

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Thatcher banned Lockerbie inquiry

Today's release of Thatcher cabinet papers from 1988/89 contains a sinister footnote to the Lockerbie story.

Pan Am 103 was blown from the skies over the Scottish town of Lockerbie just after 7 pm on the evening of the 21st December 1988. Within hours US FBI teams arrived in Lockerbie to "assist" the Dumfries and Galloway police force.

Phone lines between the White House, the US embassy in London, and the offices of MI6 were running hot. The US ambassador to the UK had been kept informed. The secret US Navy base at Macrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre had been alerted and at dawn a surveillance helicopter would be scrambled.

At 9.30 on the morning of the 22nd December Thatcher and her cabinet met to decide what to do. Information about the tragedy had flooded into Downing Street from 8 pm the previous evening. Thatcher and entourage would fly to Scotland later that morning to survey the devastation.
At the cabinet table was head of MI6 Sir Christopher Curwen. He reported that US intelligence had instructed that on no account was there to be any form of public inquiry. His advice was supported by British Secretary of State for Transport Paul Channon.

http://www.lockerbietruth.com/2016/02/thatcher-banned-lockerbie-inquiry.html
 

EnolaGaia

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A new twist in the Lockerbie saga ... The US Justice Department is reported as being poised to unseal new charges against a Libyan man.
Lockerbie bombing: New suspect soon to be charged - US media

The US is due to unseal charges against a Libyan man suspected of making the bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, US media say.

They say US prosecutors will soon seek the extradition of Abu Agila Mohammad Masud to stand trial in the US.

He is currently being held in Libya, according to the Wall Street Journal. This has not been confirmed by the Libyan authorities. ...

The US Department of Justice is expected to unseal a criminal complaint against Mr Masud in the coming days, the Wall Street Journal is reporting quoting senior department officials. ...

Neither the US justice department nor the Libyan authorities have publicly commented on the issue. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55337459
 
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