23 August 2010
Note 23 August: This post was originally put up months ago but left undated and incomplete. Previously it had a bunch of incomplete, semi-organized text, which I've copied into a word doc to sort out better and update. I will split this into a few sub-posts that I'll link to here when they're up.
Breifly, Mohammed Abu Talb is an Egyptian-born struggler/terrorist with a long rap sheet of fighting and bombings. He claims he foreswore violence and fled from the fray to Sweden with his wife in the early 1980s, and opened a store. But he was jailed there in May 1989, on suspicion of a mini-string of pointless terror bombings in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1985 that killed, I believe, one. By the time he was convicted for his part in these - on December 21 1989 - he was also widely suspected of involvement in the the Pan Am 103 bombing exactly one year earlier, and he was soon named as the primary suspect.
Abu Talb wound up being exonerated for the Lockerbie incident, but found guilty of the other bombings, and like Megrahi protests his innocence of all charges. He was later called as a prosecution witness, apparently to clear him of suspicion. To read the Zeist judges' summation, he deserved it. However, and again like Megrahi, Mr. Abu Talb does have a body of circumstantial clues, assembled back when he was the prime suspect.
Most recently, on Saturday (20 August 2010), Swedish authorities for the first time acknowledged that Abu Talb had been freed from custody and had slipped from view and the reach of investigators. The allegation of just that was first aired by the obviously well-connected Scottish Law magazine/site The Firm almost a year ago.
The Firm understands Talb was quietly released in early September, only weeks after Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was released from jail in Scotland and returned to Libya.
As noted by Lucy Adams (first link above) in the Herald (Scotland):
The Herald has previously revealed that Talb could be tried if Megrahi were to be formally cleared. An appeal against Megrahi’s conviction could still be mounted even after the death of the Libyan, who is terminally ill with prostate cancer.This apparent, possible, contingency planning is highly interesting, and sure to attract more scrutiny in the coming days. Therefore I'll seek to quickly bring what I can into a more organized discussion.
Abu Talb and Tony Gauci
Abu Talb: Practice Megrahi?