Star Witness Giaka

(incomplete - last edit 9 Nov 2010)

Basics and Prosecution Case
It seems the first faint outlines of the Megrahi/Fhimah plot "proven" at Camp Zeist was first sketched out by Libyan defector turned CIA/FBI informant/fabricator. Named Abdul Majid Giaka, he had first made contact with the CIA a few months before Lockerbie, and soon proved useful in pinning the blame on Libya. Giaka entered DoJ witness protection in mid-1991, and his evidence given to a grand jury a few months later sealed the deal for an indictment in mid-November, leading to UN sanctions, more sanctions, and later the Camp Zeist trial and Libya's "admission of responsibility."

There are plenty other sources out there on Giaka, but one of my own can be read here:
A Three-Year Test Drive, Parked 8 Years, and then a High-Speed Crash, pt 1 A detailed article I wrote in January, chronicling his emergence from a CIA informant to FBI witness.
I still haven't done part 2, which would cover his credibility being thrashed at trial in 2000. His own late-appearing fantastical stories and the CIA's embarrasing revealed admissions that they didn't trust him either both contributed to this. Nearly all his testimony was discarded, aside from his identifying Megrahi as an agent of Libya's JSO intelligence agency. The reason given for dismissing the "star witness" are essentially as follows:
"It is also in our view clear that whatever may have been his original reason for defection, his continued association with the American authorities was largely motivated by financial considerations. […] Information provided by a paid informer is always open to the criticism that it may be invented in order to justify payment, and in our view this is a case where such criticism is more than usually justified." [para 42]
And yet they seem to accept he was doing the inventing all on his own, or that no one else on the prosecution side had the same thought and just naively assumed his info was genuine. The judges seem to take in good faith that the Crown and its associates were not farming Giaka for framing Megrahi, and that no "Contempt of Court" had occurred in this probable con operation. The Judges' decision then considered the following evidence of most importance.

- They didn't even know about his $2 million payment from the Department of Justice, covered, along with payments to the Gaucis, in the post Rewards for Injustice, and covered better yet by "Rolfe" in the post Rewards and Bribery.

- The CIA's central role in framing al Megrahi centers on their use of Giaka, an issue explored in the essay "As the layers are peeled away..." The context there is former CIA personnell urging a "narrow" inquiry into Megrahi's release - nothing earlier than that should be looked at at all.

- A further unusual post collects the responses of many to Richard Marquise's lame insistence, in 2010, that Giaka was telling the truth.


FullInquiry said...

The CIA only revealed that they didn't trust Giaka after trying to hide that fact from the Court by redacting portions of the CIA cables between the US embassy in Malta and CIA HQ.

Excuses were given that the redacted (blacked out) portions of the CIA cables discussing Giaka were sensitive to the security of the US, thus they should not be shown to the Court in Zeist.

The prosecutor even assured the Court that the redacted sections of the cables did not go to the witness Giaka's credibility.

As it turned out the redacted sections pretty much totally went to his credibility - and he ended up with none.

And UN Sanctions against Libya were imposed many years earlier on the strength of what Giaka was to eventually testify about and the Court was to reject on the basis that Giaka was not credible.

The sanctions were not credible either.

Caustic Logic said...

Thanks for that. I didn't go as much into the cables here, but indeed, they cited the usual "sources and methods" excuse to not reveal what was redacted. And they were right - the black sections showed their methods for obtaining sources: exploit dishonesty. The Crown's complicity, and the judges' failure to wonder what else might be a lie are both quite troubling.