Rewards and Bribery

1 October 2010

This is the title over an excellent new post by "Rolfe" at the JREf forum. It covers some of the issues in my own post Rewards for Injustice, but goes beyond that with new information and thoughts in quite a sharp package.

The post, with slight edits, is as follows:
There's been more stuff today about the matter of the bribery of witnesses by the US Department of Justice in the Lockerbie case. [...] How comfortable are those who believe in Megrahi's guilt with the amount of bribery that was going on?

Rewards for information are a recognised part of crimefighting. They're often aimed at people in the underworld themselves, or on the fringes of it. If people with that sort of inside knowledge see more benefit to themselves from turning "grass" than from their criminal activities, they may squeal.

That sort of information has to be taken with a huge health warning of course. Petty jealousies and feuds may easily lead criminals to invent false allegations against their colleagues. So it has to check out. Give us the information, yes, but be prepared for it to be scrutinised and verified and corroborated before you'll see a penny.

Ordinary members of the public might get such a reward too, but what for? Not for simply telling the truth about what they know after the police have approached them about a matter. In that case, you'll be lucky to get your bus fare to court and a limp sandwich for lunch. These rewards are for crucial information the police hadn't found out for themselves, and which leads on to the Big Breakthrough.

And again it has to be corroborated and verified. Nobody gets millions of dollars or pounds for simply making stuff up to suit what the police want them to say.

Or do they? What really happened in the Lockerbie case?

Regarding the Gauci brothers, it's a matter of public record that they eventually received (probably more than) $3 million. This is not in respect of approaching the police with any new or valuable information, but simply for giving an account of a clothes purchase Tony recalled, after the police had identified them as the vendors of the clothes by independent means.

It has been hotly denied that this was ever promised in advance, and indeed there was probably no actual promise. However the documents now available show a lot of evidence that Paul in particular was very much interested in receiving money for giving evidence, and that heavy hints were dropped. Start at page 90 of the pdf, page no. 149 of the document. A couple of extracts.

on 28th September 1989 the FBI discussed with the Scottish Police an offer of unlimited money to Tony Gauci, with $10,000 being available immediately.

And later, in relation to a luxury holiday in Scotland that was given to Tony and his father in 1991.

He wondered how he would explain the cost of such a trip. He was told [by Godfrey Scicluna] to suggest the National Lotto as having won a prize!

How is this possibly be justifiable, if the only interest is in ensuring the witness gives as accurate an account of what he saw as possible?

And Tony wasn't the only one having hints about large sums of money dangled in front of him. At Zeist, Fhimah's business partner Vincent Vassallo gave evidence. He knew Fhimah very well, but only met Megrahi on 20th December 1988. He was pressed on a number of matters, including whether either of them had a bronze Samsonite suitcase with them that day. If he had chosen, he could have "remembered" stuff that would have been highly incriminating. Here's part of the transcript.
Q Mr. Vassallo, do you recollect that in April 1991 you were approached by a number of police officers at Luqa Airport in Malta?
A Yes.
Q And in particular, a number of Scottish police officers, including a Mr. Bell?
A Yes.
Q And do you recollect being interviewed by those police officers at Luqa Airport on 18th April 1991? [7642]
A I do not remember the exact date, but that they had met me the first time at Luqa Airport, I do remember.
Q And do you recollect them discussing Lamen Fhimah when they interviewed you?
A Yes.
Q And do you recollect them referring to Mr. Baset [Megrahi] when they interviewed you?
A I don't remember.
Q Do you recollect if the subject of a reward or money was raised with you?
A What I remember is that when they came to my office, Harry Bell asked me -- he said "Try and remember well. You know there is a large reward, and if you wish to have more money, perhaps go abroad somewhere, you can do so."
I am not saying, to be clear, that Harry Bell was offering me something. He was simply telling me what the conditions were; that for information that I might be able to give, there is a large reward. And I also read it, and I also heard it on the news.
To be clear, he didn't say "Here, this is the money," to give the wrong interpretation. He only said "There is a reward, and if you for any reason wish to be more relaxed with money, we would not find any [7643] difficulty, even if you do not wish to give us information here"; that is, in Malta.

Oh sure, this isn't a policeman offering a bribe to a witness to invent incriminating evidence against a suspect. Of course it is. If Vassallo had been greedy enough, and clever enough to take the hints he was offered about what sort of things the police would like him to "remember", he could have joined the Gaucis in Australia and never worked again.

And then there was Giaka. There's tons about that in the records. I'll post Paul Foot's version of it, which I think is accurate.
It was obviously important for Giaka to impress his CIA contacts. He depended on them for money – he got a thousand dollars a month rising to $1500. The CIA showered him with gifts of clothing and radio sets, and even arranged for sham surgery to his arm. [To avoid conscription into the Libyan army.] But in spite of this largesse the CIA handlers in Malta got increasingly fed up with Giaka’s prevarications, and started to conclude he was not worth the money. By December 1990, their cables decribed Giaka as “desperate”. Somehow he managed to keep the CIA’s confidence all through the Gulf War but by July 1991 his situation seemed to be even worse.
The CIA contacted him in Libya, and he returned to Malta to meet them. He was told that a meeting had been set up with officials from the US Department of Justice, and that his future depended on what he disclosed at that meeting. Almost at once he started to barter with his handlers, only to be met with a threat that unless he could come up with something about his former colleagues in the JSO [Megrahi and Fhimah] that might incriminate them in the Lockerbie bombing, he would be abandoned in Malta and cut off without a penny.

Not a single statement about having any information about Lockerbie until 1991, despite much questioning. Then when he's threatened with loss of his income (not even getting his fare back to Tripoli) if he doesn't come up with something, he "remembers" a bunch of fairy-tales.

Transcripts, via Paul Foot:
[William Taylor, QC for Megrahi] “You see the documents speak for themselves. They build up to a crescendo as I’ve described. It’s not me that is doing it. It’s the documents that are doing it. And lo and behold the deafening silence (about Lockerbie) ends the very next day, when you come up with a brown Samsonite suitcase and this rubbish about Customs. The very next day is the first mention by you, Giaka, of these matters. What do you have to say about that?”
Giaka could only stammer: “When I met with the representatives of the Department of Justice, they are very good investigators, and they can distinguish truth from lies. One way or another, they can obtain what they want.”

Giaka was immmediately, that very day, spirited out of Malta and en route for the USA where he was given a luxurious new life in the witness protection programme.

Giaka's evidence was actually the main basis of the indictments issued later that year. Tony's tentative "well he looks a bit like the purchaser" would never have been enough. It was entirely down to Giaka that Megrahi and Fhimah were charged at all. And we must remember what happened after that. Libya tried to adhere to the terms of the international convention whereby their own nationals were entitled to be tried in their own courts. The USA refused to hand over the evidence Libya would have needed to try them, and insisted on the accused being handed over instead. Stalemate, the result of which was a 10-year international blockade of Libya, keeping out essential goods and medical supplies, and resulting in thousands of preventable deaths.

All because of Giaka, and the evidence given under the circumstances outlined above.

And then, in court, the prosecution fought tooth and nail to conceal from the defence the evidence showing that Giaka had just made it all up for money - up to the point where the Lord Advocate blatantly lied to the court.

Is any of this something people are comfortable with? Note, it's not "I have a new lead that will lead you to the Lockerbie bombers". It's bare-faced solicitation to witnesses to invent details such as the possession of a brown Samsonite suitcase, that will implicate the suspects the police have already decided they want to charge.
I ask again, is anyone comfortable with this?



ebol said...

MISSION LOCKERBIE, Apology at present only in "Babylon English"

For the Scottish Parliament

Newest realizations of MEBO over manipulated "Fakts" and manipulated "Proofs" in the context with the 6 points, mentioned in the documents of the Scottish Criminal Cases Reappeal Commission (SCCRC) which offer the possibility one "Misscariage of Justice", calls an urgent criminal investigation in the Lockerbie-Affair !

Summary of the most important manipulated "Proofs" and of maipulated "Facts Ware": Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi and Libya can have therefore with the PanAm 103 attack nothing to do.

Forbidden take into possession of a MST-13 prototype Circuit board by an Official of the Swiss Federal Police (BUPO) with MEBO Ltd. on 22nd June 1989 and passing on at Scottish police and/or at FBI, allegedly for an investigation in the case of PanAm 103.

Manipulated MST-13 Timer fragments (PT/35, PT/35B, DP/31(a)
by officials of (RARDE) UK and expert Tom Thurman FBI,
around Libya and Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi to entangle into the Lockerbie-tragedy.

Scottish Police Label no.168, PI 995 (PI-95), a further evidence was tampered with to implicate Libya in the PanAm-103 bomb plot:

The Police-Label with the manipulated designation PI-995 was misused by Dr. Hayes in his falsified and additionally added EXAMINATION page no. 51!
Suspicious, the altered police label no.168 (PI/995) was signed first by 2, later additional 5, total 7 officials !
(Lord Advocate Fraser's order was that police labels must by signed by 2 officials) !

CRUCIAL: Additional date change on police label DP-137 of Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary. (change from 10th September 1990 to 15th Sept. 1989)

4.) On the feeder flight PA-103/B from Frankfurt to London Heathrow additionally 3 pieces unknown unaccompanied inter-line luggage items were loaded from Kuwait, flight LH-631 into
According to passenger list only 3 passengers had each 3 luggage items. It however 4 times of 3 luggage items on PA-103/B was loaded !
(B-4809/B-6001/B-7418, these 3 luggage items did not belong to passenger No.143, T. Walker) !

Since August 1990, definitely a wrong date was created (7th of December, 1988) in order to accuse deliberately the libyan official Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi as the buyer of the cloths in "Mary's House".
A further proof from MEBO that the alleged sale of dresses in Anhony Gauci "Mary's House" took undoubtedly place on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988 by a unknown buyer.

continuation down >>>

ebol said...

continuation MISSION LOCKERBIE >>>

Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi was not in Malta on Wednesday, 23th of November 1988, thus Mr. Megrahi is definetely not the buyer of the dresses !
Tony Gauci told Bollier on 25.01.2008 in Malta, that the 2 pieces of pyjamas, label "John Mallia", were the last two pyjamas he had sold to a Libyan in his shop. On the other day, the 24th of November 1988, Gauci by phon ordered at the company "John Mallia" additionally 8 pieces of the same pyjamas.
The 8 pyjamas were delivered on the 25th of November 1988 with the calculation/ delivery note, dated 25th of November 1988 to Gauci' s Mary' s House at Sliema Malta. Prod. 477-1.

The day after Wednesday, December 7, December 8, 1988 was an official public holiday (Immaculate Conception Day) and the "John Mallia" company was closed. But the day after November 23, November 24, 1988 was not an official public holiday, the company "John Mallia" was open.

What really happened in the Lockerbie case regarding the Gauci brothers, it's a matter of public record that they eventually received (probably more than) $3 million for incorrect testify at the court in Kamp van Zeist.
Extract from DCI Bell Diary (HOLMES version) (28/9/1989) [SCCRC Appendix: chapter 23/3] which indicates that on 28th September 1989 the FBI discussed with the Scottish Police an offer of unlimited money to Tony Gauci, with $10,000 being available immediately.

Further Letter re Application for Reward (19/4/2002, SCCRC). -
$ 2mio for witness no. 595, Tony Gauci and $ 1mio for witness no. 598, Paul Gauci...
continuation down >>>

ebol said...

continuation MISSION LOCKERBIE >>>

There could not be a luggage transfer from AirMalta KM-180 onto PanAm 103 into Frankfurt and London Heathrow.
The doubtful proof foundation of the alleged "Bomb-Bag' (B-8849)transfer, AirMalta flight KM-180 into PanAm flight PA-103/B at Airport Frankfurt / Germany is today enlightened.

The Tray B-8849 came from Berlin with flight PA-643 and belonged to passenger no. 131, Misses W. Wagenführ; coded in Frankfurt via counter V3-206, code S-0009+Z1307); (Prod. 1089, PTM-telex from PanAm company, after offbloc PA-643, 11:26 hour in Berlin, text: from flight PA-643 > to PA 103B/21-LHRO/0/1/ B1 > (1 passenger+1 bag > B1) police reference DW 125;

No doubt's it is wrong, Al-Megrahi cannot smuggled in a bag on AirMalta KM-180, on 21 Dec.1988 !
The Bag (B-8849, from Ms. Wagenführ) was checking out at London Heathrow.

by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland
please visit also our webpage:

Caustic Logic said...

I have a general policy at this site of quarantining spam comments that are usually of a narrow and flawed perspective that will be posted everywhere if you let it. But Bollier, prolific as he is, is in a special category. His comments are more general, often topical, at least half-readable, and he's just got a historical legitimacy relative to the case that won't let me box him in.

But this string of three comments on a post I was hoping for varied comments on pushes it enough I must get some revenge. For a big part of that historic role Bollier has played, see The Mebo Files

The specific points he makes above are mostly good, but as I see it, he's still got a long way to go to break even with his Libyan friends.

Rolfe said...

Sure, it's annoying. I notice how often Edwin comes in with the first comment on one of Robert Black's blog posts. Often he just puts the same comment on the most recent three or four posts. Sometimes they're relevant, sometimes they really aren't. I think it often puts other posters off commenting.

Unfortunately you can only "ignore" them a post at a time.

I don't understand why he doesn't post in clear English. Most Swiss speak and write passable-to-excellent English, and I'm quite sure someone with Edwin's varied, colourful and cosmopolitan background is in that category.

Caustic Logic said...

Thanks, Rolfe.I don't want to chase people off, but they shouldn't be that flaky. I figure a little context ater an Ebolmissive after might help.

IIt's entirely possible someone like Edwin could getthrough years of business and whatever exactly he does without learning much English. But actually it's not bad, when he just writes in it - better than my German. I've wondered if it's some schtick,but I suppose it's a huge hassle, and long posts with many words he doesn't know the translation for Babylon is a lot easier.

On the topic at hand - which Edwin's been most on, so far -I finally removed all irrelevant and personal info, and fixed the one typo that spell-check didn't get.Activites is a real word? Any other edits, just let me know.

Some info in there I hadn't found myself yet. Thanks for the Giaka tidbits. I didn't know that he actually went back to Libya, just that he was threatened with it. Some repressive police state if he can just take a one way trip back to Malta and run off with the FBI, and fetch his wife later.

FWIW, that's one guy that, in retrospect, really should have been suppressed a bit more.

Rolfe said...

It's entirely possible someone like Edwin could get through years of business and whatever exactly he does without learning much English.


You're kidding, right?

Caustic Logic said...

Well the main point is what I followed with - I think it could be a hassle issue. I'd be tempted to write it all out in English and translate the whole, rather than write it myself, trying to remember sentence structure differences, and translating each less-used word as it comes up.

But I'm wondering if I should quarantine Bollier as too big a distraction. Perhaps require dropping the form-letter feel and all use of "can have therefore with the PanAm 103 attack nothing to do." Maybe an exclamation mark exclusion!!

I'll think about that... probably not.

ebol said...

To hand of the Consolidation Gaustic Logic & Rolfe:

Sie haben ja recht, meine Sprachkenntnisse in English, Französisch, Arabisch und Farsi (Persisch) sind vermutlich entsetzlich (learning through doing).
Ich hoffe, dass es in der "Consolidation G.L.R & Co" Personen gibt, welche mein "scrambled English" enziffern können ?

Ich kann Sie aber mindestens damit beruhigen, dass alle Statements im Lockerbie-Fall, bei den Untersuchungsbehörden, durch einen professionellen Übersetzer in english erstellt wurden.
Die meisten Artikel auf den "Lockerbie-Blocs" sind seit Jahren immerzu Wiederholungen in "anderen Kleidern", darum finde ich es gut, dass mindestens hie und da neue wahre Fakts in den, für Kommentare reservierten Spalten, einfliessen...

Nicht vergessen: MEBO hat nachweislich die wichtigsten Entlastungsbeweise für Libyen und Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi eingebracht !
Hätte ich, Edwin Bollier, damals die Offerte über up to US$ 4mio, von FBI Task Force Chief Richard Marquise, Anfang 1991 in Washington angenommen, wären nicht alle kriminellen Fakts an den Tag gekommen und es hätte höchstwahrscheinlich kein Reappeal zugunsten Al-Megrahi gegeben.

Es wird von MEBO keine Ruhe geben, bis rechtsgültig feststeht:

1.) dass das MST-13 Timerfragment (PT/35) eine Manipulation war;

2.) dass ein Transfer eines "Bomb-Bag" von AirMalta KM-180 auf
PanAm PA-103/B, in Frankfurt aus nachweislichen Gründen nicht
stattfinden konnte;

3.) dass der angebliche Kleider Verkauf bei Toni Gauci nachweislich nur am 23.November 1988 (nicht am 7.Dez) abgewickelt werden konnte;

4.) dass der Besuch von Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, alias "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad" zwischen 20.-21. Dezember 1988 in Malta, nichts mit dem PanAm 103 Anschlag zutun hatte;

5.) dass das PanAm 103 Attentat als "Mission Amsterdam"
nachweislich für eine Verschwörung gegen den Libyschen Leader Gaddafi benützt wurde;

6.) dass durch die "Mission Lockerbie" es sich bestätigt, dass Libyen und Mr. Al-Megrahi mit der Lockerbie-Tragödie nichts zutun
haben konnten.

by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

FullInquiry said...

Good stuff Rolfe and Caustic.

It's a shame Edwin can't more coherently state what he has to say. He's clearly done some investigating but hasn't clearly communicated what the results of his investigations were.

For a guy that spends a lot of time trying to put his message out its a shame his message is not getting out at all.

FullInquiry said...

Rolfe: Presumably you live in Scotland? Why don't you organize a get-together of interested persons seeking the truth to take place in Lockerbie? I'd come and I'm pretty sure Adam would go (I'll put up his airfare if necessary). I bet it would grow to be a good event.

You could perhaps invite Edwin and Mr. Marquise, and of course Mssrs. Megrahi and Fhimah should be welcomed as special guests if they cared to attend.

With luck Dr. Swire and Prof. Black might come - I for one would be honoured to shake their hands.

Throw in some invites to Scottish journalists so some publicity could arise from it and some good could also come of it.

Perhaps Caustic could start a sign-up list on his website to gauge interest?

ebol said...

Attn. FullInquiry

Good idea I would participate immediately.

Caustic Logic said...

FullInquiry: That's an ambitious and awesome idea.

I don't think Megrahi is in any state to travel for both medical and legal reasons, and I doubt he or Fhimah are eager to set foot in Scotland again. I would seriously doubt that, in fact. But they'd probably be willing to send personal messages to be read out, if approached by someone about the gathering.

But Rolfe should have no problem getting there, nor Swire or Black, depending. Mr. Raeburn, Ian Ferguson, Christine Grahame, ordinary citizens, crazed right-wingers with guns... no, not them.

I don't know what it would achieve, how best to do it, etc. I think I will post a something on the general idea and solicit comments. Maybe you could send me a more detailed rendering of what you're thinking and why to put in that post? Or I could just copy the comment above.


Rolfe said...

Hmmmm. You'd need an experienced convention organising committee for something like that. And about two years. You'd also have to do it in one of the big cities, or at least somewhere decently far enough away from a very small town still struggling to be normal again.

You'd also need an aim. What would be the point? We can all discuss on the internet perfectly well. I can even understand Edwin when he writes in normal German.

Do we just want a social meeting? If so, that's a whole different ball game, but something to restrict to posters who already interact, and probably not more than half a dozen. Nobody in their right mind wold travel a long distance for that, really. (Though I have to say Buncrana and I had a very pleasant afternoon in Edinburgh a month ago.)

Something to get genuine publicity, that would be covered by the media? How not to be dismissed as a bunch of cranks? I'm not sure that's possible.

An actual conference on Lockerbie, with people giving papers on various matters, going into particular aspects of the case in detail, writing it up for publication in a proceedings collection? Yes, would be great. If we genuinely had people at expert enough level to do it.

I don't think we have. I'm still making embarrassing mistakes and missing points that are clearly accessible in the public domain if only one knows where to look. We could try to parcel out the subject, but actually, I don't think we're good enough.

And I'm sure as hell not organising anything more than a chatty night out.

Caustic Logic said...

Great thoughts, Rolfe. A gathering of the minds doesn't even have to happen in person and can be arranged easier. A non-corporeal symposium/conference thing, with no binding powers but something with a committee that issues an opinion after reading up, and issues a report. That's something I've thought about.

I think this all deserves a post , today or tonight, and I'll copy over the relevant comments. Any problem with these all going in the post body?

Anonymous said...

Here's my 2 cents on Agent Toblerone - unsolicited, I know. He made timers for time bombs for money - note: not useful things like Swiss army knives. So this guy will do ANYTHING for money. Need I say any more? There's not many people you can comprehensively say that about unchallenged, except arms dealers. He escaped by the skin of his teeth being indicted at Zeist. Why? Maybe because he was more useful being turned as a Crown witness, but that didn't pan out as planned. Yet, there is something about his on-going strategy that attempts to portray him as the helpful misunderstood 'victim' when he is probably more culpable than poor Megrahi who saw none of this coming and whose only crime was to be involved in a bit of sanctions busting. If you want to close down speculation on a forum which forensically examines everyone and everything and may eventually examine 'yourself', then join that forum! Was an altitude triggered bomb required at the La Belle Discothèque atrocity? No...ergo.

Rolfe said...

Given that I don't think an MST-13 timer was ever part of the Lockerbie bomb, I think any indictment of Edwin would have been as unjust as the indictment of Megrahi and Fhimah.

And while I hear your remarks about the arms trade, the fact is that the manufacturers of the weapons are not generally held responsible for what is done with the weapons.

Caustic Logic said...

I've always found that "considered charging as a conspirator" part just weird. What does it really say that one was almost implicated in a fictional plot?

It almost seems the crown wanted to use some of his bogus info that he offered against Libya, and lent it an air of import by calling his "knowledge" OF the plot. So naturally, one has to wonder... but no, they didn't follow up. It was just considered, and then pursued at trial enough to be noticed and called out and admitted.

Interesting comments, anon. That last couple sentences read sort of cryptic to me. Does a discotheque ever leave the ground?

BenSix said...

Why don't you organize a get-together of interested persons seeking the truth to take place in Lockerbie?

Hold it in Glencoe and I'll come. Expose the cover-up and take a few nice rambles!

A conference isn't entirely beyond the realms of chance. Some folk have done research that could be classed as scholarly: Dr Wyatt, perhaps. Dr Valentine on IDs. God, it's easy to talk when you wouldn't have to organise it, though...

FullInquiry said...

I've got no problem with your posting the comments.

I hadn't thought through my suggestion, it was more of an idea to see if there was interest.

I realize Abdelbasset and Lamin would probably not come of course, but they would need to be invited, and who knows?