Abdusamad on Malta

"The Biggest Lie" They Could Find
8 November 2010
last edits 14 Nov

It's no longer a secret that "Lockerbie bomber" Abdelbaset Ali al Megrahi was on the island nation of Malta on 20 and 21 December, 1988. But his passing through Luqa airport there on the morning of the bombing of Pan Am 103 was a secret at the time, since he was traveling under a false identity created by the Libyan government - Ahmed Khlaifa Abdusamad. (see passport below).

We can thus presume that Megrahi was on a secret mission of some sort, on behalf of Tripoli, and likely something illegal. No one can be certain just what his mission was, and there's been to this day no satisfactory explanation from the Libyan side.

It's not sure just who first learned that Abdusamad and Megrahi were the same person, nor when this happened. But if it was found out early enough, and by the CIA, it could well have been the deciding factor to drag the Libyan into the spotlight of suspicion, his hated nation training behind.

In their 2001 Opinion of the Court accompanying Megrahi's conviction, the Zeist judges explain the false identity's origin and early use:
On 15 June 1987 the first accused was issued with a passport with an expiry date of 14 June 1991 by the Libyan passport authority at the request of the ESO who supplied the details to be included. The name on the passport was Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad. Such a passport was known as a coded passport.  There was no evidence as to why this passport was issued to him. It was used by the first accused on a visit to Nigeria in August 1987, returning to Tripoli via Zurich and Malta, travelling at least between Zurich and Tripoli on the same flights as Nassr Ashur who was also travelling on a coded passport. It was also used during 1987 for visits to Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus.  [paragraph 87]
The earlier indictments of Megrahi and Fhimah, issued November 1991, gave different uses of the identity. On 22 August, 1987, "Abdusamad" flew from Zurich to Malta, stayed at the Holiday Inn there, and returned to Tripoli the next day. This trip was made "along with the said Nassr Ashur, who was then using a passport in the false name and using the false identity of Nassr Ahmed Salem." [points (e) (m)]

And then after a long break, he went out as Abdusamad only once in 1988 - on 20 December, when he flew with Fhimah from Tripoli to Malta, and again the next morning for the return trip, this time with Mohammed Abouagela Masud. [point (p)] The Zesit judges agreed that "the only use of this passport in 1988 was for an overnight visit to Malta on 20/21 December, and it was never used again." [para 87]

A supposedly key piece of evidence for Megrahi's guilt occurred only some days after the 14 November public announcement of the indictments. In a November 1991 interview with Pierre Salinger (I can't pin down the date), Megrahi denied being Abdusamad or being on Malta the day of the bombing. This was presented, for one, in the recent STV documentary Lockerbie Bomber: Sent Home To Die [23:18]
"You accuse me falsely. ... On 20 December and 21, at that time I wasn't there. Believe me, I was here in Tripoli with my family."
The editors had FBI lead investigator Richard Marquise follow the clip by saying "I realize that being a liar doesn't make you a terrorist murderer. But I think, again, it adds credibility to all the other factors that we led up to at that point." And Marquise is quick to offer up this lie, as one of his two or three points, nearly every chance he gets. This repeat play is itself a sign that he knows "all the other factors" need all the help they can get. At least once, he's called this "the biggest lie" the Libyan had told.
Megrahi denied being a member of the Libyan Intelligence Service; he did not know Abdusamad; and he did not know MEBO. All were proven at trial to be lies. However, his biggest lie was his claim that on December 20-21 he had not been in Malta: "I was here in Tripoli with my family believe me." Why should anyone believe any of his claims today after his lies in 1991? [source]
This early repudiation has been a verbal rope used by Marquise and many others, time and again over the years, to tie Megrahi to the bombing. In retrospect, he should probably have come clean as much as possible, but bare days after the shocking announcement, and revelation of his secret presence, that didn't happen. It seems cover-up won, at least for a moment. Perhaps it was reflexive on Megrahi's part, not grasping the reality of the charges against him, or a firm order from callous superiors despite Megrahi's own pleas. Either way, it was an unfortunate move on the part of the accused to say these words to a watching world, and one of the few things he actually did that contributed to his conviction.

The Zeist judges, considering in 2000 and 2001, referred to the 1991 interview in lieu of live testimony, which both accused declined to offer (they felt it was wiser to let the lawyers do the talking henceforth). Referring to the crucial visit, the judges mused:
It is possible to infer that this visit under a false name ... was a visit connected with the planting of the [explosive] device. Had there been any innocent explanation for this visit, obviously this inference could not be drawn. The only explanation that appeared in the evidence was contained in his interview with Mr Salinger, when he denied visiting Malta at that time and denied using the name Abdusamad or having had a passport in that name. Again, we do not accept his denial. [paragraph 88]
He was of course no longer denying his presence at the time, his representatives having surrendered to the Crown the passport with his photo and stamped 20 December, Malta. But Megrahi's, his counsel's, and his government's continued silence over this mission, presumably not bombing-related, allowed this inference that it was bombing-related to be possible (or does simple imagination do that? See comments below).

Besides pretending to genius status for rejecting a moot denial made to someone else a decade ago, the judges managed to bolster it with the other weak points to collectively sort-of-justify saying "guilty." An act of imagination, and otherwise it was down to the evidence that he actually was planning a bombing at the time.

And it's this class of clues, as Mr. Marquise likely knows, that needs some help. He called on the same imaginative reading of "Abdusamad" as support for the evidentiary case. But in reality there's much to suggest the oppposite - the hard evidence may have been planted and bribed into being in order to support the fabricated case against that suspicious-looking Megrahi and his false passport.


ebol said...

MISSION LOCKERBIE, Doc. no. 885.rtf
MEBO say: "The Biggest Lie of Al Megrahi was only Calculation" !
Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad on Malta:

1.) Initial position (source):
FBI Special Agent Richard A Marquise, Lockerbie Investigator say, Megrahi denied being a member of the Libyan Intelligence Service; he did not know Abdusamad; and he did not know the Swiss company MEBO Ltd. All were proven at trial to be lies. However, his biggest lie was his claim that on December 20-21 he had not been in Malta "I was here in Tripoli with my family believe me." Why should anyone believe any of his claims today after his lies in 1991?

2/a) MEBO say, in "Babylon english":
The lies of Al Megrahi was only calculated emergency lies to its protection that it could not be brought in connection with the bombing of PanAm 103, about its subversive visit in Malta.

Al Megrahi had fast realized that the Facts with its boss at that time, *Ibrahim Bishari (ESO) which ordered the subversive visite (20 - 21 Dec.1988) in Malta, was an ideal circumstantial evidence against him, Al Megrahi, for a alleged participation in the PanAm 103 assassination attempt.
* (Ibrahim Bishari (Muhammad). Al Megrahi was instructed by his boss Ibrahim Bishari to travel to Malta on December 20-21, 1988 for a subversive security order (not in connection with the bombing of PanAm 103).
On September 14, 1997 former foreign minister in Libya (1990-92), Ibrahim Bishari, died in a car crash in Egypt ...

2/b) in German language > MEBO sagt: Die Lügen von Al Megrahi waren nur kakulierte Notlügen zu seinem Schutz um zu verhindern, dass er durch den subversiven Besuch in Malta, nicht mit dem PanAm 103 Attentat in Verbindung gebracht werden konnte.

Al Megrahi hatte schnell realisiert, dass sein damaliger Chef, *Ibrahim Bishari (ESO) welcher ihn für den subversiven Auftrag (20.-21.Dez.1988) in Malta einsetzte, als Indizienbeweis gegen ihn, für eine Beteiligung am PanAm 103 Attentat ideal war.
NB: Der Besuch in Malta hatte nichts zu tun mit PanAm 103 !

3) No real evidence of any participation between Libya, Abdelbaset Al Megrahi with the Cruelty of PanAm 103 at Lockerbie.
All Scottish "Phantom Evidence" for the assignment of the responsibility in a future assassination attempt, for a conspiracy against Colonel Moammar Gaddafi, starting from February 1988 were already prepared.
Under conspiracy the attribute "Exercise Amsterdam" (Mission Amsterdam) became after the crash of PanAm 103 (21st Dec.1988) preparatory and later manipulated "Material" obviously as proof, against Libya and Al Megrahi, in the case of Lockerbie uses !

Persons involved on "Exercise Amsterdam" today well-known, but they have with the real attack on PanAm 103 nothing to do.
Also Mr. Al Megrahi and Libya do not have to do anything with the Lockerbie-Tragedy. Justice for Al Megrahi.

Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland
URL: www.lockerbie. ch

Rolfe said...

It seems a very weak point, to keep harping on that Megrahi went into "deny everything" mode when confronted by a journalist just after he'd been accused by Americans of a capital crime. It's an understandable reaction from anyone. It's not as if he was being interviewed by the police under caution after all, though the judges rather treated it as if he were.

And as you implied, it's quite possible Gadaffi actually ordered him to deny the Malta trip and the Abdusamad passport, and he'd have had no choice but to comply in that case. The interviews were heavily facilitated and overseen by the Libyan authorities anyway.

They were also edited. Not that there's any suggestion that Megrahi's denials were edited in, but an edited interview with a journalist is hardly admissible in evidence.

As to the identification of Megrahi's presence at the airport that day, I think myself that happened relatively late, and long after the general idea of laying the blame on Libya had been fixed on. That would seem to go back to about April 1989 (with prefigurings going back to only a week after the crash when Reagan seemed to want to blame Libya right out of the box). That's too early to be a result of the upcoming Gulf War (autumn 1990) or a response to knowledge of Megrahi's presence on Malta.

Consider. The investigation didn't even fix on Malta as the point of ingestion until September 1989. Even then, the idea was that the PFLP-GC might have been operating on the island. They spent some time trying to get Gauci to identify Abu Talb as the clothes purchaser.

They didn't shift to pushing Megrahi as a suspect until early 1991. If the whole Libya schtick was dreamed up with the object of implicating him, this would be extraordinary behaviour. There must have been a real chance they could have trained Gauci so well that he would have stuck to Talb, and never said anything incriminating about Megrahi. I think they didn't know about Megrahi until late 1990 at the earliest.

Ironically, in view of the above post, it seems to have been Edwin Bollier who drew the attention of the investigation to Megrahi's presence on Malta that morning. Or at least that's what Paul Foot says. "The fragment led to Bollier, and Bollier led, at last, to a real human suspect. He was asked about the Libyan intelligence agents identified by Giaka. Yes, he said, he knew Megrahi with whom he had done business. He had, in his dealings with Libya, some contact with Megrahi and had rented an office in Switzerland to a firm in which Megrahi was involved."

Well, that's not very definite, and doesn't place him in Malta that day, but it suggests the investigation was still up in the air about this in autumn 1990.

I think there was general desire that this should be a Libyan operation right from the start. This crystallised into a positive decision to seed the enquiry with evidence that would point to Libya as early as March or April 1989, after Bush took over the presidency. This wasn't so much a positive incrimination of Libya, but a means of turning the investigation away from the PFLP-GC and Frankfurt.

That evidence could just lie there at first, so long as nobody was getting warm. The Scots took so long to identify the timer fragment that it dragged on until the Gulf War was really on the horizon, but this may have been merely fortuitous. I think it was only late in 1990, when of course the Gulf War was right there, that it was realised there was a plausible Libyan suspect this could be pinned on.

This opinion is subject to change without notice.


Caustic Logic said...

Wow, thanks, guys!

Edwin: You use the english words "lies," "calculated," and "subversive." I agree only with the first one fully. Calculated, perhaps, but poorly, as we can see. And we just don't know if the mission was or wasn't "subversive." Just clandestine.

No idea what "exercise Amsterdam" is. And I disagree with the faulty evidence being "Scottish." Ft. Halstead is in England.


Rolfester: Agreed with the first - note the line I just added about the denial being moot and irrelevant at trial, yet seized on as a denial they cleverly "do not accept."

On the timeline, I'm just having a hard time seeing how coincidental clues that are legit would point to Malta by coincidence, or would be faked without clear reason, considering the following:
Only one clear potential link to PA103 (KM180) could be found, pointing to the spot this particular guy in alias would be found.

As a gestalt thing, difficulties aside, it makes the most sense that they'd go kind of like this:

1 Decide against the full truth
2 Decide, in general, on Libya
3 In a search of frameable operatives, notice Megrahi (among others)
4 Take note of wormy little liar Giaka, who first tipped you off, of wormy little liar Bollier who has links to the guy, all knowable as of Feb 1989 at latest.
5 Plant clothes made in Malta (maybe)
6 Get Bogomira's locker-paper with B8849 on it
7 etc...

As I've said before, the clues were made to pint at Libya, and it's a pretty small corner to paint yourself into unless you're sure there's something there. 400,00 population, what if you get yourself looking there and then literally can't find anyone there worth framing?

But this is all just hunch-level stuff, and it could be a later revelation.

And now, I'll actually read the rest of your post. Sorry.

Caustic Logic said...

They didn't shift to pushing Megrahi as a suspect until early 1991.

Publicly acknowledged. Scottish policehad him in a lineup in February. We don't know who above them was considering it prior, but I imagine a long set-up period would precede the final thrust of Spring and Summer 1991, to pull it all together into indictments before Christmas and before they lost control of the threads and had to re-weave it all.

Ironically, in view of the above post, it seems to have been Edwin Bollier who drew the attention of the investigation to Megrahi's presence on Malta that morning.

Oops, I forgot he was right here in the room when I said "wormy little liar." It followed off Giaka, and, well, at the time ...

On that claim, I didn't notice it before.He does mention some apparent plot to have him fly through Malta and implicate him in the bombing (but he was too clever!). And he does have himself in Tripoli on the PM of 20 Dec., when Megrahi didn't show up with the money for the 40 Olympus timers that were supposed to bbe MST-13s. That itself indirectly confirms that Megrahi was elsewhere anyway, while Bollier himself was NOT on Malta.


Edwin, any comment?

Rolfe said...

Adam, I completely fail to see how the Maltese clothes could have been planted. There just isn't a narrative that accommodates it. Unless you can construct one.

And Bogomira's souvenir existed by mid-August 1989 at the latest. It simply doesn't jell that this was fabricated specifically to point to Megrahi, but the conspirators were happy to let the Scottish cops contaminate Tony's memory for nearly a year with pictures of Abu Talb and other suspicious customers.

I'm still suspicious of that printout, but not in quite the way you are. I think you're looking at it the wrong way.

I think the clothes are genuine, but the purchase was a deliberate red herring. The terrorists knew there was a good chance the plane would crash on land. But instead of using anonymous clothes that wouldn't lead anywhere, they made a deliberately conspicuous purchase of very traceable clothes, a thousand miles away, on an island which was a hot-bed of terrorist conspirators at the time, and especially favoured by Libyans.

They used someone with fairly nondescript facial features, who might even have been Libyan or pretending to be Libyan, given that Libya was known to be the bogeyman and the US authorities would be very receptive to any clues leading to Libya. That person then went back home and didn't return to Malta.

However, I can't deny that it was Bogomira's printout that really fixed them on Malta as the point of ingestion. Just a massive coincidence? Or something more?

Nevertheless, once that decision had been taken, it only required someone to say, "look for Libyans" for the passengers on LN147 to come under scrutiny. I suspect just about any day you like there might have been a JSO operative on that plane who would be a suitable suspect. It just happened to be Megrahi on the day in question.

It all comes back to Bogomira, as always. But I can't see how the clothes could have been planted, and I can't really swallow the idea that the investigation knew about "Abdusamad" for over a year before they set the front-line operatives on to him.

ebol said...

MISSION LOCKERBIE: attn. Gaustic Logic
Die CIA war durch den libyschen Agenten (Spy), Giaka Abd al Magjid, seit September 1988 über Personen (inkl. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi) im Umfeld der 'Libyan Arab Fluggesellschaft' in Malta genaustens informiert.

Ab 19. Dezember 1988 wusste die CIA, durch "XY", dass Al Megrahi unter dem Code Name alias "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad", zusammen mit E. Bollier, mit AirMalta, Flug KM-231, am 20.12.1988, nach Malta reisten.
Die Ankunft am 20. 12.- und die Rückreise am 21.12. 1988 von "Abdusamad" (Al Megrahi) wurde ebenfalls von Giaka an die CIA übermittelt. (cable).
Wie bekannt hatte Bollier die gebuchte Reise nach Malta nicht angetreten, da er mit einem SwissAir Flug am 20. Dez. 1988 direkt von Tripoli nach Zürich reisen konnte.
Obwohl Task Force Chief, Richard Marquise, Kordinator zwischen FBI und CIA war und zusammen mit FBI Experte *Tom Thurman, seit dem 22. Dezember 1988 mit Scottish Police in engster Verbindung stand, war der Scottish Untersuchungs-Behörde die Person, Abdulbaset Al Megrahi, alias Abdusamad, bis zur polizeilichen Befragung von Ed. Bollier in Zürich (November 1990) nicht aufgefallen, bezugsweise war im Zusammenhang mit PanAm 103 nicht einbezogen worden !

*Flight as Mr Thurman before midnight EST 21 December 1988, arriving in Lockerbie if connections were good by 10.00 am on 22 December 1988.
I have no doubt of Mr Thurman's criminal intentions over Lockerbie and it puts Marquise with Thurman centrally and the disinformation plot that resulted in Megrahi's jailing, though I am sure they did not know which way to play it then...

Mebo: After Gauci received an unknown money present, he was invited 1991 again to a meeting into the headquarters of Maltese police. Gauci's police statement, no. 470:
Gauci: "On Friday, 15th of February 1991, I attended at police headquarters, Floriana, in Malta".

Tony Gauci: "One of the men (DC Crawford) then handed a card to Mr. Bell. He took brown paper from this card (Production No. DC 839), and the card was placed on the table that I was seated at. I saw that the card was full of photographs of men. (MEBO: without photo Q12 of the libyan CIA defector, Abdul Magjid Giaka!!)

I looked at every photograph on the card, and I counted a total of 12 photographs on the card. The first impression I had was that all the photographs were of men younger than the man who had bought the clothing. I told Mr. Bell this. I was asked to look at all the photographs carefully and to try and allow for any age difference.

I then pointed out one of the photographs, and I later counted the photographs from the top left as number 1 (one), to this photograph at number 8 (eight). I would say that the photograph at number 8 (eight) is similar to the man who bought the clothing. (MEBO: photo number 8= Q14, Abdelbaset al Megrahi).

by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland, URL: www.lockerbie.ch

Caustic Logic said...

Edwin first: Babelfish auto-translation makes it largely readable. Says the 20/21 Dec journey of Megrahi was related to the CIA by Giaka. Bollier was booked on Air Malta KM 231, along with Megrahi/Abdusamad, on 20 December. But Edwin changed plans and flew direct back to Zurich, as I've heard before.

I double-checked, and KM 231 is the flight mentioned for Megrahi's arrival on Malta.

I half-knew this before, and it's also odd. The timers were planned to be paid for by Megrahi, Bollier suggests by saying Hinshiri sent him to Megrahi for payment. They were supposed to be MST-13s, he says, but brought Olympus instead.

But Megrahi never showed up. (I have all this right, don't I, Edwin?) And then, the two are booked on the same flight later, until Edwin changed his plans. Suspected a set-up, something about how quiet and empty the airport was, if I recall? Luckily did NOT fly with Megrahi on that fateful journey.

I'm not sure how verifiable any of these alleged travels really are, so I don't want to simply state it's all made up. But very weird stuff, from a guy known for just that.

Also, more on the subject at hand, I think he says the alias was known, "through "XY"" (??) as of 19 December 1988. That sounds interesting, if "XY" means anything, maybe.

I think it also says Marquise was, like Thurman, a "coordinator" between the CIA and FBI. And something about the close and early contact with Scottish police, as Thurman had. I dunno. And emphasizes Thurman's criminal intent.

"Bollier in Zurich (November 1990) not been noticeable, bezugsweise had been included in connection with PanAm 103! *Flight as Mr Thurman before midnight EST 21 December 1988, arriving in Lockerbie if connections were good by 10,00 at on 22 December 1988. I have NO doubt OF Mr Thurman' s criminal intention over Lockerbie and it PUTs Marquise with Thurman centrally and the disinformation plot that resulted in Megrahi' s jailing, though I to sure they did emergency know which way tons play it then

Caustic Logic said...

Alright, to Rolfe's points:
Adam, I completely fail to see how the Maltese clothes could have been planted. There just isn't a narrative that accommodates it. Unless you can construct one.

Well, how different is it from planting a manual cover, or circuit board chunk? I'm not sure what the difference is, other than it's easier to call this one just a coincidence and move on, for simplicity's sake, perhaps. Am I missing something?

As I've said before, I'm agnostic on the clothes, and willing not to argue it, for simplicity's sake. They don't seem nearly as unlikely as the radio or timer bits or PK/689. But they do point to Malta, like some other dubious evidence (Bogomira's paper), right where the juicy target was.

AND they led to Mary's House, which I have a strange feeling about. (I consider Gauci an aside, but want to note AFAIK it was more the Sunday Times than the Scots cops that led Tony to Abu Talb. He asked them if he could identify the guy in the paper, and I don't think they obliged. On timeline, and why the delay, he may have been kept in "holding" by the Scots until the upper levels (CIA then FBI) were ready to roll out the Megrahi story line.)

I can accept the clothes as a possible coincidence too, the first one pointing to the island. Perhaps a ploy by the bombers, as I think you're saying, to point nowhere, or sort-of-Libya-ward. (the possibly-related Helsinki warning was also a little heavy on the Libya clues, FWIW).

IF the Maltese clothes were genuine bomb bag (or matching bag) filler, then it would make the choice of Megrahi all the more obvious. "We've got Bollier AND Giaka talking about him, AND a false identity on Malta 21/12, AND the clothes were made on Malta!" I could handle all four of those being true, since I'm already at three.

But that's no reason to abandon such a useful position as agnosticism.

Caustic Logic said...

Oooh, hey, a thought. Perhaps bettwer than Abu Talb, why would the Gaucis be allowed to freely confirm o 23 November purchase date if Megrahi were in the frame?

But, consider this from Harry Bell's SCCRC interview:

"Ultimately it was the applicant's [Megrahi’s] presence on the island on 7th December 1988 that persuaded me that the purchase took place on that date. Paul specified 7th December when I met with him on 14th December 1989 and I recorded this..."

Now what would make him do that? His story changed - earlier he'd specified the 23rd, just after reviewing game schedules. Coincidence? Bckdating? Or trickle-down decisions? Hmmm....

Rolfe said...

Well, how different is it from planting a manual cover, or circuit board chunk? I'm not sure what the difference is, other than it's easier to call this one just a coincidence and move on, for simplicity's sake, perhaps. Am I missing something?

Come on, you know the answer to that. Provenance and witness statements.

Harry Bell went to Tony's shop on the trail of a pair of Yorkie trousers. While he was there, he showed some interest in a pair of pyjamas At that point something appears to have clicked with Tony, and he suddenly and spontaneously described the famous sale. Overall he named seven items having been bought by the customer, including the two already mentioned.

These seven items were all on the list of items already determined by Crawford and RARDE to have been in the bomb bag. There were only ten of these items in total. Tony managed 70% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

I cannot see any other way to explain this, plausibly, other than that the sale really did occur just as Tony described, and that the clothes bought ended up in that brown Samsonite.

If you can come up with another narrative that explains that, then out with it. Otherwise, it's just vague conspiracy theorising, and we don't do vague conspiracy theorising.

Rolfe said...

Oh, and you're quite right about the date as well. If the whole Malta shtick was dreamed up to point to Megrahi, then they'd make damn sure the evidence fitted the day Megrahi was free to go shopping.

And how do you imagine that evidence was created anyway? How was Tony persuaded to make up a completely false story and have it ready for when the Scottish cops came calling?

Any suggestion that the sale didn't happen as Tony described requires Tony to have a brain as well as a memory, and the evidence simply doesn't support that hypothesis.

Caustic Logic said...

Cool, an argument!

Actually I'm not up for a full response, and I acknowledge this is speculative conspiracy theorizing. But so long as there are things we don't and can't know, I don't think that's irresponsible. So long as it doesn't get presented as something more than what it is. (no plans to present it at all beyond comments)

I don't see an amazing reason to be sure the Gauci link is genuine. I think I've outlined some alternates for you before. Something like this:

Someone at CIA has a Malta connection in the person of Edward Gauci, who's got these sons... one seems just too dumb to lie, but he's an idiot-savant, and can memorize a list of clothing, and the other brother can smell money a mile away...

A purchase is made, either related to the bombing in November, or later on - like a week before the scraps turned up in the evidence. This would mean Tony had a recent recall of the purchase and buyer, but knowing this is related to PA103, has to recall a day prior to that. That one November evening is memorable, and left him alone to claim the reward alone...

Perhaps the purchase is just as he describes, to the tall man on 23 November, but unrelated. The buyer was then arrested for something, and his clothes confiscated, learned of by the CIA, and by their Malta labels decided on as good clues to insinuate into the PA103 evidence.

And perhaps it's as you outlined. But lies are possible, and I'm not sure Tony is as dumb as he acts. I'm never sure of things like that.

And on the dates, if I'm right, does that include Paul specifying 7 December before 1989 was out? That's the Megrahi date, of course.

But then again, it's also "the other date" and could be just him trying to double his chances, or respond to some disfavor he sensed with the first one. And if that's the case, where would that come from?

Many, many unknowns. And they'll stay that way I think, so perhaps it's best to leave it be for now.

Aku said...

The following was confirmed to me by Herr Bollier: Mr Bollier was in Tripoli on 20 December 1988. Having been told there was no seat on the direct flight Tripoli-Zurich, he was due to fly back to Zurich via Malta on Libyan Airlines on 21 December. However, on checking again locally in Tripoli, he discovered that there was indeed a seat available on the direct flight on 21 December and so he avoided transferring in Malta. Had he travelled as originally booked, Mr Bollier would have been in Malta at the same time as Abdelbasset and might perhaps have travelled with him (or at least on the plane)from Tripoli to Malta.

Mr Bollier implies in his post, above, that he might know what Abdelbasset was up to in Malta. It would be very useful if he would tell us.

FullInquiry said...

I've always thought that, had there been an explanation of why Megrahi was in Malta using a passport with a false name on Dec. 20, 1988, the Trial outcome could have been different. One more card removed from the circumstantial house of cards the prosecution built so to speak.

I've also questioned, of course with the benefit of hindsight, why the defense rested without introducing some evidence in this regard.

Of course, surely, the defense and the defendant were relying on the premise that one is innocent until PROVEN guilty. It can be strongly argued that the prosecution was obliged to prove it was for some nefarious purpose that Megrahi traveled on that passport, which it never did of course - oh but that takes us back to that house of cards again.

If the Justice for Megrahi Petition does not lead to a new inquiry regarding Lockerbie, then some basic premises justice systems are supposed to be built on will be thrown out the window in Scotland, with the rest of the world standing by and saying nothing, which means their justice systems will soon follow in going down the tubes in terms of their credibility.

A proper inquiry would start the pendulum swinging back to a balanced position. Every country's justice system needs improvement - citizens should stand up against justice moving backwards, which it clearly has in the Lockerbie matter.

Lawyers everywhere should be leading the charge on this and a few honourable ones in Scotland are trying. Where are the rest of them?

Rolfe said...

Suppose Megrahi had given a plausible explanation for his presence on Malta that day, using an undercover passport. Would that have made any difference?

It's likely he was engaged on some covert mission on behalf of the Libyan government. Illegal or not, would knowing what this was have changed the judges' view of the case, given their quite blatant desire to convict as evidenced by other parts of the judgement? I suspect not.

Megrahi never admitted being a member of the Libyan intelligence service. If he'd explained what he was doing that day, he would probably have had to admit that. Would that have helped his case? Or would it simply have been used as further evidence of villainy?

There's no law that says a journey must be made for one purpose and one purpose only. Megrahi may even have spoken to a joiner about a quote for a wooden staircase and even done some shopping while he was on Malta. So if we know what covert intelligence mission he was on, that required use of the diplomatic passport, that would have proved he couldn't have been involved in smuggling a bomb on a plane as well?

I very much doubt it. Easy for the judges to say, after the event, oh but if you'd only told us what you were really doing that day, this could all have been so different. If he had, I don't believe the outcome would have been any different at all.

Aku said...

I think Rolfe is quite right: use of an "alternative" passport does not prove, or even indicate wrongdoing (unless you define wrongdoing as using an alias). I used to work for my government and for much of that time I held two passports and, for some time, three. These were all in my name, but colleagues of mine held passports in different names. The object is to facilitate the fact of your travel to certain places on certain occasions remaining unknown. If Abdelbasset was working on some kind of sanctions busting (as has been suggested previously), then a second identity could prove very useful. It certainly would not, however, indicate terrorism.
P.S. Apologies for repeating in my previous post Caustic's point about Mr Bollier's movements on 20/21 December - I had not seen his comment when I made mine.

Caustic Logic said...

I have to agree that an inference could be drawn with a cleared record on the visit, or without. The judges' attempt to blame Megrahi for making it "possible" is disingenuous, just like their dismissal of his decade-old denial.

That said, an innocent explanation would have added another hurdle, but most likely to be clumsily kicked over like the rest. The proud judgment announced at the finish line, flat-laid hurdles skewed all directions down the track, not a one standing.

Aku: ...confirmed to me by Herr Bollier...

You do realize that doesn't mean much, right? I wouldn't trust paperwork in his possession, only copies held by reputable agencies.

I wouldn't mind hearing his explanation of Megrahi's "subversive" mission, but I sure wouldn't believe it.

Main point is that there's no credible evidence and no compelling logic to it being for the bombing of PA103.