Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
Note: this was first posted November 16 2009 at my previous blog. It's one of the more opinion-oriented pieces that gets at the heart of my distrust of Bollier and Mebo, despite their claims of sympathy with the framed Libyans.
One of the stranger patterns I’ve seen recently in connection to the Lockerbie case is the tight web of alleged movements of the two accused - and of Mebo co-founder Edwin Bollier - in the days preceding the PA103 attack. To start with, the close connection between the first accused, al Megrahi, and Mr. Bollier’s company is no secret. From the Camp Zeist Opinion of the Court [hereafter "verdict", paragraphs 54 and 88]:
 We also accept Mr Bollier’s evidence, supported by documentation, that MEBO rented an office in their Zurich premises some time in 1988 to the firm ABH in which the first accused and one Badri Hassan were the principals. They explained to Mr Bollier that they might be interested in taking a share in MEBO or in having business dealings with MEBO. …
 [Megrahi] also appears to have been involved in military procurement. He was involved with Mr Bollier, albeit not specifically in connection with MST timers, and had along with Badri Hassan formed a company which leased premises from MEBO and intended to do business with MEBO.
The questionable choreography begins when the Libyans had just finished employing the Mebo MST-13 in a carefully packed Malta-themed gift bag they had set to drop bits all across western Great Britain. In case the trail wasn’t obvious enough, they decided then to bring the talkative Mr. Bollier back to remind him with a new attempt to purchase a double order of the same nifty gadgets. The court cited Bollier’s evidence that Badri Hassan, Megrahi’s partner in ABH, “came to MEBO’s offices in Zurich at the end of November or early in December 1988 and asked the firm to supply forty MST-13 timers for the Libyan Army.” [verdict, para 46] Megrahi was apparently on a visit to Zurich at the same time, and from there the dance begins. Below is a timeline, compiled from a variety of sources, to illustrate how strange the patterns are.
- Nov 20 – Dec 20 Megrahi and Fhimah “did between 20 November and 20 December 1988, both dates inclusive, at the said premises occupied by MEBO AG, in Zurich aforesaid, … order and attempt to obtain delivery of 40 further such timers from the said firm of MEBO AG [indictment, para J]
- Around Dec 1 – Hassan’s order, in Zurich, for forty MST-13 timers. [Verdict, para 88]
- Early December - Megrahi had “traveled to Zurich in early December.” [Wallace]
- Dec 7-9 - Megrahi stays at the Holiday Inn in Silema, Malta. December 7 is the date the court decided he bought the Maltese clothes from talkative shopkeeper Tony Gauci at nearby Mary's House. [verdict, para 88]
- Dec 5 and 15 – Having no MST-13 timers on hand, Bollier buys 40 of the Olympus make instead, in two batches, on the open market. [verdict, para 88]
- Dec 15 – Fhimah diary entry “Abdelbaset coming from Zurich” [Lockerbie.ch]
- Dec 16 Bollier books a flight to Tripoli to bring the wrong timers [Verdict, para 88]
- Dec 17 – Megrahi returns to Malta on the 17th “and then on to Tripoli Libya, where Lamen Fhimah joined him.” [Wallace]
- Dec 18 - Bollier flies to Tripoli, meets no one, leaves timers at office of one Ezzadin Hinshiri [Verdict, para 88]
- Dec 19 - Hinshiri said that he wanted MST-13 timers and that the Olympus timers were too expensive. “Nevertheless, he retained the timers and directed Mr Bollier to go to the first accused’s office in the evening in order to get payment for them. From about 6.00pm Mr Bollier sat outside that office for two hours,” but “did not see the first accused,” being of course Megrahi. [Verdict, para 88]
- Dec 18-20 “in Tripoli aforesaid, and elsewhere in Switzerland and Libya,” Megrahi and Fhimah did “order and attempt to obtain delivery of 40 further such [MST-13] timers from the said firm of MEBO AG.” [indictment, para J]
- Dec 18-20 “we accept that Mr Bollier visited Tripoli between 18 and 20 December in order to sell timers to the Libyan army, because that is substantially vouched by documentary evidence and it was not challenged in evidence.” [Verdict, para 88]
- Dec 20 – “Al Megrahi was instructed by his boss Ibrahim Bishari to travel to Malta on December 20, 1988 for a security order (not in connection with the bombing of PanAm 103)” [Bollier]
- Dec 20 – “Abdel Baset and Lamen Fhimah returned to Malta on 20 December” with an alias for Megrahi and the bomb suitcase. [Wallace]
- Dec 20 – After a final dispute with Hinshiri, Bollier returns home with his Olympus timers, “flying by direct flight to Zurich rather than via Malta (as he had expected) where he would have had to spend that night.” [Verdict, para 88]
- Dec 20 (presumably) – “On his return to Zurich Mr Bollier claimed to have discovered that one of the timers had been set for a time and a day of the week which were relevant to the time when there was an explosion on board PA103.” Herr Meister confirmed this to the court. Libyans had been fiddling with them, absent-mindedly… the court dismissed Mebo’s claims as “so inconsistent that we are wholly unable to accept any of it.” [verdict, para 46]
- Dec 20: Upon returning to Zurich, Bollier is said to have testified in 2000 "a suitcase which had been in the Mebo office prior to Mr Bollier's departure, which the witness understood belonged to Mr Badri Hassan, was not seen again after Mr Bollier left on this trip." [LTBU]
- Dec 20: [indictment, (m)] (both accused) “did on 20 December 1988 at Luqa Airport, Malta enter Malta” with Megrahi under alias Abdusamad, and both “did there and then cause a suitcase to be introduced to Malta.”
- Dec 20-21: [Indictment, (n)] Megrahi “did on 20 and 21 December 1988 reside at the Holiday Inn, Sliema, aforesaid under the false identity of Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad.
Bollier has added to this tight web of movements across the Mediterranean in those fateful days, in response to recent comments by myself and others at Professor Black’s Lockerbie case blog (this post, in comments beneath). His messages there are a complex mix of German and mixed English; one relevant part in German renders roughly as “today we know that the new order at the end of 1988 "to produce for the Libyan army, immediately further 40 pieces of MST-13 timers from a person; H.B." on behalf same western security services one made!” H.B. could be Badri Hassan, but this seems to imply that a Western agency placed the order (through him?). Perhaps these were the same folks who compelled Hinshiri or whoever to program PA103’s explode time into one of his Olympuses. And what ever DID happen to that suitcase, Mr. Bollier?
Documents indicate that originally the CIA and an other western intelligence service planned also to involve Edwin Bollier (MEBO Ltd.) together with Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi into the PanAm 103 plot!
Edwin Bollier was told at the check-in at Tripoli airport that his already booked direct flight with Swissair to Zurich on December 20,1988 was fully booked and he should travel via Malta to Switzerland on the same day - the same flight on which Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was booked (*flight KM 107, on December 20, 1988 from Tripoli to Malta). According to a new statement Megrahi did not know that Bollier was planned to travel on the same flight as he was !
Bollier was suspicious because he didn't see many people on the airport and went to the Swissair Station Manager who told him that there were many empty seats on the Swissair flight to Zurich. So he took the direct flight to Zurich on December 20, 1988. Only Abdelbaset Al Megrahi (alias Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad) traveled with flight KM 107 from Tripoli to Malta on December 20, 1988.
Therefore Bollier was not in Malta on the same day as Abdelbaset Al Megrahi. The CIA was confronted with a new situation and the same intelligence people decided to involve the station manager of 'Libyan Arab Airways' , Mr. Lamin Khalifa Fhimah, into the complot.
*Al Megrahi was instructed by his boss Ibrahim Bishari to travel to Malta on December 20, 1988 for a security order (not in connection with the bombing of PanAm 103) ...
On September 14, 1997 former foreign minister, Ibrahim Bishari, died in a car crash in Egypt ... [Bollier]
Strangely for someone so nearly “framed” in the web set for Libya, Bollier was the first to try implicating Libya for the bombing of Flight 103 at all, with a letter delivered to American authorities in January 1989, well before they started finding any clues pointing that way. [see for example, verdict, para 47] This he claims he was compelled to write by - gasp! - Western agencies acting then through him to implicate Libya, a claim he’s made before and elaborates on in the same comments (worth a read for serious scholars). This letter and the claims around it will deserve their own post eventually, but something is entirely not level here, and Bollier is entirely too at the center of it. Somehow this whole byzantine Mediterranean waltz leaves me with the words and mood of the 80s poets Wham in Careless Whispers:
"Now I'm never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm. Though it's easy to pretend, I know you're not a fool..."
[Wallace] Rodney Wallace Lockerbie the story and the lessons 2001 page 62
[Indictment] Actually I think that's a verdict http://www.terrorismcentral.com/Library/Legal/HCJ/Lockerbie/TheIndictment.html
[LTBU] Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit: report 78554 - 16th June 2000. Original site:
text doc direct link: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_78554_en.doc