A Message from Dr. Jim Swire

I'm quite honored to have received a comment by e-mail from the eminent Dr. Jim Swire. Received and re-posted Jan 28 2010. Links added to text May 24.
What an interesting site.

A number of us long ago abandoned belief in the Malta point of origin for the bag.

The judges themselves at Zeist pointed out that there was no evidence as to how Megrahi was supposed to have broken Luqa's security, and it now appears, with the second appeal materials available (on megrahimystory.net) untrue that Megrahi rather than Talb could have been the buyer of the clothing from Marie's House.

However it was the technology of Jibril's PFLP-GC IEDs which was presented at Zeist by (W) Germany's Herr Goble which first revealed what you had to believe in as coincidence, to accept the prosecution case. He showed that these IEDs were stable on the ground indefinitely, but because of their air-pressure switch (which took 7 mins from take-off to switch on the timer) and their timers which were crude (analog and not adjustable by the user) all running for around 30 minutes, they were obligated to explode around 37 minutes after take off. PA103 was airborne for 38 minutes before being destroyed.

Yet we had to believe that the Malta origin, using an adjustable digital timer which could easily have been set for a mid Atlantic explosion 'just happened'... etc etc.

In those days no one in the court knew that there had been a break-in to the appropriate sector of the Heathrow perimeter early in the morning of the disaster.
That was concealed for 12 years (till after the Zeist verdict) when the Heathrow guard (Manly: deceased)asked the defence why his evidence had not been used despite the Metropolitan police special branch having grilled him almost immediately.

Presumably Henderson's policemen must have heard about it, but the Crown Office has denied to me in writing that they knew about it.

Since the break-in was fully documented and opened an obvious route whereby the suitcase that Bedford saw (before the Frankfurt flight had even landed) might have been brought into the airport and left perhaps with the Iran air personnel close by to put in the PanAm container while Bedford was out of the shed, one can assume that even the Zeist court could not have accepted that the Malta story was true against such a clear and simple alternative explanation.

Who concealed the Heathrow evidence for 12 years and why?

Since the airport knew it had been broken into immediately, but did not know who had broken in, nor with what motive, why did they not suspend flights immediately till a satisfactory explanation was found?.

These questions will have now to be answered.

All who display independent thought about this disaster are welcome in the fight to lay the fallacies of the 'official version' open to analysis, and to the public's sight.

- Jim, father of Flora, a victim of Lockerbie, who just wants to know who murdered her and why they were not prevented from doing so.


Caustic Logic said...

Dr. Swire, thanks again for taking a moment to contribute some thoughts to my/our(?) humble upstart page.
"it now appears ... untrue that Megrahi rather than Talb could have been the buyer of the clothing from Marie's House."

From what I've seen, it seems both are unlikely. True Talb had an open ticket back to Malta that could have been used to get him there by Nov 23. But I didn't see yet any good evidence he was there. Also, he was at least too young as Megrahi was to have fit the age description.

The main point is of course Mr. Megrahi was not the buyer. I'm torn between no particular buyer (fabricated sale tacked onto a real day) or a sale to someone else entirely. I was suspecting Giaka for a minute, and it seemed brilliant, but I'm sure he was too young as well.

It is indeed a puzzler. Regards to you and yours.

Caustic Logic said...

and also:

"All who display independent thought about this disaster are welcome in the fight to lay the fallacies of the 'official version' open to analysis, and to the public's sight."

I hope you don't mind, I already had insinuated myself into the fray a bit. The specific welcome though is heartening. :)

Quincey Riddle said...

Circumstantial Jigsaw Puzzle (Pt 1)

To have suffered the loss of his daughter in the tragedy of Pan Am 103, and following Zeist, to then have campaigned relentlessly for the overturning of the verdict in the face of every device the Crown has thrown in his way and the criticism levelled at him by those, largely bereaved American families, who wish to believe in al-Megrahi’s guilt regardless of the deeply flawed Crown case (not to mention his having to put up with Lord Carmylie’s sensitive accusation, on the twentieth anniversary of the destruction of the aircraft, that he is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome), Dr Swire has shown a quite remarkable degree of courage, resilience and determination over the last couple of decades in his quest to find justice.

The Lockerbie/Zeist saga is for the UK on a par with the impact of the Kennedy assassination in the States in the manner in which it has become a paradise for conspiracy theorists who have no reputation to lose; this of course is manna from heaven for the establishment that hopes the question marks will fade with time. Whilst some of these imaginings may have an air of plausibility, others are plainly certifiable. All of this simply muddies the waters. It enables those responsible for the Zeist verdict to lounge back on their laurels, cast all who question it into the same loony bin and pronounce: “Well, it is clear from such meanderings, isn’t it? Anyone who dissents, especially if their name is Swire, is quite obviously a fruitcake.”

For what it is worth, I put my money on the Iran – Jibril theory, although I am also perfectly prepared to accept that I am misguided. I also, albeit reluctantly, accept that it is entirely possible that Mr al-Megahi was the one behind it all, not however on the Crown case as laid before the court at Zeist. Dr Swire’s principal position, like that of Professors Köchler and Black, has always been that the trial was a travesty of justice akin to a burlesque. Why this happened and who one thinks actually committed the crime is to place the cart before the horse. What can be done must be done, and what can be done is to maintain the pressure via the fourth estate, the courts and any other high profile means to establish that Zeist was a gross miscarriage of justice more concerned with ‘power politics’ (Köchler) than establishing the truth.

I have forgotten the number of times that I have sat in a courtroom, listening to the judge’s directions to the jury and heard the constant refrain (roughly along the following lines): “Now, Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, in a case based on circumstantial evidence, to aid you in arriving at a verdict, one may like to imagine that one is constructing a jigsaw. If you feel that you have enough pieces of the puzzle to formulate a clear picture of events, then you may regard a guilty verdict as proven.” The Crown case at Zeist fell precisely into this category. Exactly which jigsaw the three judges in the Netherlands were using at the time though is a mystery. It is truly hard to believe that if a Scots jury of fifteen ordinary citizens had been employed to reach a verdict, they would have arrived at the same conclusion as their Lordships.

Quincey Riddle said...

Circumstantial Jigsaw (Pt 2).

For the sake of space, let us dispense with the show’s supporting cast and deal with two of the Crown’s star turns in the jigsaw: Mr Toni Gauchi and the now infamous circuit board fragment. Having dispensed with Mr Giaka as being beyond the pale ("We are unable to accept Abdul Majid Giaka as a credible and reliable witness…….”), we are left with the Crown’s main witness: Mr Toni Gauchi. Eye witness testimony is well-known to be notoriously unreliable, and to compound this, Mr Gauchi qualified his evidence by saying that Mr al-Megrahi “resembled” the individual who bought the apparently incriminating clothes from his shop in Malta by saying there were discrepancies in both the height and the age of the purchaser. Not to mention the confusion over the date of the purchase. To further render his testimony worthless, major doubts hang over why he and his brother Paul were in receipt of $2,000,000 and $1,000,000 respectively. Whether to secure testimony or complicity, this is outrageous.

In addition to the above, we have the fragment of circuit board purported to have come from a timing device employed to detonate a bomb. To believe this, we are expected to accept the evidence of Mr Alan Feraday of the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment. Firstly, Mr Feraday was signally lacking in qualification to make any pronouncements on this item other than the obvious fact that it was a piece of circuit board. Secondly, RARDE had conducted no tests for explosive residues. Thirdly, Mr Feraday had discredited himself as a forensic witness in previous cases involving terrorism and explosives. Fourthly, nobody at RARDE was able to explain why evidence labels and page numbers on notes relating to the fragment were altered. Finally, it seems that Mr Feraday took the item in question to the USA for analysis – this appears to have come as something of a surprise to Carmylie when informed of this on camera (by Gideon Levy: Lockerbie Revisited’): doubtless due to his Lordship’s concerns surrounding the possible tampering with evidence.

Moreover, as is known and has been ever since its development, and as independent tests have proven, the hotspot of a Semtex explosion reaches temperatures of between 3,000 and 4,000ºC – quite sufficient to vaporise anything in its immediate vicinity. It would seem then that both Mr Bollier’s timers and Mr Gauchi’s clothes are of a remarkably robust variety.

Dr Swire is right to draw attention to the Heathrow break in and the fact that although this was notified prior to the trial, it did not become public knowledge until after Zeist was a done job. A review of the security regimes in force at Luqa, Frankfurt and Heathrow was carried out post Lockerbie demonstrating that Luqa had a clean bill of health whilst Heathrow left quite a lot to be desired. Quite apart from this, what self-respecting bomber would elect to place a device utilising a timer – barometric or other – on an in-line flight to Frankfurt, thence to be transferred to a second in-line flight to Heathrow around Christmastime with all the attendant variables such a strategy would bring into play? Frankly, this is bonkers. I would like to know if the judges were drug tested during the trial?

Quincey Riddle said...

Circumstantial Jigsaw (Pt 3).

Never again ought the Crown to be in a position where it performs the role of prosecutor, judge and jury. It is all rather like their Lordships’ jigsaw was a picture of a top hat taken from an obscure angle and they managed to convert it into a rabbit. Whilst such conjuring sits well in vaudeville, it has no place in a court of law. This is no criticism whatsoever of Professor Black; he was in the unenviable position of trying to get oil and water to mix for a while at Zeist, and was as stunned as so many of us were by the verdict. Not only that but he has worked tirelessly to have it overturned. Furthermore, from what he has said himself, it is clear that he agrees that one of the reasons why we have a jury of fifteen ordinary citizens in criminal trails, and do not utilise a form of Diplock Court in Scotland, is in order that a degree of common sense might prevail in arriving at a verdict.

This episode has not only cast Scottish justice in a most disreputable light, it has castigated a man who should by rights be regarded as innocent of the crime on the basis of the evidence laid before the court, and in some ways worst of all, it has sold a cynical sop to the relatives and friends of the deceased. I have only one thing to say to those who are satisfied with the Zeist verdict: “Aye, that’ll be right, pal.”

Robert Forrester (Justice for Megrahi Campaign).

Caustic Logic said...

The above comments have been collected, tweaked, and re-posted here

One comment:
"Exactly which jigsaw the three judges in the Netherlands were using at the time though is a mystery."
I would guess the puzzle box they were referencing to - and entirely too many points seemed to fit - was the one designed by LICC/SCOTBOM ... people. And the one we got later, with pieces all bent out of shaped and smooshed together.

Oohh.. oohhh... graphic idea