Bollier's "Catch-Letter"

The MEBO Files, part 1
July 1 2010
last edits 28 September

(Trial transcript cited throughout is from Day 26, June 22 2001, p 4045 - 4204)

"Catch letter," in English usage, is a term for the enlarged, often decorated capital at the beginning of a book or chapter (like the C here). It catches your attention and draws you into the emerging storyline. It’s also a phrase used by Swiss electronics merchant Edwin Bollier to describe a paper letter he sent to the CIA in January 1989, blaming Libya for the bombing of Pan Am 103. The term he used in German is “Fang-Briefes,” so it doesn’t have the double-meaning to him. Nonetheless, it’s an apt metaphor; this memo and some later information on various Libyans Bollier blamed, named, or drew attention to, are likely important factors in the early emergence of the blame-Libya and blame-Megrahi notions.

Most mainstream sources take Bollier at his word that his drive now is to exonerate Libya and al Megrahi, hoping for a $200 million payout [see video, 41:00], that he earns by spouting nonsense about his timers and ignoring the best evidence, like that which this blog publicizes for free. But before the 2001 conviction and especially before the 1991 indictments, in the time when his help was most needed, Bollier’s involvement with the case was more ambiguous (to say the least).

Bollier’s unusual firm Mebo, with true Swiss neutrality, sold electronics to rogue nations for military uses while also allegedly maintaining links to the CIA. In the mid-1980s they managed to do some business in Libya – selling 20 units of MST-13 timer, a fragment of which would later be “found” near Lockerbie.

Well before this turn, he explains, a mysterious CIA man met him on 30 December 1988 and compelled him to write the letter in question. Threats were attempted, but fearless Bollier says he was driven only by curiosity to know who was manipulating him into blaming Libya. (see below on motive) So he blamed away.

The letter was mentioned on 22 June, 2000, during Bollier’s multi-day questioning, with a copy shown as production 323. It was typed up on a hotel stationery, using a typewriter with a Spanish keyset. This he had to buy, on order of the mystery man for mystery reasons. Bollier repeats endlessly how the contents were nonsense he was allowed to make up as filler – so long as it blamed Libya for the Lockerbie disaster. "This gentleman just told me that I had to indicate Gadhafi and [JSO chief] Senussi in that letter," and do so using a machine that could type "jalapeño" properly. [4086]

After he finished the ad libs exercise on January 5th, Bollier says he delivered it on the 19th to the US embassy in Vienna, from where it made its way to the CIA. Bollier told me – roughly translated:
Today we know that "Instruction [Befehl],” attribute a letter to the Chief of the CIA, came from western security service agents! The letter was then converted by me after long consideration into the form of a catch-letter [fang-briefes]. […] The catch letter was very successful: the security service, name of the future contact person [ansprech], address, which became telephone and fax number and communication frequency.” [source]

He was on the right frequency indeed. When the case amazingly turned from the tenfold embarrassing truth onto Libya, Bollier became important. Edwin was a key prosecution witness at the Camp Zeist trial in 2000; the judges wrote in their final opinion, in the case against Megrahi “there are three important witnesses, Abdul Majid [Giaka], Edwin Bollier and Tony Gauci.” [Opinion of the Court, para 41] However, they rejected that he ever met this "mysterious stranger," a story that "belongs in our view to the realm of fiction where it may best be placed in the genre of the spy thriller.” [para 47] In the period leading up to the 1991 indictments, he was more useful yet – starting with his “fang-briefes.”

The Letter’s Contents
Sadly, the CIA's probe under Cannistraro was all too capable of accepting fantasy as inspiration or even as fact. Therefore, nonsense or not, the letter needs to be examined as closely as the transcripts will allow. Under prosecution questioning (they had considered charging his as an accomplice in the bombing, BTW), much of the letter was read out or summarized. It was explained that Bollier’s line to the CIA “suggests that there can be contact between you, using a code name, and sets out how that contact can be initiated.” After this, it covered "the first short information concerning the Pan Am Flight 103." The Crown’s Mr. Turnbull then summarized:
Q And then there is some information. And perhaps we could see the next image. And more information is then given on the second page; is that right?
A Correct.
Q And reading the matter shortly, does it indicate that Libya and the people mentioned in the letter have an involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103?
A That is correct.
At the bottom of page one Col. Gaddafi was duly mentioned as having called for a secret conference that Bollier pretended to know of, and that presumably led to the plot against 103. An “Ibrahim Senussi” is mentioned, whom Bollier clarified meant Abdullah Senoussi, head of Libya’s CIA, the JSO. When asked to read the part where he explained the bomb’s location, he first said "I wrote that this was in an office close to Senussi.” Getting more specific, he read back "bundles of dollars would have been put in the suitcase, together with explosive material."

So the Libyans had a bomb in a suitcase, that was also full of cash. At trial he explained “I made it up. I had heard that a suitcase had been found in Lockerbie with timers; and that influenced me at that time. There was a suitcase found with lots of money, I think, or there was money from a suitcase, or money had fallen out of a suitcase. That is what I included in the letter.”

And he mentioned how this suitcase was introduced to the air system: "On December 20th, 1988 they checked in at the Tarabulus Airport [Libya], Karl Heinz, and the suitcase with explosives to Zurich in Switzerland on an early flight.” This was made up on Bolllier’s own travels – he returned from a failed deal in Tripoli for Zurich on the day before the bombing.

It’s not clear just who “they” are, but his acquaintance and eventual convict al Megrahi, whom Bollier calls Abdelbaset, isn’t named that I’ve seen. He says he placed an odd phone call to Megrahi – whom he hadn’t spoken to in a year – around Christmas, or between the bombing and the unlikely CIA visit. This will form part of a separate post. The CIA had Giaka's mention of Megrahi at this time, but not Bollier's just yet (at least not via this letter).

Why He Wrote it
Another interesting line from the letter I will hold off for the final point on the list below. In brief outline form, these are the varying reasons that may or may not have motivated Bollier in writing such a letter just two weeks after Lockerbie.
  1. - He was threatened: The mystery CIA man said, as Bollier recalled at trial, he would write the letter, “otherwise you will have to suffer the consequences. Well, you'll see the consequences in the media, et cetera." He doesn’t seem to have been motivated by fear, however.
  2. - Plucky curiosity. “I was flying a kite,” he said at trial. “I wanted to find out who was behind all of this.” The best way to do that, he reasoned, was to give them what they wanted, but take it to the bosses.
  3. - He wanted to throw investigators off. An official LTBU trial summary for the day stated that Bollier “had explained this letter to the CIA as something "to put the investigators on the wrong tracks.”” [source] This has been repeated elsewhere, but appears to be a misreading. See next point.
  4. - In a 1991 interview with Swiss authorities he said he pointed to Libya in order “to get the investigators away from the wrong track and to bring them onto the Libyan track." It may have worked. At trial he insisted it was because the mystery man made him do it (with curiosity, not threats), and he was “just pretending” to be helpful in 1991. This aspect of his possible motives deserves and will receive its own post to explore a little.
  5. - The January letter had mentioned, in passing, “We've heard that you will pay for classified information. Your payment, after success only, covered on a later date." Regarding this, a 1991 FBI interview summary stated: "Bollier put the information about payment on delivery to show that he was not a conman." Conmen usually have ways of doing just that. That document further stated "Bollier sees three possibilities for Bollier to receive money from the United States government." These were listed as making electronics for the U.S., becoming a “covert operative” for them, or simply getting an appropriate chunk of the “reward money for providing information” about the recent bombing. Such a fund would eventually exist, but Bollier denies begging or even asking for money. In fact, the FBI tried to force him to accept $4 millions to lie, he said in 2008, but he refused. [see video 33:45]  

Two weeks more after the bombing...
Someone who was likely Vincent Cannistraro of the CIA's Lockerbie probe told CBS News, who told the country, that "investigators believe" Libya was behind the bombing. The details do not line up with what Bollier said in his "catch-letter," but this mutant whisper of the future fundament was perhaps emboldened by the knowledge that Edwin Bollier was out there, and was willing to make s*** up about Libya just as they were ready to do so as well.
Comments from Mr. Bollier (ebol) can be expected below. He's on the internet, and we're on good terms, considering.


ebol said...


Apology, this text only in German language. I wish myself that the text is professionally translated of someone, thanks.

Eine wahrlich kuriose Story, welche möglicherweise bald mit der Aufdeckung des Lieferanten des Dokuments unter 'National Security' und dessen hochbrisanten Inhalts ergänzt werden kann.

Zur Erinnerung: Als 1996, am Tag der 1. September Rvolution in Libyen bekannt gemacht wurde, dass Abdelbaset Al Megrahi und Khalifa Fhimah sich einem Gericht in den Niederlanden unter schottischem Recht zur Verfügung stellen wollen, hatte eine bis heute unbekannte offizielle "Staatsorganisation" blitzartig reagiert und offensichtlich zu ihrer eigenen Entlastung 13 Tage später (am 13. September 1996) ein Dokument unter 'National Security' (PII), dem Lord Advocate in Scotland zugestellt...

Was haben Bollier's *Fang-Brief und das *Dokument (PII) miteinander zutun?
Beide Dokumente sollten eigentlich als Beweise, Libyen und den Angeklagten Al Megrahi, bei einem korrekten Gerichtsverfahren im "Lockerbie-Fall" entlasten?

Die beiden *Entlastungs-Beweise werden offensichtlich von der Scottish Justice benutzt, um Libyen und Al Megrahi für die Lockerbie-Tragödie rechtsgültig weiterhin in der Verantwortung zuhalten!

Erste Begründung: Obiger Artikel "catch letter," von Caustic Logic, versucht nachträglich mit gezielten Absichten, Bollier's Brief, für die Verwicklung Libya's in die "Lockerbie-Tragödie", verantwortlich zumachen.
Für dieses fragwürdige Vorhaben hat Caustic Logic ein entschei-dender Faktor unterschlagen!

Von sich aus hatte Bollier bei einem Meeting Mitte Januar 1991 in Zürich, den FBI legal Attaché Ed. Marshman, über den 1989 übermittelten "Fang-Brief", an die CIA, in allen Details und Hintergründen orientiert. Damit durfte angenommen werden, dass der "catch letter" in den weiteren Ermittlungen nicht mehr von Bedeutung war?
Es bestätigte sich leider aders. Der unwahre Inhalt des Briefes wurde vorsätzlich in die gefälschte und manipulierte schottische Beweiskette als richtungweisend gegen Libyen eingesetzt und 11 Monate später, am 14./15. November 1991, wurden beide libyschen Staatsbürger für das Attentat der PanAm 103 angeklagt.

Diese Tatsachen bestätigen, dass eine von A-Z organisierte Verschwörung gegen Libyen vorbereitet war, welche mit dem Besuch eines security Agenten bei Bollier (MEBO) am 30. Januar 1988 den Anfang nahm. Somit macht es für gewisse Kreise Sinn den "catch letter" up to date zuhalten um von anderen Tatsachen abzulenken...

Zweite Begründung: Das Dokument unter 'National Security' (PII) wird für die Öffentlichkeit geheim gehalten weil sonst nach den Worten von UK Government Advocate General Lord Davidson QC, "die Nationale Security gefärdet würde"! Deshalb wurde das 'PII' zu Lasten Libya's dem Gericht in Kamp van Zeist unterschlagen !
Procecuting counsel Ronnie Clancy added that the secret document did not originate from the USA or one of is agencies as the CIA.

Welcher Staat oder dessen Nachrichtendienst hatte ein Motiv ein Dokument unter 'National Security' abzuliefern und heute noch Interesse daran, die Erlaubnis an Justizminister Kenny MacAskill zuverweigern, das 'PII' zu öffnen um damit Libya und Al Megrahi in der Lockerbie-Tragödie nicht zuentlasten?
Libya und Al Megrahi haben mit der Lockerbie-Tragödie nichts zu tun.

Lockerbie und seine Bewältigung war und ist eine Riesen-Schweinerei. Aber es gibt noch andere Beispiele, die noch viel schlimmer sind.
Ihr habt Recht, wir haben Recht. Es ist nicht so, dass es kein Mensch glaubt. Das Ungeheuerliche an der ganzen Sache ist, dass die UN nicht erstaunt ist und für die Hinterbliebenen der 270 Opfer eine neue Unteruchung nicht aktiviert wird ! Es wird einfach so hingenommen...

by Edwin und Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

Caustic Logic said...

I'm working on a translation. We have grammer/sentence contruction differences that makes it hard. I can't finish it right now, sorry. So far I do see that I've "suppressed a crucial factor." Looking forward to seeing what that is.

Caustic Logic said...

Yeah, Ebol, hi. I've spent a few hours on it, off and on, and that's all I can do, Sorry. The relevant parts:

on 13 September 1996 a document under 'reacts; National Security' (PII), the lord Advocate in Scotland

Is that your letter then?

Which Bollier has; *Fang-Brief and *Dokument (PII) with one another add? Both documents should actually as proofs, Libya and the accused Al Megrahi, at correct legal proceedings in " Lockerbie Fall" relieve?


The two *Discharge-proofs [Entlastungs-Beweise] are used obviously by the Scottish Justice, around Libya and Al Megrahi for the Lockerbie tragedy legally further within the responsibility zuhalten!

Yes, that can happen.

First reason: Above article "catch letter" from Caustic Logic, tries with purposeful intent to tie Bollier' s letter in with Libya’s blame in the Lockerbie Tragedy. For this doubtful project Caustic Logic suppressed a crucial factor!

Okay, I got that. The factor:

On his part Bollier had a meeting with the FBI in the middle of January 1991 in Zurich, with legal Attaché OD. Marshman, who in 1989 conveyed the " Catch Brief” to the CIA, in all details and background.

FBI's Edward Marshman, huh? The only FBI legal attache I've seen in your testimony is Fanning, stationed at Bern. At about the same time, before meeting Marquise in Quanitico in February, you say Mr. Fanning offered you two million if you could help resolve the case. You say just wanted names and information (cue Patrick MacGoohan), but the FBI "claimed" you were asking for money.

Did you ever receive money from the Americans, directly or indirectly? Did you ever find out who Mr. Whiteman was? Do you feel bad that you helped get Megrahi convicted along the way?

Thus it could be accepted that "catch letter" was no longer of any importance in the further investigations? It was unfortunately confirmed [??] Untrue contents of the letter were inserted deliberately into the falsified and manipulated Scottish evidence chain as clues against Libya and 11 months later, on 14 /15 November 1991, both Libyan citizens were accused for the destruction of the PanAm 103.

I think this is saying "does it matter?" This letter didn't implicate them or get them blamed. Giaka, and the timer fragment PT/35(b) and the Erac printout, and Gauci's "identification" and so on did that...

True, but at the moment, I'm looking at the first bogus information that turned up, in the weeks after the crash, as people started looking to find an alternate truth. In the early days, your fang-briefes sticks out like a sore thumb. And you pointed to Megrahi, just like Giaka did and the fake airport paper from Germany would. And you had timers, that were connected to Libya.

Really, Edwin, how could you NOT get paid from all that?

ebol said...

Attn Caustic Logic

Apology, but you did not understand by unsatisfactory translation German on English my clarification.


ebol said...

ebol correction:
Apology: The name confounds it was not Edward Marshman it was Robert Fanning, it is very hot in Switzerland!

Edwin Bollier

ebol said...

Es ist für mich interessant zu beobachten wie man heute gezielt versucht meinen Brief (befohlen an die CIA zu schicken) in den Mittelpunkt der Libya Spur zu stellen, um andere massgebende Fakts auszuklammern!

Two weeks more after the bombing...
Someone who was likely Vincent Cannistraro of the CIA's Lockerbie probe told CBS News, who told the country, that "investigators believe" Libya was behind the bombing. The details do not line up with what Bollier said in his "catch-letter," but this mutant whisper of the future fundament was perhaps emboldened by the knowledge that Edwin Bollier was out there, and was willing to make s*** up about Libya just as they were ready to do so as well.

ebol statement: Mein Brief wurde 4 Wochen später, nach dem Absturz der PanAm 103, am 19. Januar 1989 bei der US Botschaft in Vienna von mir persönlich abgegeben. Der Erhalt des Briefes in den USA wurde per A/3 Communication auf Shortwave nach 4 Wochen, am Freitag den 17. Februar um 16 Uhr bestätigt. (Printausdruck)
Somit kann das Wissen von CIA Officer Vincent Cannistraro über eine angebliche Beteiligung Libyen's am PA-103 Attentat, nicht wie man sich wünscht, von meinem Brief abgeleitet werden.
by Edwin Bollier

Caustic Logic said...

Attn Caustic Logic

Apology, but you did not understand by unsatisfactory translation German on English my clarification.

Apologies for my part in this. I can't read German, and rely on the arrogant presumption of Americans that everyone should (and most do) speak English decently.

That and I'm implying immense immorality and duplicity on your part. In fact, I believe you did accept a large sum from the Americans at some point.

I understand your rebuttal to the "two weeks" addition:
My letter was personally transferred 4 weeks later, after the crash of the PanAm 103, to 19 January 1989 with US message in Vienna by me. The receipt of the letter in the USA was confirmed by A/3 Communication on Shortwave after 4 weeks, on Friday 17 February at 16 o'clock. (Print expression) Thus the knowledge of CIA Officer Vincent Cannistraro can over an alleged participation Libyen' s at the PA-103 assassination attempt, not as one itself wishes to be derived, from my letter. by Edwin Bollier

It took almost a month for that letter with "clues" about the bombing to get to Langley? And you know when and how the CIA confirmed it? Sorry, I'll just have to remain unsure, even on this small point. But even if your letter wasn't there in time to inspire that story, you were there in general throughout the years as much more binding stories emerged.

ebol said...

I and MEBO Ltd. have never accepted by the Americans money in connection with the affair of Lockerbie..
by Edwin Bollier

Caustic Logic said...

...on condition that neither you nor they ever publicly say so.


Sie empfingen Geld aber, unter der Bedingung dass weder Sie noch sie überhaupt öffentlich so sagen.

It's just a hunch and one that words from Bollier will only heighten.

Caustic Logic said...

Also, Mr. Bollier, I have a whole string of posts coming to deal with your helpful phase, 1989-91, when your support for Libya was most needed, you had clue after clue against them to sell it seems. So, you might want to save further complaints until you see what else is coming out.

ebol said...

Dear Caustic Logic

Again, I received or accepted from nobody money for information in connection with the PanAm 103 attempt over Lockerbie or for information against Libya!

My helpful phase support for Libya into the Lockerbie Case started since February 1991 till now and is to proven that Libya and Abdelbaset Al Megrahi with the Lockerbie-Tragedy do not have to do anything.
After the visit of the swiss federal police (BUPO) with MEBO, I informed Libya from the investigation against Libya in the case of Lockerbie (MST-13 timer). See Kamp van Zeist, Prod. 291, this type character is written in February 1991, and the date is February the 6th.

Only the document under National Security (PII) can bring back definitive the prestige, the truth and the honour for Libya and Al Megrahi. Therefore I risk everything to open the document under national Security! We are close to...

NB: The ordered letter write to CIA was not directed in order to harm Libya, therefore I wrote a "catch-letter". I wanted to know who was behind the visitor, who visited me on 30 December 1988 with MEBO.
Also over this affair I informed Libya at the beginning of of 1991 in Tripoli.
I hope my bad English can be deciphered

by Edwin Bollier

Caustic Logic said...

My helpful phase support for Libya into the Lockerbie Case started since February 1991 till now and is to proven that Libya and Abdelbaset Al Megrahi with the Lockerbie-Tragedy do not have to do anything.
Hmmm. Please see the post I just put up and feel free to explain there:

After the visit of the swiss federal police (BUPO) with MEBO, I informed Libya from the investigation against Libya in the case of Lockerbie (MST-13 timer). See Kamp van Zeist, Prod. 291, this type character is written in February 1991, and the date is February the 6th.

Yes, I will be covering this as well. Very helpful indeed... (paraphrase) "don't worry, buddy, I threw them off about the timers AND that suitcase, but they are onto you so look out." C.C. to British authorities.

Don't forget, I have the transcripts just like you.

ebol said...


Why Bollier Suspected the Libyans ?

Counter question in german language: Was aktiviert die "Organisation" Caustic Logic plötzlich Bollier (MEBO) gezielt und unfair zu attackieren ? Will sich Caustic Logic damit in Libya gut "einschleimen" ?
Gaustic war bis anhin meistens sachlich und fair mit Bollier,s (MEBO) Ermittlungs Resultaten.
Versucht da jemand das Scottish Miscarriage of Justice, auf ein "Miscarriage of MEBO" umzulenken ?

Feststellung: Die "Organisation" Caustic Logic wird offensichtlich jeden Tag nervöser;

a) weil Bollier (MEBO) sich weiterhin aktiv für die Hintergründe, der Wahrheitsfindung und für die nicht Beteiligung Libyen's und Al Megrahi's, am PanAm 103 Attentat einsetzt und;

b) eine grosse Wahrscheinlichkeit besteht, dass die "Organisation" des unbekannten Landes welche das Dokument unter 'National-Security' (PII), am 13. September 1996 dem Lord Advocate in Scotland übermittelt hatte, demnächst zur Öffnung freigeben werden muss und damit ein neuer Fall "Lockerbie" beginnt,
welcher für einige Offizielle im Gefängnis enden wird wenn man sich die Worte von FBI Spezial Agent und Task Force Chief Richard Marquise anhört.

He said: "If someone manipulated evidence, if somebody didn't invesitgate something that should have been investigated, if somebody twisted it to fit up up Megrahi, or Fimah or Libya, then that person will go to jail. I mean that sincerely, that person should be prosecuted for that."

Gaustic schreibt heute an Bollier in seinem Kommentar: Don't forget, I have the transcripts just like you.
Es wäre schwach, wenn das als Warnung oder Drohung verstanden werden soll ? Gut dass in den Gerichts- und Polizeiakten alles nachgelesen werden kann.
By the way, vielleicht haben wir mehr spezifische Unterlagen als der "Organisation" Gaustic genehm ist...

Zurück zu Gaustic unfairen Angriffen: "Why Bollier Suspected the Libyans" ?

c) Es ist richtig, dass ich mir nach den damaligen News in den Mainstream-Medien unbegründet gedacht habe, es könne sich beim PanAm 103 Flugzeugabsturz unter anderen auch um einen Anschlag oder Racheakt, von Libyen handeln.

Als dann am 30. Dezember 1988 ein Agent eines bis heute unbekannten Geheimdienstes mich (Bollier) besuchte und von Beteiligung Libyens, MST-13 Timer, Reise über Malta, Brief Order an die CIA etc. sprach; und ich danach beim entfernen der Batterien an den zurückgebrachten 40 Olympus Timern ein Programm mit Zeit: PM 7:30 und Tag: Wednesday sah, glaubte ich anfänglich, dass Libyen mit dem Crash etwas zutun hatte.
Es fällt auf, dass sich Gaustic grosse Mühe macht, mir (Bollier) zu unterstellen, dass der fremde Agent nicht existierte und wie bereits vom Gericht, als unglaubhaft und lächerlich, sogar als der "Dritte Man" dargestellt wurde. (Agenten Film: Der Dritte Man).

Continuation of the comment down >>>