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Innocent Lockerbie man to be released


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The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is expected to be released next week, the BBC understands.
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, has been serving his jail sentence at Greenock Prison.
Scottish ministers described the development as "complete speculation".
The Libyan had launched an appeal against his conviction for the murder of 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988.

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Lockerbie bomber 'to be released'


The Libyans, the British, everyone knows the man is innocent, but won't admit it. Just a shame he had to get prostate cancer before getting his freedom. It was the Iranians, not the Libyans...
 
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Paul Foot did excellent work down the years in Private Eye trying to expose the truth of what happened to those slaughtered people. If only the morally bankrupt British Foreign Office and US State Department had put justice for those dead people above the geo-political cynicism that served their short-term then interests. The CIA were all over the crash site within hours, the Scottish police edged out in their own country...

Col Gadaffi’s regime eventually paid out £1.4 million in compensation to the families of the victims but that was seen by those sceptical of the new theory as one just of the deals which brought him back into the international fold and Al Megrahi was sacrificed for the same end.
Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was one of those killed, said after the trial into the bombing "I went into that court thinking I was going to see the trial of those who were responsible for the murder of my daughter. I came out thinking he had been framed. I am very afraid that we saw steps taken to ensure that a politically desired result was obtained.”
Lockerbie: a miscarriage of justice? - Home News, UK - The Independent
 
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It wasn't a British decision, it was a decision of the Scottish Justice Minister from holyrood who visited him in prison. This man was convicted under Scottish law not British law in Holland.
 
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It is quite startling just how big a divide there is (generally) between the attitudes of the British families and the American families. Perhaps a reflection of the more cynical and less trusting nature of British people towards 'official' versions of events? Either way, the British families are broadly convinced the man is innocent or at least that there is cause for concern surrounding his conviction. The Americans seem to think that any head will do (they might, understandably, not want to confront the 'appalling vista' that the people who killed their relatives never got justice, nor that their government could have deliberately made sure they didn't)...

The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Washington said "broadly" families in the UK were concerned about the conviction, whereas US relatives were convinced of his guilt.
American Susan Cohen, whose 20-year-old daughter Theodora also died, said: "Any letting out of Megrahi would be a disgrace. It makes me sick, and if there is a compassionate release then I think that is vile."
But Pamela Dix, from UK Families Flight 103, said there had been a "lack of justice" for the victims, which included her brother Peter.
She told BBC Two's Newsnight she was "baffled" by much of the evidence in the trial that led to Megrahi's conviction in 2001.
'Just a tool'
And Martin Cadman, who lost his son in the bombing, said he believed Mergrahi was an innocent man who had acted with others.
He said: "As far as I know the Scottish authorities and no-one else has done anything to try and find who these others were that were supposed to be implicated, so the whole thing is really very unsatisfactory".
BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Lockerbie bomber 'to be released'
 
D

Deleted member 17573

It is quite startling just how big a divide there is (generally) between the attitudes of the British families and the American families. Perhaps a reflection of the more cynical and less trusting nature of British people towards 'official' versions of events? Either way, the British families are broadly convinced the man is innocent or at least that there is cause for concern surrounding his conviction. The Americans seem to think that any head will do (they might, understandably, not want to confront the 'appalling vista' that the people who killed their relatives never got justice, nor that their government could have deliberately made sure they didn't)...


BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Lockerbie bomber 'to be released'
I would also think that the ordinary Brit is more likely to show a bit of compassion than the average American. Americans can be more into revenge and vengeance - which was the line Bush worked on after 9/11.
 

seanmacc

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I think Gaddafi felt he had to do anything to get himself out of the cold and a scape goat was offered.
Had that man not sacrificed his freedom we probably wouldn't of been introduced to these lovely girls.

 
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Syracuse University is weighing in against his release (35 Syracuse students were killed):
AFP: Remember students' Lockerbie deaths, university tells Britain

American media have also picked up this gulf in attitudes between the British families and the American ones:
VOA News - Libyan Lockerbie Bomber Could be Released from British Prison
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/world/europe/06briefs-RELEASEFORPA_BRF.html

Here is Paul Foot on the issue before his death, from 2004:
There is, in my opinion (not necessarily shared by the families), an explanation for all this, an explanation so shocking that no one in high places can contemplate it. It is that the Lockerbie bombing was carried out not by Libyans at all but by terrorists based in Syria and hired by Iran to avenge the shooting down in the summer of 1988 of an Iranian civil airliner by a US warship. This was the line followed by both British and US police and intelligence investigators after Lockerbie. Through favoured newspapers like the Sunday Times, the investigators named the suspects - some of whom had been found with home-made bombs similar to the one used at Lockerbie.
This line of inquiry persisted until April 1989, when a phone call from President Bush senior to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warned her not to proceed with it. A year later, British and US armed forces prepared for an attack on Saddam Hussein's occupying forces in Kuwait. Their coalition desperately needed troops from an Arab country. These were supplied by Syria, which promptly dropped out of the frame of Lockerbie suspects. Libya, not Syria or Iran, mysteriously became the suspect country, and in 1991 the US drew up an indictment against two Libyan suspects. The indictment was based on the "evidence" of a Libyan "defector", handsomely paid by the CIA. His story was such a fantastic farrago of lies and fantasies that it was thrown out by the Scottish judges.
In Britain, meanwhile, Thatcher, John Major and Blair obstinately turned down the bereaved families' requests for a full public inquiry into the worst mass murder in British history.
It follows from this explanation that Megrahi is innocent of the Lockerbie bombing and his conviction is the last in the long line of British judges' miscarriages of criminal justice. This explanation is also a terrible indictment of the cynicism, hypocrisy and deceit of the British and US governments and their intelligence services. Which is probably why it has been so consistently and haughtily ignored.
Paul Foot: Lockerbie's dirty secret | UK news | The Guardian
 
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My recollection was that there were a number of Irish citizens on the flight. By and large the largestsingle nationality on board was US. The flight had started off in Germany and only stopped over at Heathrow. Most passengers were going home to US for Christmas.

We tend to forget that 11 people from Lockerbie were killed on the ground
 

Dunlin3

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Contrast this with the combat ribbons issued to the crew of the Vincesses for shooting down Iran Air Flight 655 . But of course they were 'just obeying orders'.
Bit of a simplistic view. It was a massive screw up and gross negligence. Lots of contributing factors including the fact that USS Stark was hit by Exocet missiles in the same area a year or so earlier. 37 sailors were killed.
 
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Why do you say it was the Iranians, Toxic? What is the evidence?
I'll point you to former Labour MP Tam Dalyell's case (synopsised) in the Commons back in 1997 (to his eternal credit, former Tory MP Sir Teddy Taylor also never bought the official version and kept raising the issue):

Tam Dalyell, 1997: 'Nothing has been done.' | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Also to the official site of Dr. Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed that day (I won't quote because it is explicitly copyrighted): index

It's one of those occasional conspiracy theories that is actually much more logical and compelling than the governments' version of events.
 

cactusflower

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I've looked at the threads - where is the evidence that it was Iran ?

Crucially, the Samsonite case was exempted luggage because of the arrangement at a very high level of the American and German Governments. That is how it got through the usual careful procedures at the Frankfurt airport.

I need not go into the rest of the story and the explosion, except to say that some of us believe that, within hours, the Americans had guessed, at a very high level, what had gone wrong. It is a matter of fact that the American helicopters were on site within an hour and 25 minutes. It is a matter of fact that warnings went out to personnel of the embassy in Moscow that they were not to travel. It is also conjecture with a great deal of evidence behind it that the South African general staff, Generals van Tonder and Malan, Rusty Evans and Pik Botha, were pulled off that plane. It is also suggested that a number of service men in the American forces in the Rhine army were taken off the pre-Christmas flight.
 
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In relation specifically to Iran, it's what was believed immediately, it makes more sense as a revenge attack for the USS Vincennes shooting down of an Iranian airplane, and it has been backed up by an alleged ex-Iranian securo-defector (though the CIA has said that he is a fake). It's not that there is a damning piece of evidence extant that proves the case, it's that it is the only version of events that makes sense and fits the facts.
BBC News | WORLD | Iran blamed for Lockerbie bomb

If Megrahi didn't do it, who did? Some time ago suspicion fell on a gang headed by a convicted Palestinian terrorist named Abu Talb and a Jordanian triple agent named Marwan Abdel Razzaq Khreesat. Both were Iranian agents; Khreesat was also on the CIA payroll. Abu Talb was given lifelong immunity from prosecution in exchange for his evidence at the Lockerbie trial; Marwan Khreesat was released for lack of evidence by German police even though a barometric timer of the type used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 was found in his car when he was arrested.
Three months after the bombing, Dumfries and Galloway police published a report on Lockerbie that concluded: "There can be little doubt that Khreesat is the bomb-maker for the [Palestinian group] PFLP-GC, and there is a possibility he prepared the explosive device which destroyed Pan Am Flight 103. As such he should not be at liberty."
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/hugh-miles-lockerbie-was-it-iran-syria-all-i-know-is-it-wasnt-the-man-in-prison-1206086.html


[FONT=Callisto MT,Georgia,Book Antiqua,Palatino,Times New Roman,Serif]In July 1988 the US Navy battle cruiser Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people on board. It was, of course, claimed by the US Navy that this was "an accident". Sure. Just one of those little mistakes that happen from time to time. And pigs can fly.[/FONT]
[FONT=Callisto MT,Georgia,Book Antiqua,Palatino,Times New Roman,Serif]In December 1988 a bomb exploded aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 270 people on board, including 189 Americans. It is widely believed that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the destruction of the Iranian airliner, specifically, that Iran (and possibly other Middle Eastern states) paid a Palestinian group (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command) to do the deed.[/FONT]
[FONT=Callisto MT,Georgia,Book Antiqua,Palatino,Times New Roman,Serif]This is likely, although not proven. What will be interesting is to see if this explanation is allowed any time in court. Obviously the U.S. doesn't want people to consider the possibility that the Pan Am attack was simply (and understandably) an act of revenge for the wanton murder of 290 people aboard the Iranian airliner (some of whom were on pilgrimage to Mecca).[/FONT]
http://www.serendipity.li/more/lockerb.htm
 
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cactusflower

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I know about the US shooting down the Iranian airliner. I would like to see some evidence that it was the Iranians. How come the Americans pulled all their people off the plane?

Didn't it suit them to blackguard Libya then, the way it would suit them to blackguard Iran now?
 
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I know about the US shooting down the Iranian airliner. I would like to see some evidence that it was the Iranians. How come the Americans pulled all their people off the plane?

Didn't it suit them to blackguard Libya then, the way it would suit them to blackguard Iran now?
No, they're sticking to the Libya version, it's the British families and British MPs, as well as generally left-wing campaigners like the late Paul Foot and John Pilger who all insist it must have been the Iranians. The British government, the Scottish police, even the Americans themselves, believed it was the Iranians via a Palestinian-based terror group (who were found with exactly the same type of component parts for explosive devices at the same time) at the time. It was Bush senior and the CIA who pressured Thatcher and, via Thatcher, the investigating authorities, to completely switch tack because it didn't suit their geo-political strategy in relation to finding bases and allies in the Middle East (Syria in particular) for the coming confrontation with Iraq. The change of tack was then, not now.

The people pulled off the plane, including Pik Botha, was another element of the story, which some claim ties in with another theory, that the Americans knew the plane was going to blow up, that it was designed to kill agents who were going to blow the cover on an illegal drugs racket involving other agents. Others say it was co-incidence.

The British families are largely convinced it was Iran, at the very least they're convinced it wasn't the fellow in prison.

SWIRE IS adamant that the principle established by the 14th century English friar and logician William of Ockham – that the simplest explanation that fits all known facts is usually the right one – applies to the Lockerbie bomb that killed his daughter and 269 others.
“The Iranians had told the world that they would seek revenge for the Vincennes attack,” he began, checking off what he sees as the simplest sequence of events. “They had colluded in the past with the PFLP-GC under Jibril, and now they colluded again. The PFLP-GC was the ‘sensible choice’ because, as has been established, it maintained a workshop on the outskirts of Damascus that manufactured timing devices” involving an air-pressure switch for bombs to detonate aboard airplanes.
The German authorities, having found several such devices built into domestic objects when they arrested members of the PFLP-GC in October 1988, Swire went on, alerted the international authorities to the danger. “Germany had warned the UK and US about the PFLP-GC devices well in advance of Lockerbie,” he noted.
The Germans also tested one of them by taking it up in a 747, “and they established that a bomb detonated by these timers would go off between 32 and 42 minutes after take-off.
“Flight 103 was in the air for 38 minutes [before it blew up],” he pointed out, “right in the middle of the time frame.”
In contrast to the narrative that led to Megrahi’s conviction, which requires the incendiary suitcase to have begun its journey in Malta, and other theories which hold that the case began its journey in Frankfurt, Swire’s personal conviction is that it was loaded at Heathrow. He noted that the first appeal court, in 2002, heard that there had been a break-in at Heathrow the night before the bombing, and that the Iranian Air facility was immediately adjacent to the baggage assembly area where transit luggage for Flight 103 was loaded.
The suitcase was smuggled into Heathrow at night, Swire believes, and then brought from the Iranian facility to the unsecured baggage assembly point and placed in the clearly marked (with a big Pan Am logo) Flight 103 container on the day of the bombing.
He recalled that the chief baggage handler, John Bedford, testified that he saw two additional suitcases had been loaded into the relevant container for Flight 103 when he returned from a coffee break that day. The crash investigators, Swire went on, established that the explosion occurred precisely where those cases had been placed, above a single layer of baggage that Bedford had already packed into the container.
Swire contrasted that simple sequence with the official narrative, under which the terrorists immensely complicate their mission by sending their bomb on two flights before it reaches Heathrow, with all the attendant security and timing complexities. Planes often run late; indeed, Flight 103 was late taking off. And yet, in the official narrative, the purported Libyan timing device, which did not feature an air-pressure switch, made its convoluted journey to Heathrow and then detonated successfully soon after the Pan Am flight’s delayed take off.
Which is more plausible, Swire asked, a bomb with a conventional timer making a Malta-Frankfurt-Heathrow journey and detonating 38 minutes into the third of its flights, or a bomb with an air-pressure switch, proven to detonate 32-42 minutes into a flight, doing precisely that? A bomb, moreover, of a kind known to have been in the possession of the PFLP-GC... one of whose bombs had gone missing.
Of course, the counter-argument is that had Flight 103 departed on schedule, and the bomb been detonated by an electronic timer set for that schedule, it would have been over the Atlantic when the bomb exploded, and the orchestrators would likely have been untraceable...
Mideast Dispatch Archive: Lockerbie: Has an innocent man been locked up?
 
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