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From the Eye archives
The Lockerbie Files
Issue 1246, 29th September 2009
flight justice.jpg
Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice »
The Libya ‘link’
So was Libya even involved in the Lockerbie bombing? The answer is that nobody knows. Libya certainly had a grim record in state-sponsored terrorism, but there was scant evidence to link it directly to Lockerbie at the Zeist trial. The links to Libya came from the suggestion that a fragment of a timing device which survived the blast was an MST-13 timer produced by a Swiss company, Mebo, which had supplied some to Libya. But it had also supplied them to East Germany; and in any event Libya could have sold them on. Libya could well have had links with the PFLP and PPF cells; but again there was no evidence of such a link.

So why, then, was all this evidence against the Syrian- and Iranian-backed PFLP and PPF ignored? As Paul Foot explained in Private Eye’s special report, Lockerbie: The Flight from Justice, initially they were pursued - for a solid 18 months, right up to the point of announcing that arrests were imminent. Then suddenly the political mood in the Middle East changed dramatically. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and the US/UN forces needed Arab support beyond their usual friends in Egypt. The Syrians were themselves worried about Hussein’s expansion in the area, and in November 1990 deals were signed to both neutralize Iran and to bring Syrian forces into the combined operation known as Desert Storm to reclaim Kuwait.

As Paul Foot described it, Lockerbie was to be played down and President Bush snr declared: “Syria took a bum rap on this.” No wonder no one now wants a public inquiry and the question remains: who was really behind the biggest ever terrorist atrocity on British soil?

Why the wrong man was in the dock »

Read Paul Foot's definitive account, Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice »

More top stories in the latest issue:

THE DINNER MONITORS
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NATWEST BRANCHES OUT
How the freeholds of 80 NatWest branches from Ilfracombe to Colwyn Bay ended up being owned in Gibraltar (and saving RBS stamp duty land tax.)

PESTER POWER
Schools are pressurising parents to buy or lease iPads for their children to use in class and after school… but what about those who can’t afford it?

LOST IN TRANSITION
The crisis in mental health care for vulnerable teenagers who transfer to adult units is starkly illustrated by the tragic death of Rebecca Overy.

SLEEPING PARTNERS
Staff from Capita subsidiary Tascor are caught snoozing on the job while supposedly escorting deportees back to Albania and Kosovo

TROUBLE BREWING
US brewer Molson Coors wins permission to build houses on a sports ground in Alton – and promptly announces closure of its local brewery too.

A VERY BRUM DO
Why Treasury-approved figures justifying a new £360m hospital PFI in Birmingham had to be fiddled to make them add up. Which they don’t.

BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
The pub tie is dead! Er, long live the pub tie! How Fleet Street hacks fell for pub company propaganda… and why publicans still face a bitter future.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY
Why a family worried about the safety of their 93-year-old father had to remove him from the troubled Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend.

SHARIA SHIFT
After a campaign by the Eye, Asian women’s groups and secular lawyers, the Law Society drops its discriminatory advice to solicitors on sharia law.

private eye issue 1381
To read more from issue 1246 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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