Private Eye logo
twitter
twitter
rss
rss
rss
gnitty
in the back
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:

FLIGHT OF THE SOUTHWELL PHOENIX
Awkward questions for Robin Southwell, boss of defence giant EADS in the UK, over the receivership of a corporate jet firm of which was a director.

TRANSPARENTLY RIDICULOUS
Despite a promise of “transparent government”, the MoD still refuses to say what it knew about dodgy payments on a £2bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

SHIP OF (RADIOACTIVE) FUELS
How dangerous radioactive materials are still being carried in Europe’s busy shipping lanes on shoddily maintained, non-specialist cargo ships.

TENDER LYING CARE?
Atos, the unloved outsourcing giant, is accused by MPs of lying to the government in order to win a £184m disability assessment contract.

OFF SCOT-FREE…
Families of those who died following botched treatment by surgeon David Jackson are aghast that he has been allowed “voluntary erasure” from the medical register.

HORSE SENSE
More equine skulduggery in the Middle East means red faces at Quest, the corporate detective agency run by ex-Scotland Yard boss Lord Stevens.

PICKLED ONIONS
Communities secretary Eric Pickles, despite urging people to grow their own veg, seems much keener on turning over allotments to… developers!

private eye issue 1363
To read more from issue 1246 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
gnitty
More From This Issue
Lookalikes
Are they related?
more »
Lookalikes
Number
Crunching
more »
Number
Top Stories
Street Of Shame
more »
Top Stories
Also Available Online
More From This Issue
Private Eye Issue 1363
private eye Only In The Magazine

New From Gnome Mart – the Chris & Gwynnie Sick BucketStalin, Hitler, Pol Pot: Nigel Farage’s Guide to Great Leaders Around the World… Those Coalition Bingo Calls in Full… Malaysian Aircraft Story Disappears… Crystal Meth User Admits Being Banker… Loch Ness Monster Demands Referendum Vote… New for Pensioners: It’s the Lamborghini Mobility Scooter… Tony Benn’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Phoenix flights: Awkward questions for busy defence boss Robin Southwell.
- Moscow-on-Thames: Slicker on the oligarchs who help keep Putin in power.
For all these stories you can buy the magazine or subscribe here and get delivery direct to your home every fortnight.
Next issue on sale: 15th April 2014.

Private Eye Issue 1362
gnitty