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From the Eye archives
The Lockerbie Files
Issue 1246, 29th September 2009

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:

SAUDI BRIBERY & THE HSBC CONNECTION
Leaked data of Swiss HSBC accounts includes familiar names linked to decades-long corruption on a UK-Saudi Arabian military deal.

MILITARY TWITTERS
‘Squarebasher’ on the new 77th Brigade, which will use social media to ‘wage propaganda war’ (er, just like the military does already).

WATERSPORTS FOR ALL?
How the Canal & River Trust got to share a canoe with high-profile donor Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond and his Desmond Foundation.

A HEAD FOR TROUBLE
The headteacher sacked for abusing a pupil and bullying staff in Manchester… who landed another job at a primary school 200 miles away.

BUNGLING BUPA
The Middlesbrough nursing home that’s not allowed to take new admissions until it improves the way it treats its vulnerable residents.

FREE MASONRY ALERT!
The prize-winning Environment and Sustainability Institute near Falmouth – bits of which are falling down less than three years after it opened.

ABMU LATEST
Five nurses face charges for falsifying blood sugar readings at two South Wales hospitals, but police believe ‘many more’ nurses did the same thing.

CLOUD ON THE HORIZON
MPs slam the Post Office’s handling of problems caused by its Horizon IT system, which critics say has led to unjust sackings, prosecutions and jail.

A BITTER PILL
Doctors and nurses whose blunders meant a prisoner dying from cancer was given paracetamol and ibuprofen still face no disciplinary action or sanction.

private eye issue 1386
To read more from issue 1246 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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