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THE LOCKERBIE FILES
Issue 1246

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:

POST-BREXIT BUYING $PREE
Since the Brexit vote the MoD has been busy signing off nearly $25bn of defence contracts, with no time to ask any questions.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
A big hole in the regulation of psychologists could put people at risk from unscrupulous, inept or unaccountable ‘experts’, especially in court cases.

EDUCASHUN SPECIAL: END OF TERM REPORT
From problems facing new education secretary Justine Greening if she goes ahead with plans to convert all schools into academies… to the parlous state of foreign language uptake in schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

COAL COMFORT
Approval for opencast mining at Northumberland beauty spot Druridge Bay sparks (yet another) bitter row in the Labour party.

CRIME PAYS
More on the private firms who, without competition, landed five megabuck contracts to run probation services because no one else put in a proper bid.

HOME IRE’S BURNING
In breach of the military covenant, service families are still ‘badly let down’ and living in poorly maintained accommodation, says a report by MPs.

GEORGE OSBORNE’S SECRET LOBBYING
How getting HSBC and Standard Chartered off a criminal prosecution for money laundering spared the blushes at the top of government.

DODGY LET CALL
Why Roger Southam’s appointment to the Leasehold Advisory Service, whose job is to protect leasehold flat owners, was a tad controversial.

REVOLVING DOORS
The top civil servant who implemented police cuts in 2015 leaves the Home Office for McKinsey, which wants to do privatisation deals with the police.

To read more from issue 1246 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here. For all the latest news you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 2nd August 2016.
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Sun Shines on Brexit Britain! Daily Mail Exclusive… David Davis Hails Trade Deal With Narnia… Lives of the Saints No 94: Mother Theresa… Why Didn’t Police Have More Guns, Laments NRA… We Must Protect Turkish Democracy – or Else, Says Erdogan… UK to Teach Chinese Maths: Sample Questions from Tiananmen Square… ‘I’ve Always Admired Theresa’ Say All Tories… More Golfers Pull Out of Rio Over Wealth Concerns… Sarah Ferguson’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- The Headmistress writes… Meet the new head at St Theresa’s
- Spending $pree: MoD flashes the cash before the £ falls even further
- PLUS: Chilcot round-up; Dr B Ching on Govia’s Southern bellends; & more!

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Private Eye Issue 1422