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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:

DESERT WIND-UP
Embarrassing court cases reveal what British special forces troops are up to in Syria – and have been for ages.

CHEQUES AND BANK BALANCES
Payment-by-results is creating a conflict of interest for Concentrix, the US firm conducting fraud and error checks on UK tax credit claims.

A SUSPECT MILITARY DEVICE
A scary leaked report on Russian military power reveals nothing new – but it may help the UK military secure some expensive new toys.

STRUCK RIGHT OFF
Three nurses who admitted falsifying medical notes at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend are told they will never care for patients again.

ARSENAL’S HOME LOSS
With Woolwich’s Firepower museum mothballed, plans for a new home for the Royal Artillery Regiment collection are on shaky ground in Wiltshire.

THROWING THE BROOK
A wetland restoration scheme in the New Forest could do more harm than good, warn locals.

CHOPPY WATERS
In Norfolk, the Broads Authority is busy purging members who have the audacity to air their criticisms in public.

BACK PEDDLING
A legal spat over a re-insurance scheme sees insurance giant Aon having to report itself to the anti-corruption authorities in Romania.

TRICKS OF THE MIND
More on the educational psychologist, judged by regulators ‘not to be of good character’, who threatened to sue the Eye.

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: 30th August 2016.
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21-Hour Aleppo Bombing Window Too Short, Say Russians… Rio 2016 Day 94: Sailing in the Sewagedrome… Me and My C*** of a Spoon, with Judge Patricia Lynch… ‘It’s Not in My Backyard!’ Fracking Compensation Protest Grows… ‘Moustache Disowns Farage’ Shock… Ukip Now ‘a Real Alternative to Labour’ in Disunity… Donald Trump: My Presidential Checklist, as told to Craig Brown

And also...

- Whitehall-Wash: Why government files stay secret for so long
- Privacy law latest: No, you really can’t speak ill of the dead.
- PLUS: Cameron’s honours; Corbyn’s follies; cartoons galore & more.

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Private Eye Issue 1424