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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:

REMOTE CONTROLLERS
Amid much mud-slinging as a former friend sues the property-developer Candy brothers, more light is thrown on Nick and Christian’s improbable tax set-up.

BROKEN DOLS
People with dementia and learning difficulties are being detained improperly because deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) are in crisis, says the Law Commission.

BRECON BAD
The growing row over bilingual education in Wales now spreads to Brecon High School in Powys.

FLAW MAT
Education secretary Justine Greening is pushing schools into multi-academy trusts (MATs) even though MPs say there is no proof this will do any good.

PRISON DEATH
A vulnerable inmate at a jail in Kent hanged himself after prison staff ignored his pleas to be moved to safety after he received repeated death threats.

BRIBES R US?
UK Export Finance is still in danger of using British taxpayers’ cash to guarantee exports on which dodgy commissions have been paid.

UNQUALIFIED FAILURE
Brilliant Capita dreams up a new ruse to put unpaid and untrained supervisors in charge of classrooms. What can go wrong?

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.

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'Finally, Another Referendum,' Says Absolutely Nobody… Devil to Edit Bible… 'The Fact-Based Conspiracy Against Me,' by Jeremy Corbyn… Fascist Only Comes Second in European Elections – World Can Relax… Cin-Di-Rella’s Butler to Marry – Nursery Times Exclusive… Hammond in Crash Horror – Wheels Fall Off for ‘Reverse Gear’ Star… Katie Hopkins’ Diary, as told to Craig Brown

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- Street of Shame: St George lowers the Standard (again)
- Brothers grim: The Candys’ tricky corporate tax structure
- Virgin territory: Beardie Branson sues NHS England

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