Remembering Lockerbie — Pan Am 103 Quotes

“I regard the Lockerbie verdict against Megrahi as a ‘Grand Monument to Human Stupidity’.  Indeed, the written opinion of the Lockerbie judges is a remarkable document that claims an ‘honoured place in the history of British miscarriages of justice.’ If the [SCCRC] Commission accepts the application for a full review, the infamous Zeist verdict doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving.”

INTEL TODAY — July 5 2017

Mandela visiting Megrahi — aka the ‘Lockerbie bomber’ — in prison. Many thanks to my friend John Ashston who took the picture.

On Tuesday July 4 2017, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission [SCCRC] confirmed that it has received a new application to review the conviction in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi.

Here are some of the quotes I have collected over the years. Together they tell an extraordinary story and they should convince the readers that there are indeed “many dark and sinister corners to this atrocity”.

In 2007, the SCCRC announced that there were six grounds upon which it had concluded that a miscarriage of justice might have occurred. Let us now hope that the SCCRC will accept the application for a full review of Megrahi’s conviction, often described as “a blot on Scotland’s reputation for fair trials”. Let us hope that the SCCRC will give TRUTH a chance! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: LOCKERBIE — SCCRC press release on Megrahi application

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi — the only person ever convicted for the Lockerbie bombing — died on May 20 2012. His New York Times’ obituary was a bit of a surprise as the US Newspaper admitted — for the first time ever —  that the case against him was riddled with errors and false testimony.

RELATED POST: When the Washington Post rewrites History

As I learned from Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, History is best told by the people who lived it. Thus, here are a few quotes about the Lockerbie case. Please, send me your favorite ones and I will update this post regularly! Regards, Intel Today

Pan Am 103 Quotes

John Biewen and Ian Ferguson — Shadow Over Lockerbie

“270 people died when Pan Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988. It was the worst-ever act of airline terrorism against the United States. It’s also been called the world’s biggest unsolved murder.”

PA103judges

Lord Sutherland was the presiding judge at the Lockerbie trial, sitting with Lord Coulsfield and Lord MacLean. Lord Abernethy was an additional judge. At the Lockerbie trial, the judges heard 229 prosecution witnesses and three defence witnesses; they reviewed 2,488 pieces of evidence. The transcripts fill up 10,232 pages of evidence amounting to more than 3m words. The total cost of trial has been estimated at £ 60m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Black QC FRSE – Professor Emeritus of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh and best known as the “Architect of the Lockerbie Trial”

“The Lockerbie trial is the most disgraceful miscarriage of justice in Scotland for 100 years. Every lawyer who has read the judgment says ‘this is nonsense’. It is nonsense.”

Robert Fisk

“After writing about the ‘ravers’ who regularly turn up at lectures to claim that President Bush/the CIA/the Pentagon/Mossad etc perpetrated the crimes against humanity of 11 September, I received a letter this week from Marion Irvine, who feared that members of her family run the risk of being just such ‘ravers’ and ‘voices heard in the wilderness’.

Far from it. For Mrs Irvine was writing about Lockerbie, and, like her, I believe there are many dark and sinister corners to this atrocity. I urge anyone who is aware of government lies over Flight 103 to come forward.”

Janet McMahon — Managing editor of WRMEA

“As you know, he [US Ambassador Andrew Ivy Killgore] was very passionate about Lockerbie. I printed out all your communications to him and he read them avidly. He had his own idea about who was responsible, of course, but certainly agreed that there has been a most grievous cover-up.”

RELATED POST: Ambassador Andrew Ivy Killgore (1919-2016): Lockerbie Trial Was a Cover-Up

James Robertson — Award-winning author “The Lockerbie Affair and Scottish Society

“The more I look, the more I am forced to the conclusion that if there is a conspiracy around Lockerbie, it is not one concocted by those who doubt the guilt of Mr Megrahi, but a conspiracy of silence in which the US, UK and Scottish governments are all, though not from shared motives, implicated.”

Tom Peterkin — Scottish Political Editor of Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman

“After 1,004 days of freedom, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi finally succumbed to prostate cancer in Libya. The man convicted of the mass murder of 270 people in the Lockerbie atrocity went to his grave with the debate still raging about his rôle in the bombing.”

Ian Hamilton — Prominent Scot lawyer

“Prima facie, all of the allegations hold water. But put together, there is such a defence case here that I find it incredible that any responsible Crown Office should not welcome an inquiry.”

“The whole case against Megrahi was soured and poisoned from the very beginning by the CIA. They wanted a conviction at any cost to satisfy the understandable desire of the victims, many of whom were American citizens, for vengeance. I’m afraid Dumfries and Galloway Police and the Scottish Crown Office caved into this desire.”

“It seems to me that this prosecution was conducted with a desire to get a conviction at all costs, even at the cost of justice itself. This has gone on too long and is a blot on Scotland’s reputation for fair trials.”

Dr Ludwig De Braeckeleer — Physicist & Lockerbie Researcher — Key Lockerbie Witness Admits Perjury (Global Research September 15 2007)

“The truth was inconvenient. The three judges had to dismiss it in order to justify a verdict that had been decided more than a decade before the first day of the Zeist trial.

Shame on those who committed this horrific act of terror. Shame on those who have ordered the cover-up. Shame on those who provided false testimony, and those who suppressed and fabricated the evidence needed to frame Libya. And shame on the media for their accomplice silence.”

Geoff Simons — Author of Libya and the West: From Independence to Lockerbie

“The conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was a farce. Even Lord Sutherland, presiding over the arbitrarily contrived Scottish court in Holland, emphasised the “uncertainties and qualifications” in the case, referred to parts of the “conflicting” evidence “which might not fit” and to a conclusion “which is not really justified”. The US ignored international law, imposed sanctions on Libya which resulted in 16,000 deaths, and orchestrated a blatant miscarriage of justice.”

IR 655, Revenge & Geopolitics

Mohammad Jaafar Mahallati — Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations (on the day following the shutdown of the Iranian airliner IR 655)

“We will use any legitimate means to exercise our right for self-defense. And therefore, acting in self-defense, we will use all legitimate means and ways in order to punish this act of terrorism. Not merely to punish. Punish for punishment. But [we will resort to] punishment to prevent further occurrence or recurrence of such unfortunate incidents.”

On July 3 1988, Iran Flight 655 was shot down by a missile cruiser fired from the USS Vincennes under the command of William C. Rogers III.

George H. W. Bush — August 7 1988

“I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

Kenneth M. Pollack — Former CIA analyst

“The shoot-down of Iran Air flight 655 was an accident, but that is not how it was seen in Tehran.”

Former CIA and NSC Vince Cannistraro

And of course, one of the great tragedies that emerges in the summer of 1988 is one of our naval vessels shoots down an Iranian Airbus, by mistake, but nevertheless with a great loss of civilian life on this civilian airliner.

That, in itself, generates a sequence of events that comes back to haunt us. So it’s interesting to look at these in hindsight.

We used to look at them as kind of discrete events, not tied to each other, and seen in a vacuum. But from a distance, I think we can see more of a pattern.

The practical result of that is the Iranians initiate the sponsorship of a number of terrorist plans against the United States.

The immediate reaction is to agree with the Ahmed Jibril group to conduct a series of operations against the United States, revenge operations, the settlement of a blood debt. Intelligence is following this very closely.

That leads to the establishment of [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] cells in Germany. So that basically initiates a whole series of plans against the United States. …

Gordon Rayner — Chief Reporter for The Telegraph

“When Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary began its investigation into the bombing, it believed the PFLP-GC was involved. A report written in 1989 by Supt Pat Connor identified 15 members of the organisation he wanted arrested and questioned, and the then Transport Minister Paul Channon invited selected journalists to an off-the-record briefing to set out the case against Iran and the PFLP-GC, adding that arrests were imminent.

But by the middle of 1989 the investigation had suddenly changed track, reportedly following a phone call between President George H W Bush and Baroness Thatcher in March 1989. The two leaders, it is claimed, were anxious not to antagonize the PFLP-GC’s guardian, Syria – a key strategic power in the Middle East – and decided that Libya, which had taken part in the meetings in Malta, should be the focus of the investigation.”

US Intelligence Report — dated Dec. 2, 1988,

“Team of Palestinians not associated with the PLO plans to attack American targets in Europe. Targets specified are Pan Am and US military bases.”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) security bulletin — Dec. 5, 1988

“An anonymous caller told a US diplomatic facility in Europe on December 5 that a bombing attempt would be made against a Pan American aircraft flying from Frankfurt, West Germany to the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the threat and security for Pan Am flights out of Frankfurt was enhanced.”

George Lardner Jr. — EMBASSY OFFICIALS DESCRIBE WARNING BEFORE LOCKERBIE CRASH (Washington Post – May 1990)

A warning of a terrorist attack was broadly circulated to Americans in Moscow a week before the December 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

“It named a carrier {Pan Am}. It named a route {Frankfurt to the United States}. And it covered a time period” when many Americans in Moscow would be going home for Christmas, Smith said. “Here, it seems to me we have a moral obligation to let people know.”

The warning was posted Dec. 14 at a number of places, including the embassy’s press office, the commercial office frequented by American businessmen, the U.S. Information Service where students congregate, the Anglo-American school, and a bulletin board at the entrance to the cafeteria in the new U.S. Embassy complex.

Jennifer S. Young, who was Pan Am station manager in Moscow, said a reservations clerk told her of the posting. Young, in turn, sent a telex to Pan Am officials in Frankfurt asserting that “approximately 80 percent” of Pan Am’s holiday traffic from the embassy was “now rebooking” to other flights.

Reverend John Mosey — Father of victim

“What this trial has not done is answer the huge questions that we were asking 12 years ago. Who knew what, what was going on, why were the public not protected or warned by the Western governments? We intend to continue and seek answers to those very important questions.”

Mrs Irvine Cadman

“We have felt, since the first days in December 1988, that something was being hidden from us … the discrediting of the Helsinki (US embassy) warning, the presence of the CIA on Scottish soil before the work of identifying bodies was properly undertaken, the Teflon behaviour of ministers and government all contributed to a deep feeling of unease.

This reached a peak when my father was told by a member of the American Presidential Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism that our government knew what had happened but that the truth would not come out. In the truth vacuum, the worst-case scenario – that lives were sacrificed in expiation for the Iranian lives lost in June 1988 – takes on a certain degree of credibility. The plane was brought down in the last dangerous moments of the Reagan presidency.”

James Baker — Visit to Syria (1989)

In mid 1989, Secretary of State James Baker visited with Syrian Foreign Intelligence Minister Farouk al-Sharaa.

Baker asked: “What are you doing about the … group?”

“What are you talking about,” asked al-Sharaa? “Jibril,” answered Baker. “We know they are responsible for Lockerbie. What are you doing about them?”

“How do you know that?”

“We have the evidence,” Baker replied. “And the evidence is irrefutable.”

Paul Foot — Lockerbie’s dirty secret (March 2004)

There is, in my opinion (not necessarily shared by the families), an explanation for all this, an explanation so shocking that no one in high places can contemplate it. It is that the Lockerbie bombing was carried out not by Libyans at all but by terrorists based in Syria and hired by Iran to avenge the shooting down in the summer of 1988 of an Iranian civil airliner by a US warship.

This was the line followed by both British and US police and intelligence investigators after Lockerbie. Through favoured newspapers like the Sunday Times, the investigators named the suspects – some of whom had been found with home-made bombs similar to the one used at Lockerbie.

This line of inquiry persisted until April 1989, when a phone call from President Bush senior to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warned her not to proceed with it. A year later, British and US armed forces prepared for an attack on Saddam Hussein’s occupying forces in Kuwait. Their coalition desperately needed troops from an Arab country. These were supplied by Syria, which promptly dropped out of the frame of Lockerbie suspects. Libya, not Syria or Iran, mysteriously became the suspect country, and in 1991 the US drew up an indictment against two Libyan suspects.

McNamara — NSC

“From my arrival at the NSC [National Security Council] in early 1991 … I was in charge of monitoring the work of all US government Agencies involved in various terrorism cases [mostly Lockerbie and UTA] to ensure that policies and decisions of the president were understood and followed by all agencies working on the cases.”

[INTEL TODAY — For those who wonderd if Intelligence is regularly ‘politicized’, this quote should end the debate…]

President Bush — Los Angeles Times (Nov. 15, 1991)

“The Syrians took a bum rap on this.”

William C Chasey —  “Truth Never Dies”

“He [CIA officer] wasn’t explicit but my belief is that the CIA wanted the suspects eliminated to stop any trial taking place and bury the alternative view that Iran and Syria were behind Lockerbie.”

William Barr, US acting Attorney General — US accuses Libyans of Lockerbie bombing (November 14 1991)

” A fragment from the Toshiba radio-cassette recorder which contained the bomb linked the accused to the crime. ”

“Scientists determined that it was part of the bomb’s timing device and traced it to its manufacturer – a Swiss company that had sold it to a high-level Libyan intelligence official.”

Francis Boyle — International Law professor

“The security Council has no authority to demand anyone’s extradition. (…) Nevertheless, Bush senior got the votes. The key vote was China. To get the Chinese vote, Bush senior agreed to have his infamous meeting in New York with premier Li Ping, the Butcher of Beijing, the official in charge of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

So Resolution 731 was adopted. Everyone at the Security Council knew it was wrong. Everyone knew that Libya had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing, and that Libya had once again been made a scapegoat by the United States.”

About the trial & Verdict

Albright speaks on Lockerbie trial

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said it was time for Libya to turn its promises into deeds and surrender the suspects for trial immediately. She said the proposed plan was not negotiable.

She said: “Let me be clear. The plan the US and the UK are putting forward is a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition.

“It is not subject to negotiation or change. Nor should it be subject to additional foot dragging or delay.”

[INTEL TODAY — Under Scots law, the accused must be brought to trial within 110 days. Lord Sutherland twice agreed 110-days extensions. When the trial date finally approached (May 200), the Lord Advocate [Colin Boyd] applied for a further extension… on ground that the prosecution needed time to interview witnesses!]

John Ashton and Ian Fergusson — The hidden scandal of Lockerbie

“With hindsight, had the defence teams insisted on their clients being tried within 110 days, the case would probably have collapsed.”

OPINION OF THE COURT — delivered by LORD SUTHERLAND

“[1] At 1903 hours on 22 December 1988 Pan Am flight 103 fell out of the sky. The 259 passengers and crew members who were on board and 11 residents of Lockerbie where the debris fell were killed.”

[INTEL TODAY — In the first paragraph of the verdict, the Lockerbie judges could not even date the tragedy correctly. The airline disaster actually occurred on December 21st 1988. Nevertheless, one could argue that this statement is one of the less idiotic of the entire verdict!]

Nelson Mandela

“The same country should not be complainer, prosecutor and judge in this particular matter.”

White House statement

“The [Lockerbie] verdict is a victory for an international effort and has resulted in an indictment of a member of the Libyan intelligence services. The government of Libya must take responsibility.”

Tony Blair’s spokesman

“The prime minister is glad that justice has been done. The Lockerbie bombing was the most heinous terrorist act of recent years.”

Bob Mueller — Acting US deputy attorney general

“The case is not closed. The investigation will continue until any individual who played a role in this tragedy is brought to justice.”

Labour MP Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

“It stretches the imagination that Megrahi alone devised a scheme which led to the biggest murder of Western civilians since 1945.”

Presiding judge Ranald Sutherland to acquitted Khalifa Fhimah

“You are now discharged and free to go.”

Alexander Cokburn

In closing arguments, the prosecution stressed the point that Megrahi could not have planted the bomb without the assistance of Fhimah – that both defendants were equally guilty, and should stand or fall together.

Nevertheless, the judges elected to find one of the two conspirators guilty and the other one innocent, a split verdict that Koechler finds “incomprehensible.”

It is however entirely comprehensible if we accept that the judges knew there was no evidence to convict either man but that it was politically imperative for them to send one of them down…

Pr Hans Kochler — UN Observer at the Lockerbie Trial

“In spite of the reservations explaining the verdict itself, the guilty verdict in the case of Megrahi is particularly incomprehensible in view of the admission by the judges themselves that identification was ‘not absolute’ and that there was a mass of conflicting evidence.”

Financial Times

“Discrepancies at the trial led many to believe in Megrahi’s innocence. (…) We may never know who placed the bomb that brought down terror and death to a planeload of passengers, to the crew that served them, and civilians in a sleepy Scottish town [Lockerbie] below.”

Dr Jim Swire — Father of Flora

“When I went to that trial I thought I was going to watch the trial and conviction of the two guys who had murdered my daughter. But what I heard there led me to peel away from the belief that this was going to reveal the truth.”

“The fact that I believed they had strength and integrity only made it worse when they pronounced him guilty. Because the evidence I had been listening to surely couldn’t lead to that verdict.”

Ian Bell — Journalist

“The case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is an example of a system corrupted, for base political ends, by people who do not take your democracy seriously. He didn’t do it. No-one with a straight face thinks otherwise.”

“I don’t think I’ve used the word too often before, but the al-Megrahi case is a disgrace.”

Pr R Black

Beyond the Lockerbie trial, the failure of the Crown to place the public interest in a fair trial above the interest of the prosecution in obtaining convictions is illustrated by the extent to which the Lord Advocate has recently had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, through the Privy Council in London before making available to the defence material in the prosecution’s possession that no-one could conceivably deny was of relevance and assistance in the accused person’s defence: see Holland v HMA 2005 SCCR 417;   Sinclair v HMA 2005 SCCR 446. So much for the fairness of the trial being the Crown’s primary and predominant motivation!

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (I Corinthians xiii. 11)

It is high time for all involved in the Scottish criminal justice system to put away childish things. All of us, judges included, are surely too old to believe any longer in fairy tales. Fairy tales can be convenient and comforting and can bolster our self esteem.

But, as in the case of the belief that the Crown can uniformly be relied upon always to act selflessly in the public interest, they can be dangerous and, if acted upon, work terrible injustice.

Lord Fraser — “My Lockerbie trial doubts

The former Conservative minister described Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper whose testimony was central in securing a conviction against Abdelbasset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, as “not quite the full shilling” and “an apple short of a picnic”.

Fraser said that he believes Gauci was a “weak point” in the case and has expressed concern that he was a “simple” man who might have been “easily led”.“

Gauci was not quite the full shilling. I think even his family would say (that he) was an apple short of a picnic. He was quite a tricky guy, I don’t think he was deliberately lying but if you asked him the same question three times he would just get irritated and refuse to answer,” he said.

“You do have to worry, he’s a slightly simple chap, are you putting words in his mouth even if you don’t intend to?”

About Tony Gauci

Tony Gauci is the proprietor of the shop ‘Mary’s House’ in Sliema, Malta from where the clothing in the suitcase allegedly containing the explosive device is said to have been purchased. He stated that the man who purchased the clothing resembled Megrahi.

 

Alexander Cockburn

“The clothes were bought either on November 23 or December 7, 1988. Megrahi was in Malta on December 7 but not on the November date. The shopkeeper recalled that the man who bought the clothes also bought an umbrella because it was raining heavily outside.

Maltese meteorological records introduced by the defense showed clearly that while it did rain all day on November 23, there was almost certainly no rain on December 7. If it did rain on that date, the shower would have been barely enough to wet the pavement. Nevertheless, the judges held it proven that Megrahi had bought the clothes on December 7.”

SCCRC

“New evidence not heard at the trial concerned the date on which the Christmas lights were illuminated in the area of Sliema in which Mary’s House is situated. In the Commission’s view,taken together with Mr Gauci’s evidence at trial and the contents of his police statements, this additional evidence indicates that the purchase of the items took place prior to 6 December 1988.

In other words, it indicates that the purchase took place at a time when there was no evidence at trial that the applicant [Megrahi] was in Malta.”

NYT — Megrahi Obituary

“Much of the evidence was later challenged. It emerged that Mr Gauci had repeatedly failed to identify Mr Megrahi before the trial and had selected him only after seeing his photograph in a magazine and being shown the same photo in court. The date of the clothing sale was also in doubt.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY — May 21 2012: NYT Admits Lockerbie Case Flaws

Kenny MacAskill — Cabinet Secretary for Justice

“The evidence was weak, understandably given the circumstances. That has been compounded by doubts over Tony Gauci’s evidence. He was a crucial witness who identified Megrahi as the man who bought clothes placed in the suitcase containing the bomb.

His already debatable evidence has been damaged by information that the Americans paid him for it.”

RELATED POST: Lockerbie: Key Witness Is Dead

SCCRC

“Additional evidence, not made available to the defence, which indicates that four days prior to the identification parade at which Mr Gauci picked out the applicant, he saw a photograph of the applicant in a magazine article linking him to the bombing.

In the Commission’s view evidence of Mr Gauci’s exposure to this photograph in such close proximity to the parade undermines the reliability of his identification of the applicant at that time and at the trial itself.”

Gareth Peirce

“Megrahi’s identification by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper, would remain spectacular in its noncompliance with any safeguard.

He described al-Megrahi as ‘6’0’’’ (he was 5’8’’), ‘50 years old’ (he was 37), and ‘hefty’; said that he ‘had been to the shop before and after’, ‘had been there only once’; that he ‘saw him in a bar months later’; that he ‘will sign statement even though I don’t speak English’; that al-Megrahi ‘was similar but not identical’, ‘perhaps like him but not fully like him’, and, fatally for any identification of al-Megrahi in the first place, that he was ‘like the man in the Sunday Times’ (in other words, like Abu Talb, whose picture Gauci had initially identified).

But Gauci’s evidence was needed and, reports suggest, handsomely rewarded.”

SCCRC (2007)

“There is no reasonable basis in the trial court’s judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items [clothes that were found in the wreckage of the plane] from Mary’s House [in Malta] took place on 7 December 1988.” [WIKIPEDIA]

About the airports evidence

Opinion of the Court

“The absence of an explanation as to how the suitcase was taken into the system at Luqa is a major difficulty for the Crown case but after taking full account of that difficulty, we remain of the view that the primary suitcase began its journey at Luqa.” (§ 82)

Thomas Crooks

“Your revelations regarding the failure of the Crown Office to provide the defence with the material pertaining to the Heathrow break-in just hours before the Lockerbie bombing seriously undermines the integrity of the prosecution’s case and, therefore, the integrity of the Scottish legal system.”

Sunday Times

A German expert has raised fresh controversy on a crucial piece of evidence in the conviction of Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi as the Lockerbie bomber.

The verdict relied heavily on the judges’ acceptance of a brief computer printout of the baggage movements at Frankfurt airport. The prosecution had argued it proved an unaccompanied bag containing the bomb was transferred from Air Malta flight KM180 to the Pan Am flight 103 to London on December 21, 1988.

The expert who helped design the baggage system in place at Frankfurt airport in 1988 and familiar with the operating software has now said: “The Lockerbie judges got it wrong, they simply got it wrong.”

In the original trial, the Crown could offer no evidence of how the bag got aboard the Air Malta flight in the first place. Malta had presented records showing that no unaccompanied baggage was on the Air Malta flight in question.

Noel Koch — headed the US Defence anti-terrorism Department from 1981 to 1986.

[Koch ridiculed the idea that terrorist would gamble on the likelihood that an unaccompanied luggage would be successfully transferred twice, first from Malta to Frankfurt, and then from Frankfurt to London.]

“I can tell you this much that I know about terrorism: it’s simple. You don’t complicate life. Life’s complicated enough as it is. If you’ve got a target you want to get as close as you can to it and you don’t go through a series of permutations that provide opportunities for failure and that provide opportunities for discovery. It doesn’t work that way.”

Ahmed Jibril — head of the PFLP-GC

“I know all about the science of explosives. I am an engineer of explosives. I will argue this with any expert that the bomb went on board in London. I do not think the Libyans had anything to do with this.”

Dr Jim Swire

“There has been profoundly coherent evidence readily and even publicly available for at least the last 18 years which seems to show not only that the late Mr Megrahi was not guilty, but that the whole prosecution case alleging that the bomb was planted in Malta by Libyans is not correct.”

David Wolchover, barrister and Head of Chambers Emeritus at 7 Bell Yard, London.

“It will have become apparent from the analysis of the evidence before the court offered here that wherever the bomb which destroyed Pan Am 103 was built the Samsonite hardshell bag in which it was packed could not have come from Luqa as an anonymous item of baggage on KM180, or from Frankfurt on PA103A. It should have been as “plain as a pikestaff” that it was smuggled into the system at Heathrow.”

 About the Star witness

Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka

Lord Advocate Colin Boyd

“There is nothing within these documents [CIA cables from Malta/Giaka] which relates to Lockerbie or the bombing of Pan Am 103 which could in any way impinge on the credibility of Mr Majid [Giaka] on these matters.”

Michael Scharf —  Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

“The case was largely based on this inside guy [Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka]. It wasn’t until the trial that I learned this guy was a nut-job and that the CIA had absolutely no confidence in him and that they knew he was a liar. The CIA and the FBI kept the State Department in the dark. It worked for them for us to be fully committed to the theory that Libya was responsible.”

 — Loss of Face At Lockerbie (NYT – October 2000)

If anything suffered at the Lockerbie trial this week as much as the star witness who withered under cross-examination, it seemed to be the credibility of the American intelligence community.

Both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation appeared badly singed by the results of the first-ever release of C.I.A. cables in a foreign court, by a series of evasive answers from an F.B.I. investigator and by the poor showing by the witness, Abdul Majid Giaka, who spent three years on the C.I.A. payroll and nine in the federal witness protection program. The cables revealed that even his C.I.A. handlers had doubts about Mr. Abdul Majid.

A 1989 C.I.A. cable said: ”It appears that Pan Am 103 may be a non-subject with his colleagues. He could not provide any additional information.”

Robert Baer — Former CIA

“Regarding the CIA people in Malta who knew about Giaka… I asked them what the fuck was going on. And they said: “We took one for the team, by making up this stuff about Libya.”

“That was their exact words, ‘we took one for the team’. Meaning they knew Giaka [The Lockerbie Trial ‘Star’ witness] was a fraud, a swindler”.

NYT — Defense in Lockerbie Trial Undermines a Key Witness – (Sept. 28 2000)

“The testimony of the most important witness in the Lockerbie trial was systematically torn to pieces by defense lawyers today.

Two defense lawyers spent the day battering every important point made on Tuesday by Abdul Majid Giaka, a Libyan double agent who has been in a United States federal witness protection program for the last decade.

Mr. Abdul Majid’s tentative performance today, coupled with his failure on Tuesday to link the two defendants firmly to the bomb, seemed seriously to undermine his usefulness to the prosecution and its effort to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the two Libyans on trial, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, blew up Pan Am 103 in 1988, killing 270 people.

Today the defense lawyers called Mr. Abdul Majid a liar at least 30 times, and only once the whole day did a prosecutor rise to object.”

About the MST-13 timers and PT/35(b)

PT/35(b)

PT/35(b) — A tiny fragment from the main board of a MST-13 timer produced by the Swiss company MeBo for the Libyan military

FBI Richard Marquise

“Without PT/35(b), there would have been no indictment.”

Rev. John Mosey

“PT/35(b) was extremely, extremely dodgy. It was very, very suspicious. The way it suddenly appeared, embedded in a shirt collar, with the information on the page overwritten and changed, all police procedures were thrown out of the window.”

Oliver Miles — Former British ambassador to Libya.

“No court is likely get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence.”

Retired Strathclyde Police superintendent Iain McKie

 “The whole chain of evidence has been totally and utterly shattered. It is looking more and more like the police came to a conclusion and then looked for evidence.”

John Ashton — Lockerbie Researcher

“Mr Marquise does not mention the fact that the Scottish police knew from as early as March 1990, well before the fragment was linked to Mebo, that its pure tin coating was very unusual.

In 1992 they commissioned tests that proved that the control sample Thuring board had a tin-lead coating, which begs the question: why did the Crown persist in running a case that was predicated on the claim that PT/35b originated from one of the 20 Libyan timers?”

Lockerbie trial, page 9624.

“Dr. Hayes seemed to have no real recollection independently of his notes of having found PT 35B.  The sequence of the PT numbering and the absence from the notes of a drawing of the circuit board are unusual features.

The pagination of the notes was described by Hayes as “an unfathomable mystery”, for which he did propose an explanation, but unfortunately one that does not work. The memorandum of the 15th of September 1989 is difficult to understand if the fragment was indeed found on the 12th of May 1989. PT/35B is an important piece of evidence on which the Crown rely and in respect of which it is for the Crown to satisfy the court as to its provenance.

I submit that the irregularities and peculiarities which attend this item are some which the court ought to have some hesitation in being satisfied as to the item’s provenance.”

Lockerbie Investigator George Thomson

“If (…) the type of copper used in PT35b can be dated 1989 -early 90s then it adds enormously to the evidence that the fragment was not found by Hayes in May 1989 as claimed. I have consistently claimed this since 2002 but following on from John Ashton’s achievements re the tinning this could be the biggest breakthrough to date.”

Robert Parry — Consortiumnews

“In 2007, Mr Lumpert admitted that he had lied at the trial, stolen a timer and given it to a Lockerbie investigator. Moreover, the fragment he identified was never tested for residue of explosives, although it was the only evidence of possible Libyan involvement.”

BBC

Thomas Gilchrist, admitted under cross-examination by defence advocate Richard Keen, that a description on one label which was shown magnified on a courtroom imager might possibly have been changed from “clothes” to “debris”.

Ulrich Lumpert — Witness (No. 550) at the Camp Zeist trial

“I confirm today on July 18, 2007, that I stole the third hand-manufactured MST-13 timer PC-board consisting of eight layers of fiber-glass from MEBO Ltd. and gave it without permission on June 22, 1989, to a person officially investigating in the Lockerbie case.”  (The identity of the official is known.)

“It did not escape me that the MST-13 fragment shown [at the Lockerbie trial] on the police photograph No. PT/35(b) came from the nonoperational MST-13 prototype PC-board that I had stolen.”

“I am sorry for the consequences of my silence at that time, for the innocent Libyan Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi sentenced to life imprisonment, and for the country of Libya.”

INTEL TODAY

“There is some reason to believe that the copper used to manufacture PT/35(b) — the central piece of evidence in this case — was not produced  — at the earliest — before the end of 1989. If true, it would be proof that this key evidence — PT/35(b) — was fabricated AFTER the Lockerbie tragedy.”

Francis Boyle — International Law professor

[Boyle has suggested an interesting explanation to the puzzling discovery of the MST-13 in Dakar on February 20 1988.]

“You will note that when all these allegations began to emerge from Senegal, that exact same week the Financial Times of London reported that Senegal’s public debts had been miraculously rescheduled by the Paris Club at a highly preferential rate that Senegal was not entitled to. It was pretty clear that someone in Senegal  had been bought off.”

George Thomson — Lockerbie Investigator

So sure were the Police that Talb was their man that they even fabricated evidence of a piece of clothing found in his home in Sweden and originally described as a pair of child’s kick-trousers with a size and a manufacturer into being a Babygro with Penguins on the front the same type of course as described in the shipment note lodged at Court to prove the evidence of Gauci and his lamb/sheep Babygro he claimed to have sold to the man.

I could go on and on with discrepancies in the case but I want to make the point that Megrahi was in my mind convicted on evidence much of which was designed to prosecute Talb and all they had to do to was change the tentative identification by Gauci of Talb to Megrahi and introduce the small fragment of circuit board PT35b

That’s what makes this case so different. Megrahi was convicted on false evidence originally intended to be used against someone else and if any of that evidence was tested in Court by a Defence Team Properly briefed by Defence Investigators then Megrahi’s name would be cleared.

About the “Experts”

Edward S. Herman

“All three forensic scientists who worked intensively on this case, one for the FBI (Tom Thurman) and two for a branch of the UK ministry of defense (Allen Fereday and Thomas Hayes) had run into trouble in the past for concealment of evidence (Hayes), wrong conclusions (in one case, false testimony on a explosive timer—Fereday), and fabrication of evidence (Tom Thurman).”

Paul Foot — Imbeciles of the FBI (Guardian – May 2003)

“The forensic link to Libya was allegedly established by a tiny piece of circuit board from a timer, mysteriously found in remote countryside after the bombing, and traced by the FBI to a Swiss manufacturer who sold timers to Libya. The genius behind this detective work was FBI agent Tom Thurman.

For reasons that were never clear Mr Thurman was not called to give evidence to the hugely expensive trial of two Libyans three years ago. The US authorities and their media, however, were full of praise for Thurman and his work. In November 1991, for instance, he was named “Person of the Week” on the TV Network ABC.

The rivers of praise dried up rather suddenly when The Person of the Week’s work at the FBI Explosives Unit was investigated by the Department of Justice. Their inquiry found that Thurman “had been routinely altering the reports of scientists working in the unit”.

Fifty-two such reports were investigated. Only 20 had not been altered.”

US attorney general Report on FBI Forensic Lab

“Williams and Thurman merit special censure for their work. It recommends that Thurman, who has a degree in political science, be reassigned outside the lab and that only scientists work in its explosives section.”

Frederic Whitehurst — Former FBI chemist

“Thurman is very aggressive, but I think he made some mistakes that needed to be brought to the attention of FBI management.”

“We’re not necessarily going to get the truth out of what we’re doing here.”

“Did Mr. Thurman find the [Lockerbie] integrated circuit chip about which you have referred? After leaving the FBI, I was interviewed by Scottish defense attorneys for one of the individuals accused of bombing Pan Am 103. At that interview were two of my attorneys, two FBI attorneys and two Scottish attorneys and me. I was asked what I knew about the circuit chip. I can say that I was not interviewed because I agreed with the official version of the discovery of that integrated circuit chip.”

William Tobbin — Former FBI Engineer

Thurman and other examiners rendered conclusions supporting the prevailing investigative or prosecutorial theory but which were unsupported by scientific fact. It was not uncommon to determine that items characterized as ‘chrome-plated’ were nickel-plated, ‘extrusions’ turned out to be drawn products, ‘castings’ turned out to be forgings, white residues characterized as explosive residue turned out to be corrosion products (generally Al2O3 or a non-stoichiometric form), bent nails claimed to be indicative of an explosion, and a truck axle was characterized as having fractured from an explosion (a conclusion rendered solely from an 8-1/2″ x 11″ photograph where the axle was a small fraction of the field of view and the fracture surface itself was not observable). I put no credence into any scientific or technical conclusions rendered by anyone without a suitable scientific background…

He would frequently come into my office, ask for a ‘quick’ assessment of something (but I would always indicate that my opinion was only a preliminary evaluation and that I would need to conduct proper scientific testing of the item(s)), then weeks later I would see the assessment in a formal FBI Laboratory report to the contributor (of the evidence) as his own ‘scientific’ conclusion.”

OPINION OF THE COURT — delivered by LORD SUTHERLAND

“We have assessed carefully the evidence of these three witnesses about the activities of MeBo and in particular their evidence relating to the MST-13 timers, which the company made. All three, and notably Mr. Bollier, were shown to be unreliable witnesses. Earlier statements which they made to the police and judicial authorities were at times in conflict with each other and with the evidence they gave in court. On some occasions, particularly in the case of Mr. Bollier, their evidence was self contradictory.” (§ 45)

SCCRC

This position is clearly inaccurate, as was discovered during the precognition process. In fact Sherrow gave the timer K1 to the CIA in late 1987 and it was in CIA possession until June 1990.

John Orkin* [Real name: Jack Christie] of the CIA was the person who identified the similarity between PT/35(b) and K1, not Thurman.

Crown precognition of FBI Expert Thomas Thurman

I was told that, as far as the CIA (the Agency) was concerned, it was not to be involved in the chain of custody and that the device was to be regarded as having come directly from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

I took the device and said that I would obtain instructions from headquarters as to how to deal with the situation. I showed the timing device and photograph to the laboratory director and he agreed with the identification. This was the first occasion on which I “fronted” a find for the Agency.

The decision to present the situation in this manner was made within the administrative confines of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I do not know who made the decision. For public consumption, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had provided the timer.

Dr Ludwig De Braeckeleer

“In early February 1989, Feraday wrote that he was completely satisfied that fragments recovered at the Lockerbie crime scene originated from a white Toshiba brand radio stereo cassette recorder types RT-8016 or RT-8026.

[INTEL TODAY: That type of Toshiba radio was identical to the ‘fifth device’: a IED built by a PFLP-GC gone missing in the fall of 1988 in Germany.]

By the time the US and UK issued a joined indictment against the two Libyan men, Feraday had established that the bomb had been hidden in a black Toshiba radio model RT-SF16 almost solely sold to Libya.”

On Syria, Iran and the PFLP-GC

Paul Harris — Journalist

“There is little doubt in my mind that the Libyans did NOT carry out the Lockerbie bombing, but rather that it was carried out by the Palestinian terror group PFLP-GC, based in Damascus, acting upon Iranian instructions in response to the 1988 downing of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes.”

RELATED POST: Suspicious Aviation Tragedies — Iran Flight 655 (July 3 1988)

Edward S. Herman — The New York Times on the Libya-Pan Am 103 Case: A Study in Propaganda Service (GlobalResearch – September 2007)

“In her 1993 memoir The Downing Street Years, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wrote that after the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya, which used British airbases and in which Kaddaffi’s two-year old daughter was killed, “There were revenge killings of British hostages organized by Libya, which I deeply regretted. But the much vaunted Libyan counter-attack did not and could not take place.”

Ms. Thatcher seems to have forgotten Pan Am 103, or could she have momentarily forgotten that Libya was supposed to have been guilty of this act, and, writing honestly but carelessly for the historical record implicitly acknowledged here that this was a fraud that she had helped perpetrate.”

The Herald

“The document itself is historical and regimes have changed so it is hard to believe it presents any risk at all to national security. It originates from Jordan and incriminates the Palestinian terror group the PFLP-GC. The contents are very important but what makes them so much more significant is the lengths the UK Government and others have gone to in order to prevent anyone from seeing the document.”

“This is the most remarkable piece of evidence. It does not rule out the Libyans but it does indicate that others were involved.”

“It also shows the lengths the UK Government was prepared to go to in order to ensure that any evidence undermining their case against Libya would never see the light of day.”

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie

“No one came to me and said ‘Now we can go for the Libyans’, it was never as straightforward as that. The CIA was extremely subtle.”

Dr Jim Swire

“As you know, I have always believed that it was Iranian revenge, whether or not the Libyans helped, and that the Syrians through Jibril supplied the technology.”

RELATED POST: Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Takes Many Secrets to His Grave

Yves Bonnet — Former French DST Director

“Let me take, for example, the Lockerbie case and also the case of the Ténéré [UTA] that were blamed on Libya when all intelligence services know that these attacks were committed by Ahmed Jibril under the inspiration and funding from Iran.”

RELATED POST: France — Former DST Director Yves Bonnet: “Libya NOT responsible for Lockerbie!”

Dr Richard Fuisz

“If the United States government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack [Pan Am 1003] today. I could do it right now. You want a police line up? I could go into any crowded restaurant of 200 people, and pick out these men. […] And you know what, Susan? You won’t find this restaurant anywhere in Libya. No, you will only find this restaurant in Damascus.”

RELATED POST: CIA Asset Dr Richard Fuisz : TEREX & Lockerbie

Former CIA Robert Baer

“Look — in the intelligence community — I’m not giving you a controversial opinion here. I kept up with all of the CIA, National Security Agency analysts, everybody involved in the intelligence side, and to a man nobody has ever said to me that it was Libya”.

“The National Security Agency reporting on Lockerbie is absolutely damming that it was Iran and Syria behind it, rather than Libya. It’s damning, damning, damning, it’s rock solid intelligence”.

Arthur MacDonald — Journalist

“Exactly when everyone decided Libya was responsible for this outrage I can’t actually remember. Mr Gaddafi seemed to be everybody’s whipping boy at the time, so that could explain it.

What I do know is that none of the journalists I worked with on the story ever believed that Libya was guilty.”

Colonel Patrick Lang — chief of the DIA’s Middle East

“The bombing of the Pan Am flight was conceived, authorized and financed by Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, the former Iranian minister of Interior.

The operation was contracted to Ahmad Jibril for $1 million. The remainder was to be paid after successful completion of the mission.”

Noel Koch — who headed anti-terrorism efforts for the US Defense Department from 1981 to 1986 — never accepted the “Lybian Theory”.

“It was decided by the two governments, by the United States and the United Kingdom, that Libya had been responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103.

I have never believed that. My own conviction from the outset was that the Syrians and Iranians were pre-eminently responsible for this.”

On Megrahi being not guilty

Craig Murray — Former UK Ambassador

“As I have previously stated, I can affirm that the FCO and MI6 knew that al-Megrahi was not the Lockerbie bomber.”

Oliver Miles — Former British ambassador to Libya

“I don’t think the truth possibly ever will be found so perhaps we will be talking about this for years to come.”

“I don’t think anybody thinks he [Megrahi] was the man behind the bombing.”

Christine Grahame MSP

“I am pleased that Mr Megrahi’s family has decided pursue an appeal against his conviction.

I believe Mr Megrahi was wrongly convicted.”

David Ben-Ayreah — a spokesperson for the victims of Lockerbie families

“As someone who attended the trial, I have never taken the view that Megrahi was guilty.

Megrahi is the 271st victim of Lockerbie.”

Dr Emmanuel Mallia — Lawyer

“I personally know the accused and have always firmly believed in his innocence.”

“Having examined the judgment of the court at Camp Zeist and being aware of the salient evidence produced in the case by the prosecution, I feel that the evidence could never have amounted to guilt of the accusation according to law.”

Hugh Miles — London review of Books

From the outset the Lockerbie disaster has been marked by superlatives. The bombing was the deadliest terror attack on American civilians until 11 September 2001.

It sparked Britain’s biggest ever criminal inquiry, led by its smallest police force, Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. It spelled the end of Pan Am, which never recovered from the damage to its reputation.

The trial at Camp Zeist was the longest and – at a cost of £75 million – the most expensive in Scottish legal history. The appeal hearing was the first Scottish trial to be broadcast live on both television and the internet.

Lawyers, politicians, diplomats and relatives of Lockerbie victims now believe that the former Libyan intelligence officer is innocent.

John Ashmore — Journalist

“US senators are calling for an inquiry into allegations that BP lobbied the British government to let Megrahi go in order to protect their interests in Libya.

Perhaps those calling for an inquiry into the circumstances of this man’s release should dig a little deeper into how he was convicted in the first place.”

Tam Dalyell

“If I thought for one moment that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty as charged in the mass murder of 270 innocent people in the crash of the Pan Am airliner “Maid of the Seas” at Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, I would not have agreed to pen an obituary – let alone an affectionate one.

My settled conviction, as a “Professor of Lockerbie Studies” over a 22-year period, is that neither Megrahi nor Libya had any role in the destruction of Pan Am 103. The Libyans were cynically scapegoated… “

Gareth Peirce — The Framing of al-Megrahi

“Al-Megrahi’s trial constituted a unique legal construct, engineered to achieve a political rapprochement, but its content was so manipulated that in reality there was only ever an illusion of a trial.”

“The term miscarriage of justice carries with it the inference of accident, but also of death. There is a pressing need to investigate in detail how it has come about that there has been a form of death in this case – the death of justice – and who should be found responsible.”

The Truth at Last?

Hugh Young — a Lockerbie councillor at the time of the disaster

”Ideally they would like to know who was responsible, and I think they would also like to know why the crime was committed in the first place, who sponsored it and for what reason ?” he said.

”Was it retaliation for some other event somewhere else, was it some random act ?”

But asked if he thought they would discover the truth, he replied: ”I would like to think so…but somehow I just feel it’s unlikely…I don’t think we’ll ever know the real reason why.”

Pr Robert Black

“I am optimistic about the outcome of the Megrahi family’s forthcoming application to the SCCRC. In June 2007 the SCCRC decided, on six grounds, that there might have been a miscarriage of justice.

Since then even more evidence has come to light casting doubt on the verdict (not least Dr Morag Kerr’s masterly analysis of the bomb-damaged luggage, which demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the bomb suitcase was ingested at Heathrow, not Luqa in Malta).”

Aamer Anwar — Lawyer

“The reputation of Scottish law has suffered both at home and internationally because of widespread doubts about the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi.

It is in the interests of justice and restoring confidence in our criminal justice system that these doubts can be addressed.

However the only place to determine whether a miscarriage of justice did occur is in the appeal court, where the evidence can be subjected to rigorous scrutiny.”

“Whilst the pain and anguish of the American relatives is understandable they should also be aware that this appeal would have the support of many British relatives who lost their loved ones too that awful night in December 1988.

“We have their support because they believe there can be no justice without the truth.”

Dr Jim Swire on the death of Megrahi

Jim Swire, is an English doctor best known for his involvement in the aftermath of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which his daughter Flora was killed.

Swire lobbied toward a solution for the difficulties in bringing suspects in the original bombing to trial, and later advocated for the retrial and release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Swire also carried a fake bomb onto an aircraft as a demonstration of lax security. [Wikipedia]

RELATED POST: The Day My Friend Boarded Flight BA 177 with a Bomb — May 18 1990

REFERENCES

THE LOCKERBIE TRIAL by RT. HON COLIN BOYD QC, LORD ADVOCATE, SCOTLAND

SCOTBOM: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation by Richard A. Marquise

Megrahi: You Are My Jury: The Lockerbie Evidence by John Ashton

For those interested in the Lockerbie Trial tragedy, I recommend the excellent blog of Professor Black: TheLockerbieCase. Those who want to study the forensic history of PT/35(b) will find many resources and original documents on the  PT35B blog. Also, you may want to check the blog of Dr Jim Swire and Peter Biddulph: The LockerbieTruth.

Maltese man who determined Lockerbie bombing trial diesTimes of Malta

Lockerbie: J’accuse

Key Lockerbie witness Tony Gauci dies in Malta— BBCNEWS

The FOIA Request that Cost Agency Employee Jeffrey Scudder His Job  — UNREDACTED

CIA Role in the Pan Am 103 Investigation and Trial — CIA Website

CIA employee’s quest to release information ‘destroyed my entire career’ — WP July 2014

Lockerbie bombing: Megrahi family to launch appeal bid — BBC News

Robert Fisk: Do you know the truth about Lockerbie? — Independent

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Remembering Lockerbie — Pan Am 103 Quotes

This entry was posted in Lockerbie and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Remembering Lockerbie — Pan Am 103 Quotes

  1. John Curran says:

    Some excellent comments here and all pointing to the fact that Megrahi and Libya had nothing to do with the lockerbie bombing. So why are the authorities so intent on supressing the truth?

    Like

  2. mohandeer says:

    Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
    That an innocent man (Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi) was convicted of a crime he was totally innocent of was bad enough, that the CIA and UK government were complicit in this sham was extraordinary and worse still, that the judiciary chose to continue in this utter farce to it’s ultimate conclusion and miscarriage of justice was downright disgusting. So many guilty and just one person paying the price – beyond words.

    Like

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