LOCKERBIE TRIAL: A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND BAD NEWS.The long awaited verdict of the Lockerbie trial presented all parties concerned with a tragi-comic mixture of good and bad news. Starting with the defendants Abdul Baset Ali Al Megrahi and Lamine Al Amin Al-Amin Ibne Abdullah (born September 6, 1972 in Mymensingh, Dhaka) is a former First-class cricketer who played 6 First-class games and 6 List A matches for Barisal Division in the 2000/01 Bangladesh domestic season. Fhimah, they were found guilty and not guilty, respectively.
The three Scottish judges, found Mr Megrahi guilty of mass murder, sentencing him to life in prison. At the same time, they freed his co-defendant for lack of proof. The two were put on trial accused of bombing Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing all 270 people aboard and 11 people on the ground in December 1988.
The verdict left an open question: Since evidence that led to the arrest of the two in the first place indicates they were both working for the Libyan Intelligence Service, is it probable the organisation was that sophisticated that the two defendants were operating for two separate branches, independently of each other, without even knowing of each others existence?
For the Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gadaffi the verdict was good news, in that his name was not dragged out in court as being the man responsible for the mass murder. The bad news however, is that it is not over; he has yet to admit Libyan intelligence service involvement and compensate the victims. However, even this bad news also carried good news in its inflated belly: giving, as it did, an opportunity for the eccentric colonel to hog the media stage.
Displaying the latest in his designer wardrobe and hugging the freed Al Amin Fhimah to his chest, he shouted from the roof tops giving long speeches -- one lasting three hours, during which hapless foreign correspondents had to sit patiently, waiting -- to no avail -- for the promised proof of Mr Megrahi's innocence -- as the Colonel denounced America and Britain. No new evidence or proof was found among the incomprehensible rhetoric that followed. Nevertheless the mass protest in the streets of Tripoli continued unabated, with two of Gadaffi's brainwashed brain·wash
tr.v. brain·washed, brain·wash·ing, brain·wash·es
To subject to brainwashing.
The process or an instance of brainwashing. subjects cutting their own throats.
For the families of the victims, at last the link between the terror over Lockerbie and Libya was established. The bad news was the strong fishy fish·y
adj. fish·i·er, fish·i·est
1. Resembling or suggestive of fish, as in taste or odor.
2. Cold or expressionless: a fishy stare.
3. smell that pervaded the courtroom as the verdicts were announced. The most famous among them Dr Jim Swire Dr Jim Swire was born in 1936 in Windsor in Berkshire. He was educated at Eton College and studied at Cambridge University. From Cambridge he was commissioned into the British army as an engineer specialising in munitions and explosives. , whose daughter Flora perished on the doomed flight, found the contradiction in the verdict too much to bear and fainted in court.
Was it possible, even conceivable that Mr Megrahi acted alone? What was his motive? What did he gain? Who made the bombs, and who gave the orders?
The relatives called a press conference to rubbish both the CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.
(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy). and the Scottish police evidence, and to call for a public inquiry.
For Britain and America, the good news is that the judges, by finding one of his agents guilty, managed to wipe the smile off Colonel Gadaffi's face (the Colonel had the early laughs of the saga in 1998 when he caught America and Britain off guard by suddenly handing over the two suspects to be tried in the specially established Scottish court Scottish court may refer to:
The bad news was that the verdict, as well as the demands made by relatives of the victims, present London and Washington with multiple headaches.
For eight years UN sanctions against Libya -- imposed in 1992 -- seemed more damaging to American and British interests than those of Libya. With generous oil revenues, the latter has often found ways around them. Most Arab nations refused to treat Libya as a pariah. And many non-Arab states have also grown restive at the idea of Libya's continued economic isolation. Rescinding the sanctions, which have been suspended for almost two years, and normalising relations with Libya now makes good political sense for both Britain and America, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. diplomatic sources. They want sanctions to be lifted, before America's errors with Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein
(born April 28, 1937, Tikrit, Iraq—died Dec. 30, 2006, Baghdad) President of Iraq (1979–2003). He joined the Ba'th Party in 1957. Following participation in a failed attempt to assassinate Iraqi Pres. are repeated.
Sanctions are usually subject to a law of diminishing returns law of diminishing returns
The tendency for a continuing application of effort or skill toward a particular project or goal to decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved.
Noun 1. as they cannot achieve more they already have in moderating Libyan conduct, and returning Colonel Gadaffi to the kennel where a bark is worse than a toothless bite. Sanctions are only making the Libyan people suffer for the behaviour of a leader they did not freely choose, the diplomats argue.
The problem is how to convince public opinion in the West, which is stirred by calls from victims families and journalists, to re-establish normal relations with a regime whose leader is under investigation for mass murder?
Having already met three of the six conditions laid down by the UN, a senior British diplomat said Libya could be persuaded to meet most of the other conditions, including admitting responsibility.
But how can Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and US Secretary of State Colin Powell Noun 1. Colin Powell - United States general who was the first African American to serve as chief of staff; later served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush (born 1937)
Colin luther Powell, Powell deal with growing pressure from victims families and journalists calling for a public inquiry?
Such an inquiry, to the horror of seasoned servants of British `creative diplomacy' over Lockerbie, might just lead the dogs to where the bodies were buried.
An inquiry could prove the verdict handed down in the Netherlands was a the culmination of the affair in an understanding summarised by veteran Middle East reporter Tim Llewellyn: "The verdict ending the Lockerbie affair has been a triumph of realpolitik realpolitik
Politics based on practical objectives rather than on ideals. The word does not mean “real” in the English sense but rather connotes “things”—hence a politics of adaptation to things as they are. over all the evidence and questions of motive."
For the philosophers of the conspiracy theory conspiracy theory
A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act.
conspiracy theorist n. and their many disciples, it was all good news, as the trial progressed and the finger of accusation shifted, from Iran and Syria in 1989, across to Libya by 1991.
The British and American governments have been less than frank throughout the affair. They often appeared to know more than they would say, and seemed to accuse Gadaffi and Libya only after their investigation of a Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist group became impolitic im·pol·i·tic
Not wise or expedient; not politic: an impolitic approach to a sensitive issue.
im·pol during the second Gulf war, leading to a quick re-shuffling of the cards of the main players.
The ending of the first Gulf war -- during which Iran and Syria were the villains and Saddam Hussein was the good guy -- and the death of Ayatollah Khomeini Noun 1. Ayatollah Khomeini - Iranian religious leader of the Shiites; when Shah Pahlavi's regime fell Khomeini established a new constitution giving himself supreme powers (1900-1989)
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, Khomeini, Ruholla Khomeini in 1989, marked a turning point in London and Washington's attitude towards Iran and its ally Syria.
In preparation for Desert Storm, it was not only desirable but essential to appease Syria, give her a free hand in Lebanon, and to make sure Iran's then-new president Hashemi Rafsanjani resisted calls by the radicals to take Saddam's side against America and her allies.
President Rafsanjani, at the time promised, for example, to try to limit the threats contained in the fatwa fat·wa
A legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar.
[Arabic fatw against Salman Rushdie Noun 1. Salman Rushdie - British writer of novels who was born in India; one of his novels is regarded as blasphemous by Muslims and a fatwa was issued condemning him to death (born in 1947)
Ahmed Salman Rushdie, Rushdie . Both Britain and America had hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon. Europe and the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. wanted Iran and Syria's help in securing their release and, in Europe's case, promoting the cause of its peacetime business.
By 1991, new `firm evidence' linked Gadaffi, not Syria or Iran to the Lockerbie bombing. All the above was reprinted, reminding the already sceptical, public of the shifting sands of politics in Mid-East-western diplomacy, by cheeky journalists reporting the defence's speeches and sifting through evidence and history books during the trial.
From the word go, the prosecution had no `smoking gun' or any eyewitness to the crime to be presented at Camp Zest. Prosecutors had to ask judges to infer the defendants' guilt from circumstantial evidence circumstantial evidence
In law, evidence that is drawn not from direct observation of a fact at issue but from events or circumstances that surround it. If a witness arrives at a crime scene seconds after hearing a gunshot to find someone standing over a corpse and holding a . All the time correspondents for Arabic newspapers -- a vital source from which conspiracy theorists mine their raw material -- put their own spin on `yesterday in court.'
A defence lawyer mocked the prosecution case as an "inference upon an inference upon an inference -- leading to an inference."
Most unusually, the three judges were impressed by the prosecution's argument; they drew an inference from a mountain of detailed evidence which, they reckoned, established beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Megrahi planted the bomb. However, they failed to identify his motives, his accomplices or his gains despite calling 230 witnesses, including CIA agents and former intelligence agents from Libya's erstwhile Soviet-block allies.
Electronic circuit fragments recovered from the debris were traced to shipments of bomb triggers, timers received by Libyan intelligence. The man who made them also became a prosecution witness.
It was a replay, on a much bigger screen and in slow motion, of some episodes of an undeclared war An undeclared war is a conflict that is fought between two or more nations without a formal declaration of war being issued. A Declaration of War customarily has to be passed by the legislature. In the United States there is no format required for declaration(s) of war. from the days of the cold war, with evidence about Libyan intelligence officials plotting a retaliation for the 1986 American air strike on Tripoli, which was aimed at Colonel Gadaffi but killed among others, his adopted daughter.
That strike had been a punishment for Libya's alleged role in an attack on a Berlin discotheque that killed two American soldiers.
Conspiracy theories ''This is a list of conspiracy theories; it contains alleged conspiracies that are not accepted by mainstream academics. For a discussion of conspiracy theories in general, see conspiracy theory. at the time said Libya was an easy target picked by the Americans. The real villains, they argued, were Iran and Syria, but they would have been much tougher opponents to bomb with impunity.
The defence strategy was to sow doubt by blaming a Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist group -- the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Noun 1. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - a terrorist group of limited popularity formed in 1967 after the Six-Day War; combined Marxist-Leninist ideology with Palestinian nationalism; used terrorism to gain attention for their cause; hoped to eliminate -- General Command -- which had been originally suspected of the bombing, on the orders of the Iranians, to avenge the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus by an American warship warship, any ship built or armed for naval combat. The forerunners of the modern warship were the men-of-war of the 18th and early 19th cent., such as the ship of the line, frigate, corvette, sloop of war (see sloop), brig, and cutter. in the Gulf in July 1988.
A police raid on the group's hideouts in Germany two months before the Lockerbie bombing turned up Semtex-based explosives built into Toshiba cassette-recorders just like the one which caused the Lockerbie tragedy.
Defence lawyers also savaged some of the prosecution's main witnesses, including Abdul Majid Giaka Abdul Majid Giaka gave evidence for the prosecution in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial in September 2000. Prosecution witness
By the start of the trial Giaka had been in a U.S. , a Libyan double agent turned informant for the CIA, who claimed to have seen the two defendants smuggle smug·gle
v. smug·gled, smug·gling, smug·gles
1. To import or export without paying lawful customs charges or duties.
2. To bring in or take out illicitly or by stealth. a suspicious suitcase through Maltese customs on the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of the explosion.
Mr Giaka became the subject of a series of amusing revelations. "He was only a painter with the maintenance department working in the intelligence building" said Colonel Gadaffi on 2 February. He went on to describe Giaka as "a car park attendant" in his marathon speech three days later.
During the trial, the defence revealed that Mr Giaka reported the information to his CIA handlers only when the Americans threatened to sack him unless he came up with some useful information.
In a meticulous 82-page verdict, the judges sieved through a spaghetti of evidence, dismissing the soggy points of the prosecution case, including much of Mr Giaka's testimony and conceded "there are a number of uncertainties and qualifications." They nevertheless concluded that what remained confirmed the guilt of Mr Al Megrahi.
The Foreign Office, might hide behind the civil case the families of Lockerbie victims are planning to file in the US against Colonel Gadaffi. Should they decide to delay the idea of a public inquiry until after the case -- which could run for years -- there is a slim chance the public will forget. A more likely scenario would be that the American victims' families might just co-ordinate with their equally aggrieved counterparts across the pond to outsmart out·smart
tr.v. out·smart·ed, out·smart·ing, out·smarts
To gain the advantage over by cunning; outwit.
Informal same as outwit
Verb 1. Robin Cook and delay the civil suite until after the inquiry. Watch this space.