Documents released for the first time today reveal that both high-level Syrian officials and the CIA independently stated that a Syrian-based Palestinian group, not Libya, was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing in Scotland.
The Pan Am 103 plane bombing over the small borders town took place 25 years ago this week.
UK relatives of those who died in the Lockerbie disaster have announced that they intend to make a third appeal against the conviction of the Libyan agent, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, found guilty of murdering 270 people in the atrocity.
Now a report broadcast on Channel 4 News this evening confirmed what senior lawyer Professor Robert Black QC and other 'Justice for Megrahi' investigative campaigners have been saying for some time.
The report suggests that a deep cover CIA agent was told by up to 15 high-level Syrian officials, and the CIA itself, that a Syrian-based Palestinian group, rather than Libya, was responsible for Lockerbie.
The documents featured in the programme were made in two US court depositions by CIA agent Dr Richard Fuisz in late 2000 and early 2001.
Fuisz stated that in 1989 he was briefed by the CIA that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command had carried out the bombing. More importantly, he added that, between 1990 and 1995, 10 to 15 senior Syrian officials also told him that the group was responsible.
He said that the officials interacted with the PFLP-GC’s leader, Ahmed Jibril, ‘on a constant basis’ and that he was the mastermind behind the bombing.
Fuisz gave a deposition at the request of defence lawyers for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Fhimah, who were, at the time, on trial for the bombing. However, the revelations came too late to be used at the trial, which ended within days of the second hearing. Three unnamed CIA officers and a US department of justice lawyer were present throughout the hearings, ensuring that Fuisz was prevented from answering many of the questions.
The PFLP-GC were the original prime suspects in the bombing. Declassified US intelligence documents claim that the group was paid by the Iranian government to avenge the 290 lives lost when Iran Air flight 665 was accidentally shot down by a US battleship of over the Persian Gulf a few months before Lockerbie.
Members of the PFLP-GC were arrested in West Germany two months before Lockerbie. During the raids the police recovered a Toshiba radio-cassette player containing a barometric bomb. Forensic investigators determined that the Lockerbie bomb had also been contained in a Toshiba radio-cassette player.
The transcripts of the hearings, and related documents, are being released by Scotland’s Shame author John Ashton, who found them earlier this year in the Libyans’ legal files. Mr Ashton was involved in the Channel 4 News item about the new evidence broadcast tonight.
Mr Ashton said: "This evidence is yet another indication that the real Lockerbie bombers got away and that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was wrongly convicted. The British and American governments declared in 1991 that Libya was solely responsible for the bombing, yet for years after senior Syrians were saying that the PFLP-GC was responsible. It seems it was an open secret that the real bombers lay outside Libya."
Dr Jim Swire, the Lockerbie campaigner who lost his eldest daughter in the tragedy, has confirmed today that relatives intend to apply to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) in the New Year, 2014, in an attempt to challenge the conviction of al-Megrahi.
* More on Lockerbie from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/lockerbie
* Released today: the Fuisz files - commentary by the source, John Ashton: http://www.megrahiyouaremyjury.net/?p=951
* Channel 4 report: http://www.channel4.com/news/lockerbie-bombing-libya-palestine-cia-murde...
* Dr Jim Swire - Lockerbie: seeking the truth: http://www.scotsman.com/news/dr-jim-swire-lockerbie-seeking-the-truth-1-...
* Lockerbie Case background by Robert Black QC FRSE, who is now Professor Emeritus of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh: http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.co.uk/
* US court depositions by CIA agent Dr Richard Fuisz (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.megrahiyouaremyjury.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Fuisz-docu...
* Lockerbie, luggae and lies, by Morag Kerr: http://wingsoverscotland.com/luggage-and-lies/