By a Newsnet reporter
A letter discovered in the offices of Libya’s former Intelligence Chief Abdullah al-Senussi appears to cast more doubt on claims that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was involved in the Lockerbie atrocity.
In the letter, written by the Libyan when he was still in Greenock prison, Megrahi insists he is innocent of the crime and blames his conviction on “fraudulent information”.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the letter was discovered in the offices of Mr al-Senussi who was a trusted official in the Gaddafi regime.
According to the Journal: “The letter to Mr. Senussi was found in a steel, four-drawer filing cabinet in the intelligence chief’s office in Tripoli. The cabinet had been forced open, apparently by rebels who shot holes in the lock. The office lay in shambles, but many of Mr. Senussi’s personal papers appeared untouched.”
In the letter Mr Megrahi says: “I am an innocent man,” and blames “fraudulent information that was relayed to investigators by Libyan collaborators.”
He blamed “the immoral British and American investigators” who he writes “knew there was foul play and irregularities in the investigation of the 1980s.”
In the letter Mr Megrahi refers to the Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci and says: “You my brother know very well that they were making false claims against me and that I didn’t buy any clothes at all from any store owner in Malta,”
Mr. Megrahi also mentioned “our big brother,” a probable reference to Col. Gaddafi, “that our legal affairs are excellent and we now stand on very solid ground.”
If authentic then the letter will undermine the current claims from many Scottish media commentators who, since the discovery of Megrahi dying in his family home, are insisting that the Libyan knew more about Lockerbie.
It also calls into question the role of Libya itself in the atrocity given that the letter was addressed to the head of Gaddafi’s Intelligence Services who, had the state been involved in the downing of Pan Am 103, would have certainly been in a position to know that Megrahi was innocent or not.
The discovery of the letter is uncomfortable for US and UK administrations who are already facing claims that they were complicit in what Dr Jim Swire called a “politically motivated crusade”.
This evening, journalist John Ashton who is writing Mr Megrahi’s story, claimed to have seen evidence “scandalously” withheld from Megrahi’s trial that points to the bombing having been carried out by a group commissioned by Iran to avenge the downing of a domestic Iranian Airliner by a US warship months before the downing of Pan Am 103.
Mr Ashton spoke of his fears that evidence may be “concocted” at the behest of the US and the UK in order to prevent a “major embarrassment” to both governments.