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Meteomalta: No Evidence Against Megrahi
'There was definitely no rain on Dec. 7, 1988'
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2009-03-07 11:55 (KST)   

Q: Do you remember what the weather was like when the man came to the shop?

A: When he came by... It wasn't raining. But then it started dripping, not very much. It was not raining heavily. It was simply -- it was simply dripping, but as a matter of fact, he did take an umbrella...

Q: Did he?

A: He bought an umbrella.

The Lockerbie Trial Transcripts -- Page 4741
According to the verdict, Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am 103, bought the clothes -- believed to have surrounded the bomb -- in Gauci' s shop in Sliema, Malta, on Dec. 7, 1989.

Tony Gauci remembered that his brother Paul had gone home earlier to watch an evening football game (Rome vs. Dresden), that the man came just before closing time, around 7 p.m., and that it was raining.

The game allows for only two dates: Nov. 23 or Dec. 7, 1988. The issue is critical for there is no indication that Megrahi was in Malta on Nov. 23 but he is known to have been on the island on Dec. 7.

Paul Gauci believed that the man bought the clothes on Nov. 23. However, Paul Gauci was never called as a witness at the trial at Camp Zeist.

And yet Paul Gauci had a valid point. The game Rome-Dresden on Dec. 7 was played at 1 p.m., not in the evening. What is more, it never rained on Sliema on Dec. 7, 1988.

Yesterday, Mark Vella, the managing director of METEOMALTA, told OhmyNews that their records "unambiguously indicate" that it did not rain on Sliema on Dec. 7, 1988. Vella added that it was dripping during the evening of Nov. 23, 1988.

"I can confirm there was light rainfall from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 23, 1988 as can be seen from our official weather log book of Balzan, Vella told the author.

"There was definitely no rain on Dec. 7 and although I cannot be 100 percent sure it most likely did not rain in Sliema either on that day as they are only a few kilometers apart. I have proof of this from the weather log book and also satellite images."

I asked Pr. Kochler and Pr. Black to comment of this most disturbing news. NB. The evidence, presented at the Zeist trial, regarding the weather conditions in Malta was based on data recorded at Luqa Airport.

"From the date of Megrahi's conviction, I have maintained that one of the principal reasons for regarding the verdict as contrary to the evidence was the court's finding that the date of purchase was 7 December. The meteorological evidence led at the trial clearly established that of the two possible dates, 23 November was the only one that fitted that evidence. The court's finding that the date of purchase was 7 December is explicable only on the basis that the case against Megrahi would otherwise have collapsed, i.e. that the court had, for other reasons, determined that he was guilty and then, in the face of strong contrary evidence, selected the date that supported that pre-formed conclusion," Pr. Black told OhmyNews.

"I have never believed in the "Malta theory" and have questioned the judges' reasoning from the very beginning," Pr. Kochler told the author.
"My position is evident from what I wrote in Art. 15 of my observer report of 26 March 2002 (!), which was submitted to the United Nations: One of the basic weaknesses of the decision of the Appeal Court consisted in its very refusal to properly evaluate, i.e. reevaluate, the plausibility of the inferences drawn from Mr. Gauci's testimony and from the information about weather conditions in Malta at the time in question. In the course of the renewed presentation of the respective evidence during the appeal proceedings it became entirely clear to any rational observer that the report on weather conditions in Malta had been interpreted arbitrarily by the trial judges and that the weather conditions described by Mr. Gauci were much more compatible with the weather report of the meteorological service for 23 November 1988 than with that for 7 December. To the undersigned it is obvious that the evidence was "weighted" in a deliberate manner so as to be compatible with the date of the appellant's stay in Malta. The judges as well as the appeal judges arbitrarily excluded consideration of the fact that 7 December was a day before a high Roman-Catholic holiday (which has particular importance in a Catholic country such as Malta) and that the witness would have remembered the fact that a Libyan had bought clothes on the evening before such a holiday (on which the shop was closed). Put in the context of the evidence available and the circumstances in Malta at the respective period of time, the probability of 23 November 1988 as the date of the purchase of the clothes is much higher than that of 7 December 1988, when the appellant was in Malta."
I now believe that it is safe to state that the case against Megrahi is dead in the water. Megrahi cannot be guilty of the crime he has been convicted of. The Lockerbie verdict is a spectacular miscarriage of Justice. I encourage my readers to sign the petition to release Megrahi.

Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost." Ludwig can be reached at: dr.ludwig@hotmail.com

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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