MST-13 Timers: “History is the Lie Historians Agree upon.”

LORD SUTHERLAND:  Then I call upon the Clerk of Court to read the indictment and the special defences.

THE CLERK:  Adelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah are indicted at the instance of the Right Honourable My Lord Hardie, Her Majesty’s Advocate, and the charges against them are that: […]

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah did between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 1985, both dates inclusive, through the hands of Said Rashid and Ezzadin Hinshiri, both also being members of the said Libyan Intelligence Services, and others at the said premises occupied by MEBO AG, in Zurich, aforesaid, at the said premises of said Libyan Intelligence Services, in Tripoli, aforesaid, at the said Libyan People’s Bureau, East Berlin aforesaid and elsewhere to the Prosecutor unknown, order, cause to be manufactured and obtain from the said firm of MEBO AG twenty electronic timers capable of detonating explosive devices;

Richard Marquise gives a rather precise description [1] of the supply of the 20 MST-13 timers to Libya.

In August 1985, Said Fazani [2], a high ranking official of the Libyan Jamahiriya Security Organization (JSO), asked Bollier to design and build a small electronic timer for use by the military intheir war with Chad.

A total of twenty were built by Lumpert, ten for use in a waterproof container (boxed) and ten which were free standing (unboxed).

The first five were delivered by Bollier to Fazani in Libya in the late fall of 1985.

The second five were delivered by Bollier to an individual at the Libyan people’s Bureau in East Berlin around November 1985.

The last ten were delivered Hijazi [2], a high ranking Intelligence officer, in Tripoli.

Here is a simple question: Where does the number “twenty” come from?

Once the link between MEBO and PT/35(b) had been made, the investigators interviewed the MEBO people. One of their goals was to estimate the numbers of MST-13 timers that had been built and supplied.

Contrary to what Marquise seems to believe [3], this number was not deduced from the number of Thuring boards MEBO had ordered. Nor was it calculated on the basis of the number of NYMPH quartz MEBO had bought from COMPONA AG. [4]

The upper limit of twenty timers was actually deduced from the following analysis. The investigators learned that MEBO had ordered 20 HEF 4521BT and 60 HEF 4518BT.

So with the help of Bollier, they studied this photo of the Togo timer.



The timer has obviously 1  HEF 4521BT and 2 HEF 4518BT on the main board. Additionally, it has 1 HEF 4518BT on the secondary smaller board.

Therefore, all (Bollier and the policemen) were totally satisfied that, at most,  twenty timers had been built  as twenty timers clearly required 20 HEF 4521BT and 60 HEF 4518 BT to be built. Pretty good, don’t you think? The reasoning is nevertheless flawed.

You may remember [5] that some timers had a “2 digits” counter while some (5 or 6) had a “4 digits” counter. The main board is exactly the same in both cases. This point was clearly noticed in the CIA Report. ( See page 7/ Provisions exist for another dual counter chip to handle two more thumbwheel switches.)


But the construction of a “4 digits” timer requires TWO HEF 4518BT  on the secondary small board!




Obviously, if Lumpert built six “4 digits” timers, he needed 24 (4×6) HEF 4518BT and only 36 were left to build “2 digits” timers. Therefore only 12 (36/3) of those could possibly have been built. If he built five “4 digits timers”, he could have built 13 “2 digits” with the 40 HEF 4518BT left. In either case, he could not have built twenty MST-13 timers, but only eighteen at most.

You may say that it is only a small error that has no important consequences. And you may very well  be right. But sometimes, small errors lead to a huge disaster. Come to think of it, the Lockerbie trial is a case in point.


[1] SCOTBOM, Richard Marquise. Page 69

[2] Said Fazani* and Hijazi* are Said Rashid and Ezzedin El Hinshiri.

[3] SCOTBOM, Richard Marquise. Page 127

[4] If necessary, I could explain why this information would not have been useful to produce a credible upper limit on the number of MST-13 timers produced.

[5] MST-13 Timers: How many types?

This entry was posted in Bollier, COMPONA, Lockerbie Investigation, Lumpert, Marquise, MEBO, MST13, NYMPH and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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