Lockerbie Trial: BATF Edward Owen’s Evidence

Below, you will find the answers given by BATF Edward Owen at the Lockerbie trial. I have highlighted a few answers that may be of interest. I have added some pictures to help the readers to follow the questions/answers.

Owen states that he saw one timer.

He also states that all the photos were taken in Togo. Considering that some of the pictures show the timer dismantled, I conclude that he must be a very brave man. For you may remember that the working conditions were not exactly ideal.

“The equipment seized from the rebels was supervised by a 6’4″ heavy set colonel. On several occasions, he became very upset. At one point, he drew his weapon in anger.”

Richard Sherrow: Memories from Togo

Stay tuned.


MR. TURNBULL: Witness number 529, please, My

Lords, Edward Owen.


LORD SUTHERLAND: Advocate Depute.


Q Mr. Owen, are you Edward Owen?

A Yes, sir, I am.

Q And are you an officer of the Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms?

A I am presently retired. I was an

officer of that agency until the 1st of June of this


Q Thank you. How long did you serve as an

officer of that agency?

A 28 years.

Q During your time with the Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, did you have a

particular specialty?

A Yes. I was chief of the firearms

technology branch. I was the chief firearms expert for

the agency.

Q Thank you. In 1986, were you asked in

your capacity as a member of the bureau to go to Togo?

A Yes, I was.

Q And did you go along with a colleague,

Mr. Sherrow?

A Yes, I did.

Q When you arrived in Togo, were you taken

to be shown a number of items?

A Yes.

Q And were they in a hut of some sort?

A Yes, they were.

Q At an army base?

A Yes.

Q When you saw the items within the army

base, Mr. Owen, were you permitted to examine them?

A Yes, I was.

Q And we understand there were a selection

of items, including weapons, explosives, and items

associated with explosives?

A That is correct.

Q Did you take a particular interest in

any of the items that you were asked to examine?

A My particular interest was examining and

identifying the firearms.

Q So does that mean, broadly, the guns?

A Yes, sir.

Q Thank you. Did you become aware of an

item that wasn’t a firearm that some of your colleagues

took an interest in?

A Yes, sir.

Q And what was that?

A It was a timing device.

Q How many timing devices were you aware

of seeing?

A I remember seeing one.

Q Thank you. What was done with the

timing device that you are speaking of?

A I was asked to photograph it.

Q Yes.

A I took a series of photographs. And the

last I saw of it, it was back in the hut.

Q The last you saw of it was what, sorry?

A Was back in the hut.

Q In the hut.

All right. Were any items taken from Togo to

the United States of America?

A I understand a timer was returned via

diplomatic pouch.

Q Did you see that happening?

A I saw the diplomatic pouch. I do not

know what was in it.

Q Did you ever see any of the contents

removed in the United States?

A No, sir.

Q All right. You did take some

photographs in Togo, though?

A That’s correct.

Q Could I ask you to look at Production

282, please.

Do you have before you a booklet of the

photographs that you took in Lome?

A Yes, I do.

Q Could we look at image 30, please.

If you bear with us for a moment, Mr. Owen,

we will see the photographs on our screens.

What do we see in this photograph, Mr. Owen?


Image 30

A The photograph numbered 30 in the book

is a picture of one of the tables in the hut that was

filled with weapons. This is primarily Eastern Bloc

AK-47 rifles, East German MPIK rifles, handguns. On

the table to the rear are RPT-7 grenade launchers.

Q I see. And were these the sort of items

that you were particularly interested in?

A Yes, sir.

Q I see.

Can we look on at image 31, please.


Image 31

And do we see here a further view taken

within the same area?

A Yes, sir.

Q What are these objects we see near to

the bottom of the photograph?

A In the foreground?

Q Yes.

A It’s some type of explosive material.

Q I see.

Can we look at photograph 32, please.


Image 32

And we have a view, I think, perhaps of

another end of the table; is that correct?

A This is the far end of that same table,

and it’s RPG-7 launchers, RPG-7 rockets, Makarov

pistols, magazines for the handguns, Taurus

9-millimetre pistols, a Walther 9-millimetre pistol,

and again, in the background of the photograph, are

AK-47 and MPIK rifles.

Q Can we look to image 2, please.


Image 2

Do you recognise what we are now looking at,

Mr. Owen?

A Yes, sir.

Q What’s that?

A It’s a timing device.

Q Is that the timing device that you spoke

to me about a moment ago —

A Yes, it is.

Q — that you saw in Lome?

A Yes.

Q Can we look at image 4, please.


Image 4

What are we looking at here —

A This is the same device.

Q And do we see that it has attached to it

a black — or a dark colour, at least — lead of some


A Yes.

Q And it has a connection attached to it

which we can see at the bottom right of the photograph?

A Yes, sir.

Q Would you look for me at image 3,


please. What are we looking at here, Mr. Owen?

A This is a covering case of some type

with a number “5” marked on it.

Q A covering case of what, Mr. Owen?

A I think it may be the rear cover to the


Q I see. Thank you. Can we move on to

image 6.


Image 6

And is that a view showing the end of the

lead that we identified a moment ago?

A Yes, it is.

Q And image 53, please.


Image 53

What does that show, Mr. Owen?

A It shows the circuitry of the timer.

Q So that’s a view showing what lies

behind the top face of the timer?

A Yes, sir.

Q And image 54. Is that a closer view of

the same —


Image 54

A Yes, it is.

Q And image 62, please.


Image 62

What are we seeing in this view, Mr. Sherrow?

A Again, this is the interior of the

timing device.

Q I see. Now, can we appreciate from this

view that there appear to be two printed circuit

boards? There is the larger one around the outside,

which the circuitry is attached to, and then there

appears to be another one, raised, in the middle of the


A That’s correct.

Q And there are several components

attached to it as well?

A Yes, sir.

Q The smaller of the two printed circuit

boards appears lighter in colour in the photograph?

A Yes, it does.

Q Can I ask you to look over towards the

left-hand edge of the light-coloured circuit board.

And do you see that there is a line of tracking that

runs parallel to the edge of the small circuit board?

A Yes, sir.

Q And if you move just in from that to the

right, you come to an area which is free; it has no

components attached to it; there is just a free space.

Do you see that?

A Yes.

Q And is there some sort of apparent

marking in that area?

 Photo 6 - DP124

Photo 6 – DP124

Are you looking at the photograph or the

screen, Mr. Owen?

A I have nothing on my screen, sir.

Q I see.

A I’m not sure I understand what you are

asking me to look for.

Q I follow that.

I think this exercise is only possible by

using the magnifying facility of the computer and the

screen, My Lords. And therefore I think I’ll simply

depart from it at this stage.



Q The photographs we’ve looked at,

Mr. Owen, are all photographs which you took; is that


A That’s correct.

Q Whilst you were in Lome?

A That’s correct.

Q Thank you.

Thank you, My Lords.



Q Just one matter, please, Mr. Owen. Did

you go to the — I think it was a tent or a hut in Lome

in company with Mr. Sherrow?

A Yes, I did.

Q And you’ve told us that the photographs

you took were taken in Lome or in Togo?

A That’s correct.

Q Is that in the tent or somewhere else?

A It was right outside the hut. There was

a tree — a table placed under a shade tree.

Q Okay. And did you examine all the

ordnance that was there?

A All the weapon ordnance, the firearm


Q Did you have a look also at the — where

the timer was situated?

A I did not see the timer until it was

brought to me outside the hut, when I was photographing


Q And somebody asked you to photograph it?

A Yes.

Q Who was that?

A It would have either been Mr. Sherrow or

the security officer from the U.S. Embassy in Lome.

Q Okay. Thank you very much indeed.


MR. KEEN: I have no cross-examination, My


LORD SUTHERLAND: Advocate Depute.

MR. TURNBULL: I have no re-examination.

Thank you.

LORD SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Mr. Owen.

This entry was posted in BATF, MST13, Sherrow, Togo and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lockerbie Trial: BATF Edward Owen’s Evidence

  1. Craig says:

    Still can’t see MST-13 timer[s] in any Lome, Togo 1986 photos.

    Fair to say Owen transcript is suspect – Image 54 & 62 immediately raise concerns as to where and the circumstance these photographs were taken.
    Appear under laboratory conditions.

    Set at ’00’ on the dials which could be explainable.
    Look at the discolouring around the ‘Time’ box which the dials are inserted in.
    Look at the further discolouring around the other cuts from the board for Hrs and Mins and the Test and LED.
    This discolouration is due to heat generated from manual cutting of the board.
    I would be surprised Thuring would manufacture a board with this present, it looks amateur.
    Even if there is uneven manufacturer tolerances from cutting or milling the windows, these would have been cut/milled on the reverse side to present a satisfactory finish to the customer.

    Another issue is the scratch on the left hand side, this appears to have changed;

    Set at ’00’ on the dials

    Set at ’99’ on the dials
    Look at the scratch on left hand side, nearly at the LED.

    Look at the scratch on left hand side, near the top of the Philips screw on left hand side.

    Another related issue;

    Click to access casey-original-fbi-report-on-togo-october-7-1986-found-in-mebo-file-vol-4-no-production-number-attached.pdf

    James Casey ‘Togo’ Report dated 7th October 1986;
    Inter alia notes;
    t, 2 plastic bags of suspect explosives approximately 20kg each
    u, 1 plastic bag of suspect hexogin, approximately 20kg

    Please note the photos;

    Where are these 3 x 20kg bags of explosive materials ?

    Issue of concern;

    Click to access avent-def-prec2.pdf

    Page 3 of 122;
    Scottish Police Officer Peter Avent completed an assignment of the Lockerbie Incident Control Centre within FBI Offices, Washington May 1989.

    Page 4/122;
    Further visited Lome, Togo September 1990.

    Note Page 11/122;
    “During the afternoon of Tuesday 15th September, 1990 I was present at the Embassy of the United States of America in Lome when Agent Bates showed me a folder containing a report dated 4th OCTOBER, 1986 of a visit to Togo by the Americans who had been invited to examine the property recovered following the attempted coup 23.09.86. This folder contained photographs of the timer MST13.

    At my request Agent Bates made the

    Production: Number photocopies of productions of timer SMT13 [DP 94]

    Which he handed to me”

    James Casey and his crew left Togo 4th OCTOBER 1986 which is the date Scottish Police Officer Peter Avent states the date of the report he was shown.

    James Casey report provided is dated 7th OCTOBER 1986.

    Furthermore, it would make sense to compile a report while in-country, the concerns and risks are of completing a report afterwards and out-with the location are – there is no ability to check or double check any findings.

    Click to access casey-original-fbi-report-on-togo-october-7-1986-found-in-mebo-file-vol-4-no-production-number-attached.pdf


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