MEBO: Meister’s Letter to Ezzadin Hinshiri

On Feb 6 1991, Bollier and Meister composed a letter to Ezzadin Hinshiri, the Libyan Minister of Communications.

In that letter, Meister explained to Hinshiri that they had been interviewed by the Swiss Police and the FBI in connection with the Lockerbie investigation.

“They showed a photograph from our timer and claimed that this timer has been confiscated in Senegal. (…) I could prove  them that in 1985, they (the MEBO timers) have been sold to Mr Khouri in Beirut, Lebanon.”

“PS. I heard you are now Minister of Communications. Are there any new projects in which we could participate?”

Is this not subtle?

Ezzadin

On April 10 & 11 1991, Erwin Meister went to Scotland to meet DI Williamson. He had – of course – received “Guarantee of safe passage out of the country”.

Here is Meister’s statement about this letter:

“Bollier’s letter to Azzedin. I wrote that letter. As a matter of security, we added a phrase saying that we sold the timer to Lebanon. The letter was delivered to the brother of Abdel Lati at the airport in Zurich and this was done in cooperation with the Swiss police as a matter of security for us. I delivered the letter personally.”

Again, draw your own conclusions…

PS/ I have never heard about MEBO being identified because of a Phillips IC (The MST-13 uses both the HEF 4518BT and the HEF 4521BT) and I do not believe this information to be true.

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12 Responses to MEBO: Meister’s Letter to Ezzadin Hinshiri

  1. Scott says:

    The letter confirms that Edwin travelled to Libya on 18th December 1988 with his 19 kg suitcase and I’m guessing if that part is true the travelling back through Luqa on 21st December is also true.. And yet he tells me “it’s lies” —- how bizarre!! (see final comment from https://pt35b.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/mebo-hoping-for-the-truth-at-least-some-truth/#comments)

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    • Ludwig says:

      It is correct that his flight back home was changed. When, why, how? Not sure. But many people believe it was God sent. Had he been with Megrahi in Malta on that morning…

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      • Scott says:

        Edwin being truthful perhaps and someone is trying to make it appear he had the opportunity to meet Abdulbaset at Luqa wouldn’t surprise me? There is so much of the other evidence in the Lockerbie case that looks more than a little suspicious.

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      • Morag says:

        Has it occurred to anyone that both Megrahi and Bollier might have been manoeuvred so as to be passing through Luqa that morning, but the manoeuvre fell apart in Bollier’s case leaving only Megrahi present at the not-the-scene-of-the-crime?

        Just wondering.

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  2. PaulF says:

    Several years ago, in an exchange of comments on Prof Black’s blog Edwin Bollier told me he WAS in Malta on 20/21 December 1988. I can’t find the comment now, but I’ll keep looking.

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  3. Scott says:

    “I remembered myself that this suitcase was brought by Mr Basri to our office and he asked me to take it to Tripoli. He mentioned the suitcase contained clothes for a friend.
    It seems like the police has an interest in this luggage eg what kind of clothes and where they have been purchased. I told them what I remembered”

    Ha ha travelling with 19kg of Mr Basri’s clothes. That is what folk say when they get caught with drugs in their suitcase! Did DI Williamson ask Bollier if he opened said case to confirm he was carrying Mr Basri’s clothing?

    “……are there any new projects we could participate?” —— [your country is probably gonna be implicated in Pan Am 103 Mr Ezzedeen, due to one of those timers we sold you, but if you want anymore **** landing on your doorstep please contact Mebo as we are always pleased to be of service] 😉

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    • Morag says:

      Just like Saviour Mallia, the only person who did actually check an illegitimate item on to KM180 that fateful morning. Clothes for Edwin Caruana, indeed. Oh I didn’t open the suitcase to check. Really?

      If that bomb really did fly on KM180 (which it didn’t), Savour Mallia is the one with actual evidence against him, not Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

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  4. Craig says:

    I have concerns almost with the whole of this letter and how it came about.
    It is sent in FULL cooperation of Swiss authorities.
    The various subject matters raised, from UK/US/Swiss investigators perspective are almost too good to be true;
    Named Libyan
    Transfer of a suitcase
    Unidentified clothes at preciously 19kg [who writes a letter about the weight of a suitcase ?]
    18th December 1988 travel to Tripoli

    It’s almost like a script.

    As noted, the red herring is the comment about the Phillips HEF 4518BT and HEF 4521BT being not only traceable but traceable to MEBO;
    https://pt35b.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/36-fbi-report-dated-20-august-1990.pdf
    Page 10 of the report refers – The IC components are manufactured at Phillips Holland, assembled in Taiwan as a mini package and then distributed for onward sale.
    In 1988 approx 150 million of these were sold annually at a very low cost point approx $1.40 to $2.00 a piece.

    It is highly unlikely UK/US authorities told MEBO they could trace these chips as MEBO are the electronics professionals so they would have known that that was nonsense anyways.

    In my view, this is a fishing letter but the real reason behind this is noting subject matters in the fabrication of Libyan involvement.
    Ask the question – who benefits from this letter and the content of the letter ?
    It is being sent with the FULL knowledge of the Swiss for Henderson & Marquise to use later.

    In my view, it is also confirmation that MEBO were working as one with the UK/US/Swiss intelligence authorities, at least at that time.
    Noted, Mr Bollier was provided with ‘guaranteed safe passage out of Scotland’

    I think you have to turn this whole story on it’s head about MEBO, look at it from a different angle, particularly with regard to their very helpful involvement with the intelligence / security services.
    I don’t say that to suggest Mr Bollier actually knows any more than anyone else about who carried out the dreadful act but he does know who did not and he does know it wasn’t with an MST-13 timer.

    As an example, refer to the trial transcript with regard to the ‘initial’ visits to MEBO late 1990;
    There is an error made about the chronology of the visits and who actually did what and whom was in attendance.
    The error was somewhat confused by the defence, possibly exacerbated or not really acted upon.
    Officially the story goes like this excluding the *;
    June 1990 – Discovery [D-day]
    July 1990 – West Africa Tours
    August 1990 – FBI Report
    August 1990 – MI5 ‘Box 500’ Report
    September 1990 – MI5 & CIA Suggest Delay Visit to MEBO

    *October 1990 – Swiss BUPO interview MEBO.
    Scottish Police, MI5 & CIA combined representatives present at interview or are at least present and share information.

    November 1990 – Scottish Police & FBI investigators visit Switzerland and interview MEBO.
    MEBO very helpfully without ANY previous request, present two [2] functioning MST-13 timers, various electronic component samples and numerous documentation.

    What there has been confusion about is the CIA/MI5 directive to delay the visit of police investigators was with regard to the November 1990 meeting and this was refused or not known about, this is not the case.
    The delay of the police investigators meeting / interview DID happen because the intelligence folks had a meeting in October 1990 with MEBO.

    The police investigators then held a meeting / interview with MEBO November 1990

    ———————————————————————
    Transcript PDF Page 935;
    CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BURNS:
    Q Mr. Williamson, I want to ask you a little bit about your first visit to Switzerland in connection with this matter in November of 1990.
    A Yes.

    Q Perhaps it would help you if you had before you a hard copy of your notebook, which is Production 369. While that’s being looked for, perhaps we can have it on the screen, Production 369. And can we go to page 6, please. I think this is a portion of your notebook, Chief Inspector, in which you were describing the procedure in front of the Swiss magistrate. Is that [2990] correct?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.

    Q And this was the proceedings which you attended along with Mr. Tom Thurman of the FBI and Mr. Fanning, also of the FBI; is that correct?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.

    Q And at page 6, you record that in the course of the interview — that’s with Mr. Bollier and others, I think, subsequently — “Various items and documents were produced and explained by Bollier. Every such item, and on its production, was taken as an item of evidence and properly numbered before being referred to in the protocol.” Do you see that?
    A That’s correct, sir, yes.

    Q On the other side of the page, you then continue: “All items produced by Bollier, which included two timers, both bearing MST 13 logo, and other components, et cetera, were properly listed as evidence and retained by the judge.” So there was a fairly strict procedure undergone, I think —
    A Yes.

    ——————————————————-
    Transcript PDF Page 941;
    Q Yes. It wasn’t a very good question, Mr. Williamson. In the period in the latter part of 1990, when you were going to make inquiries in Switzerland as to whether MEBO were the manufacturers of the MST 13 timer, are you aware whether any other police officer who was a member of the Scottish Lockerbie inquiry team made a separate visit to Switzerland to the one you made?
    A Yes, I am aware of that, sir. Yes.

    Q And do you know when this other visit was made?
    A No, sir. But it was prior to my visit.

    Q And do you know when this prior visit was made to Switzerland?
    A The exact date, no, I have no idea, sir.
    ——————————————————–
    Transcript PDF Page 1286;
    Q I appreciate your position, but the position of the Advocate Depute yesterday was that that [4138] could not possibly have happened before June 1990, and that the first time — the first time you were ever seen by Mr. Fluckiger was in October of 1990. Did you understand that point?
    A No. That is wrong.

    Q [Microphone override] — I know that you think it’s wrong, Mr. Bollier. But you say that you were seen in — sometime around March of 1990 by Mr. Fluckiger, don’t you?
    A That is correct. Yes. As I said, I can’t quite make out the exact date again, but it was in March.

    Q And what was suggested to you was that the truth of the matter is that you were first interviewed by Mr. Fluckiger on the 2nd of October of 1990. That was the proposition that was put to you. And you didn’t agree with that, or you then said it was possible but then proceeded to disagree with it; right?
    A No. I saw Mr. Fluckiger twice before — before the month of October, twice. And the last time, before the 15th of June, that was in March. I cannot accept it that way. And four photos were being presented to us. This is my testimony. And this is the whole point.

    Q I understand that. Now, could you look [4139] with me, please, at Production 1562 again, page 4. And scroll up a bit. Now, this is going back to your discussion with Fluckiger on the 2nd of October 1990. Do you see that, at the top of the page?
    A Correct. Yes.

    Q And can you just read under “BUPO,” what it says. Just read the first two lines under
    “BUPO.”
    A “After greeting each other and after” —

    Q [Microphone override] — interrupt you. The first two lines below “BUPO.”
    A “BUPO,” which must be federal police, “note concerning the second interview of Inspector F with the MEBO company, Badenerstrasse 414, third floor, 8004 Zurich, on Tuesday, October 2nd, 1990.”

    Q And so this is bearing to be a note of a second preliminary discussion, on the 2nd of October 1990. That’s what it says, isn’t it?
    A That’s what it says here.

    Q Okay. And can you read for us, please, the first paragraph that you just started to read before.
    A “After greeting each other and carrying out a general discussion regarding the crisis in the Gulf and its potential consequences for MEBO business, [4140] there was a project to develop a new radio network in Kuwait. We then began to discuss business contacts with Libya with reference to the discussion of the 22nd of June 1989.”

    Q Stop there. Now, there’s a date there, the 22nd of June 1989, Mr. Bollier. Do you know what that date refers to?
    A Well, I can’t quite place it. I need to accept it. The 2nd of October.

    Q [Microphone override] — does it appear to be saying — if this is the second preliminary discussion, taking place on the 2nd of October 1990 — that the reference to the discussion of the 22nd of June 1989 is a reference to the first preliminary discussion?
    A Well, this might be so. But I must admit — yes, it might be so. In which case there must have been three to four discussions on the MEBO premises. Well, I’ll accept it as such right now. But nevertheless, here, at this meeting, we asked to see those photographs.
    Q But if this is correct —

    A I must check that.
    Q If this is correct, you may be right that there was a discussion and a meeting with [4141] Mr. Fluckiger prior to the 2nd of October 1990, as far back as the 22nd of June 1989, might you?
    A That might be. Yes.

    Q And you say that you were shown photographs at a meeting prior to the 2nd of October 1990.
    A That is correct. Yes.

    Q And you’ve initialled this at the bottom of the page, I think. Is that right? If we scroll to the bottom, do you see that?
    A I’m sorry, something must be wrong here. Because on that day, when the people came to our offices, no records were being done. How could these records have been produced? It only occurs to me now.

    Q Well, anyway, you have signed this — you’ve initialled this at the bottom, this page, right?
    A That is correct. Well, if initialled it, then that must have been two to three months later. The record was being produced later, and then initialled it. And now it comes to me again.

    Q And if we go to image 10, please. I think — just take it from me that’s the final page of that interview, although you will see on the bottom left, above the stamp, a date of 9th October 1990, which is the date after the 2nd of October. But [4142] it seems to be signed by somebody in the stamp underneath it and signed by you, as you say, later, on the 13th of October — I’m sorry, signed by you on the 13th of October 1999. Do you see that?
    A That is correct. Yes.

    Q So it’s signed by somebody. Might it be Fluckiger, on the 9th of October 1990?
    A That is correct. Yes.
    —————————————————————-
    Transcript PDF Page 1410;
    MR. TURNBULL:
    Q Can we return to think about the meeting [4546] on 22nd of June 1989, Mr. Fluckiger. Was that previous meeting in connection with the MST-13 timers?
    A No, definitely not.

    Q Were any photographs of fragments, such as we’ve just looked at, shown to Mr. Bollier during the course of the meeting of June 1989?
    A No, no photographs were shown. And I can remember that the first photograph of that fragment was seen in September 1990. At that time, I didn’t know anything about the fragment.

    Q When you say that the first photograph of the fragment was seen in September 1990, do you mean seen by you?
    A Yes, that is correct. A representative of the FBI came to Bern, and he told us —

    Q Perhaps we shouldn’t go into what he told you just at the moment, Mr. Fluckiger. But the date is correct, September of 1990, is it?
    A I saw the photograph of the fragment for the first time at the beginning of September 1990. Before that, I didn’t know anything about it.

    Q Can I ask you a further matter, please. Did you have a meeting with Mr. Bollier in March of 1990 at his offices?
    A Well, I don’t think I can answer that [4547] question. Over the last ten years, I’ve met Mr. Bollier on several occasions. It’s possible, yes.

    Q If you did meet Mr. Bollier in March of 1990, was it possible for you to have shown him a photograph of the fragment?
    A In March, certainly not. As I said before, I saw the photograph for the first time in September of 1990.
    —————————————————————–
    Transcript PDF Page 1214;
    Q Well, do you want to have a look at your actual-copy passport and see if you can see another stamp which tells you whether this is the date of entry or the date of exit? Would that help?
    A Yes, maybe.

    Q Well, could you have before you, then, Production 1747. Now, we are looking at page 19, Mr. Bollier, so perhaps you should look around that page.
    A Is this just page 19? Because I don’t have any page numbers here. Oh, yes, I see it now. Yes, I’ve found it now.

    Q What did you find?
    A The photocopy that is now being shown on the screen, I have it in front of me. But the lower stamp is in Arabic, and there are no Arabic — German numerals, and I can’t really make out whether this is an exit or an entry stamp, the lower stamp. Someone who reads Arabic and speaks Arabic ought to verify this.

    Q All right. Well, perhaps we could be [3903] clear about one thing. You either entered or left Tripoli on the 14th of February of 1988; is that so?
    A That is correct.

    Q All right. Just tell me the answer to this question, please, if you can, by saying yes or no, do you follow?
    A Yes.

    Q The question that I am going to ask you is this: Did there come a time when you learned that an MST-13 timer had been confiscated in Senegal? Now, just tell me yes or no.
    A No.

    Q You never ever learned that?
    A Later, yes.

    Q Well, that’s what I am asking you about. Did there come a time when you learned that an MST-13 timer had been confiscated in Senegal?
    A Well, yes. Then I have to say yes.

    Q All right. So when was it that you learned about this timer being confiscated?
    A That was around April — 23rd of April, at the time of the visit of the federal police in 1990. They explained — he explained it to us.

    ——————————————————–

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  5. Scott says:

    I can think of no rational reason for Mr Bollier to lie in court about these earlier meetings nor falsely claim that he was informed far earlier that a MST-13 had been “involved” in the Pan Am 103 disaster.

    I’m not sure when P35b really entered the evidence chain but I’m 99.99% sure it didn’t fall from the sky on the 21st December 1988. I’m no expert on Scottish law but to me pt35b is what ties everything together. Without it there is probably no trial I guess. Lord Peter Fraser commented in one of the many Lockerbie documentaries that the American’s had concerned about tiny Scotland handling the Lockerbie trial/evidence but he (Peter Fraser) put their minds at rest by explaining Scottish Law required corroboration (*I will try to locate a link to the video). Perhaps corroboration of evidence was the issue for the US.

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    • Craig says:

      Scott,
      This is a link for the Gideon Levy documentary ‘Lockerbie Revisited’ 2009
      http://tegenlicht.vpro.nl/afleveringen/2008-2009/lockerbie-revisited.html
      It can be a bit temperamental and sometimes the video does not play straight away, you have to click the middle of the video window and sometimes reload the page but it does play eventually.

      I still think with regard to MEBO representatives, one should think outside the box.
      Look at it from a different perspective.

      It does seem that MEBO operated for many years with, of course, the full knowledge of the authorities and apparently in continuous meetings with Swiss representatives.
      I’m sure the Swiss were and are on excellent terms with other authorities including their US counterparts as noted within the transcript.

      From the noted available information circa 1987, MEBO even rented office space to named Libyan representatives.
      Keep in mind the notes suggest certain products were known about from at least 1985.
      Remember the phrase ? “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”

      This whole undue process and subsequent political ‘show trial’ known as the Lockerbie Case negated, corrupted and extinguished any principles of Scots Law forever.

      With regard to the ‘Lockerbie Revisited’ documentary, I would certainly agree with one of the contributors, if someone or any party did introduce evidence, either act on it or falsify information or evidence, omit relevant information, those persons ought to go to jail.

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      • Scott says:

        Thanks for the link Craig. Can I also add that I look forward to your (and Paul’s) posts/additional info almost as much as Ludwig’s blog posts. Its just a shame that there are so few of us.
        Yes its the one issue Richard M and I agree on – falsification of evidence should lead to jail.
        I’d be surprised if Mebo were not on M16 watchlist (and perhaps employ) pre-1988 due to Libyan shipments to IRA.
        Thinking outside the box leads me to think that Bollier was maybe in payment of CIA and they were fully aware of what Mebo were shipping to Libya. His travel and connections in the country would be useful to America in the 80s. Much more so than an informant like Giaka!

        Re: Tom Thurman — I seem to recall reading that Feraday (or was it Hayes?) was worried about Thurman coming over to RARDE. I believe the reason he gave in the memo was he didn’t want Thurman getting opportunity to “steal” his forensic conclusions an use them for his own benefit. But what if Feraday (or Hayes) knew MST-13 was a plant and didn’t want him around in case lab visitors log book formed part of evidence.
        Thurman is in and around far too much – on the ground by 22nd December 88, claimed to identify pt35b, interviewing Kreesat (CIA behind his Autumn Leaves release?), capturing other mebo timers etc. The USA’s go to guy!!
        Its as if the US are expecting to have to blame Libya for something BIG. Its as if they are expecting Pan Am 103.

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    • Morag says:

      Important as it is, PT/35b isn’t really the thing that ties the Crown case together. It’s a wild anomaly that nobody can explain satisfactorily.

      The piece of evidence that actually ties the whole of the Crown case together is the printout from the Frankfurt baggage handling computer saved by Bogomira Erac, and specifically the entry relating to tray 8849. No tray 8849, no case. Literally and metaphorically.

      And yet there is almost no analysis or investigation of that printout to be found in all the Lockerbie commentaries. I find this quite strange.

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