Here is a short part of a piece I wrote
This issue is of paramount importance as forensic experts claimed to have discovered in the collar of one of these shirts the fragment of an electronic timer which provided the key link between the bombing and Libya. (NB. This writer has never quite understood how the size of the breast pocket did not match the size of the collar of the shirt recovered at Lockerbie, but that is another story.)
During his first interview with DCI Bell, Tony Gauci made a list of the items he had sold to the mysterious buyer. The list matched exactly the items that forensic experts at RARDE believed to have been in direct contact with the bomb, except for a black umbrella that they eventually “identify”. On that day – Sept. 1, 1989 — Gauci made no mention of the Slalom shirts.
On Jan. 30, 1990, Gauci was shown a SLALOM shirt and was asked if he had sold one to the mysterious buyer. “That man did not buy any shirt, I am sure,” Gauci stated to the investigators.
Then, on Sept. 10, 1990, Gauci suddenly recalled selling two Slalom shirts. It is not just odd, but contradicts a statement Gauci made on his first interview and repeated at the trial.
During his first interview, Gauci told DCI Bell that he remembered that the bill amounted to 76.5 Maltese pounds (LM). Gauci even clearly remembered that the man paid him with eight 10 LM bills, and that he returned 4 LM as he was not able to give a half pound in change.
Quite logically, DCI Bell then asked him to check the price of all the items he had just mentioned. And, lo and behold, the sum added to 76.5 LM… without any Slalom shirt. Had Gauci sold two shirts to the mysterious buyer, the bill would have been 84.5 LM.
Obviously, if the SLALOM shirt is a fabrication, so must be the items discovered inside it, including the infamous fragment of the MST-13 timer.
According to Richard Marquise who led the US investigation, without this key piece of evidence, there would have been no indictment.
Lockerbie: J’accuse. (10 May 2009)
Mmmm. John Ashton says he thinks it’s a small-size man’s shirt. You need to ask him about the specifics of that.
That’s not really the point though. After the importance of the shirt was realised, the detectives were desperate to get Tony to testify to having sold that shirt to the mysterious customer. The rest is suggestion and retrospective fabrication, helped along by more Clever Hans trickery. And despite their success in inducing Tony to “remember” a couple of shirts, he never did manage to get the colour right.
It doesn’t matter. There’s no compulsion that all the clothing in the suitcase had to have been purchased from Tony’s shop, on that particular occasion. The detectives were way over-keen to make a neat case and get the shirt tied in to Mary’s House the way the trousers were. But it was never necessary. The shirt could have been acquired somewhere else, or on a different occasion.
Evidence that Harry Bell and his cronies were pressurising, coaching and grooming Tony Gauci to make their case far neater than it actually was, isn’t actually relevant to whether the shirt and/or its contents were planted.