The Road to MEBO

The readers of this blog have learned from the « Chronology of PT/35(b) » that, in September 1990, the investigators finally arrived to MEBO. But what evidence exactly brought them there? The short answer is: NONE!

All the good scientific work on PT/35(b) – and the various parts cut from it – never led to anything connecting PT/35(b) and MEBO. The “link” between PT/35(b) and K1 (Togo timer) led to some investigations in TOGO and Senegal which again produced no link whatsoever to MEBO.

There is not a single entry in the official timeline (I remind you that Part II and Part III are the official Timelines reconstructed by the SCCRC.) that can possibly explain what information connected PT/35(b) to MEBO. Williamson admitted that much.

According to Mr Williamson’s evidence, on examining the Togo timer the designation MST-13 was visible and he also observed partially eradicated letters which at the time he thought read “MEBQ”. His evidence was that thereafter enquiries were conducted in Togo and Senegal and that those enquiries did not lead the police to the source of the MST-13 timer but that subsequently further information was received which led to the
enquiries at MEBO in Switzerland. (SCCRC 8.129)

In cross examination Mr Williamson was asked what the source was of the information suggesting that MEBO might be the manufacturers of the MST-13 timer and he stated that he had been informed of this fact by Det Supt James Gilchrist, then deputy senior investigating officer, although he did not know where Mr Gilchrist had obtained the information (Trial: 18/3003-4).

What is this information and where did Det Supt James Gilchrist get it from?

Mr Gilchrist’s account is reflected in protectively marked materials. In a fax dated 28 August 1990 (classified document 989, see appendix of protectively marked materials), the Security Service queried how clear the designation was on the timer and asked whether, rather than reading “M580”, the designation might comprise the letters “MEBO”. It was suggested that if that were the case it might relate to Meister and Bollier of Zurich, described as “a company known to be involved with others in the provision of electronic devices to Libya.”  (SCCRC 8.147)

In a subsequent fax dated 31 August 1990 (classified document 997, see appendix of  protectively marked materials) reference is made to Mr Thurman having re-examined the timer and, although he thought it possible that the third character was a “B”, he doubted this. The fax also states that Mr Thurman was “clearly aware of Meister and Bollier and made a cryptic reference to the company already being of great interest to the investigation.”

Here is at last the answer we have been looking for:

“It is in this document that the suggestion is made to the police by a member of the Security Service that enquiries be carried out regarding MEBO.” (SCCRC 8.147)

Despite all the good scientific research and the enormous  efforts of the Lockerbie investigators, no EVIDENCE ever led to MEBO. It is INTELLIGENCE that “solved” the case.

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