BONN HAILS RELEASE OF RUDOLF CORDES – 15/08/1988

[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 75

SEPTEMBER 15 1988

“Abolghasem Mesbahi deserves full credit for the successful negotiations that led to the release of Rudolf Cordes.”

Former Iran President Bani Sadr – Interview with the author (May 16 2008)

BaniSadr

Cordes kidnappers told Western News Agencies that they were setting him free after ”sincere appeals from Syria and Iran.”

“The release of Rudolf Cordes, the last German hostage held in Lebanon, had been negotiated over several months with Iranian officials, and was finally obtained at a meeting Aug. 24 with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Larijani,” Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher announced today.

”No conditions of any sort were accepted or fulfilled and none were set. I would like to make that quite clear,” Genscher added.

Intelligence

Beside Mohammad Javad Larijani, the other Iranian negotiators are believed to be Mahmoud Jamali, Nasrollah Kazemi Kamyab and Abolghasem Mesbahi. All of them are quite well known senior officials and worked for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, except Mesbahi who was representing Hashemi Rafsanjani. (I asked Larijani if he could confirm the story but he has not so far replied to the email.)

In late 1996, Mesbahi told German investigators that Iran had asked Libya and Abu Nidal, a Palestinian guerrilla leader, to carry out the attack on the Pan Am 103, which was destroyed in flight by a small bomb on Dec. 21 1988. (NB. The secet document, that the Crown refuses to pass to the Defense at the appeal of Megrahi, dates from 1996.)

According to Mesbahi, Iran planned the attack as revenge after the US cruiser Vincennes shot down an Iran Air Airbus over the Strait of Hormuz a few months earlier in 1988.

Mesbahi alleged that parts of the bomb were put on a plane at Frankfurt airport, later assembled in London and finally loaded onto Pan Am 103.

Atef Abu Bakr is a former spokesman for the Abul Nidal Organization (ANO) and one of Nidal’s closest aides between 1985 and 1989. In a series of interviews published in the Arabic Al Hayat newspaper, Bakr said that Abu Nidal told him that his organization was behind the explosion on Pan Am flight 103. [1]

“Abu Nidal told a meeting of the Revolutionary Council leadership: I have very important and serious things to say. The reports that attribute Lockerbie to others are lies. We are behind it.”

“If any one of you lets this out, I will kill him even if he was in his wife’s arms,”‘ Abu Nidal added, according to Bakr.

Even among “Lockerbie experts”, very few people know that a member of the Abu Nidal’s Fatah Revolutionary Council has confessed his role in the bombing of Pan Am 103.

In 1994, while on trial in a Beirut Court for murdering a Jordanian diplomat, Youssef Chaaban claimed that he had been personally responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

“I personally blew up the Lockerbie plane. I’ve told the investigating magistrate about it before but my confession wasn’t documented. I say it again now,” Chaaban stated. [3]

Back to the Present (2008)

Two leading authorities on the trial of the Lockerbie bombers yesterday called for a fresh inquiry into the bombing of Pan Am 103.

Dr Hans Koechler, who was the official UN observer at Camp Zeist, and Professor Robert Black, who advised the government on setting up the trial in the Netherlands, also called for significant legal reform in Scotland.

“Dr Koechler is due to speak at the Scottish Law Awards in Glasgow tomorrow night where he will rehearse the Greshornish conversation and conclusions. Speaking in Skye yesterday, he said: “It is extremely frustrating that with regard to such an incident just one person has been presented as the culprit and no further questions asked,” the Herald wrote.

“Only a child would believe such a story that there is one culprit who did everything. The other one, who according to the original indictment was a co-conspirator, was declared not guilty and sent home. My question is why does Scotland not undertake the appropriate measures to investigate this matter fully,” Pr. Koechler asks.

Richard marquise, the FBI agent who led the Lockerbie investigation, does not entirely disagree with the views of Dr Koechler.

“Did Iran contract with the PFLP-GC? Probably! But it cannot be proven in court. Did Iran ask Libya and Abu Nidal as you stated in an earlier article? Perhaps, but that too cannot be proven and never will be unless a reliable witness or two comes forward with documentary evidence,” Marquise wrote to me. [4]

NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. Abu Nidal behind Lockerbie, says aide

2. Murder or mischief?

3. Experts on Lockerbie bombing trial call for fresh inquiry

4. Private communication from Marquise to the author on Feb. 11, 2008 (second).

Bonn Hails Release of Last Hostage , September 14, 1988

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