[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 98
OCTOBER 8 1988
“The credibility of a key forensic expert in the trial, Mr. Alan Feraday, has been shattered. It was revealed that in three separate cases, men against whom Mr. Feraday gave evidence have now had their convictions overturned. In the first case where Mr. Feraday’s credibility had been questioned the Lord Chief Justice had stated that Mr. Feraday should not be allowed to present himself as an expert in electronics.”
Pr Hans Kochler, UN Observer at the Lockerbie Trial
At the Lockerbie trial, Mr Yoshihiro Miura, chief specialist at the Toshiba Company, testified that 20,000 black radio/cassette recorders model RT-SF16 have been ordered by Libya in the month of October 1988. They were shipped on November 11 1988.
According to the verdict, the bomb, that obliterated Pan Am 103, had been hidden in a Toshiba Radio model RT-SF16. Paragraph 9 of the verdict reads:
“The number of fragments associated with the clothing in close contact with the explosion and the extent of the shattering of these fragments indicated that the explosive charge had in all probability been located within the radio. It was known at that time that in October 1988 the West German police had recovered a Toshiba radio cassette player which had been modified to form an improvised explosive device. Mr Feraday visited West Germany to examine this device, and ascertained that the fragments in his possession and in particular the piece of circuit board recovered by Mr Claiden did not originate from the same model. However, he considered that there was a sufficient similarity to make it worth investigating other models of Toshiba players. It was found that there were seven models in which the printed circuit board bore precisely the same characteristics as the fragments. Subsequently, when the blast damaged clothing was examined in detail there were found embedded in two different Slalom brand shirts, a Babygro, and a pair of tartan checked trousers, fragments of paper which on examination proved to be from an owner’s manual for a Toshiba RT-SF 16 BomBeat radio cassette player. All the other fragments thought to have originated from the radio containing the explosive were consistent with having come from an RT-SF 16.”
Two UK forensic experts have helped the prosecutors to build the case against Megrahi. Dr Thomas Hayes and Allan Feraday worked at Royal Armament Research Development Establishment (RARDE). In 1995, RARDE was subsumed into the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). In 2001, part of DERA became the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
In a Letter titled “Lockerbie inquiries”, addressed to Detective Chief Superintendent Orr on 3rd February 1989, Feraday wrote the following.
“I have compared some fragments of electronic circuit board recovered at Lockerbie (Longtown) and marked as item AG/145 with various radio/cassette tape recorders. I am completely satisfied that these fragments originate from a Toshiba brand radio stereo cassette recorder types RT-8016 or RT-8026. These fragments are shattered in a manner consistent with their intimate involvement in a violent explosion, and I therefore conclude that the bomb was concealed in the aforementioned Toshiba type portable radio/cassette player.
The Toshiba RT-8016 and RT-8026 are visually similar and differ only in that the 8026 has a 3 band graphics equaliser on its front panel. Both sets measure 16 and a half inches by 5 and a half inches by 4 inches. The set used in the bomb possessed a white plastics case.”
So the question is this. How did the evidence pointing to a white RT-8016 or RT-8026 turn into evidence of a black RT-SF16, a model virtually only sold to Libya? This question should be best answered by Forensic Expert Allen Feraday.
Incidentally, the Wikipedia page of Allen Feraday has just been deleted. According to Wikipedia administrators, the page had been “created by a conspiracy theorist to promote his conspiracy theory. Utterly unacceptable!”
During her search of the crime site, Gwendoline Horton found an instruction manual for the Toshiba radio cassette player in a field about 70 miles from Lockerbie.
surprisingly, Horton could not identify the evidence presented to her as the manual she had retrieved. She was not alone having this kind of memory trouble.
Robert Ingram, another civilian search, told the court that police visited him months after the crash to encourage him to sign a form agreeing he had found items that he could not remember finding.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
U.S. Disclaims Link to Private Hostage Efforts – October 8, 1988
American Mercenary Files Iran-Contra Suit – October 8, 1988