New documents reveal that both high-level Syrian officials and the CIA independently stated that a Syrian-based Palestinian group, not Libya, was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing.

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An exclusive report to be broadcast on Channel 4 News at 7pm reveals that a deep cover CIA agent was told by up to 15 high-level Syrian officials that the Syria-based group was involved.

The revelations, which feature in tonight's programme, were made in a US court deposition by CIA asset Dr Richard Fuisz in early 2001.

More importantly, he added that, between 1990 and 1995, ten to 15 senior Syrian officials also told him that the group was responsible.
He said that the officials interacted with the PFLP-GC’s leader, Ahmed Jibril, “on a constant basis” and that he was the mastermind behind the bombing.
Fuisz gave a deposition at the request of defence lawyers for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Lamin Fhimah, who were, at the time, on trial for the bombing.
However, the revelations came too late to be used at the trial, which ended within days of the second hearing.
Three unnamed CIA officers and a US department of justice lawyer were present throughout the hearings, ensuring that Fuisz was prevented from answering many of the questions.
The PFLP-GC were the original prime suspects in the bombing.
Declassified US intelligence documents claim that the group was paid by the Iranian government to avenge the 290 lives lost when Iran Air flight 665 was accidentally shot down by a US battleship of over the Persian Gulf a few months before Lockerbie.
Members of the PFLP-GC were arrested in West Germany two months before Lockerbie. During the raids the police recovered a Toshiba radio-cassette player containing a barometric bomb.
Forensic investigators determined that the Lockerbie bomb had also been contained in a Toshiba radio-cassette player.
The transcripts of the hearings, and related documents, are being released by Scotland’s Shame author John Ashton, who found them earlier this year in the Libyans’ legal files. Mr Ashton has been involved a Channel 4 News item about the new evidence, which will be broadcast tonight.
Mr Ashton said today: “This evidence is yet another indication that the real Lockerbie bombers got away and that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was wrongly convicted.
“The British and American governments declared in 1991 that Libya was solely responsible for the bombing, yet for years after senior Syrians were saying that the PFLP-GC was responsible. It seems it was an open secret that the real bombers lay outside Libya.”
An exclusive report to be broadcast onChannel 4 Newsreveals that a deep cover CIA agent was told by up to 15 high-level Syrian officials, and the CIA itself, that a Syrian-based Palestinian group, rather than Libya,was responsible for Lockerbie.
He claimed that between 1990 and 1995, 10 to 15 senior Syrian officials told him the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril, was responsible.

The interview was tightly controlled by US government lawyers and CIA observers sat in. There was to be nothing on his CIA employment - what he called "context" - only "broad brush" answers.

"Broad brush would simply be that numerous high officials in the Syrian government were quite affirmative on Jibril's involvement in Pan Am 103."

Dr Fuisz said that the officials interacted with Ahmed Jibril Ahmed Jibril "on a constant basis" and that he was the mastermind behind the bombing.

Lawyer: "Did any of them tell you who their sources were?"

Fuisz: "Again, staying out of context, broad brush, my recollection is they were direct. They were not hearsay sources on their part."

Lawyer: "Direct in the sense that as you understood it, you were being told by members of the Syrian government that Jibril, and or members of the PFLGC were taking credit for the bombing?"

Fuisz: "Yes."

Dr Fuisz gave the deposition at the request of defence lawyers for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was, at the time, on trial for the bombing.

Too late to be used


However, the revelations came too late to be used at the trial, which ended soon after.

The PFLP-GC were the original prime suspects in the bombing, thought to have been commissioned by the Iranian government to avenge the 290 lives lost when Iran Air flight 665 was accidentally shot down by a US battleship over the Persian Gulf a few months before Lockerbie.

But attention soon turned to Libya and eventually Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the bombing in 2001. He was later controversially released on compassionate grounds and died last year back in Libya.

The transcripts of the hearings, and related documents, were found by Scotland’s Shame author John Ashton earlier this year in al-Megrahi's defence file.