CIA Supplies Lockerbie Court with Evidence
The CIA has given a foreign court unprecedented access to secret dispatches from one of its spies, a Scottish prosecutor said Monday, reflecting Washington's eagerness to see a conviction in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, reported The Associated Press.
The spy -a former Libyan agent who offered his services to the CIA -is due to appear in the courtroom later this week, to present what is expected to be the key evidence in the prosecution's case, said the agency. Lawyers for two Libyans accused in the Lockerbie case have been given revised texts of dispatches from the Libyan double agent, known as Abdul Majid Giaka, Scotland's chief prosecutor Lord Advocate Colin Boyd told the court, quoted by the AP.
Over the weekend, the CIA withdrew its censorship of parts of the cables it previously had deleted from Giaka's dispatches, said the agency.
"The cables have now been produced in their entirety except for those areas which relate to the safety of individuals and to national safety of the United States," said Boyd.
"This is the first time the CIA has produced evidence for a foreign court," he added.
Boyd pointed out that in the United States, court rules allow the CIA to disguise sensitive information in court documents without defense lawyers ever knowing what happened.
"It has been emphasized to me that the amount of detail now in the public domain far exceeds that put into the public domain before by the CIA," said Boyd.
In response to the new disclosures, defense lawyers said they needed to consult with their clients and the court adjourned for the afternoon, according to the AP.
Defense attorney Bill Taylor spoke about "a number of routes available to the accused" which he said "will have repercussions for the court itself."
Giaka, described by reports as star witness, was scheduled to appear in court last week, but his testimony was postponed after the defense complained about parts of the cables blacked out by a CIA censor.
The trial began May 3rd before a special Scottish courthouse on a former US air base in the Netherlands. The proceedings are expected to continue for several more months.
Defendants Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 48, and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44, have both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, and intentionally destroying an aircraft.
When the trial got underway, it was expected that the most complex and costly murder trial in Scottish history -- taking place at a special Scottish court set up in a former US air base -- might run for a year if not longer.
But so much non-controversial evidence has since been stipulated that defense attorney William Taylor said the trial -- being heard by three senior judges without a jury -- could wrap up in a matter of months – (Several Sources)
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