Bomb Expert’s Testimony at Lockerbie Trial Casts Doubt on Previous Reports

Published June 1st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An explosives expert has told the Lockerbie trial the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 could not have been in a suitcase on the floor of a cargo container, reported Wednesday.  

Ian Cullis gave evidence at Camp Zeist in The Netherlands, where two Libyans are accused of bombing the New York-bound Boeing 747.  

Cullis, 47, who has worked for the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera) since 1978, told the court he was also part of a team carrying out work for the Civil Aviation Authority.  

He said the CAA project included experiments into the effects of explosives on baggage and baggage containers within aircraft.  

The witness, who is employed in Dera's warhead and terminal effects department, was questioned by prosecuting counsel Alan Turnbull QC, about the effects of an explosion on metal.  

Cullis said carbon deposits which looked like a very fine soot were one of the most obvious signs.  

"There are a number of effects you can get. A metal can be shattered into small pieces if it has a certain structural integrity," he said.  

"It can be pitted by very fine impact craters. It can shear. It can fracture."  

The pitting, which could look like a roughening of the surface, was caused by small particles from the explosion traveling at speeds of up to 2,500 meters a second, Cullis was quoted by BBc as testifying –  





© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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