BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Friday, 23 June, 2000, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Pan Am blast man's Stasi link
The court heard allegations of a "web of deceit"
The Lockerbie trial has heard that a Swiss businessman who supplied the timer which triggered the bomb had collaborated with the East German secret police.

The Scottish court in the Netherlands was told that Edwin Bollier, 62, was given cash advances of more than one million Swiss francs during the 1970s and 1980s for equipment he later supplied to the Stasi.

Trial details
The two accused are Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, 48, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44
They deny three charges - murder, conspiracy to murder and a breach of the 1982 Aviation Security Act
The trial, in Camp Zeist, in the Netherlands, is expected to last a year
About 1,000 witnesses are expected to be called
The case is being heard by three Scottish judges
He also tried to procure a manual for them so that they could penetrate a complex coding system used by the then West German secret service.

Mr Bollier was giving evidence at the trial of two Libyans accused of causing the disaster in 1988 in which 270 people were killed.

Richard Keen QC, representing Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, described Mr Bollier as having "spied and collaborated" with the Stasi.

Mr Bollier said: "This is not spying, it's just organising a manual they could not get themselves."

He also denied Mr Keen's suggestions that a letter he sent to the Central Intelligence Agency after the bombing in which he blamed Libya for the atrocity was done at the instigation of the Stasi.

Mr Bollier, who had long-term business links with the Libyan army, insisted he was ordered to implicate Libya by a "mystery man" from the "secret services" who turned up at the offices of his firm Mebo in Zurich about a week after the disaster.

Edwin Bollier
Edwin Bollier: Accused of spying
He denied he invented the "mystery man" to disguise his links with the Stasi and rejected allegations of deception.

Mr Keen told him: "The fact is that you are mired completely in a web of deceit, cunning and lying of your own invention.

"When you come out with references to mysterious men and agents provocateurs it's merely an attempt to excuse your own inexcusable behaviour."

The court has already heard that Mr Bollier sold MST-13 timers - the type said to have been used in the bombing - to the Libyan secret services and the Stasi in the 1980s.

The Stasi allegedly supplied them to groups including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command, who were being investigated over the bombing.

'East German paymasters'

Mr Bollier has said he wrote the CIA letter, which alleged that the bomb had been contained in a suitcase, "to bring them onto the Libyan track."

Mr Keen told him: "You were instructed by your paymasters in East Germany to write a letter implicating the Libyans because they were concerned the investigation was on different tracks with regard to the bombing?"

He replied: "That's not correct."

More details of the CIA letter, which Mr Bollier alleged he had made up, emerged as he was cross-examined.

He asked the CIA to contact him on a certain radio frequency using the code name AGA.

Stasi meeting

He did not sign the letter but said he was a Libyan radio officer.

The letter was typed on notepaper from a hotel in Tripoli.

He later met members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America in 1991 where he said the idea for the letter came from a meeting with the Stasi.

Mr Bollier completed his evidence at the trial in Camp Zeist, Holland.

The case against the two accused was adjourned until Tuesday when former members of the Stasi are expected to give evidence.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

19 Jun 00 | World
Trial told of bomb timer links
14 Jun 00 | World
Trial shown cassette 'bomb'
22 Jun 00 | World
Bomb timer boss blamed Libyans
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more World stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more World stories