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Monday, 28 August, 2000, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Trial examines 'secret' CIA papers
Camp Zeist
The case is being heard amid intense security
The Lockerbie trial has been shown the CIA documents at the centre of a dispute between prosecution and defence lawyers.

Scotland's senior law official, Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC, said the papers - which contain details of cable communications - featured new information.

He said the documents included remarks made by Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka, who worked as a CIA agent at Malta Airport and whom the prosecution wants to call as a witness at the trial.

Mr Boyd said: "This is the first time the CIA has produced evidence for a foreign court.

"It may also be the first time that cables themselves have been used in any court either in the US or outwith.

Colin Boyd QC
Colin Boyd: "CIA precedent"
"It's been emphasised to me that the amount of information now in the public domain far exceeds that ever put in the public domain before by the CIA in relation to these events."

Mr Boyd said he watched last week at the US Embassy in The Hague as a CIA records custodian identified as William McNair undid deletions in the cables from Giaka, whom crown prosecutors refer to as "Mr Majid".

He said: "I can tell the court that everything Mr Majid is reported to have said in these cables is revealed except for three matters."

These refer to the identities of CIA informants and methods of operation.

'Sham surgery'

Newly revealed information included references to CIA payments to Giaka and his request for "sham surgery" to secure a waiver from military service in Libya.

There is also mention of payments from the CIA he could receive in return for giving evidence.

Giaka has been living for the last 10 years under a witness protection scheme in the US and is regarded as a crucial witness against the accused men. He is expected to take the stand later this week.

Trial details
The two accused are Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, 48, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44
Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground
The two men deny three charges - murder, conspiracy to murder and a breach of the 1982 Aviation Security Act
The trial is taking place in a Scottish courtroom at Camp Zeist, in the Netherlands
The case is being heard by three Scottish judges

Defence attorney Bill Taylor QC told the court there were now "a number of routes available to the accused" which would have "repercussions for the court itself". He did not elaborate.

The court adjourned for the day to allow the defence to consult the accused.

Arguments over the CIA papers have dominated the last few days of the trial of the two Libyans who are said to have bombed Pan AM flight 103 over the small Scottish town of Lockerbie.

The special court in the Netherlands was adjourned on Monday to give the defence time to consider the new information.

It has been claimed the accused concealed the device in a suitcase in Malta and routing it onto flight 103 via Frankfurt, London and then onto New York.

The men have denied carrying out the 1988 bombing in which 270 people died.

The trial continues.

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See also:

25 Aug 00 | World
Lockerbie documents handed over
23 Aug 00 | World
Waiting for the 'supergrass'
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