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Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Spy's court date finalised
CIA logo
More CIA messages have been handed over
Judges at the Lockerbie trial have ruled that a Libyan double agent working for the CIA should enter the witness box next week.

Abdul Majid Giaka, who is living under protection in the US where he defected 10 years ago, is expected to be flown to The Netherlands to begin giving evidence on Tuesday.

When the trial resumed on Thursday after a three-week adjournment, defence lawyers sought a further delay in his appearance.

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
But that has been overruled and Giaka is expected to give evidence over several days to the Scottish Court at Camp Zeist.

Giaka's appearance has been held up repeatedly by defence objections and legal debate.

At the heart of the objections has been the issue of the availability of notes of interviews held between Giaka and his CIA handlers in America.

These papers - or cables - have been trickling out with varying degrees of censorship.

Defence lawyers William Taylor QC confirmed on Thursday they had received 36 additional cables.

But their contents suggested there was even more key CIA evidence they wanted to see, particularly relating to possible Palestinian involvement in the bomb plot.

'Valid basis'

Scotland's Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC, who heads the prosecution team, said the latest CIA evidence provided more details on Giaka himself.

There were also details about his CIA "rewards" and information about two Palestinian terror groups which, he acknowledged, had originally been strong suspects in the Lockerbie inquiry.

Presiding judge Lord Sutherland said the request for more information could only be accepted if there was a "valid basis" for calling on the CIA to produce them, if the documents had "proper purpose" and if they would be of "material assistance" to the defence.

Lord Sutherland
Lord Sutherland: Request rejected
The court also had to consider whether failure to produce such documents would jeopardise the fairness of the trial of the two men accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

After consulting his two fellow judges he told the court: "On the information placed before us we are not satisfied that the criteria have been met."

At the time of the Lockerbie bombing in December 1988 Giaka was already on the CIA payroll, working for Libyan Arab Airlines at Malta airport.

His court appearance is likely to be behind screens.

Giaka is believed to have been pressing for a disguise as well. When he gave a statement to prosecution lawyers last year he met them on a moving bus while wearing a Shirley Bassey wig.

His concern not to be seen reflects constant fears that Libyan agents have been out to murder him ever since his defection to America.

The trial continues

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The trial

Armed police on guard at Camp ZeistLockerbie trial
Secret life of a 'supergrass'
See also:

31 Aug 00 | World
The Lockerbie trial and the CIA
30 Aug 00 | World
Spy's court date on hold
29 Aug 00 | World
Judges reject CIA papers plea
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