A former CIA agent has claimed that Libya was not involved in the Lockerbie bombing, and that he was barred from attending the original trial. He stated that investigators should turn their attention to the “true culprit” – Iran.
John Holt, 68, says he was the author of secret cables showing that the Libyan double agent, put forward by Scottish prosecutors as the key witness in the Lockerbie bombing trial, had a history of “making up stories”. Holt was never sent to the trial, even though he had been the CIA handler for the Libyan double agent, Abdul-Majid Giaka.
In November, a Scottish court refused to declassify documents that may clear the man accused of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdel-Basit Al-Megrahi. Family lawyers of Al-Megrahi insist that the documents could have opened up significant new lines of inquiry and helped prove his innocence had they been released before his trial.
“I have reason to believe there was a concerted effort, for unexplained reasons, to switch the original investigations away from Iran and its Palestinian ally the PFLP General Command”, Holt told ‘The Telegraph’ in an exclusive interview. He said, “I handled Abdul-Majid Giaka in 1989 for a whole year during which he never mentioned any Libyan involvement in the bombing.”
“My cables showed he was a car mechanic who was placed by Libyan Intelligence as an Airport office manager in Malta with Libyan Arab Airlines and had very little information about anything to do with bombs – or Lockerbie. That is all reported in my cables, so the CIA knew Giaka had a grudge against Al-Megrahi,” Holt explained.
The former CIA agent added, “In 1991, Giaka told the CIA that he had been exposed and that the Libyans would kill him. When he was told he was useless to our intelligence services [the CIA and FBI], he began making stories up. We now all need to admit we got the wrong man, and focus on the real culprits.”
Holt feels that Americans were particularly keen to pin the blame for Lockerbie on Libya because of an ongoing feud. After the events that brought Gaddafi to power, the Libyans had expelled American oil companies and US forces from the country.