Richard Marquise

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Special Agent Richard A. Marquise became the FBI's chief investigator of the Pan Am Flight 103 case when the Lockerbie bombing investigation began to focus on Libya. He wrote the 2006 book "Scotbom: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation".

FBI Special Agent Richard A. Marquise led the US Task Force investigating the 21 December 1988 Lockerbie bombing – code-named "Scotbom" – which included the FBI, US Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency.[1] In his 2006 book "Scotbom: Evidence And The Lockerbie Investigation", Richard Marquise described managing all aspects of the investigation, examining first the broad question of motive and setting the bombing in the context of world events. He led the investigation through the return of indictments in November 1991 and played an active role through the trial in 2000 which ended with the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on 31 January 2001.[2]

In August 2001 Richard Marquise received the US Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service following the successful resolution of the Lockerbie bombing trial.

On the eve of the start on 28 April 2009 of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's appeal at the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh, the documentary Lockerbie Revisited, in which Richard Marquise was interviewed extensively, was broadcast on Dutch TV.[3][4]

Early in August 2009 (several weeks before Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was granted compassionate release from jail in Scotland) Richard Marquise spoke at the Trace Evidence Symposium in Florida detailing the evidence used at the Lockerbie trial to convict Megrahi.[5][6]

On 11 November 2010, Richard Marquise was invited to speak on “Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation” as part of the 2010 Syracuse Symposium with the theme “Conflict: Peace and War” at Syracuse University (SU). Pan Am Flight 103 which blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 killed 270 people, including 35 SU students returning from a semester abroad.[7]

Lockerbie trial "whitewash"

In response to a Sunday Herald article in which Professor Michael Scharf claimed the Lockerbie trial was a "whitewash", Richard Marquise despatched the following email on Thursday, 16 November 2006 (08:15:35):

"Mr Scharf: I am a retired FBI agent who led the US task force which investigated the Lockerbie bombing and also recently had published a book on the investigation, "Scotbom: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation".
I have seen your comments in the Sunday Herald and totally disagree with them. I have written a letter to the editor to respond to your interview. The fact you had a role in drafting documents regarding the sanctions against Libya was interpreted in the media that you somehow had a role in the "intelligence community" and therefore inside access to the investigation. We both know this to be incorrect.
I would encourage you to read my book which I think spells out what we found and what we did not. Our case was far from perfect. Courts like to see eyewitnesses, DNA and the like and these things were missing. However, we had a circumstantial case and the three judges at Zeist agreed with our assessment of the evidence. The case was NOT made on the evidence provided by Giaka. He helped us and I made a point in the book that I am not sure we would have obtained an indictment without his testimony before the Federal Grand Jury.
However, if you have read the transcript of the trial and the court's opinion, the court dismissed much of his testimony, which I think was wrong and I discuss it in my book. I wonder if you were misquoted in the Sunday Herald article where you were alleged to have said that Libya, Iran AND the PFLP-GC were responsible. So, who are you saying did it? You cannot have it every way. I find it hard to imagine that Shiite Iran collaborated with Sunni Libya or Sunni PFLP-GC when they cannot get along in the rest of the world. The evidence led us only to the two Libyans although others could have been named in the indictments, a decision was made not to indict them (Libyans).
I believe strongly in the outcome of the case and the trial and not because I have a political agenda or carried one out at the behest of someone in my Government as I would never have done that. I know that no one of us manipulated our findings to carry out any political agenda. We followed the evidence.
Richard Marquise
PS-- the FBI did not keep the State Department in the dark as you allege and I have no doubt the CIA did NOT manipulate the Lockerbie trial. The Scots would NEVER have allowed that.

Short Scharf response

Within the hour, Professor Scharf had responded to Richard Marquise:

Professor Scharf described the Lockerbie trial as a "whitewash"
From: Michael Scharf
To: Richard Marquise
Sent: Thu, Nov 16, 2006 8:56 am
Subject: Re: Lockerbie
I was indeed misquoted and mischaracterized in the article as I indicate in the correspondence reproduced below, in which I have requested a correction.
I did, however, say (and continue to believe) the case presented to the Court was full of holes, it was a "whitewash" since it only focused on low level intel officers and not Khadafi who had to have approved the operation, and that confidential informant Majid Giaka was a terrible witness.
I'd love to read your book if you have an extra copy you could send me.

Email to Patrick Haseldine

Seven years later, Richard Marquise returned to the subject by emailing Patrick Haseldine:

From: Richard Marquise
To: Patrick Haseldine
Sent: Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 11:28
Subject: Re: "Lockerbie trial was a CIA fix"
Michael Scharf had nothing to do with the Lockerbie investigation, the Lockerbie trial and any comments he may have made were based on his own feelings. So this is hogwash.
I also have an email from him wherein he admitted he was misquoted in the newspaper.
Case closed.
Richard Marquise

What about Bernt Carlsson?

From: Patrick Haseldine
To: Richard Marquise
Cc: DanaBiehl; Frank Duggan; BrianMurtagh; Buck Revell; Mark Zaid; Kenny MacAskill;
Sent: Sat, Jun 15, 2013 7:23 am
Subject: Re: "Lockerbie trial was a CIA fix"
Lockerbie target UN Commissioner Bernt Carlsson
Dear Mr Marquise,
In view of the fact that you were the head of the US task force which investigated the Lockerbie bombing, could you please explain why:
"No investigation by the Scottish Police, the CIA, the FBI or the United Nations has ever been conducted into this compelling circumstantial evidence of the targeting of Bernt Carlsson on Pan Am Flight 103, despite the branding of apartheid South Africa as a "terrorist state" during the 1988 US presidential election campaign."
It is obvious that Lockerbie cannot be "Case closed", as you say in your email, until we have your full and frank response to the Bernt Carlsson question.[8]
Many thanks,
Patrick Haseldine
Emeritus Professor of Lockerbie Studies

South Africa: a "terrorist state"?

From: Richard Marquise
To: Patrick Haseldine
Cc: Dana Biehl; Frank Duggan; Brian Murtagh; Buck Revell; Mark Zaid; Kenny MacAskill
Sent: Saturday, 15 June 2013, 14:12
Subject: Re: "Lockerbie trial was a CIA fix"
Mr Haseldine:
First-- the key point to remember about anything Mr Scharf says or believes is that of any normal citizen-- he was not an intelligence officer, not an investigator and he said he had nothing to do with the Lockerbie investigation. Therefore-- he is as aware of the case and the evidence as much as anyone else-- who knows nothing about the case. We all have our opinions-- I have mine about the various terror attacks which occur around the world but cannot pass myself as an expert and say the experts are wrong-- just because it is my opinion. I think Mr Scharf has the absolute right to say what he wants but anyone who reads his comments should be aware they are opinions and not at all based in fact.
Second-- as to your question about the investigation. If a murder takes place in South Africa, the police conduct an investigation based on logic-- they look for evidence droped at the scene, they look at family and friends of the victim, they look at possible enemies and then look at everything else which is "logical". If they arrest someone because of evidence found at the scene-- perhaps a drivers license, a weapon with fingerprints etc-- it is only logical to look at that person. For someone to say 25 years later-- the police were wrong because the victim had been in San Francisco 10 years ago and got into a bar fight with Joe Smith (who lives in San Francisco) so we need to conduct an investigation into Joe-- it is not logical.
In the case of your belief-- that the "terrorist state" of South Africa may have targeted the plane. I do not recall that South Africa had ever been placed on the US list of states which sponsored terrorism. Libya certainly was but that was not the reason that the investigation would eventually be blamed on them.
The investigators followed the evidence-- collected at the scene and it led to Mr Megrahi and Mr Fhimah-- others were involved (Libyans) but the evidence was not available then to indict-- much less convict them. Although some (very misguided) people think that the indictments were politically driven, nothing is further from the truth-- we followed the evidence-- that is all. There was never--NEVER--any political pressure to change, manipulate or direct the evidence to blame a particular regime or person.
As an investigator-- you do not have the luxury of the naysayers-- which include you-- we cannot blame everyone-- we need a theory of proof based on evidence-- not speculation or hypothesis... that is what led to Mr Megrahi's conviction.
Richard Marquise

Lockerbie target: seven questions

From: Patrick Haseldine
To: Richard Marquise
Cc: Dana Biehl; Frank Duggan; Brian Murtagh; Buck Revell; Mark Zaid; Kenny MacAskill;
Sent: Saturday, 15 June 2013, 16:19
Subject: Re: "Lockerbie trial was a CIA fix"
Dear Mr Marquise,
Thank you for this speedy reply.
Apartheid South Africa would almost certainly have been placed on the US list of states which sponsored terrorism had Governor Michael Dukakis won the November 1988 US presidential election.[9]
I continue to be amazed that the former head of the US task force that investigated the Lockerbie bombing cannot bring himself to mention the name of Bernt Carlsson, the highest profile victim of Pan Am Flight 103.
You might remember that just over three years ago I asked you and former Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson seven questions about Bernt Carlsson. A late but comprehensive reply from either or both of you would be most appreciated:
Subject: Awaiting answers from Richard Marquise and Stuart Henderson
From: Patrick Haseldine
Date: Friday, 26 March 2010
Dear Mr Marquise,
Lockerbie target: seven questions
On 15 March 2010, I asked you two questions:
Patrick Haseldine's seven questions
1. Did the FBI 'establish antecedents' on Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson?
2. If so, will you publish the relevant FD402 report in full?
Earlier this week, I posed a further five questions for you and your Scottish counterpart, Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson, to answer:
3. Could you please tell us about the previous attack on Bernt Carlsson’s aircraft?
4. Could you please publish Detective Constable John Crawford’s report on Bernt Carlsson?
5. Does the fact that in December 1988 the diamond mining and trading company De Beers was facing prosecution under the UNCN Decree for illegally exploiting Namibia’s gem diamonds over a 20-year period (estimated value $18.7 billion) make Bernt Carlsson a PA 103 target?[10]
6. Does the fact that in December 1988 the owners of the Rössing Uranium Mine were facing prosecution under the UNCN Decree for illegally exploiting Namibia’s uranium oxide over a 14-year period (estimated value $1.2 billion) make Bernt Carlsson a PA 103 target?[11]
7. Does the fact that the Rössing Uranium Mine is part-owned by the Iranian government, who were clandestinely receiving shipments of Namibian uranium oxide in 1988-1989, make it likely that Iran targeted Bernt Carlsson on PA 103?[12]
Thanking you and DCS Stuart Henderson in anticipation of an early and full response to each of the seven questions,
Yours sincerely,
Patrick Haseldine
HM Diplomatic Service

Lockerbie Revisited

Richard Marquise was interviewed extensively in the 2009 documentary film Lockerbie Revisited and admitted that the case against Libya hinged on PT/35(b) the tiny piece of printed circuit board from the Swiss Mebo MST-13 timer that was alleged to have triggered the Lockerbie bomb and to have been discovered in the debris from the aircrash. Marquise said that of all the evidence retrieved from the crash scene, only that one piece of timer fragment PT/35(b) was brought over to America from Britain:

"It was the only piece of evidence to make its way to the FBI laboratory in the possession of a RARDE examiner: he brought it; he did the comparison; and he's a scientist; and he took it back."

Gideon Levy asked:

"Would you have a case if you wouldn't have this evidence?"

Marquise replied:

"Would we have a would be a very difficult case to prove...this helps our link. Without the timer fragment we would have been unable to develop additional evidence against Libya. I don't think we would ever have had an indictment."[13]

However, in another interview towards the end of the film, Marquise changed his mind and was prompted by his British opposite number, Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Henderson to say that the "fragment never came to the US." Marquise then volunteered that he actually saw the timer fragment PT/35(b) in London, but Henderson corrected him saying Marquise had seen it where all the other evidence was kept in the UK.[14]

In the film, Richard Marquise stated categorically that no money was paid to any of the witnesses before the Lockerbie bombing trial. In relation to witness Tony Gauci, who was alleged to have been rewarded with $2 million for testifying against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, Marquise refused to say whether any money was paid out after the trial.[15]

Marquise clarification

On Professor Black's blog, Richard Marquise sought to clarify what he had said in the film Lockerbie Revisited:

"I would like to clarify one point which so many people seem to have made important. A photograph of PT/35(b) was identified by Tom Thurman as similar to a photograph of a timer circuit board which had been located in Senegal in 1988 in the possession of two Libyan intelligence officers. He also compared that photograph with the circuit board of a similar MEBO timer found in Togo in 1986 and in the possession of the US in 1990. He believed them to be identical.
"The FBI asked the Scottish police to bring the fragment PT/35(b) to the US in about June 1990 to be compared with the photograph of the Senegal timer and the circuit board of the Togo timer. Feraday did in fact bring the fragment to the US-- it was never out of his possession and was brought back to the UK at the conclusion of his analysis with Tom Thurman in the FBI lab. This is what I said on my initial interview and later clarified my remarks made at Arlington National Cemetery in December by email to Mr Levy in December 2008 stating I believed that Feraday did in fact bring the fragment to the US but it was never out of his possession. I did not see the fragment on that trip. I later saw the fragment PT/35(b) in person at RARDE when I travelled there with Mr Henderson in the winter of 1991.
"I have many more things I would like to say but do not want to use this site to post my 'rants' each time I disagree with what someone posts."[16]

Email to Professor Black

In October 2009, Richard Marquise emailed Professor Black a further clarification:

"I will try and make it simple for you--
"Marquise: told Gideon Levy (producer of Lockerbie Revisited) in 2008 that the fragment came to US in custody and control of Scottish police/British forensic officials. Never out of their custody or control. When Levy 'cornered' me at Arlington, he said the Lord Advocate told him it never came to US. I told him there what I told him earlier in 2008 was what I thought the truth to be but perhaps I was mistaken. (I did not see the fragment when it came to US in June 1990.) I later clarified in an email that my first statement was correct.
"Henderson: as far as I know, the microphone in his face at Arlington in December 2008 was the first time Mr Henderson ever said anything in public about Lockerbie. What he said was it was never in 'US control'.
"In his official statement to prosecutors before trial, he acknowledged that it had traveled to the US for examination.
Professor Black "tried to resolve Lockerbie deadlock"
"Unfortunately, some things which happened over 20 years ago needed to be reflected upon. We are all aging and our recollections may not be perfect. However, I know one thing—none of us ever 'fiddled with', 'tampered', 'changed', 'altered' or 'manufactured' any evidence in this case to include PT-35.
"My brother once owned a football. He was so afraid it would get ruined, he kept it in the closet and never used it. It suffered 'dry rot' and was eventually never useable. The same could be said about PT/35(b). Should police officials never shared its existence with anyone else, it might never have been identified. Try as they might, 6 months, 17 countries and 55 separate company visits failed to determine what it was. It was the sharing of the photograph and eventually the lab comparison which identified it.
"To listen to some in Scotland, this case should have been conducted ONLY by Scots without outside interference. It was only through the sharing of information that strides were able to be made to identify who was responsible for Lockerbie-- despite what so many people do not want to believe. The sharing of information was vital to the Lockerbie case and is vital today as we try and prevent horrible acts of terrorism and other crimes.
"Those of us who have never taken money from anyone doing business in Libya are comfortable with that we did. Can you say the same? In Allan Gerson's book, "The Price of Terror", you are quoted as saying that you tried to resolve the (Lockerbie) deadlock at the behest of 'a group of British businessmen whose desire to participate in major engineering works in Libya were being impeded by the UN sanctions'.[17] Perhaps YOU were misquoted. Would you also like to get some law students on that as well?"[18]

Professor Black responded to this 'snide remark' by Richard Marquise here...


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Fragments of TruthArticle1 December 2009Mark Hirst
Document:PT35B - The Most Expensive Forgery in HistoryArticle18 October 2017Ludwig De BraeckeleerLudwig De Braeckeleer proves that the Lockerbie bomb timer fragment PT/35(b) is a "fragment of the imagination"
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