Document talk:PanAm-Rätsel LOCKERBIE: Es war Südafrika!…so wie bei Olof Palme

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Kurt Seinitz's Kronen Zeitung article was obtained in an email on 14 March 2023 by Chris Nicholson from chief archivist Martin Kriegel. I arranged its translation from the German. It is open for others to improve upon!

We don't yet have the date of publication, but I guess it was in September 1996 around the time of Los Angeles Times' article "Apartheid Spy Tied to ’86 Assassination of Sweden’s Palme" featuring revelations made in court in Pretoria by apartheid era killer Eugene de Kock, who implicated Craig Williamson in the murder of Sweden's PM Olof Palme.

Flaws in the story

Kurt Seinitz says:

"The bomb on Pan Am 103 had been hidden in a cassette recorder. It is of note that Bernt Carlsson was allegedly in the habit of always carrying a tape recorder with him, and of surreptitiously recording conversations with his interlocutors.
"It would have been easy for South African secret service agents, who had infiltrated Sweden's anti-apartheid movement, to exchange Carlsson's tape recorder in a hotel room against one containing the bomb. And then placing it inside one of those 'ubiquitous' Samsonite suitcases, so beloved by the peripatetic Bernt Carlsson."

Seinitz would have been aware, from Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson's articles published in March 1990, that Bernt Carlsson had spent the night of 20 December 1988 in a hotel in Brussels. So had the tape recorder swap taken place in Brussels, the bomb suitcase would have accompanied Carlsson when he arrived at Heathrow on British Airways Flight 391 at 11.06am on 21 December 1988. A question to ask: why didn't the bomb explode on the Brussels–Heathrow leg of the journey?

If Carlsson "always carried a tape recorder", he would surely have taken it with him on his visit to De Beers in London (rather than leaving it behind in his suitcase at Heathrow airport). Can a cassette recorder packed with explosive still function, I wonder?

Then there is the question of what brand of suitcase Carlsson preferred. Seinitz says he loved a Samsonite, but all the evidence points to Carlsson's favourite being a Presikhaaf suitcase.

For these reasons, I'm taking the Krone article with a large measure of salt!--Patrick Haseldine (talk) 17:58, 15 March 2023 (UTC)


Krones chief archivist Martin Kriegel has confirmed the date of the article as 6 October 1996 (page 4).--Patrick Haseldine (talk) 10:30, 16 March 2023 (UTC)