Calcite with boltwoodite encrustations from the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia. Photo: Striving to a goal via Flickr.com.
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Why Flight 103?
21st December 2013
On the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am flight 103, Patrick Haseldine uncovers some salient facts that may shed light on the tragedy.
The bomb bag containing the IED which sabotaged Pan Am 103 was loaded at Heathrow Airport, and was placed side by side with Bernt Carlsson's suitcase in the aircraft's baggage container AVE4041.
Sweden's Bernt Carlsson, who was the UN's Assistant Secretary-General and Commissioner for Namibia, had addressed the European Parliament's Development Committee in Belgium on 20th December.
From Brussels, he flew to Heathrow on the morning of 21st December and met with diamond mining conglomerate De Beers. After that meeting in London, Bernt Carlsson returned to the airport in good time to catch the transatlantic flight Pan Am 103 to JFK.
At UN headquarters, upon signature of the New York Accords on 22nd December 2013, Bernt Carlsson would have taken charge of the UN Trust Territory, Namibia, which had been illegally occupied for many years by apartheid South Africa.
In December 2013, Dr Morag Kerr's freshly-published book has conclusively demonstrated that the bomb bag containing the IED which sabotaged Pan Am 103 was loaded at Heathrow Airport, and was placed side by side with Bernt Carlsson's suitcase in the aircraft's baggage container AVE4041.
Dr Kerr's new evidence together with other significant material that has come to light now needs to be evaluated by an independent body - ideally a UN Commission of Inquiry - to determine whether Bernt Carlsson had been the Pan Am 103 target all along.
A new investigation 25 years after the event may seem unlikely to advance the search for truth and justice. But it is worth noting that 50 years after the 1961 plane crash in which UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed, new evidential material became available and was published by Dr Susan Williams in her 2011 book "Who Killed Hammarskjold?"
In response to Dr Williams' book, Lord Lea of Crondall assembled an international Enabling Committee and invited Sir Stephen Sedley, a recently retired Lord Justice of Appeal for England and Wales, to chair a Commission of Jurists to inquire into the disaster.
On 9th September 2013, the Hammarskjold Commission report was published. It recommended reopening the adjourned 1962 United Nations Inquiry into the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's death on the basis of "significant new evidence". The UN Secretariat is currently studying the findings of the Commission's report.
In November 2013, the establishment of a Dual UN Inquiry was proposed and an e-petition calling upon the British Government to: "Support a United Nations Inquiry into the deaths of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and UN Assistant Secretary-General Bernt Carlsson" was created.
The e-petition is open for signature by UK citizens and residents from 13th November 2013 to 13th May 2014, and can be signed here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/56550.
The US Government can support this Dual UN Inquiry initiative by making a direct approach to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
1. U.N. Officer on Flight 103 New York Times
2. Key figure in Namibian peace process The Guardian
3. Adequately Explained by Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies by Dr Morag Kerr, published December 2013
4. UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold dies in plane crash archive material from The Guardian
5. Who Killed Hammarskjold? Susan Williams' formidable book review by Dr Philip Muehlenbeck (The George Washington University)
6. Report of the Hammarskjold Commission published 9th September 2013
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