Malta to probe Lockerbie bombing evidence

Oct. 31, 2009 at 2:57 PM
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VALLETTA, Malta, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A legal official in Malta says his country's government will investigate a Maltese shopkeeper who provided key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing.

The unidentified legal official said Malta will investigate shopkeeper Tony Gauci, who tabbed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi as the individual who orchestrated the deadly bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

"Tony Gauci is an area where we have to investigate more thoroughly and we are preparing for this," the legal official told the British newspaper.

"There was never enough proof, to be frank, on the circumstances of his evidence and there is pressure coming from many quarters on Malta to move to resolve the issue."

Al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence agent, alleges the United States paid Gauci $2 million through the Rewards for Justice program to offer evidence against him in the bombing that killed 270 people.

After serving time in a Scottish prison for a 2001 conviction for orchestrating the airplane bombing, Megrahi was released to Libya this August on compassionate grounds. The 57-year-old convicted killer has terminal prostate cancer.

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