Joe Mifsud
Lockerbie: Qabel il-Verdett
(Lockerbie: Before the Verdict)
ISBN: 999332-612-0-3
IN-DEPTH REPORT SERIES * 138, Triq l-Antinni, Mosta MST 02, Malta * Tel: (00356) 438082 * E-mail: joemif@keyworld.net

"Everyone who has tried to follow the events that led to the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist, and who has followed the trial itself, owes a debt of gratidtude to Joe Mifsud. His articles on the Malta connection have been absolutely indispensable to anyone trying to understand the strenghts and weaknesses of the case built up by the British and American Governments against the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing."
Prof. Robert Black QC
The Edinburgh Law School
University of Edinburgh

Review:
In the world of journalism, politics and international opinion nothing is quite what it seems like. Conclusions are based on premises, and premises are merely points of observations. In law, he who handles his premises best, is the one who convinces the judge and the jury. Along the way someone might look for justice. The more optimistic members of the human race might even take the full turn and go looking for truth. But as I was taught on the first day of my law school ensignment: "Justice and truth have absolutely nothing to do with law!"
Perhaps that is the reason why Maltese investigative journalist and writer Joe Mifsud published his book Lockerbie: Before the Verdict.

Since the publishing of the criminal indictment against the two Libyans, Abdelbaset al Megrahi and Al Ameen Fhima, Malta has been singled out as the island, where the alleged bomb was supposed to have begun its deadly journey that ended in a horrific explosion over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988.  The indictment says one unaccompagnied suitcase was transferred from Maltese flight KM 180 unto flight Pan Am 103 on its first leg from Frankfurt to London. Yet, Maltese authorities deny any allegations of lacking security measures at Luqa International Airport. They say there was no way that bomb could have been smuggled through luggage service and then end up on Maltese flight KM 180. Although bad publicity sometimes is much better than no publicity at all, Maltese islanders do not share the opinion of the British and American Governments, that their sunny and peaceful holiday-island was the frontstep of one of the worst terrorist disasters of the 20th century.

Joe Mifsud started his own investigation into that claim and the entire Lockerbie case. His book contains 250 pages, packed with information about the alleged Maltese connection. He talked with lawyers from Air Malta, and retrieved astonishing documents; from bank account-slips of Fhima´s travel company on Malta over excerpts from CIA records with interviews with the Libyan supergrass Giaka, to Air Malta property irregularity reports of another suspect, Abu Talb.

Additionally, numerous interesting stories are showing the reader what really happened on Malta at the time before and after the bombing:
* how supergrass Giaka received fake surgery at the clinic of a mysterious Dr. Jacob;
* illusive Palestine transactions at Miska Bakery in Qorma;
* transcripts from a Maltese court hearing about explosive material found at Ghallis Towers;
* the story of Maltese investigator Ellul, who was neither recognized nor remembered by any his foreign collegues;
* how Maltese police found illegal taped phones, and what the Scottish Government is going to do about it;
 * the interesting story of Salam Abu Nada and his friendship with terrorist Abu Talb;
and much more. Most of the articles in the book were published formerly by Maltese and Scottish newspapers during 2000.

One should not be afraid of taking a turn with a book where half the content is written in Maltese.Most of the original documents are in plain English, as well as Joe´s many articles for the English-speaking world press. Those documents, and all the pictures in his book, do a large part of the talking:
* snapshots of the two Libyan accused, holding the "most-wanted"-poster with themselves;
* Dr. Jim Swire with his bicycle, all plastered over with blue "Justice for families flight Pan Am 103"-stickers;
* Libyan supergrass Giaka as a passenger in a black, anonymous limousine, entering Camp Zeist;
and all the other lawyers, witnesses, relatives and other protagonists of the Lockerbie bombing trial.

In one of the last articles in his book, Joe concludes:
"It is not clear for me why the Lockerbie investigators choose to blame Malta and Air Malta in this case, when it is so clear that we are the scapegoats for others that lacked security at their airports."

If you ever wondered what the Maltese think about the entire Lockerbie bombing trial and the investigations, this book is a must. Well written, short and concise articles, in-depth interviews with the most important protagonists of the trial. The very existence of the many original documents give the book a good share of credibility. It is evident that the author has been digging, and digging deep. In his book he is now sharing the conclusions and the premises on which he built them.

The final verdict belongs to the reader.

Safia Aoude
Aoude Media
Copenhagen, Denmark