When asked about apparent weaknesses in the evidence against the Libyans, former investigators have often said: wait - there's an eyewitness.

His name is Abdul Jiacha, and he worked at Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta along with his fellow Libyans, the defendants, Megrahi and Fhimah. Former investigators say Jiacha saw one or both of the defendants with a brown Samsonite suitcase at the Malta airport on the morning of the Lockerbie bombing.

Jiacha starts with serious credibility problems. He's been given protection and haven in the United States' witness-protection program since 1992. British legal experts say courts in the United Kingdom look with a skeptical eye on so-called "supergrasses," or informants who stand to gain financially or otherwise in return for their testimony.

But, credibility problems aside, the prosecution's star witness has all but fallen flat, according to two sources with access to the defense team's depositions. In a pre-trial statement to defense lawyers, Jiacha could only say he saw a man, "possibly" the defendant Megrahi, carrying a suitcase in the Malta airport "sometime in December," 1988, the sources say.

Previous | Next