Tuesday, June 05, 2012

209 Ghadaffi framed one more time

This blog:  http://tiny.cc/p2zlfw

Only today I heard about the terror attack on a French airliner, back in 1989, which was attributed to Muammar Ghadaffi, years after it happened.
Ghadaffi finally paid money to the victims, which for many people is considered proof of guilt.

But everybody who studies the cases is not at all convinced that Ghadaffi had anything to do with the three acts of Terror for which he paid compensation.

For Lockerbie and for the Discotheque terror attacks, see my blog here, numbers 5 and 6.

For the attack on the French airliner,  read Wikipedia:  UTA flight 772.

Around 2001 it became known that very probably Ghadaffi had nothing to do with this attack.
This was even published in  Le Monde Diplomatique !

Here is the article:    ( For the original article in french: see below)

Tainted evidence of Libyan terrorism

On 21 December 1988 a Pan Am Boeing 747 disintegrated over Lockerbie (Scotland) killing 259 people. On 19 September 1989 a UTA (French airlines) DC-10 exploded in mid-air killing 170. The trial in The Hague of two Libyans accused in the Lockerbie incident has just ended in a controversial verdict. One of the accused was released, the other sentenced to life imprisonment. With respect to the UTA incident, the French Supreme Court of Appeal is expected to issue a ruling on the request to bring proceedings against President Gadafy. However, at the beginning of the investigations into the two bombings, evidence initially pointed to various Palestinian groups, as well as to Syria and Iran. Scientific analysis of the UTA wreckage showed that the bomb technology matched that used by a Palestinian terrorist organisation.
In summer 1990, following the outbreak of the Gulf crisis and the decision by Syria and Iran to join the anti-Iraq coalition, the United States, joined by the French examining magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguire, decided to abandon those leads and concentrate on Libyan responsibility instead. In pursuing Libyan involvement the investigators had to rely on extremely fragile testimony by a Congolese national, Bernard Yanga, in Brazzaville who has links with his country's security services. Following are excerpts from Pierre PŽan's new book.

Investigation insiders were well aware of the UTA case's fragile nature since it hinged on the testimony of a single witness (Bernard Yanga). Yanga's testimony was inconsistent with the scientific evidence, which had pointed to the Arab Organisation of May 15 and thus in all likelihood to Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) (1). Additional scientific evidence was thus necessary to strengthen Yanga's accusations against Libya.
One man came rushing to the aid of Bruguire, the examining magistrate: J Thomas Thurman, an FBI special agent assigned to the Bureau's prestigious Explosives Unit. This unit was responsible for determining the origin of bombs and explosives used in terrorist incidents. Tom Thurman has worked on all the major American terrorist incidents since beginning work in the police crime lab in 1981. His interest in bombs, explosives and weaponry dates back to his time in Korea, where he headed a weapons factory. Thurman is not the kind of man to waste his time behind a microscope, and many of his colleagues have been bitterly critical of this. One of them, Dr Frederic Whitehurst of the FBI's Scientific Analysis Section (SAS), complained in a memo to his superiors that Thurman had fabricated evidence in order to prove the guilt of Walter Leroy Moody (an American "serial bomber") while working on another case being investigated concurrently with the Lockerbie bombing incident. … Thurman's misbehaviour was substantiated in several other cases and resulted in his suspension from the FBI in 1997 (2).
Thurman always tried to arrive quickly at bombing sites and, much like a bloodhound, begin his search for evidence. Two days after the Pan Am 747 went down over Lockerbie, he was bustling about the wreckage, making contacts with both the Scottish police and his CIA counterparts. It is worth repeating how he masterfully solved the Lockerbie case by providing "scientific" evidence of the involvement of Libya and two Libyan nationals, even though the evidence had been pointing to Iranian and Syrian complicity via the PFLP-GC. The Americans saw a real go-getter in action, high on the adrenalin rush he felt during his dramatic investigations. "You can't sleep," said the new Superman. "We're the blacksmiths of the FBI. The nuts and bolts. We get extremely dirty, actually, filthy dirty."
Thurman's approach is anything but scientific. He manufactures opinions or hears them on the grapevine, and then tries to "prove" them scientifically. Working alongside his CIA colleagues on the Lockerbie and UTA bombings, he was aware that the CIA suspected Libyan involvement in both cases despite the evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC.
Help from the CIA
The CIA provided Thurman with information concerning three cases that showed unmistakable signs of Libyan involvement:
On Saturday 10 March 1984, at 12.35 pm, a UTA DC-8 operating as flight 772 connecting Brazzaville, Bangui, N'Djamena and Paris exploded at the N'Djamena airport in Chad. … Twenty-five people were injured, one of whom died several months later. This incident came on the heels of a statement by Gadafy in which he wondered if the French "were ready to wage another Algerian war in Chad". Libya decided to harass France, which sent 3,000 soldiers to Chad as part of Operation Manta. Libya wanted to demonstrate that despite the French military presence, security could not be assured in a sensitive location like an airport, located more than 1,500 km from the "red line" on Chad's 16th parallel. The French intelligence services concluded that Libyan involvement was "very probable". The suitcase containing the explosives was most likely loaded onto the aircraft in Bangui (Central African Republic), checked in under the fictitious name of Sa•d Youris. In reality, Youris was one Al Masri, who had been observed in March 1985 in Cotonou (Benin) working within the highly active Libyan People's Bureau. The French foreign intelligence service, the General Directorate for External Security (GDES), conveyed its findings to the CIA.
The CIA also supplied Thurman with information concerning the attempted bombing of the United States embassy in Togo; the Togolese security services had arrested nine people and discovered two suitcases packed with plastic explosives.
Most significantly, Thurman was given access to a special CIA dossier that the Americans used to direct the Congolese military security forces toward the trail leading to Libya. This case pertains to the 20 February 1988 arrest at Dakar airport of two Libyans, Mohammed Marzouk, alias Mohammed Naydi, and Mansour Omran Saber. The men were in possession of two MST-13 timers, part of an order that Libya had placed with the Swiss firm Mebo AG. They were also carrying Semtex and nine kilos of plastic explosives. The men spent four months in prison and were then released.
A year and a half into the Pan Am investigation, Thurman "discovered" a fingernail-sized fragment of printed circuit board that had allegedly triggered the explosion of the suitcase bomb. In mid-June 1990 a fact-finding commission showed a photograph of the fragment to Edwin Bollier, the head of Mebo. According to Bollier, the fragment he identified could have come from an order Mebo had sold to the Libyan secret service; but Bollier was not able to physically examine the fragment itself. It was only in September 1999 during the Lockerbie trial in Scotland that he was able to inspect two fragments of the infamous timer using a microscope. Bollier and his adviser reached the following conclusions: the fragments did not come from the timer that had been sold to the Libyans; the timer fragments had not been connected electrically (ie they had not been used); and most importantly, the fragments were not the same as those in the photo he had been shown in 1990! In May last year a Scottish judge asked Bollier to examine a fragment from the same timer: this time the fragment was charred!
Bollier has proclaimed far and wide, including on his company's website (3), that the fragments the Scottish judge showed him had been tampered with; some form of manipulation had thus taken place. "It's a forgery created by the FBI to support the theory implicating Libya. What I saw could not have come from Mebo" (4). It may be wise to keep one's distance from a man who has never been particularly selective about who he sells to, and who has apparently continued selling timers to Libya even after finding out that they were being used for terrorist purposes. Indeed, Bollier - who also supplied the Stasi, the former East German intelligence service - has changed his initial version of events somewhat. Nevertheless, it is useful to bear his testimony in mind (and to ascertain the nature of his relations with the CIA as well) in order to understand the account of the timer that allegedly detonated the suitcase on board the UTA flight.
Shifting the ground to Libya
In early summer 1990 Bruguire was studying the possible role of the PFLP-GC and certain Shiite Muslim groups - thus suggesting Syrian and Iranian involvement - when the Congolese report implicating Libya was issued. This shift in focus occurred at the same as it had in the Lockerbie investigation, and US influence was immediately suspected. Moreover, Bruguire and the Americans were both aware of the fragile nature of the testimony of the sole witness, Bernard Yanga…
Thurman had been working on photos of all the UTA wreckage found in a 50 sq km area of the Tenere Desert; this evidence was placed under special judicial seal no. 4. Unbeknownst to Bruguire and Claude Calisti, an expert from the Prefecture of Police crime lab, in summer 1991 Thurman identified a small piece of printed circuit board, green in colour and measuring 4 sq cm, bearing the marking TY.
Without notifying the French authorities, the FBI detectives began following the TY trail. TY is the trademark of the Taiwanese firm Taiyoun, which manufactured 120,000 such timers in 1988, of which 20,000 were for the German firm GrŠsslin, based in Freiburg. The FBI then pored over GrŠsslin's client list of some 350 names before singling one of them: Hans Peter WŸst, a German national who had travelled to Libya in November 1988 and met with Issa al-Shibani. Al-Shibani had asked if WŸst could provide him with timers that could run on direct current using a nine or 12 volt power supply and which were intended for the night-time illumination of airfields in the desert.
Upon returning to Germany, WŸst contacted the Steinmetz company about modifying the batteries, which were not sufficiently powerful, and this was arranged. WŸst told the FBI that he delivered the timers to Tripoli on 20 July 1989. The FBI quickly concluded that Libya had indeed purchased the TY timer, which had served as the retarding agent in the Samsonite luggage on board the DC-10. Thurman thus discovered the scientific evidence implicating Libya in both the Lockerbie and Tenere incidents.
Before informing Bruguire, the Americans began seeking British and French participation in an anti-Gadafy initiative, which led to the Libyan embargo. Immediately after receiving Thurman's report on 15 October 1991, Calisti notified Bruguire, who was pleased to have formal evidence supporting Yanga's testimony and scientifically proving the Libyan connection. "Formal proof of Libyan culpability" was supplied by the FBI, which worked on the top-secret photographs of the tiny piece of circuit board used to detonate the suitcase bomb, as Jean-Marie Pontault passionately proclaimed on both Le Point's front page and in his book (5). Neither Bruguire nor Pontault is worried by the belated yet timely arrival of this evidence, more than two years after the bombing.
Bruguire's bill of indictment includes the FBI's findings in their entirety but makes no mention of the French specialists' objections to these conclusions. Thurman's assertions, however, have spurred two counter-inquiries, one by the French 6th Central Criminal Investigation Directorate (CCID) and the French Territorial Surveillance Directorate (TSD), and the other by the Prefecture of Police crime lab.
Findings of the crime lab
The latter's conclusions are definitive: "It cannot be established that our timer fragment came from either the first batch purchased by the Freiburg factory or the second batch modified by the Libyan." A French interior ministry internal memorandum, dated 10 March 1993, is equally categorical: "The investigations pertaining to the fragment of printed circuit board found in the wreckage of the DC-10 and which may have come from the timer that caused the explosion have been completed. These investigations, conducted in 1992 in both Taiwan and Germany, have not enabled us to determine that the fragment came from the shipment of 101 timers ordered by the Libyan Issa al-Shibani."
Nor does Bruguire mention the Prefecture of Police crime lab's counter-inquiry, conducted in spring 1993 under Calisti's direction after the FBI investigation had been completed. Following the release of Thurman's report, the circuit board fragment - the "evidence" - had been removed from judicial seal no. 4, under which all the debris had been gathered, placed under special seal no. 4/4 and then examined thoroughly. Calisti, considered one of the world's leading explosives experts, offered this conclusion: the fragment provided by the FBI may have come from a timer similar to the one the FBI presented to Bruguire (ie the same timer purchased by Libya), but in no way could the fragment have come from the timer used to detonate the suitcase bomb. Calisti and his team found no trace of explosives on the timer fragment.
How could the bomb's retarding agent show no molecular trace of its exposure to penthrite during an explosion of such magnitude? Using complicated methods, the FBI tried to allay the doubts of its French counterparts by demonstrating that other areas close to the bomb showed no trace of explosives; according to the FBI, the deformations on the circuit board fragment were unquestionably due to the blast effect!
According to Calisti, the timer fragment did not constitute scientific evidence of Libyan involvement; his familiarity with Abu Ibrahim's bomb-making techniques also helped him arrive at this conclusion. Indeed, the TY timer could not have fit in the suitcase bomb because the timer was much too large. The Prefecture of Police crime lab thus stuck to its guns. Despite his certainty, Calisti had the debris under judicial seal no. 4 examined under a microscope in the hopes of finding another circuit board fragment on which the blast effect could be observed; this important test also proved unsuccessful. It is striking to note the similarity of the "scientific" evidence discovered by the FBI in both the Lockerbie and UTA cases. Of the tens of thousands of pieces of debris collected at each disaster site, one lone piece of printed circuit was found and, miracle of miracles, in each case the fragment bore markings that allowed for positive identification: Mebo in the Lockerbie case and TY in the case of the UTA DC-10. …
Despite the common findings of the CCID, the TSD and the Prefecture of Police crime lab, Bruguire chose to believe Thurman, the expert in fabricating evidence …
The suitcase story
Given that the initial scientific evidence - the suitcase bomb - had led the investigation to focus on Ahmed Jibril and the Arab Organisation of 15 May, and given that the timer fragment itself was unpersuasive, Bruguire resorted to incredible contortions to establish a link between the suitcase and Libya.
Bruguire explains in his bill of indictment that in September 1992 the TSD was informed that the Libyans were keeping two suitcase bombs in a non-judicial location, with one of them being of potential interest to the inquiry already underway. According to the Libyans, the two suitcases had been recovered at the time of bombing incidents carried out by the Libyan opposition on Libyan soil. Shielding himself behind the TSD, the judge saw the incidents as nothing but a "Libyan manoeuvre" designed "to sidetrack the French investigators". The judge then used the so-called manoeuvre to indict the Libyans.
One of the two Samsonite 200 wheeled suitcases was similar in appearance to the one that had brought down the UTA flight. In his bill of indictment, Bruguire stated that "the TSD's deputy director, who examined the suitcase in Tripoli, noted that in all probability it had been stored somewhat carelessly since it was quite dusty. In addition, there was no indication that the suitcase had been under any form of judicial seal. According to accounts, the suitcase was reportedly retrieved in 1987 in Tripoli in the possession of an opponent of Gadafy's regime who had links to the Mugarief network, the primary opponents of the Libyan government. The DST's deputy director then spoke with Abdallah Senoussi, head of the Libyan intelligence services. Under pressure from the French official, Senoussi suddenly agreed to have the two suitcases brought up to his Tripoli office. The Libyans would go on to regret this imprudent act."
This account is quite simply false. It was in Tripoli on Friday 15 November 1991 (not September 1992) that Senoussi first mentioned the existence of the suitcase to General Philippe Rondot, Pierre Joxe's intelligence adviser. In the belief that he was offering definitive proof of his good faith, the Libyan showed the general the suitcase bomb, which was identical to the one used on board the UTA DC-10. Rondot was able to take samples of the explosives in the suitcase, and a Libyan foreign intelligence official gave him the following account: "We found this suitcase in the possession of a Tunisian member of the Mugarief group. As you may know, Mugarief has long had a base in Baghdad, where he provided assistance to Hissene Habre's regime in Chad, supplying it with arms seized by Iraq after the Iran-Iraq war. Mugarief was part of Colonel Haftar's forces, which were set up and financed by the CIA in Chad, and which disappeared without a trace with CIA help following Idriss Deby's overthrow of Habre. And as you may know, Mugarief is currently in the United States."
Another TSD delegation arrived in Tripoli in April 1992 to investigate the suitcase story and other matters. On 24 September 1992 Bruguire met secretly with the Libyan Judge Mursi at the French consulate in Geneva, where Bruguire examined photographs of the suitcases and retained possession of the photos. Many more secret meetings took place before the suitcases arrived in France. What the Libyans had taken to be proof of their good faith had been transformed by the French examining magistrate into the key evidence of their guilt. Starting from the presumption that Libyans are inveterate liars, Bruguire concluded that Libya was in possession of suitcase bombs manufactured by Abu Ibrahim and that the suitcase used to blow up the UTA DC-10 came from Tripoli. However, in his bill of indictment, the judge forgot one "detail": the system used to detonate the suitcase recovered by the Libyans was not the same as the one that, according to the FBI, blew up the Samsonite suitcase on board the aircraft in Brazzaville. This detail only served to bolster the arguments of the French experts under Calisti's direction. In short, the suitcase debris and timer fragments found in the Tenere Desert could in no way constitute proof of Libyan involvement in the bombing.
The scourge of terrorists
As one of the first French judicial celebrities, Bruguire has spent long hours polishing his image and setting the stage for his investigations and travels. Realising that he could single-handedly reshape French foreign policy and recognising that politicians were scared of him, Bruguire organised and perfected a powerful system that enabled him to lobby for and impose his own view of the truth. Judges are the last remaining professionals to enjoy flattering coverage in an otherwise ruthless press since they can grant scoops to whomever they like due to the confidentiality of judicial proceedings. Woe unto those who fail to return the favour. Bruguire was one of the first to learn this trick. The DC-10 bombing case put him on the magazines' front pages for the first time. The French weekly Le Point offers justification for this in an article that must have made his head spin: "This judge is on our cover because he represents all that we cherish as opposed to all that we hate. A love for justice as opposed to compulsory moral compromise; civic courage as opposed to systematic equivocation; the rule of law as opposed to the collusive reasons of state. He is a soldier fighting terrorism, that war waged by cowards. He combats the investigative sloth recommended by our chronic 'realists' in order to ensure their own peace of mind and that of a jaded state.
"Bruguire is one of the last to serve this unworthy old crone that our democracy is becoming. He is a soldier of justice. He is not a braggart. He has no sponsors, and has nothing to sell or advertise save a personal conception of the law that brings honour to all civilised nations. I recognise that his is not the image likely to be exhibited in the court of public opinion, but this is all the more reason to do so…"
The reality is otherwise. Bruguire has always felt closer to the Place Beauvau (ministry of the interior) than to the Place Vend™me (ministry of justice), especially when Charles Pasqua and Jean-Louis DebrŽ were in power. He remained on good terms with Alain Marsaud after Marsaud resigned his position on the 14th antiterrorist court to join Charles Pasqua in the Senate. His close links to the Rally for the Republic have led him to dream of occupying positions such as the directorship of the TSD or of the Gendarmerie, since this "soldier of justice" also has secret agent yearnings. Nothing thrilled him more than arranging, in collaboration with General Rondot, the 1994 capture of Carlos in the Sudan. As a man of order and a believer in "reasons of state", Bruguire sees himself on the front lines of the fight to preserve certain values. He disdains those human rights defenders who "play into terrorists' hands". …
In 1981 the French State Security Court, which had dealt with terrorist cases, ceased to exist. Bruguire was then entrusted with a bombing case involving the Direct Action group. This proved a turning point in his career. He gave up his work on organised crime and began to concentrate on terrorism-related matters. Eighty of his 100 cases in 1986 pertained to terrorism. Bruguire became the uncontested expert in cases that had badly shaken public opinion - so much so that journalists dubbed him the terrorists' "hunter" and "nemesis". …
Bruguire's methods, often seen as expeditious, make him stand out among judges. He has increased the number of commissions of enquiry, examinations, interrogations, temporary detentions and instances of political provocation. Certain prominent cases that initially seemed open-and-shut turned out to be without substance or were poorly conceived. In January 1999 the French court of criminal appeal dismissed the case of the Saint-Germain-des-PrŽs drugstore bombing involving Carlos the Jackal, ruling that there were no grounds for prosecution. The tribunal's judgement with respect to the vast so-called Chalabi network - 173 Islamic activists who, on Bruguire's orders and in connivance with Jean-Louis DebrŽ, were rounded up with great ceremony - was a stinging rebuff to Bruguire's efforts. Thirty-four of those detained were released for lack of evidence on the orders of Judge Thiel, who took over the case; of the 138 individuals tried in a Fleury-MŽrogis gymnasium, 51 were released after spending several months in pre-trial detention…

The administration of French antiterrorist justice under Bruguire's heavy hand is now being challenged. Bruguire's judicial efforts have eluded any form of democratic control since antiterrorist matters are his purview and he has been entrenched since 1986. He is accountable to no one, and thanks to his made-to-measure position as first vice-president of the Paris tribunal, he enjoys a semi-regal status worthy of France's ancien rŽgime. In the opinion of most lawyers, the French court of criminal appeal, which should serve as a genuine recourse as regards the decisions of antiterrorist judges, now operates like a simple record-keeping chamber: owing to the cases' size and complexity, the judges cover up without asking questions.

* Author of Manipulations africaines (Plon, Paris, 2001), from which this piece was excerpted. Other publications (for Fayard, Paris) include La Diabolique de Caluire(1999); Vies et morts de Jean Moulin (1998); and TF1, un pouvoir (with Christophe Nick) (1997).

(1) Leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a Damascus-based Palestinian organisation opposed to Yasser Arafat.

(2) See also Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab, John F Kelly and Philip K Wearne, Free Press, New York, 1998.

(4) Le Temps, Friday 30 June 2000.
(5) L'Attentat, Fayard, Paris, 1992.

Translated by Luke Sandford

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 1997-2002 Le Monde diplomatique


Ook de Belgische blogger Willy van Damme heeft beschreven dat Ghadaffi zeer waarschijnlijk het slachtoffer is van Westerse politici en onderzoekers die  het met de waarheid totaal niet nauw nemen: ( Blog

Kaddafi en de bomaanslag op vlucht UTA722

Terwijl de kranten bij het bespreken van Kaddafi de mond vol hebben over de aanslag op het vliegtuig van PanAm boven Lockerbie wordt er nooit gesproken over die aanslag op de vlucht UTA722 Brazzaville – Parijs welke enkele weken na Lockerbie, op 19 september 1989 boven de woestijn van Ténéré in Niger ontplofte met als gevolg 170 doden.
Een Libische bomaanslag
Het vliegtuig, een DC10, was die ochtend vertrokken op de luchthaven Maya-Maya in Brazzaville, de hoofdstad van de vroegere Franse kolonie Republiek Congo, en had kort ervoor nog een tussenstop gemaakt in de Tsjaadse hoofdstad Ndjamena.
Sassou en Kaddafi
Ooit boezemvrienden, Denis Sassou Nguesso (links) en Muammar Kaddafi.
Vrij snel zou komen vast te staan dat dit een bomaanslag betrof en dat de daders in Libië en Congo-Brazzaville dienden gezocht. Het Franse gerecht zou een onderzoek beginnen maar dat blijkt nogal wat hiaten te vertonen. Volgens een Franse hoofdgetuige was het een grote doofpotoperatie en werden de echte daders zelfs nooit verontrust.
“Het Franse gerecht veroordeelde voor die aanslag bij verstek zes Libiërs. De mogelijke betrokkenheid van de Congolese overheid verdween allemaal onder het tapijt. Men wist in Frankrijk nochtans perfect hoe de zaak in elkaar zat, was vooraf op de hoogte en liet sleutelfiguren achter de schermen ongemoeid”, aldus Fransman Serge Berrebi.
Serge Berrebi is een in Tunesië geboren zakenman die in het verleden zakelijk erg actief was in Congo-Brazzaville, vooral in de landbouwsector. Hij kent het land, zijn politici en zakenlui en de Franse betrokkenheid zeer goed en voert er al jaren campagne tegen.
Serge Berrebi
Hij is te goed geïnformeerd volgens sommigen rondom de Congolese president Denis Sassou-Nguesso. “Sassou, die stinkend rijk is, betaalde de voorbije jaren al de schuldeisers van zijn land behalve mij. En dat is geen toeval en een methode om mij te pesten. En ondanks mijn verklaringen over onder meer die bomaanslag op de vlucht UTA722 zal men mij nooit publiek aanvallen”, oppert Serge Berrebi nog verder.
Serge Berrebi
Serge Berrebi verwittigde de Franse autoriteiten al weken voordien over de plannen voor de aanslag op vlucht UTA722.
Het verhaal van Serge Berrebi en vlucht UTA722 begon op 30 augustus 1989 in de bar van de internationale luchthaven Maya-Maya van Brazzaville. Een gezellige babbel werd er gestoord door een Congolees politieman die het gezelschap kwam vertellen dat hij die dag voor het instappen twee mannen had gearresteerd die op weg waren naar Libië om er zich materiaal aan te schaffen bestemd voor een aanslag op een vliegtuig.
Tot zijn verbazing diende hij beiden op bevel van Pierre Oba, toen hoofd van de Congolese politie, vrij te laten. Nog steeds volgens die getuigenis van Berrebi wist Oba, tegenwoordig de minister van Defensie, daarbij nog te vertellen dat die komende aanslag niet tegen Congo was gericht maar tegen Frankrijk.
Nooit een PV
Als Serge Berrebi de volgende dag op de luchthaven van Charles de Gaulle in Parijs arriveert stapt hij, zoals hij zegt ‘uit burgerzin’, met die informatie onmiddellijk naar de politie. Merkwaardig is wel dat de politieman van dat gesprek geen PV maakt. “Hij leek zo te zien weinig geïnteresseerd in mijn verhaal”, oppert Berrebi nog.
Voor hem lijkt de kous daarmee af, tot hij enkele weken later, op 19 september op TV het verhaal hoort over een vliegtuig van UTA en komende van Brazzaville dat boven de woestijn van Ténéréré in Niger plots uit het luchtruim verdween, ontploft bleek aldra. En ondanks zijn getuigenis van 31 augustus 1989 over een komende aanslag op een Frans vliegtuig hoort hij in al die maanden nadien niets van het Franse gerecht.
Op 18 juni 1990 neemt hij dan maar zelf contact op met onderzoeksrechter Bruguière die als terrorismespecialist de enquête in handen kreeg. Serge Berrebi: “Ik heb er mijn  verhaal nog eens overgedaan maar ook nu wordt er van dit gesprek niet eens een PV gemaakt en poogt men mij te sussen. Voor hen was het doelwit van hun onderzoek toen Syrië en niet Libië. Ze hadden voor mijn verhaal feitelijk geen interesse.”
Een jaar later brengt de Amerikaanse nieuwszender CNN dan plots het bericht dat de Amerikaanse regering Libië beschuldigde van die bomaanslag waarbij ook zeven Amerikanen waren omgekomen. Serge Berrebi: “Ik kwam per toeval in Brazzaville in mijn hotel PLM Mbamou Palace toen een van de medewerkers van Bruguière tegen, een zekere Muller die mij trouwens nog herkende van mijn gesprek bij de onderzoeksrechter. Hij vertelde mij dat men verveeld zat met dit Amerikaans bericht want het was afgesproken dat het pas over enkele weken wereldkundig zou worden gemaakt.”
Alles afkopen
Uiteindelijk zal Libië in de zaak schuld bekennen en afdokken. Zo betaalde Libië 170 miljoen dollar aan de nabestaande familieleden, dus 1 miljoen dollar per slachtoffer. Behalve dan de zeven Amerikaanse slachtoffers die van een Amerikaanse rechter op 14 januari 2008 eventjes 6 miljard dollar kregen toegewezen. Dus 857 miljoen per slachtoffer! Wat Kaddafi ook betaalde.
Serge Berrebi
Serge Berrebi ziet in het Franse gerechtelijke onderzoek naar de aanslag op vlucht UTA722 een grote doofpotoperatie.
Op 10 maart 1999 worden zes Libiërs door het Franse Hof van Assisen bij verstek schuldig bevonden en celstraffen aangemeten. De zaak is voor het Franse gerecht gesloten. Een internationaal arrestatiebevel wordt wel uitgeschreven maar levert nooit iets op. Terwijl men het bij de regering van Congo Brazzaville blijft hebben over een ‘ongeluk’ en weigert te spraken over een aanslag.
Voor Serge Berrebi is dit echter een grote doofpotoperatie waarbij men voor het gemak enkele mogelijks onschuldige Libiërs opofferde en met wat dollars gooide om de ware toedracht en betrokkenen te verbergen. Er was toen een oorlog voor de controle over Tsjaad waarbij Frankrijk samen met de VS tegenover Libië stonden en Kaddafi die zich via zijn vriend Sassou wou wreken.
Dit is toch mooi. Men laat Sassou gerust maar bouwt zo een meters hoog dossier tegen de man voor ingeval hij echt dwars begint te liggen. En dan slaat men toe.
Serge Berrebi: “Kijk, het Congolese luik van dit onderzoek had normaal moeten gedaan worden door generaal Emmanuel Ngouelendele, toen hoofd van de Staatsveiligheid, maar werd door Sassou en in samenspraak met Bruguière toegewezen aan Pierre Oba. De man die ik al op 31 augustus 1989 identificeerde als zijnde betrokken bij de planning van deze aanslag. Bruguière liet gewoon begaan. Ook stelde Bruguière dat het onzin is om te beweren dat familieleden van Sassou en zijn entourage plots van het vliegtuig stapten voor het vertrok. Hij noemde het gewoon roddel. En dat is nochtans simpel na te gaan bij de passagierslijsten van UTA.”
Niemand van ELF aan boord
En er zijn nog meer eigenaardigheden in deze zaak. Serge Berrebi: “Normaal worden de vluchten van UTA altijd gebruikt door de mensen van de oliemaatschappij ELF (nu Total, nvdr.) die samen met ENI er de olie produceert. Merkwaardig genoeg zat voor zover geweten niemand van Elf op dat vliegtuig.” Wat veel toeval is natuurlijk en doet vermoeden dat ELF wist van de zaak.
Niet onlogisch want als Berrebi dit al wist dan moet men dat bij ELF bijna zeker geweten hebben. Uiteindelijk was Sassou door hen aan de macht gebracht en trokken zij toen overal aan de touwtjes. En ELF heeft in Congo overal zijn mannetjes zitten en is uitermate goed ingelicht. Ze werkten in het verleden ook nauw samen met de Franse militaire inlichtingendienst (*).
Congo Brazzaville - Woning Sassou Vesinet
Een optrekje van Sassou in de rijke Parijse voorstad Vesinet.
Een visie die ook versterkt wordt door het verhaal van de Zwitser Jean Claude Gandur, ereconsul voor Congo Brazzaville in Genève en oliegroothandelaar. Die ging normaal ook die vlucht nemen maar kreeg kort voor het vertrek plots een telefoon van Aimé Emmanuel Yoka, toen Congolees minister voor Petroleum.
Hij mocht van Yoka die vlucht niet nemen maar moest voor een tweede gesprek terugkeren naar president Sassou. Waar hij pas na veel aandringen van Yoka dan maar op inging. De man leeft dus nog en verkocht enkele jaren geleden aan het Chinese Sinopec zijn Britse Addax Petroleum, een beursgenoteerde groep.
Ook Darius Dabira, zoon van een generaal uit de entourage van Sassou en Gabriel Oba-Apounou ontsnapten volgens de getuigenissen van onder meer Berrebi de dans. De eerste door in Ndjamena vlug van het vliegtuig te stappen en de tweede door zijn vlucht af te lasten. Serge Berrebi: “Sassou is gewoon schatrijk en koopt desnoods iedereen om, ook in Frankrijk. Hij was bovendien erg nauw met Kaddafi en doordat Kaddafi nu vermoord is schakelde men ook een lastige getuige uit.”
Nyongera Congo
Hier geen Ferrari’s, zelfs nog niet als speelgoed.
Veel Ferrari’s maar geen lift
Maar Congo Brazzaville is dan ook een land waar zowat alles mogelijk is. Zo werd Amélle Saboga, de echtgenote van Gilbert Ondongo, de Congolese minister van Financiën op 1 oktober dit jaar op de luchthaven van Charles de Gaulle in Parijs betrapt met een valies volgepropt met geld. Een tweede maal al dit jaar trouwens want eerder werd ze al betrapt op de luchthaven van Johannesberg in Zuid-Afrika. Geen nood, de man blijft ondanks de ruchtbaarheid die aan dit verhaal is gegeven gewoon op post.
Het massa’s olie producerende Congo beschikt amper over enige structuur de naam waardig. Zo heeft het universitaire ziekenhuis van Brazzaville al jaren geen werkende lift meer.  De elite daarentegen leeft in poepsjieke villa’s in Parijs en bezit à la volonté Bentley’s, Maserati’s en Ferrari’s. Zo heeft die hier al ter sprake gekomen Pierre Oba een mooie pied-à-terre in Neuilly, de Parijse voorstad waar ooit een vriend van Sassou burgemeester was, een zekere Nicolas Sarkozy.
Willy Van Damme
*: ELF is de opvolger van de B.R.P. die in 1945 op bevel van president Charles de Gaulle werd opgericht door zijn naaste medewerker Pierre Guillaumat, een oud-gediende van de Franse veiligheidsdiensten. De bedoeling was om de bevoorrading van Frankrijk in petroleumproducten veilig te stellen. Met andere woorden om niet afhankelijk te zijn van het Brits-Amerikaans monopolie in deze cruciale sector.
Het verklaart de nauwe coöperatie die er steeds is geweest tussen de Franse veiligheidsdiensten en ELF, nu Total. Het toenmalige Total werd door de Gaulle gewantrouwd wegens bepaalde gebeurtenissen in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, vooral dan in Irak.
ELF is tegenwoordig een onderdeel van Total na een fusie met het Belgische Petrofina (Fina).

No comments:

Post a Comment