The former CIA agent claimed that he had been excluded from the Lockerbie bombing trial, that investigators should look to the “real culprit” – Iran.
John von Holt, 68, says he is the author of secret cables that show that a Libyan double agent nominated by Scottish prosecutors as a key witness in the Lockerbie bombing trial has a history of “making up stories”.
Mr. Holt was never sent to trial, despite the fact that he was a CIA agent for Abdul Majid Giaka, a two-time Libyan’s key witness.
“I have reason to believe that, for unknown reasons, a concerted effort has been made to withdraw the actual investigation from Iran, the PFLP General Command of its bombing Palestinian extremist ally. Now we have to focus the new investigation on the Iranians and their connections. “with the bomber,” he told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview.
“I would start asking the current Attorney General William Barry why he suddenly changed his mind in 1991.
Mr. Holt first spoke when judges of Scotland’s Supreme Court were considering overturning the sentence of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who died of cancer in 2012.
He was the only person found guilty of destroying PanAm 103, killing 270 people in December 1988. His son is trying to clear his name.
Gia became a US asset after claiming he had information about Libya’s involvement in terrorism while working as an assistant manager for the Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) in Malta.
Explaining the importance of his cables, Mr. Holt said: “In 1989, I spent a whole year with Abdul-Majid Giaka, during which he never mentioned Libya’s involvement in the bombing.
“My cables showed that he was a machine builder who had been hired by Libyan intelligence as the manager of Malta airport office at Libyan Arab Airlines. He had very little information about the bombs or Lockerbie.
“He was humiliated by Megrahi, a Legion intelligence officer. I was treated like a dog when Megrahi came to the office,” he said.
“It all comes down to my cables, so the CIA knew Gia had a criminality against Megrahi.
“Every time I met Giaka, who was there every month or two, I would ask her if she had any information about the Pan-Am bombing. To us, all CIA և FBI field officers, the CIA asked us to keep up the pressure on our assets for any response or sign. His answer has always been:
“I told the FBI that Gia was nothing but a vanabe, who was not a real Intel officer for the Libyans. He had no information about Lockerbie, I told all this to the CIA in comments on my cables. He returned to Libya in late 1989, and I was transferred to another appointment.
“In 1991, he told the CIA that he had been identified and that the Libyans would kill him. When he was told that he was useless for our intelligence services [the CIA and FBI], he started making up stories.
“It was only when he felt the need for some financial and logistical support from the United States to escape Libya in 1991 that he began telling the CIA about things related to the PanAm-103 bombings, such as listening to Megrah ի another man. to talk about a bombing plan. American plane. “
The court rejected Giaka’s evidence, but not completely.
Mr Holt claims that he first realized that an attempt had been made to distort the facts when he was called to the office of CIA Director George Vor Tenet.
There, his description of Giaka was not included in the preliminary presentation of the trial evidence. Later, when he was called to the director’s office for the second time, FBI agents broke his cables in front of him, “he claims,” he was told to sign that he had written them. He says no explanation has been given. In 2000, they were finally released on trial by the CIA, with some “modifications”.
“The operational cables I wrote were not sent to the initial trial,” he revealed. “They were kept by the CIA և FBI, which, even when my cables came out, refused to allow me to testify at a Scottish court hearing at Camp East, near Utrecht.
“Now we all have to admit that we have found the wrong person – to focus on the real culprits.”
After 24 years of dedicated service to the CIA, Mr. Holt was deeply concerned about raising his voice. He chose his words with great care, worrying to avoid accusations that he had spread a secret that could compromise his former agency.
“I am speaking now, after the silence of life. “But I am deeply disappointed. I want justice to be done,” he said.
Mr Holt believes that intelligence services around the world already have enough evidence to identify Lockerbie criminals.
“Whatever the Scottish Supreme Court decides, Britain must reopen the entire Lockerbie saga, be heartbroken with the Americans and go after Iran,” he told The Telegraph.
“I have reason to believe that the three US government security agencies were working on evidence that was directly linked to Iran before the Libyan connection was established. I think the US government tried to hide the evidence for political reasons, and Britain is ready to go along with it.
“I have reason to believe that in 1991 the US Department of Justice and its FBI made a decisive decision. Reject all evidence against Iran, but instead manipulate the evidence to accuse Gaddafi of Libya. “Gaddafi has long been a nemesis of time for many US presidents.”
Mr. Holt believes that the Americans especially wanted to blame Lockerbie on Libya because of the ongoing fighting. Following the ouster of Gaddafi, the Libyans ousted US oil companies from oil wells and US forces ousted a huge US air base built during the Cold War.
And in the 1980s, the Gaddafi regime was suspected of being a major threat to the West by developing a secret WM program.
He said the first thing British-American intelligence officers should do was demand the entry of former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, the son-in-law of Colonel Gaddafi, who is still being held in a Libyan prison and sentenced to death.
Gaddafi and his allies were ousted by British military intervention in 2011, and Senuss, now 60, was convicted in 2015 of crimes against humanity that had nothing to do with Lockerbie.
“The comment is that the British and the United States do not want to see him, because they already know that Libya did not,” said Mr Holt.
Now retired, he teaches at two US military colleges and universities.
Paul Martin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Correspondent.world