by Patrick Haseldine
- The agenda for this urgently-needed United Nations Inquiry into the murder of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, in the 21 December 1988 Lockerbie bombing is likely to include:
1. An analysis of the ten-year delay in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 435 of 29 September 1978, which called for South Africa’s immediate withdrawal from its illegal occupation of Namibia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_435 ).
2. A review of the Settlement Proposal which led to the signature of the New York Accords at UN headquarters on 22 December 1988 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_Proposal ).
3. An investigation into the travel arrangements for the 23-strong delegation of South African negotiators heading for New York. Direct flights to US airports by South African Airways were banned ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Anti-Apartheid_Act ) so the whole delegation, led by Foreign Minister Pik Botha, were booked on Pan Am Flight 103. Their SAA flight arrived early at Heathrow, having cut out a scheduled stopover at Frankfurt, and six of the party – including Botha – were rebooked on the morning Pan Am Flight 101. The remainder of the party cancelled the PA 103 booking, and returned to Johannesburg ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_talk:REUTERS12NOV94.jpg ).
4. UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was returning to New York for the signing ceremony and had been invited to speak to the European Parliament’s Development Committee in Brussels on 20 December 1988 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernt_Carlsson ). Carlsson cancelled his Sabena flight from Brussels to JFK and, instead, travelled to Heathrow by BA 391, arriving at 11:00am on 21 December 1988. He was met there by a representative of De Beers, and was driven to London. Carlsson was back at Heathrow by 17:30, in good time for the scheduled 18:00 departure of Pan Am Flight 103 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_talk:IDAG(1)12MAR90.jpg ).
5. Scottish police, in what seems to have been a cursory investigation into Bernt Carlsson’s murder, were unaware of this background. Detective Constable John Crawford stated in his 2002 book (The Lockerbie Incident: A Detective’s Tale, pages 88-89):
“We even went as far as consulting a very helpful lady librarian in Newcastle who contacted us with information she had on Bernt Carlsson. She provided much of the background on the political moves made by Carlsson on behalf of the United Nations. He had survived a previous attack on an aircraft he had been travelling on in Africa. It is unlikely that he was a target as the political scene in Southern Africa was moving inexorably towards its present state….I discounted the theory as being almost totally beyond the realms of feasibility” ( http://books.google.com/books?id=Nh9_p8RjikQC&pg=PP1&dq=Lockerbie+Incident:+A+Detective%27s+Tale#v=onepage&q=&f=false ). The same DC John Crawford was highly critical of Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s decision to grant compassionate release on 20 August 2009 to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, saying:
“I think the compassion angle was all wrong. It was inevitable that people would use it against the decision he made as it was so obvious that Megrahi did not show one jot of compassion when he cold bloodedly went about his business of killing 270 innocent people” ( http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/2009/08/lockerbie-detective-macaskill-was-naive.html ).
- It is obvious that apartheid South Africa had the means, motive and opportunity to target Bernt Carlsson in the Lockerbie bombing. Only a United Nations Inquiry has the power to uncover all the incriminating evidence and to determine whether the apartheid regime was primarily responsible – perhaps in collusion with other countries – for the execution of this crime.