Fortuitous finds and co-incidences seemed to have formed most of the prosecution case.
Previously, I've written about page 1 of the Toshiba cassette recorder manual,
although it seems that newstitles everywhere reckon the bomb was wrapped in clothes.
Timer fragments from the device were also discovered and linked to the suitcase,
largely in part to 'fiddling' with the evidence, of which I'll blog about later.
Recently I posted a comment on The Lockerbie Divide blog about Namegames it's
possible to have, with the subject being Abu Elias/Basel Bushnaq.
Maybe with that in mind I noticed a neato coincidence of my own.
I'm only going to assume that ' Mallia ' is a reletively common surname in Malta.
Some garments from the suspected suitcase that held the bomb
( hereafter known as the primary suitcase )
were traced to Malta from a label which, I think, read: John Mallia.
Giving evidence in court, Paul Mallia confirms that the company he works for is called John Mallia and Sons,
and that they supplied clothing that looks like it ended up in the primary suitcase.
The travels of the suitcase were absolutly essential to the prosecution case,
but the main point being that it was unnacompanied, starting it's journey in Malta.
No, no, no, say Air Malta. That's not possible and we can prove it.
However, travelling with luggage that wasn't yours was entirely possible.
In a statement read out to court, having declined to appear in person, the cargo manager of Maltese Airlines
admits to carrying 3 suitcases on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt on the day of the bombing
( I'm not sure which flight )
His own, his girlfriend's and one as a favour for a friend/colleague.
He collected the case from his Uncle, saying it was locked so couldn't confirm that it didn't just carry clothes.
At Frankfurt his statement appears to say that he then gave the case to his friend or colleague.
The name of the cargo manager is Saviour Mallia.
From the news reports I've read it is not clear wether the suitcase is for a friend,
or if it is being carried for a friend of a colleague.
In his original statement to Scottish detectives
Saviour Mallia does not mention the 3rd suitcase at all.
Therefore, the police have no idea that it is perfectly possible to carry anything without knowing what it is from Malta to Frankfurt, so the narrative of unacompanied luggage is the only one that they can pursue.
In all the newstitle webpages I've seen Saviour Mallia's evidence appears below
reports on the to-ings and fro-ings of when/if Abu Talb will appear as a witness
for the prosecution
There is one other Mallia connected to the trial.
Dr Emmanuel Mallia, a Maltese lawyer, working with the defence.
I don't think the bomb started it's journey that day in Malta, especially an unancompanied one.
It's good odds that none of the Mallias here are at all connected with each other.
I've put them together as an example of co-incidence.
It seems that some co-incidences, of seemingly equal weight/fluffiness, are more important/not important.
It's a very tricky business trying to decide which bits of the minutaie could be useful as there are many routes up the garden path. Pick a theory and follow it out, choosing the forks in the road as you see fit. Regardless of your chosen path you'll be doing well not to end up round the bend.
Of course, having all the available facts helps. As does not making your mind up too early. Worse is to have your mind made up for you. I think the judges let themselves be conned way too early. Their nonsensical judgement, then conviction of one accused - the release of the other, smacks of self-delusion at their own importance. They should be ashamed, but they did their job well in enough in their own minds, so probably had no trouble falling asleep at night.