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Swiss investigation in Lockerbie bombing

The Swiss authorities have launched a new inquiry in connection with the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland more than 11 years ago.

This content was published on March 8, 2000 - 01:47

The Swiss authorities have launched a new inquiry in connection with the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland more than 11 years ago.

Swiss justice officials said on Tuesday that they had launched a preliminary investigation into alleged breaches of the law on the export of explosives and arms. But a spokeswoman refused to comment on which company was being investigated.

But Edwin Bollier, from the Zürich-based firm, Mebo, confirmed that it was his company which was being investigated. Mebo allegedly produced the timer used in the bomb which brought down the aircraft over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland in December 1989.

Eight years ago Bollier was able to identify that the timer had been made by Mebo from a photograph of fragments. Scottish authorities allowed Bollier access to original fragments last September. He established that the timer had been adapted, but said it was impossible to say whether it had originated from Mebo or whether it was a copy.

A trial against two alleged Libyan secret agents, accused of the bombing, starts on May 3. Bollier says he will appear as a witness for the Scottish authorities at the trial.

Bollier says that he has suspected for some years that his company was used in a conspiracy against Libya. But he admits that parts of the explosive mechanism already identified in the bombing were produced by Mebo. He says the parts were exported to Libya and the former East Germany.

All 259 passengers and crew were killed in the crash of Pan Am flight 103, along with 11 inhabitants of Lockerbie.

In 1992, the United Nations and the United States imposed an air traffic and trade embargo on Libya. The embargoes were lifted in April 1999 after Libya agreed to allow the two accused men to stand trial in the Netherlands.

From staff and wire reports

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