"Much of the evidence was later challenged. It emerged that Mr. Gauci had repeatedly failed to identify Mr. Megrahi before the trial and had selected him only after seeing his photograph in a magazine and being shown the same photo in court. The date of the clothing sale was also in doubt.
Investigators said Mr. Bollier, whom even the court called “untruthful and unreliable,” had changed his story repeatedly after taking money from Libya, and might have gone to Tripoli just before the attack to fit a timer and bomb into the cassette recorder. The implication that he was a conspirator was never pursued.
In 2007, Mr. Lumpert admitted that he had lied at the trial, stolen a timer and given it to a Lockerbie investigator. Moreover, the fragment he identified was never tested for residue of explosives, although it was the only evidence of possible Libyan involvement.
The court’s inference that the bomb had been transferred from the Frankfurt feeder flight was also cast into doubt when a Heathrow security guard revealed that Pan Am’s baggage area had been broken into 17 hours before the bombing, a circumstance never explored." NY Times
I have always thought that Megrahi was a convenient scapegoat. Before the "Counter-Terrorism Task Force" at CIA (or whatever it was called then) fastened on him and his later aquitted colleague as the culprits, the CTTF had floundered for a long time, unable to "sort out" the crime. Careers had been damaged and a new director of the center was brought in to "crack the case." Miraculously, this man (a turk at his job) discovered the truth hidden in the midden heap of faulty evidence.
Libya denied the crime until the Saudis persuaded Qathafi that he could come in from the cold with regard to the United States by confessing to the deed and offering up culprits who could bear the burden of guilt.
Qathafi found that easy enough to do and threw in his non-existent nuclear weapons program as a sweetener. The warehoues full of equipment that the Libyans had no idea what to with were an easy sacrifice. The Bush Administration and its CT "experts" lapped this up as proof of their genius and knowledge of how to handle the Arabs.
Who really did it? Probably some combination of Iran and the more extreme Palestinian groups would be my guess. pl