The Lockerbie bombing killed 270 people. At last, the Scottish Supreme Court gives its final ruling.15 January 2021
Five Scottish appeal court judges have rejected an appeal launched by the son of the only person convicted of the PanAm jetliner bomb explosion that killed 270 people over and in Lockerbie thirty-two years ago.
The five judges were only able to overturn the original conviction of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi if convinced that no reasonable court could have reached a guilty verdict in 2001. Megrahi, reputed to work for Libyan intelligence, was jailed for life for the murders, but was set free when suffering from terminal cancer.
Greeted in Libya as a national hero, he died more than two years later in 2012.
The last foreigner to talk to Megrahi, who denied his guilt while on his deathbed, was Dr Jim Swire. His daughter Flora died in the disaster a day before her 24th birthday.
Dr Swire condemned the Appeal Court’s decision. “It has rejected solid evidence, and the court, because of the strange rules of Scottish law, was not even allowed to consider large chunks of evidence that would have made any new trial set Megrahi free,” Dr Swire, 84, told Correspondent.World.
The longtime campaigner for what he calls “justice for the murder victims” has called for the case now to be referred to the International Criminal Court. However he admits that this may not be possible as it appears that after Brexit “the government has escaped from the shadow of the ICC”.
He claimed that while the trial and three appeals have dragged on for nearly two decades, “the real perpetrators of the murder of my daughter and 269 other people are allowed to walk around scot-free on the surface of this planet.”
Dr Swire, a former Royal Army engineer, believes the bombing was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist group in the pay of Iran. “The powers that be went down a false track,” he insisted.
“I’m sure my daughter would have wanted the real perpetrators brought to justice,”he said. “I’ll fight on, but I will at least on my own deathbed lie there and feel I’ve done my best, for her, to get to the truth.”