In response to a recent post on this blog, Frank Duggan, President of Victims of Pan Am 103, an organisation representing some of the relatives of Americans killed in the Lockerbie disaster, sent the following e-mail (headed 'Swire and Black on "this quiet and dignified Muslim"!!!!') to members of the organisation, copied to Dr Swire and to me:
"He (Dr. Swire) concludes: 'When I last met this quiet and dignified Muslim in his Greenock cell he had prepared a Christmas card for me. On it he had written, "To Doctor Swire and family, please pray for me and my family." It is a treasured possession by which I shall always remember him. Even out of such death and destruction comes a message of hope and reconciliation for Easter.' Posted by Robert Black at http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/
"Feel free to wish Dr. Swire a Happy Easter."
Dr Swire's response, copied to me, reads as follows:
"Oh, nice to hear from you Frank,
"Thank you for copying this email to me.
"But by the exclamation marks I presume that this message is intended to be mighty sarcastic.
"Have you met Mr Megrahi too then, to inform your opinion?
"Have you researched the evidence against him with an open mind?
"As you know, having listened to all the evidence in court I am now satisfied that this man was not guilty as charged.
"Maybe it's time to ask who did do it then. They must be laughing their socks off.
"Meanwhile remember that my daughter, Flora is just as murdered as the families of those to whom you send these messages, and my grief likely as intense and also as unique as theirs.
"You are not yourself a true Lockerbie relative, so please leave room for those of us who are, to grieve in our own individual ways.
"You might like to copy to them that I regret that my conclusions re Megrahi make 'closure' more difficult for some, I have regretted that from the day at Zeist when Megrahi was not acquitted, because I knew that failure would cause avoidable suffering for all of us relatives. But hopefully until the truth is eventually exposed they probably often pity me because they think that I and so many others who have really worked on this have it totally wrong.
"Our search is for the truth, and when it does come out, try to restrain the urge, from which I am sure you will suffer, to try to rubbish it in the name of what you currently believe.
"All of us humans make mistakes from time to time, so cheer up. Sometimes the hard part is to admit it.
"Meanwhile may I send the message of love embodied in the Christian Easter message to all your recipients. I am grateful for your list of who some of them are.
"The message which Jesus left for us, before we murdered Him at that Easter long ago included the admonition to love even our enemies. He also assured us that love is stronger than any other entity in the universe. It is love that strengthens the relatives you know.
"While I would not call you an enemy, Frank, just someone who fosters a hypothesis which is incorrect, I pray that your problems when the truth does finally come out will not be too painful for either yourself, or more importantly, the other Lockerbie relatives: they richly deserve the peace that springs from Easter.
"And so do you.
"Best wishes for Easter"