[What follows is the text of a press release just issued by Christine Grahame MSP. The Press Association news agency has circulated a short report.]
US challenged to back international inquiry into PA103/Lockerbie bombing
The US Government has been challenged to support a “thorough and comprehensive” international inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. Scottish National Party MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) Christine Grahame who last year met Abdelbaset al Megrahi in Greenock prison on several occasions and supports the UK families fight to secure the full truth behind the atrocity, has written to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on her to back the establishment of an international inquiry. Ms Grahame said:
“There remains legitimate concern about how this case was investigated and prosecuted and also, from the US side, ongoing anger at the decision to release Mr Megrahi.
“The details of the lengthy investigation carried out by the independent Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission concluded there may have been a serious miscarriage of justice with regard to the conviction of Mr Megrahi, but that new evidence is unlikely ever to be seen in public unless we secure a major inquiry.
“The Scottish Government has already said it would co-operate fully with an inquiry if one were set up.
“I am now challenging the US Government to do likewise and help establish an international inquiry into the events that led to the bombing of PA103 over Lockerbie and examine all of the facts related to this case.
“Having examined much of the additional material and reviewed previous evidence I am left in no doubt about Mr Megrahi’s innocence, but I think it is equally clear that there are large state interests, both in the US and UK eager to see that the truth behind Lockerbie never emerges.
“If the US Government has nothing to hide then I would expect them to support the establishment of an international inquiry into the bombing. I rather suspect however they will, for their own national interest, pursue the same tired line about the manner in which Mr Megrahi was sent back to Libya. That aspect is only a very small part of what requires to be examined and in many ways has acted as a smokescreen to the much more substantive questions that remained unanswered.
“I do not believe the full facts are yet known. I think once they are made public then many in the US will be looking to their own Government for an explanation about why they have been deceived.
“I understand and sympathise with the many, mostly US families, who believe Mr Megrahi is guilty of this terrible crime. That is why it is imperative that an international inquiry examines all of the circumstances of this case, not simply Mr Megrahi’s release on compassionate grounds back to Libya, but the manner in which the initial investigation was conducted, the trial and the alleged additional crime scene of the FBI laboratory in Washington where former FBI officials believe key evidence related to the case may have been tampered with.
“The families of the victims deserve the actual truth and not the spoon fed version of it they have so far received from the US and British Governments.”
[A related article can be found on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm.]