[The report in today's edition of The Scotsman on Dr Jim Swire's visit to Abdelbaset Megrahi reads in part:]
The father of one of the Lockerbie bombing victims visited Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi in Libya and said he looked better than he expected.
Dr Jim Swire was invited to meet the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and the two men spent about an hour together in Megrahi's hospital ward in Tripoli on Tuesday, it emerged yesterday. (...)
Dr Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora was one of the 270 victims of the atrocity, has long believed Megrahi is innocent and has spearheaded a campaign for a full inquiry into the atrocity. It was the first time the two men had met since Dr Swire visited him in prison in Scotland in December 2008.
He said: "It was a man-to-man confidential meeting. We have something in common, in that he wants to clear his name and I want to see the verdict re-examined under Scots law, so we have a common aim to overturn the verdict.
"I was very relieved to see him as well as he was. He is a very sick man, but he can get out of bed and walk, though not very far.
"I think one of the reasons he has lived so long is he has had good treatment in Libya and he has been returned to his family, his community and his country.
"These are a huge relief to the body in fighting cancer, because your immune system depends very heavily on how much stress you are under. Being in a foreign prison cell is about as stressful as it can be."
Megrahi was jailed for life for the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which exploded above Lockerbie.
He was given a fresh chance to clear his name after the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) said there were six grounds where it believed a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. (...)
Dr Swire, 74, who lives in Gloucestershire, said he would meet Megrahi again if invited.
He said: "When I go to see him … I don't feel I'm going to see my daughter's murderer. I am satisfied he didn't do it."
It also emerged yesterday that Dr Swire is set to lead an appeal to clear Megrahi's name.
He said he had received legal advice that there was no legal bar to victims' relatives asking for an appeal following the convicted bomber's death.
[It is true that third parties -- not just the convicted person himself -- can make an application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and that more than one application can be made in respect of the same case. In Megrahi's case, the Commission has already decided that there may have been a miscarriage of justice, so that is not a significant hurdle. What is problematic is the requirement that a reference-back be "in the interests of justice". Some of the factors that would have to be considered there are the precise circumstances in which he himself abandoned his appeal and the attitude of his family if he himself is no longer alive. A factor which I think can be strongly argued to be important, is the reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system. This has suffered badly both at home and abroad because of widespread doubts about the justifiability of the conviction of Megrahi. It is in the interests of justice and of restoring confidence in our criminal justice system and its administration that these doubts be addressed. This can perhaps best be done by allowing the Criminal Appeal Court to consider the SCCRC's reasons for believing that there may have been a miscarriage of justice in a fresh appeal challenging the original verdict.
The report in The Times on Dr Swire's meeting can be read here; that on the BBC News website here; and that in the Daily Record here.]