Thursday, 27 October 2011

Priest says Gaddafi’s death makes no difference to truth on Lockerbie

[This is the headline over an article published today on the website of the Scottish Catholic Observer.  It reads as follows:]

Canon Patrick Keegans says killing of former Libyan leader has no bearing on whether truth will emerge

The Ayrshire priest who survived the Lockerbie bombing, then helped the community recover, believes the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s death will ‘not affect’ whether the truth about the disaster emerges.

Canon Patrick Keegans, 65, and now the administrator of St Margaret’s cathedral in Ayr, knew the 11 people killed in his street debris from the Boeing 747 crashed into Sherwood Crescent on December 21 1988. His home was one of the few that remained standing.

In the weeks after the tragedy, he helped the town come to terms with what had happened, and later campaigned against the conviction of Libyan bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi. Speaking after the former Libya dictator was killed in the Libyan town of Sirte last week, Fr Keegan’s said he doubted the dictators death would make a any real difference as though Gaddafi ‘may have been able to shed further light on PanAm 103’ his death ‘will not affect the full truth emerging’.’

“Already through the Scottish Cases Criminal Review Commission the world knows about the severe misgivings about the evidence presented at the trial of Magrahi and the belief that the verdict is unsound,” he said. “This is supported by the efforts and findings of investigative journalists and backed by respected intellectuals and judicial figures throughout the world. The US on the other hand never makes any reference to these findings and shuts its eyes and ears to the truth. So in the long run the death of Gadaffi makes no difference to the truth about PanAm 103.”

Canon Keegans still hopes that the truth about the disaster will one day emerge.

“We would like the truth, even though Gaddafi has died,” he said. “It is very convenient for some governments because they clearly had connections with him that were rather suspect. I am talking about the British Government and the US Government.”

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Mr Megrahi, 59, has not been sighted in recent days with many claiming his life could be in danger because of his connections to Gaddafi. He was released from Greenock Prison on compassionate grounds more than two years ago because it was said he had less than three months to live with prostate cancer. On a news channel last month, he insisted that he had nothing to do with Lockerbie, adding: ‘The facts will become clear one day, hopefully in the near future.’

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