Saturday, 29 December 2012

“I pray we may all with honesty seek and learn the truth”

[What follows is the text of a letter to The Times by Dr Jim Swire.  A week after it was sent, it has not been published and so I am taking the liberty of posting it here:]

I note your article from Mr Linklater concerning the security of the verdict reached against Mr Megrahi, regarding the murder of my daughter Flora and 269 others in the Lockerbie air disaster. [RB: Magnus Linklater is appointed CBE in today’s New Year Honours List.]

A brilliant medical student at Nottingham, Flora, who was only on her way to see her US boyfriend over Christmas, had just been accepted to continue her medical studies at Cambridge.

I have not enjoyed being accused by Mr Mullholland's Crown Office, as a member of the Justice for Megrahi (JFM) group's committee, of deliberate lying over this case.

Nor do I admire the tastelessness of your newspaper in publishing this contentious article on the very day of the 24th anniversary of my innocent daughter Flora's brutal murder. I am far from alone among UK relatives in questioning the probity of the management of this terrible case.

There are at present allegations of criminality lodged by the committee of JFM against members of the Crown Office and the Scottish police force over the conduct of the Lockerbie investigation and trial.

I will not stoop to making allegations now in your pages against the Crown Office, the Lord Advocate, nor indeed Mr Linklater until the allegations have been objectively investigated.

Your readers should remember that Benedict Birnberg, Gareth Peirce, Michael Mansfield QC, David Wolchover, Len Murray, Ian Hamilton QC, Jock Thomson QC, John Scott QC and Emeritus Professor (of Scots law) Robert Black QC are among many other lawyers who question the probity of this verdict.

However, in the spirit of the season, I offer all who contributed to this article a happy 2013, in which I pray we may all with honesty seek and learn the truth. That is actually all that we the relatives are asking for.  

[The article in today’s edition of The Times (behind the paywall) in which Mr Linklater’s honour is reported, contains the following paragraph:]

Mr Linklater remains one of most respected figures in Scottish journalism, with the skill and compassion to report sensitively on the tragedy of Lockerbie — “a story that has stayed with me ever since” — as well as the humour to deliver an agonised column about the iniquities of speed cameras.


  1. But the good news is Magnus Linklater’s award does provide the headline, ‘CBE calls for Lockerbie Enquiry’ and will help keep PE1370 alive?

  2. "Mr Linklater remains one of most respected figures in Scottish journalism"

    And Dopey is the tallest of the Seven Dwarves.

  3. Linklater, CBE. Reward for services rendered, I suppose.

  4. Strange that his career survived the "Hitler Diaries" but as Mr Linklater explained earlier this year that was everybody's fault but his own. He just wrote the copy!