[Following the publication of his most recent letter in The Scotsman, Dr Jim Swire emailed a follow-up letter to the editor. Since it has not been published yesterday or today, I am taking the liberty of posting it here:]
I am grateful to you for being so objective as to publish my letter yesterday which questions the position of a famous previous editor of your own paper, Magnus Linklater over the Lockerbie investigations and trial.
Mr Linklater is also a frequent contributor to The Times of London, where on 13th August 2012, following the EIBF discussion previously mentioned, he published a piece in which he alleged, under the heading Has Scotland really swallowed this crazy conspiracy?
that the contention of the panelists at the EIBF that an alternative scenario involving Iran and Heathrow airport was this 'crazy conspiracy'.
On that panel was the author and Megrahi defence team member John Ashton. One thing Mr Linklater chose to ignore is that it is thanks to this man that we now know that a fragment of circuit board allegedly from Libya which had found its way into a Scottish police evidence bag, could in fact never have been part of one of the designated Libyan timers. This fragment had become the key forensic plank supporting the extraordinary story that the bomb had originated from Malta, courtesy of just such a long-running timer supplied by the Libyans.
The Ashton findings are not mere allegations, they are backed by responsible academic scientific authorities who have compared the fragment with the real Libyan timer boards and found that the differences are irreconcilable.
This can be read in Mr Ashton's book Megrahi: You are my Jury (Birlinn, Edinburgh). There is much else in that book that I commend to Mr Linklater's attention. He may note the clever title: their Lordships at Zeist had no jury to decide on the verdict
It is the task of a prosecuting authority under criminal law to establish a case beyond reasonable doubt.
For me as a lay but technically educated person attending this trial throughout, that was never achieved at the time and it lies in ruins now. I do not believe and have never suggested that their Lordships were in any way operating improperly or part of a 'crazy conspiracy' as Linklater seems to think we are suggesting.
But it does seem to me that they were entitled to weigh up a case where all the relevant evidence was properly shared with the defence by the prosecution, and where the integrity of the evidence chain would have been kept sacrosanct.
There is no scrap of evidence as to where else that fragment might have come from amongst the wreckage of my daughter's flight, other than from the bomb itself. Not one scrap.
It therefore looks as though someone managed to insert a fragment of circuit board into a police evidence bag, and someone contrived to alter the label on that bag to ensure that the investigating forensic officer would find it. Neither person has been identified.
The knowledge that Heathrow had been broken into 16 hours before Lockerbie, close to where the cases for the Lockerbie flight were loaded the following evening, was known to the Scottish police from January 1989, but concealed from the court which tried Megrahi until after the verdict.
Thus the unfortunate judges were trying a case where a key piece of evidence had been intruded evidently in order to deceive, and a major tranche of the defence's alternative hypothesis has been denied to them and to the court by the suppression of the Heathrow break-in evidence.
How right the UN's special observer Professor Hans Koechler (also on the EIBF panel) was to say that this trial was not justice, and our own SCCRC to conclude that a major miscarriage of justice might have occurred here.
What I would like would be for Mr Linklater to study particularly the trial transcripts and Megrahi: You are my Jury, as we the 'crazy conspirators' have many times done. When he has, he will be very welcome to join us in calling not for an investigation by the involved police force itself, as at present offered, but for a full and independent inquiry, particularly into the behaviour of the Crown Office.
For us, the relatives in the UK, it is truth that matters. We just want to know who killed our families and why those families were not protected. For the Scottish public, meaningfully questioning the integrity and competence of their prosecuting service should be mandatory
Present complacent attitudes in Scotland seem to be protecting the real perpetrators of this dreadful atrocity.
I am grateful to Professor Robert Black QC of Edinburgh for supplying the link to Mr Linklater's Times article. His blog lockerbiecase.blogspot.com is in my opinion the best reference source on this dreadful case. Professor Black is of course emeritus Professor of Scots law.