Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Swire hits out at authorities for ignoring Lockerbie book

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Herald, picking up on an item that appeared on this blog on Saturday. The report reads as follows:]

The father of a victim of the Lockerbie bombing has hit out at Scottish authorities over their lack of action, one year on from the publication of a damning book on the case.

Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the atrocity, claims the Scottish Government and the Crown Office have completely ignored John Ashton's book, Megrahi: You are my Jury, since its publication on February 28 last year.

The book raises a number of questions about the conviction of Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi. It also includes details of evidence being withheld from his defence team and claims of a discrepancy in the metal analysis of a fragment of circuit board: a key piece of evidence in the case.

Mr Swire has written to the Lord Advocate, First Minister Alex Salmond and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, calling for them to take action and accusing them of "intolerable lethargy". He said: "They have completely ignored this book and the evidence it contains. I was horrified to learn the Crown hasn't even approached the scientists who carried out the tests on the circuit fragment.

"It basically means a year's gone by with them doing absolutely nothing."

Mr Swire also repeated his calls for a full inquiry into the alleged failings of the Crown.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it is open to the relatives of Megrahi or others with a direct interest in the case to ask for it to be referred back to court for appeal on a posthumous basis."

A Crown Office spokesman said: "As we have stated repeatedly the only appropriate forum for the determination of guilt or innocence is the criminal court. As the investigation remains live, it would not be appropriate to offer further comment."

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