[This is the headline over an article published in today’s edition of the Maltese newspaper The Sunday Times. It reads as follows:]
The father of one of the Lockerbie bombing victims will be visiting Malta in the coming days to talk about the “miscarriage of justice” which has clouded the UK’s worst terrorist attack to date.
Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was on Pan Am 103 when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, said he hoped his visit to Malta as well as a forthcoming theatre production would prod people into questioning the case and demand the truth.
Dr Swire will be holding a question and answer session with audience members following the premiere of the play The Lockerbie Bomber, staged at St James Cavalier on November 1.
He will be addressing a meeting at the same venue on Saturday, November 2 and is also expected to hold meetings with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Foreign Minister George Vella.
Libyan man Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of planting the bomb on an Air Malta aircraft, before it made its deadly trail to Lockerbie, killing 259 in the air and 11 on the ground. He was controversially released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds, before succumbing to prostate cancer.
“I believe that the alleged link between Malta and the Lockerbie disaster should be limited to admitting that someone bought clothes from a shop in Sliema at some point before the disaster, the remains of some of these clothes being found in the Lockerbie wreckage,” Dr Swire told Times of Malta.
“There neither is, nor ever was, any proof that this was true.”
Dr Swire stressed there are sound reasons confirming that no unaccompanied suitcase was allowed onto KM180 at Luqa and that no unaccompanied suitcase was unloaded from that aircraft at Frankfurt.
“That being so it will be a particular pleasure as well as an honour to be able to discuss the situation with the audience following the play The Lockerbie Bomber, for it is apparent that the bomb did not pass through your airport on its way to the skies over Lockerbie that day.”
He added: “It is tragic that the good name of Malta and particularly the very high standard of Air Malta and your aviation security those days should have been impugned through the allegations raised by the prosecution.”
Staged by DNA Theatre Productions and directed by Herman Grech, the hard-hitting play features some of Malta’s finest actors: Mikhail Basmadjian, Julia Calvert, Manuel Cauchi, Alan Montanaro, Denise Mulholland and Alan Paris. Staged to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing, the production is supported by Times of Malta and The Strickland Foundation.