[Since Monday afternoon I have been absent from my base in the Roggeveld Karoo, on a trip to stock up with food and drink for the festive season at Gannaga Lodge. I hope tomorrow to be in a position to update the blog on developments during my absence. In the meantime, here is a letter from Dr Jim Swire, headed Libyan evidence on Lockerbie should be treated with caution published in today’s edition of The Herald:]
After the fall of Muammar al-Gaddafi I met with the subsequent politicians of the interim new government.
Their position was that it was a given that because of the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, there must have been a higher Libyan input. There were important exceptions to this view, notably by their head of security.
However they made it absolutely clear that their intention was to place the blame for Lockerbie on the shoulders of Gaddafi, giving room for the implication that it had in no way been the fault of Libya herself.
Now that the conviction of Megrahi has been brought into such doubt ("CIA 'interfered in police probe into Lockerbie'", The Herald, December 16) it will eventually be reviewed either through formal inquiry or by a new appeal.
Readers will remember that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) itself found six reasons for re-examination of the verdict and that astonishing further reasons for review accumulate almost daily.
There are therefore reasons for great caution in interpreting material originating from the new Libya ("Libya appoints prosecutors on eve of Lockerbie anniversary", The Herald, December 17). At the same time we should perhaps remove the blinkers which seem to block out consideration of very different origins for the attack.
Of course, relatives would welcome any further verifiable news as to who was truly behind this dreadful atrocity, but it is to be hoped that input from the new Libya will be viewed with greater circumspection than was the evidence allegedly justifying the conviction of Megrahi in the first place.