[What follows is excerpted from an article published in today’s edition of the Sunday Post:]
The son of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has revealed he’s heading back to Scotland to fight for justice for his dad – while branding Libya a lawless jungle.
Speaking from his home in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Khalid al-Megrahi said a fresh appeal to clear his dad’s name was imminent.
Khalid, 31, has vowed to return to Scotland to play a central role in the case.
He will bring his family, which now includes a son named after his father, who was the only man to be convicted of the 1988 atrocity.
“Libya is like a jungle,” he said. “I want to return to Scotland for justice.”
An appeal launched by campaigners who believe Megrahi is innocent collapsed last November.
At the time, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission – a Scottish Government body – said it could not proceed without input from Megrahi’s family.
It would have been the third appeal against Megrahi’s 2001 conviction.
He dropped the second appeal in 2009 – launched while he was in prison in Scotland – because he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer.
Months later, he was controversially allowed to return to Libya on “compassionate grounds”, where he lived for a further three years.
Now, in his first interview since his father died in 2012, Khalid said the family’s participation in the appeal process has been hampered by “lawlessness in Libya”.
Khalid, Megrahi’s eldest son, has borne the burden of paternal responsibility since his dad was convicted in 2001.
He said it was only now during a lull in fighting in Libya that’s it had been possible for his family to get more involved in his father’s case. He said: “In Libya, it’s not a good time to do anything. Before the country was much better than it is now.
“And it’s not just for us but all Libyan people.
“It’s just not safe.
“Crime is everywhere. Banks don’t have money, police don’t work and the court system doesn’t work.
“You can ask any Libyan and he will tell you the same answer.”
Khalid, 31, said the capital often went without power, which compounded the problems of fighting a legal appeal from overseas and communicating with lawyers in Scotland.
Libya has been plagued by chaos since Nato-backed forces overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. (...)
Khalid believes his family was targeted in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death because of perceived closeness to the regime. (...)
But Khalid has distanced his family from the notorious Gaddafi clan and said he knew “nothing about them”.
Khalid, whose three-year-old son is named Abdelbaset in honour of his dad, said: “We had a lot of problems at the beginning of the revolution.
“We had a home and car stolen and they burned out our farm.
“There were also a lot of other things that happened to the family.
“The reason for doing all these crimes was that we belonged to the tribe of Megrahi.” (...)
Khalid said both he and his family had fond memories of their time in Scotland.
He spent his formative years here, was educated here and can’t wait to return so he can see his friends.
Khalid said: “I want to return to Scotland for the appeal. I love Scotland. I still keep in touch with some of the Scottish families.
“We are fighting because we believe Scotland will give us justice.
“The people of the country have always been very friendly towards us.
“We want justice not just for our family but also for the families of the victims.
“My family have been victims too.”
Khalid also revealed his toddler son Abdelbaset bore a resemblance to his father.
“I believe if I don’t clear my dad’s name my son will,” he said.
“We believe one day the truth will get out – God willing.”
As well as eldest son Khalid, Megrahi had another four children – Ghada, Mohammed, Ali, and Motasem.
His eldest daughter Ghada, 33, studied law in Scotland and is now practicing in Tripoli.
IT consultant Khalid – also a Scottish graduate – spends time travelling the world with his work.
His three youngest siblings are all supportive of the appeal.
Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the 1988 disaster and who supports the Megrahi appeal, said: “There is not a scrap of doubt in my mind that if this appeal goes ahead, his conviction will be overturned.
“If that happens the relatives will examine calls for a full inquiry.”
But other relatives of victims last night blasted the Megrahi family’s new appeal as a fresh heartache.
Susan Cohen’s daughter Theodora, 20, was on board the flight when it exploded over Lockerbie.
Speaking from her home in New Jersey, USA, Mrs Cohen, 78, said: “For the Megrahis to call themselves victims, well, that is despicable.
“He was a mass murderer and to defend him is disgusting.”
A Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission spokesman said it had not received any new paperwork about the case and “there is no current appeal”.