[This is the headline over a report published today in the Scottish edition of The Times. It reads in part:]
The families of the American Lockerbie victims have condemned a decision to launch a new appeal to clear the bomber’s name.
Mary Kay Stratis, whose husband, Elia, died in the attack, has spoken out on behalf of the US families, describing the appeal as “redundant, ineffective and futile”.
Relatives of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, who was convicted in 2001 of planting the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over southern Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people, launched a new legal bid to clear his name last week. (...)
The papers filed by al-Megrahi’s family will go to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which will then decide whether there are grounds to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.
The move has angered the families of the Americans who died in the atrocity. In a statement to The Times on behalf of a group of victims’ relatives Mrs Stratis said: “We believe that justice was done in the Scottish judgment and the appeal and we believe that the Scottish judicial system is praiseworthy despite the calumny visited upon it by al-Megrahi’s supporters.
“The case and the appeal have already been given rigorous scrutiny by the presiding judges and we do not believe the Scottish review commission can alter what has already been proven.”
Mrs Stratis said that the families of the American victims had “great admiration for the people of Scotland especially the citizens of Lockerbie”, who she said had “opened their hearts” to them.
She added that the only objection the American relatives had was to the release of al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.
“We believe it is past time to revisit yet another futile attempt at an appeal and that now resources, time, and efforts should be spent on interrogating those remaining from the Gaddafi regime,” she said.
Mrs Stratis said that the American relatives were “realistic in believing that al-Megrahi could not have acted alone” but they also believed “that he carried out the orders he was given to cause this act of terrorism to happen”.
She said: “Pursuing truth and justice is still our goal. We believe there is more truth to uncover but putting efforts and resources towards another appeal for Megrahi is redundant, ineffective and futile.”
Jim Swire, an English doctor who lost his daughter Flora in the attack, said he believed that there was a case for looking again at the evidence.
“If the case is to be re-examined the starting point should be to make sure the examination is based on all the evidence in the Megrahi case,” he said.
“In those circumstances, it seems to me that the most logical next step is to re-examine the evidence and see whether it stands up in the Court of Appeal.”
Aamer Anwar, a lawyer for al-Megrahi’s family, said: “This is a legal process that must be pursued, as the only forum where the significant doubts over the conviction of the late al-Megrahi can be settled once and for all is of course the Scottish Court of Appeal.
“Whilst the pain and anguish of the American relatives is understandable they should also be aware that this appeal would have the support of many British relatives who lost their loved ones too that awful night in December 1988.
“We have their support because they believe there can be no justice without the truth.”