Monday, 16 March 2020

“We want the world to know it was not our father"

[What follows is excerpted from a report by Marcello Mega in today's edition of The Times:]

The sons of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing believe his name must be cleared and that the “true culprits” should be found and brought to justice.

They have welcomed the news that a new appeal has been recommended by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) for Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, who died in 2012, and said the Scottish legal system had a chance to deliver “true justice”.

Khaled and Ali al-Megrahi have always been grateful to the British relatives of those who died in the bombing for supporting their father, and sympathetic to their plight and their wish to see justice delivered at last.

Ali, the younger son, said: “I have always tried to keep my faith in the Scottish justice system despite the politicisation of this issue in the past.

“We want to show the truth to the world, that our father was wronged and the accusations against him were based on circumstances that did not represent reality.

“We salute Dr [Jim] Swire [whose daughter, Flora, died in the explosion], whose efforts have helped us reach this position, and support all efforts towards finding the truth in this matter. The world needs to know the truth that the bomber was not my father. Discovering the true culprits will help to clear his name and deliver justice for the victims.

“If the world discovers the identity of the true bomber, it will have to accept that it was not my father. Those who lost their loved ones deserve to know the truth, who was responsible and why it happened.”

His brother, Khaled, added: “We have always believed that no one can hide the truth forever. It always comes out and we hope and pray that the full truth of this matter will be known at last.

“We want the world to know it was not our father, and we want the world to know the whole truth, for the sake of our family and also for the sake of Dr Swire and all the other relatives who are still looking for true justice.”

Dr Swire welcomed their support yesterday and said he had felt briefly euphoric when he learnt that there would be a posthumous appeal against al-Megrahi’s conviction. However, he felt crushed minutes later, he said, to read a statement released by the commission, which investigates potential miscarriages of justice, and realise that it had closed the door on key evidence that he said could lead to the real killers.

Dr Swire befriended al-Megrahi and visited him several times in prison in spite of al-Megrahi’s conviction (...)

Since al-Megrahi died in 2012 his family has fought for a posthumous appeal. Dr Swire said: “I never believed it. As the SCCRC said as far back as 2007 and continues to say now, no reasonable court could have convicted on the evidence.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “We’re not in a position to comment on matters that will be before the Appeal Court.” The SCCRC and Police Scotland also declined to comment.

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