Campaigners present Lockerbie bomber inquiry case


Campaigners calling for an inquiry into the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber have taken their case to Holyrood.

About 1,500 people have signed a petition by the Justice For Megrahi (JFM) group for an independent probe into Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's case.

Members of the group, including Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the 1988 atrocity, appeared before Holyrood's petitions committee.

He said it was "imperative" that the Scottish government opened an inquiry.

Mr Swire said the case had "deeply damaging effects" on the country's criminal justice system.

Megrahi remains the only person convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, in which 270 people were killed.

The Libyan was released from prison in Scotland in August last year on compassionate grounds when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and thought to have three months to live.

The petition has already attracted the support of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, as well as Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Have I Got News for You? TV star Ian Hislop.

The witnesses appearing before MSPs also included Edinburgh University Emeritus Scots Law Professor Robert Black, an architect of the non-jury Lockerbie trial under Scots Law in the neutral Netherlands in 2000.

He has since called the verdict a "miscarriage of justice".

Megrahi dropped a second appeal against his conviction in the run-up to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision to free him on compassionate grounds.

However, campaigners have said they could possibly try to pick up the appeal against conviction if he dies.

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