Statement issued on the first day of the Lockerbie appeal (24 November 2020) by appeal lawyer Aamer Anwar on behalf of his clients, the family of the late Al-Megrahi and some of the families of the British victims.
It has been a long journey in the pursuit for truth and justice. When Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie nearly 32 years ago, killing 270 people from 21 countries, it remains the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK.
Since then the case of Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi the only man ever convicted of the crime has been described as the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history.
The finger of blame has long been pointed in the direction of Iran for having ordered a Syrian-Palestinian group to carry out a revenge attack for the downing of an Iranian Airbus by the U.S. six months earlier which killed all 290 on board.
The reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system has suffered internationally because of widespread doubts about the conviction of Mr Al-Megrahi.
It is in the interests of justice that these doubts can be addressed, however he was convicted in a Scottish court of law and that is the only appropriate place for his guilt or innocence to be determined.
An overturning of the verdict for the Megrahi family and many of the families of British victims also supporting the appeal, would vindicate their belief that the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom stand accused of having lived a monumental lie for 31 years, imprisoning a man they knew to be innocent and punishing the Libyan people for a crime which they did not commit.
We are now in possession of much evidence that we have not revealed publicly as it is not appropriate to do so at this stage.
However, at the conclusion of this appeal we intend to disclose significant material about the role of individuals, nations and their politicians, because there can never be a time limit on justice or the truth emerging.
This process began for my legal team in 2014 when I first met with Dr Jim Swire and the Rev. John Mosey who lost their daughters Flora and Helga that night in Lockerbie. I pay tribute to their perseverance, compassion and courage.
Flora Swire one day before her 24th birthday, was brutally murdered along with 269 others in the Lockerbie attack. I spoke to Jim last night, he said he still aches for his daughter Flora, what might have been, the grandchildren she would have had, the love she always gave her family and the glowing medical career.
It has always been and remains his intent to see those responsible for her death brought to justice.
I also spoke yesterday to Ali the son of Al-Megrahi and he told me he was 8 years old when his father went to the Netherlands to stand trial. When his father returned to Libya to die, Ali spent most of his time next to his father and he says that until his dying breath he maintained his innocence. The Megrahi’s regard their father as the 271st victim of Lockerbie.
For my team it has been six long years but for the families we represent, finally there is hope that we are coming to the end of a very long journey, in nearly 32 years of their struggle for truth and justice.”
Legal Fund- 'Lockerbie Bombing' Appeal by The family of Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al-Megrahi
Photo: Lockerbie disaster memorial (Lockerbie cemetery) by StaraBlazkova (public domain)