South Scotland

Jim Swire meets Lockerbie bomber Megrahi in Libya

Dr Jim Swire
Image caption Dr Jim Swire met Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in Libya last week

The father of a victim of the Lockerbie bombing has been to Libya to visit the only man convicted of the atrocity.

Dr Jim Swire spent about an hour with Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in a Tripoli hospital last week. He believes Megrahi is innocent and wants a full inquiry.

Dr Swire lost his 24-year-old daughter, Flora, in the 1988 bombing of Pan AM flight 103 over Lockerbie, which claimed 270 lives, mainly Americans.

He said the Libyan, who has prostate cancer, looked better than he expected.

Megrahi was released from Greenock prison on compassionate grounds last year.

Dr Swire, who lives in Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, was invited to Libya by Megrahi.

The two men last met in December 2008 when Dr Swire visited him in Greenock prison.

Commenting on the Libyan meeting he said: "One of the reasons I went to see him at his request was that I wanted to find out what his position was on still fighting the case.

"We have a common interest; to have the verdict against him re-examined."

Dr Swire said the meeting was helpful because it became clear that Megrahi would not pursue attempts to clear his name.

"I think he's exhausted by the effort," he said.

"He made very clear that he didn't want to associate with the media - he would never under any circumstances return to Scotland, and who can blame him."

'Very relieved'

Dr Swire said Megrahi was now in a much more comfortable environment than he was in Greenock Prison.

"He is a very sick man but he can get out of bed and walk though not very far.

"He can walk a few steps but most importantly, he's entirely clear in his brain; there's no confusion or anything like that.

"I was very relieved to see him as well as he was."

The 58-year-old was jailed for life for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over the Scottish Borders.

He was given a fresh chance to clear his name after the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) said there were six grounds where it believed a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.

Megrahi dropped his second appeal against his conviction shortly before he was released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds after he was given three months to live.

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