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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 23:20 GMT
Lockerbie bomber 'is innocent'
Dr Jim Swire
Dr Swire's daughter was killed the day before her 24th birthday
The campaigning father of one of the Lockerbie bombing victims has met the wife of the man he believes was wrongly convicted of carrying out the attack.

Dr Jim Swire helped convict Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, but now believes the Libyan security agent is innocent.

He says he set up the recent meeting in Glasgow through the Libyan embassy in London because of a sense of guilt.

Megrahi's wife Aisha, 41, lives with their four children in Glasgow to be near her husband in Barlinnie jail.

I fear I may have played an important part in a miscarriage of justice
Dr Jim Swire

Dr Swire and his wife Jane lost their daughter Flora when PanAm 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.

The blast killed all 259 people on board and 11 residents in the Scottish town.

Dr Swire said: "I told her [Mrs Megrahi] I fear I may have played an important part in a miscarriage of justice.

"I told her I hoped there would be a new appeal and of my guilt over what has happened to her husband, who I believe is innocent.

"I don't agree with the verdict of the Scottish court but we must accept it until they decide differently."

Lockerbie crash
Many relatives of the 270 victims want an independent inquiry

Flora Swire died on the eve of her 24th birthday as she flew to spend Christmas with her American boyfriend.

As head of the organisation representing families of the UK victims, Dr Swire was instrumental in bringing Al Megrahi, 51, to justice. He met Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi three times.

Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment at a specially-convened Scottish court in the Netherlands.

The Libyan was told last November by three Scottish judges that he must spend at least 27 years in jail before being considered for parole.

Trade sanctions on Libya were lifted earlier this year after the state admitted liability for the bombing and paid around 2.2m to the family of each victim.

Many families are still calling for an independent inquiry into the bombing, including claims that warnings of a possible threat were ignored.




SEE ALSO:
Lockerbie families demand inquiry
21 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Libya agrees Lockerbie deal
14 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya makes claims of opening up
19 May 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Libya
16 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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