Dear Prime Minister,
While in Edinburgh on Monday 27th Feb. I heard that prior to the book 'Megrahi: you are my jury' being launched, you had publicly claimed that it was an insult to the families of those who died at Lockerbie.
I just want you to be aware that far from being an insult, this book appears to raise issues which cast yet further doubt upon the verdict reached at Zeist against Mr Megrahi.

We all know that times are hard, but in light of the doubts that exist about this conviction it would be hugely appreciated if some effort could be diverted by Whitehall to objective examination of the fall out from this terrible case.
Comments from Lady Thatcher's time onwards about the tragedy surely now need review.  She wrote in 'The Downing Street Years' that following the bombing by the USAF of Tripoli and Bengazi in 1986.
'The much vaunted Libyan counter attack did not and could not take place. Gaddafi had not been destroyed but he had been humbled. There was a marked decline in Libyan sponsored terrorism in succeeding years.'

Yet the UK Government was telling us that Lockerbie was a Libyan atrocity from start to finish.
The paradox between those who actually try to comprehend all the available facts for and against the verdict over Megrahi and those with blind faith in the verdict is not resolving.
To comment in the way that you are reported to have done on Monday morning may be to support the wishes of the American Government and many American relatives, but what we search for is the truth, and that search is not likely to be well supported by such comments about a book which you could not possibly have read beforehand.
May I humbly suggest that you revisit 'The Downing Street years', (page 449), just to check that that is indeed what she wrote: there are over 900 pages all told.  Then perhaps have an objective assessment made of the contents of the 'Megrahi: you are my jury' book, as I feel sure that you have not the time to read all of its almost 500 pages.
Please remember that although relatively small in number, our distress at what for some of us appears to be deliberate concealment of the truth is real, and when supported by so significant a person as yourself, deeply distressing.  Bereavement is a life sentence as you know only too well.
That said I would welcome the opportunity to come and discuss the situation with yourself, or members of your cabinet.
In view of all this I have made the contents of this letter publicly available (without the need for any hacking!).
Any reply, from yourself, as courtesy demands, will receive appropriate confidentiality, unless cleared by you for similar treatment.
With best wishes to you and your family,

Dr Jim Swire           
Father of Flora murdered, age 23, at Lockerbie 21/12/88.


# Mac 2012-02-29 16:55
[This comment has been removed. Describing the very real and documented concerns the SCCRC, and others, have as 'pulp fiction' is an insult to all concerned.]
# Stravaiger 2012-02-29 17:11
Unlike Dr Swire, you and I have yet to read the book. Some of the contents as revealed in the Herald seem to cover the same ground as Paul Foot's Private Eye investigation.

Perhaps you should elaborate on your opinion and explain what you understand to be the "truth" about this tragedy.
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-02-29 23:46
This poster haunts the threads on the Guardian and Independent sites peddling their untrammeled unpleasantness for any poster who suggests there are clear problems with the Union.

They conflate bile with reasoned argument.
# spagan 2012-02-29 17:04
I find Dr Swire to come across as one of the most principled human beings of his age. His loss has had lifelong impact, but his sincerity in seeking the truth is obvious.
I'm not sure what Mac finds so objectionable. I do not have confidence that the threshold of "beyond reasonable doubt" was ever met - and it sounds as if an appeal with the fuller facts would probably have been successful.
"The truth" was a victim from the very beginning.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 17:14
I've been reading the book since Monday, when I got my copy. It's extraordinarily well researched, and comprehensive. The conviction of Megrahi was already holed below the waterline, but this book has added another devastating, fatal salvo.

Now, back to my reading material....
# Legerwood 2012-02-29 17:18
Perhaps David Cameron should also explain why his Government allowed Moussa Koussa to leave the country when he came here as Libya imploded.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 17:23
Maybe because, embarrasingly, he knew nothing at all about Lockerbie.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 19:29
The phrase "sweeping it all under the carpet" comes to mind.
# Legerwood 2012-02-29 20:14
Because, even more embarassingly, Libya had little if anything to do with it?

After all was Koussa not head of intelligence at one point in his career?
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 20:20
With all that was going on in Libya at the time I'm sure it was not beyond the realms of possibility for Koussa to say what ever he felt the U.K. would want to hear to get them off his back. He was never concerned about the truth, all he wanted was to get out of Libya.

Let's face it the U.K. government would never investigate any information they received from Koussa. There was too much ridding on the fact that any "in depth" investigation would most likely cause serious problems for the U.K. government.
# tartanfever 2012-02-29 17:35
Well done Dr Swire. The true facts of the Lockerbie case must come out. It may be uncomfortable for some political and legal figures of the establishment, but for the good of our nation it is undoubtedly necessary.

What disappoints me more is that it is becoming very clear that Mr Megrahi is innocent and any reversal of this verdict should be decided sooner rather than later so that proper re-investigation of this crime can begin once more and Mr Megrahi may be afforded the chance to die knowing that.

Unfortunately with many governments refusing to co-operate fully, this is hardly likely to happen soon.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 19:42
Tartan, I don't think it will be a case of "may be uncomfortable", it will definitely be a case of "will be uncomfortable".

I think the big question of the day is who will suffer the bigger dose of being uncomfortable, the U.K. or U.S. government.

With regards to the non-cooperation of foreign governments my opinion is that all information should be published and be damned fully unredacted! At the end of the day we need to put all the pressure we can on these "foreign" governments. Let's face it though there are only likely to be two "foreign " governments, namely Wastemonster and Washington!

Unless Wastemonster pulls its finger out of its collective proverbial then we should start shouting from every rooftop between Edinburgh and London that the U.K. government has been, currently is, and will continue to be involved in the falsification of evidence involved in Crown court trials to suit their, Wastemonster, own ends.
# sneckedagain 2012-02-29 17:35

You perhaps should have left the comments of "Mac" up to allow us to see the absolute depths of ignorance which is the lot of those who read such journals as the Daily Express ans the Sun and accept the infantile rubbish these comics distribute as informed truth.
Not all our people are wise.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 17:40
A similar comment from him is still there in another thread. I think we can see all we need to see.

The book is surpassing all my highest expectations, I have to say.
# gus1940 2012-02-29 17:38
If ever a person deserved to be nominated for The Nobel Peace prize it is Dr. Swire.
# Islegard 2012-02-29 17:53
Where has he brought peace to? Mind you they dished one out for Obama.
# Robert Louis 2012-02-29 17:53
a good point
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 19:43
Hear Hear gus!

Somehow I think the U.K. government will constantly do all it can to prevent such an act happening, more's the pity.
# UpSpake 2012-02-29 17:50
The manipulation of the Scots government and more so the Scots legal establishment will be forever our shame. Made worse by the compliance of the media and the rotten BBC who don't do investagative journalism but simply, cut and paste.
The Scots were also victims of the Lockerbie tragedy pity there were so few with backbone to stand up to the establishment both here and elsewhere.
# Exile 2012-02-29 18:00

Do you mean the 'Scots government' and 'Scots legal establishment' were manipulated by some other party. If so, how's that "our shame"?

If, on the other hand, you mean they themselves have conducted manipulation, perhaps you could enlighten us as to how. Did the legal establishment perhaps connive to convict an innocent man and cover up the truth?

As for the Scottish Government, it didn't exist at the time of the trial and it played a very clean game over the release of Mr Megrahi, despite being rather coy over trusting the soundness of the conviction. So manipulation? How so?
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 18:37
The Scottish legal establishment were manipulated by the CIA and the DoJ. Look up the details of the "star witness" Majid Giaka, and how Colin Boyd lied to the Zeist court in an attempt to conceal the redacted evidence that Giaka was lying for money and had almost certainly been coached by the Americans.

Boyd probably found out about the CIA cables showing that Giaka was lying at a fairly late stage, during the actual trial. He had a choice - admit that the Crown Office had been duped, or try to conceal the redacted portions of the tapes. He went for the latter, and lied to the court that the redacted passages had any bearing on Giaka's credibility. The judges ordered the passages revealed anyway, and Giaka's evidence was thrown out as a result.

The only mystery is why the bench brought in a conviction on the evidence that was left, because there would never even have been an indictment in the first place if it hadn't been for Giaka.
# Marga B 2012-02-29 22:01
Haven't people expressed surprise that McAskill has not tackled the legal establishment, or am I mistaken?
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-29 22:07
In a functioning democracy, the executive branch does not 'tackle' the judicial branch. There has to be the appearance of independence. The government cannot question the verdict of a properly constituted court, so unless and until an appeal is successful, McAskill must accept Megrahi's quilt and treat him as though he is guilty.
# .Scot 2012-02-29 23:15
As all the Scottish government's legal advisers have instructed the Scottish ministers to do! It would be lunacy to contradict legal advice.
# Robert Louis 2012-02-29 17:52
This is a good move by Dr Swire. The quite silly off-hand comments by David Cameron regarding this matter are not worthy of a prime minister, and Mr.Cameron should quite rightly be ashamed.

As regards the statement by MacAskill today in Holyrood, he made it completely clear, both within the statement and via the questions, the reasons why he has done what he has done.

It seems that the author of this book, and some of the MSP's in the Scottish parliament, have no concept of how a legal system works. Were this some kind of dictatorship, then YES, MacAskill could step right on and tell the crown office to open an appeal. The important point however, is that MacAskill has NO SUCH POWERS. Time and again he has made it clear as to how he cannot merely decide a court verdict is unsafe - that is rightly something which only courts can decide.

I watched MacAskills statement today, in incredulity at the disingenuous nature of the questions from both Labour and the Tories. As was rightly pointed out by MacAskill, he was repeatedly asked via letter from senior members of the Tory party to get on and release Megrahi, in order to use him as a bargaining chip for business deals by the London Government, but he told them he would not do so. Labour themselves, whilst Ian Gray was demanding the recall of the Scottish parliament, aided and abetted by that great thinker, Richard Baker, were doing their very best in London to get Megrahi released.

The hypocrisy by both Labour and Tories on this matter, beggars belief.

This book, is important however, as it clearly opens up the extremely shaky evidence upon which Megrahi was convicted. It is clear, that both London and Washington would really prefer such information NOT to be seen.

I just want to mention one final point. I have seen many comments condemming MacAskill and Alex Salmond for publicly stating that they felt the verdict convicting Megrahi was correct. They do that because they cannot do otherwise. Imagine the first minister questioning the integrity of the judicial process- he would be in breach of so many ministerial guidelines, and would rightly be accused of politically interfering in the judicial process.

Such political interference in judicial matters cannot ever be allowed in a democracy, and THAT is why MacAskill and Salmond state what they do. It is, as Kenny MacAskill keeps repeatedly pointing out, for OTHERS to determine the guilt or otherwise in a criminal case, political leaders cannot and SHOULD not ever interfere in court judgements.

They cannot question court judgements, and until others provide clear evidence of wrongdoing or mistakes in the judicial process, neither MacAskill nor any other Government minister can interfere.
# The_Duke 2012-02-29 18:20
Very well put RL.
# tartanfever 2012-02-29 18:32
Good post RL, sets out the reasons behind the decision fairly and squarely.

I too was quite dismayed by the hypocrisy shown by members of labour and the tories.
# jafurn 2012-02-29 18:02
Any reply, from yourself, as courtesy demands, will receive appropriate confidentiality , unless cleared by you for similar treatment.

With best wishes to you and your family,

The above clip from Mr Swires letter shows the quality of the man.

Let us ask for no less from 'our' Prime Minister.
Over to you Prime Minister?
# H Scott 2012-02-29 19:13
All the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, and their families, are entitled to have justice done, and seen to be done, in this case. How many feel they have that?
# Hirta 2012-02-29 19:23
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 20:15
Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie expressed concern about the meeting, saying: "Many people will be perplexed that the first minister can have such a close association with the troubled media tycoon.

I take it the "bus driver" did actually listen to the fact that Murdoch was discussing potential for further investment within the country. What is wrong with this? The "bus driver" usually goes on about unemployment, much like the lamentable one, so perhaps he can explain why holding talks with someone interested in expanding his business in Scotland is a bad thing for the First Minister to do.

I see dear old EBC have a quote from Anas Sarwar. The EBC state that he is the Deputy Scottish Labour leader. If memory serves me right he is an M.P. not an M.S.P. What's wrong, the lamentable couldn't be found, AGAIN!

What is it with the unionist parties and MSM. What part of transparency do they not understand. At least the Scottish government is up front with their meeting with Murdoch. When exactly was any unionist party open and up front with their meetings with Murdoch. Oops, I forgot, they have never been up front about any meetings with Murdoch!
# .Scot 2012-02-29 23:25
Papers recovered from the ashes of Libya show secret minutes telling that Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband both expressed to Colonel Gaddafi, their wishes to release Basset. Although they probably had some ulterior personal financial gains in mind.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 23:36
I wonder how long we'll have to wait until good old EBC mention this wee juicy piece on the news?

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting methinks!
# km 2012-03-01 08:03
This is very interesting, especially given Hazel Lewry's article earlier in the week - is Murdoch eyeing up all the disaffected Scotsman, Herald and Daily Record readers? Is he sensing an opportunity here? He is bound to realise the enormous vacuum in the printed press in Scotland, and is maybe looking to fill it.
# clootie 2012-02-29 19:28
I had the great privelege to meet him at a fringe conference meeting in Perth sometime back. The information he presented, gathered over many years, left me in no doubt that this was an unsafe conviction.
I suspect most of those in the Scottish legal system are somewhat embarrassed by the quality of the trial.
Those who took part have much to explain.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 19:56
I watched the Disreporting Scotland piece on Kenny MacAskill's statement in Holyrood tonight. The best piece was, I thought, the ending where we were shown dear old Glen Campbell asking K.M. two questions.

1) Did anyone in his, K.M., department discuss the requirement for al Megrahi to drop his appeal before he was eligible for release with Libyan officials?

K.M. answered NO!

2) Are you sure about that?

K.M. answered YES!

I can't remember the last time I have seen a journalist with so much egg on his face! It was such a beautiful sight to see! :D
# tartanfever 2012-02-29 20:21

I think it's the first time this year any article or blog has been open for comments, why not join me and take advantage of responding to Douglas Fraser's usual unionist guff.

Link here:
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 20:55
Posted. Now we have the question will my post survive good old EBC's pre-moderation.
# clootie 2012-02-29 21:25

my username clootie_newsnet is enough for me :D if posted

small things
# tartanfever 2012-02-29 21:27
Well done arb.

Clootie, I just saw that, what a brilliant idea.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 22:16
Just had a wee sneek onto dear old Douglas Fraser's site. O.M.G. My post is up and it is not moderated!

P.S. saw your post clootie.
Your post is indeed up and there for all to read.

IO love your user name.

Let's see them try and moderate your posts out now"! :D
# D_A_N 2012-02-29 22:18
took a note from your book with my username. lol
# Taighnamona 2012-02-29 22:20
Thanks for the link...totally surprised that they published my comment after moderation.

Dr Swire and his family have been totally courageous and principled throughout. I thought KM presented himself with dignity today, but what a shame the outrageous headliner grabbers failed to apologise for maligning his integrity
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 22:47
I've come to the conclusion that EBC (North Britain branch) must have a new start. After today's little episode, opening up good old D.F. to comments, I don't think they will be in post for too much longer! :D
# Diabloandco 2012-02-29 23:41
Actually , I don't think I'll bother.
Just because BBBC Scotland think they will be "generous " and open on a chosen theme doesn't mean the rest of us have to play their game- stuff'em !Let them talk to themselves.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 23:48
Unfortunately for the EBC Diablo, all the posts that are up are, as far as I can tell, pro Independence. There is not one pro unionist amongst them, albeit there is only 26 comments.
# brusque 2012-02-29 20:28
Poor, poor Dr Swire. What it must be to lose a child, and then have that tragedy compounded by the conviction of an innocent man.

All of his suffering is there in his face, along with the depth of his integrity. It is fitting that he should ask Westminster's most senior representative to investigate what is held in files there. We know they exist, we even know what the contents of some are; but none of that matters if an Appeal does not go ahead.

Something tells me that even after Mr Megrahi's death, Dr Swire will fight on for an Appeal, if that is what he has to do to make the truth known.

I'm heart sore for him, and hope he will know the truth sooner rather than later.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 21:44
Have you heard the old tape of Flora singing, accompanying herself on the guitar, used in David Benson's play Lockerbie: Unfinished Bisiness? She was only seven or eight at the time, but such a beautiful voice. If she hadn't decided to become a doctor like her father, she could have been a musician.

After the crash, her parents found a letter in her room in London, saying she had been accepted for the neurology residency she had set her heart on. They believed she had intended to phone them on Christmas Day from New York and tell them the good news.

And every family caught up in that atrocity has a similar tale of absolute tragedy. Remember Suruchi Rattan, "the little girl in the red dress", who was only three and shouldn't even have been on the flight. Her father lost his wife, parents-in-law and both his children that night.

These are the people this farce has betrayed, as well as Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and his family. It's gone on long enough and it needs to stop. Now.
# balbeggie 2012-02-29 20:36

Catholic Priest who doesn't appear to have lived in Scotland having a go at AS.

Alexander Lucie-Smith is a Catholic priest and a doctor of moral theology. The author of several books, he was born in West Sussex, educated at Oxford and in Rome, and has lived in Malta, Italy, and Kenya
# alba 2012-03-01 10:42
Meanwhile, Cardinal Keith O'Brien wont get too involved in the politics of independence, BUT is on record saying he is "happy that, if it is the wish of the people, Scotland becomes an independent country"; that in his travels has had much experience of small countries and "I have seen what benefits independence can bring"; feels the frustration among the Scots about the (limited) say they have; has been part of 'independence movements'himself; and argues that Catholic Church in Scotland has a distinct and internationally recognised position - "so it would be difficult to argue that ecclesiastical independence is acceptable but political independence is not".

Wonder if the catholicherald appreciate the can of worms theyve just kicked over?
# Angus 2012-02-29 21:04
Dr Swire has been level headed through out and has balanced up the situation, and must have huge self control not to go on the sabre rattling rampage.
The BBC was making huge propaganda out of this, to have a go at the SNP.
# tartanfever 2012-02-29 21:30
agree Angus, and in doing so they have completely missed the opportunity to report on the more important issue of the evidence in the actual case on Reporting Scotland and the other news bulletins.

What an absolute travesty of journalistic integrity.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 21:49
The problem is, lazy journalism simply labels anyone who doesn't believe the official version of an incident like this as a "conspiracy theorist", and that label alone is sufficient to dismiss anything they say. And indeed there is a lot of conspiracy theorising around Lockerbie which is nonsense, just like a lot of other rubbish talked about everything from the JFK assassination to the Moon landings.

But that's it. They've already decided the evidence that Megrahi was innocent is rubbish, so they don't even read it, or if they do they don't read it for comprehension. They only want to cherry-pick the book for something contentious about his release.

But it takes time to read this stuff, and even more to absorb and assimilate it. I hope it's starting to sink in properly, and things may change.
# Jiggsbro 2012-02-29 22:04
The official version, in which Megrahi conspired with others to put a bomb on the plane, is a conspiracy theory itself. It just has less supporting evidence than the other conspiracy theories.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 22:44
Ain't that a fact!
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-29 22:42
De plus ca change, de plus est la meme chose.
# Hirta 2012-02-29 22:44
Hmm, why haven't the BBC shown Dr Swire's OPEN letter?

Silly me..
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-29 23:09
They're showing Dr. Swire in person right now.
# Baldy 2012-02-29 22:48
Where is Blair now in all of this, yesterday he was shaking hands with Gaddafi.
# rgweir 2012-02-29 23:25
Just off to bed with a smile on my face.Wee Willie Bain just had a pasting on Newsnight Scotland.
# Early Ball 2012-02-29 23:34
Ewan Crawford wont get back, butting in during Willie Bain's(sporting a new curtains style haircut) nonsensical rants.
Brewer got a bit annoyed with him.

I think it was the correct tactic as Brewer was reluctant to do anything.
# RTP 2012-02-29 23:40
About time somebody knocked the smile off the face of Bain heard him say he did not go to the Murdoch tea party what an excuse.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 23:44
a) Who cares?

b) Was he even ever invited?

c) Who is Willie Bain anyway?

d) Do we even care?
# brusque 2012-02-29 23:48
Quoting rgweir:
Just off to bed with a smile on my face.Wee Willie Bain just had a pasting on Newsnight Scotland.

Best Newsnight for a long time, watching Wee Willie realise he'd been handed a job nobody else wanted, because the old hands knew that any attack on Alex Salmond for meeting OPENLY with Rupert Murdoch, would be viewed against the "back door of Number 10" policy Labour had in place.

Bain will probably still have his hand up shouting "Me Miss" from the back of the class, next time Labour need a patsy.
# oldnat 2012-03-01 00:05
Not only was Newsnicht good (and Brewer was openly scoffing at Bain's claims) but so was "Scotland Tonight" on Defence.
# Stakhanov 2012-03-01 00:11
Ewan was great- but Brewer was almost even handed- nearly spilt me Leffe in astonishment....
# clootie 2012-03-01 07:04
I agree - for once he was aggresive with everyone. To be fair he was polite with Jim Swire.
# J Wil 2012-03-01 07:41
I swear I could see two black lines from the corner of Bain's lips to underneath his chin.

A gottle of gear sprang to mind.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-29 23:26
O/T but for anyone not yet aware, a very sad article.

God Bless, and thank you Davy!

I wonder if we'll see the return of the original Monkees to the T.V.

Oh I sooooo hope so. :D

I know I'm showing my age but what the hell! :D
# brusque 2012-02-29 23:52
I was talking about this to my friend this evening. We usually have a late evening chat about politics and the day's events. Like you, I am sad at this loss because Davy Jones and the Monkees were so much part of my younger life.
# Barontorc 2012-03-01 01:33
Dr Jim Swire was as always just so right in all that he said tonight. His daughter must be very proud of all his efforts.

What then, can be said of the Labour and Tory "munchkins", who pointedly remained deaf, but not alas, dumb when Kenny McAskill, again repeated and repeated, what the situation was regarding his conversations with Al-Megrahi, It was scunneringly shameful!

But, for sure, one gets the feeling that it's getting closer and on BBC Newsnicht, as for Wullie Bain's new hairstyle - well! It made a bigger statement that he did. So what's new.

Then the General on STV Tonight was talking throughout about a UK scenario, where do they get them from - he couldn't get his head around what a small, non-aggressive, but resolutely "defensive" country would need.

Then you ask the question, where does all this mud come from unless somebody is hell-bent on stirring!

I look forward to the SNP's portfolio of Scotland's future under independence and feel sure it will not disappoint and will re-assure us.
# dogcollar 2012-03-01 09:14
I thought Ewen Crawford did a good job on Willlie Bain in terms of the meeting with Murdoch
but oh that hairstyle of Bain's is a laughing stock all right. Nearly peed myself laughing
# Independista 2012-03-01 10:44
Put a wee moustache on Willie Bain, and does he remind you of anyone?
Answers to BBC Newsnight!
# oldnat 2012-03-01 02:09
Interesting to read the Sun report about McAskill's statement.

Once upon a time, the report would have been slanted virulently against the SNP. Now, it's just a factual report.

We don't need Scotland's largest circulation paper to be "pro-SNP" ot "pro-independence". All we need from it is reasonable reporting that isn't politically biased.
# UpSpake 2012-03-01 09:06
If the MSM won't force a crack in the Scots legal system to appear, then who will ?. The wrong done to Swire and the rest of the victims of the Lockerbie tragedy deserve so much better than has been given to date. To the eternal shame of our Judges and the legal establishment in Scotland.
Hang your head in utter shame !.
# Stravaiger 2012-03-03 23:20
Curious article on this subject appeared in the Guardian at 10:00 on Saturday 3rd March. By 11:15, after 8 comments, it was closed to further comment.


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