1,200 back call for Megrahi inquiry

More than 1,200 people have backed the call for an independent inquiry into the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber.

A petition was lodged at the Scottish Parliament yesterday urging ministers to look again at the 2001 trial, which saw Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi become the only man found guilty of the 1988 attack.

One year after the Libyan's release on compassionate grounds, campaigners launched the new attempt to secure an inquiry, an online campaign which attracted 1,245 signatories in ten days.

The appeal is being led by pressure group Justice For Megrahi, which involves Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the Pan Am bombing.

He said the case has been "corrosive and deeply damaging" to the Scottish justice system and called on the government to open an inquiry.

Mr Swire added: "Only is such a manner can Scotland demonstrate that it is making a sincere attempt to resolve this highly contentious issue."

Professor Robert Black, QC, who has been described as the "architect" of the Kamp van Zeist trial, has hit out on the "weak" quality of evidence that placed Megrahi in Malta, linking him to the bombing later over Scotland.

Prof Black added yesterday: "I have always contended that no reasonable tribunal could have convicted Megrahi on the evidence led."

The petition, lodged on October 8, can be accessed through the Scottish Parliament's website and closes on Thursday next week.

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