Lockerbie bombing families step up calls for full enquiry

Relatives of some of the Lockerbie bombing victims are planning to release a letter renewing their calls for a comprehensive inquiry into the atrocity, it was revealed today.

The UK Families Flight 103 group hopes politicians and other high-profile figures will back the move by signing the document, which it will then publish to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the disaster.

The group's spokesman Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing, also revealed that moves were being put in place for a memorial event at Heathrow Airport on December 21.

The Pan Am 103 flight from Heathrow to New York's John F Kennedy Airport exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, is serving a minimum of 27 years in prison after being convicted of the bombing in 2001.

He has been granted a second appeal against conviction and won a legal victory at the High Court in Edinburgh today when judges refused to limit the scope of his appeal.

Relatives of some of those who died have campaigned for a number of years for a full inquiry to be held into the disaster.

A fatal accident inquiry was held in 1990, but its remit was not to apportion blame.

Speaking after today's hearing, Dr Swire said: "This is a letter which we will be asking various notable people to sign on behalf of the relatives. It defines why we are still impatient with what has been revealed to us so far.

"We have always called for a comprehensive inquiry and one of the great areas of irritation is the question of why the disaster was not prevented and why our loved ones were allowed to be murdered."

He added: "In addition to that there are questions surrounding the conduct of the case, the conduct of the investigation, the role of the Scottish authorities in the investigation and the role of both the British and US authorities in the drawing up of evidence."

Dr Swire said in the years since the tragedy the families had met many people who had shown a "heartening interest" in the case.

"We hope many of them will be prepared to sign a letter which basically will call for a thorough inquiry into all the questions that are still outstanding surrounding this terrible case.

"We anticipate that letter would then be published, on or around the 20th anniversary."

He added that plans were in place to hold at remembrance service at Heathrow Airport chaplaincy on December 21.

"It will be held to give thanks for the lives of those who died.

"We shall also invite those from Heathrow Airport who played a part in seeing the flight – as they sincerely believed – safely on its way."

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