Father of Lockerbie bombing victim speaks out as US investigate new suspect

The father of a Lockerbie bombing victim has said he hopes “some truth will come out” after it emerged the US Justice Department expects to unseal charges in connection with the attack.

The bombing of Pan Am flight 103, travelling from London to New York on December 21 1988, killed 270 people in Britain’s largest terrorist atrocity.

This coming Monday, December 21, 2020 marks the 32nd anniversary of the attack.

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Former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was found guilty in 2001 of mass murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years, was the only person convicted of the attack.

Dr Jim Swire, the father of a Lockerbie bombing victim, who has said he hopes "some truth will come out" after it emerged the US Justice Department expects to unseal charges in connection with the attack.

US media report that the country’s justice department expects to unseal charges in the coming days with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times naming Abu Agila Mas’ud as the suspect.

Mas’ud is currently being held by Libyan authorities, though US authorities are likely to move to extradite him to America where he will face trial on the charges.

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the attack, is convinced that the late Megrahi was innocent.

He told BBC Breakfast: “My position has been difficult in that I cannot bring myself to feel that the evidence we’ve heard so far does in fact point us towards the truth of who committed those 270 foul murders back in 1988.”

The bombing of Pan Am flight 103, travelling from London to New York on December 21 1988, killed 270 people in Britain’s largest terrorist atrocity.

Asked whether he thinks Mas’ud may be able to offer information, he said: “I cannot see how a connection can be made to the Lockerbie bombing with this guy but it is quite possible that it may be.”

He added: “I do hope that with what’s going on at the moment coming up to the 32nd anniversary of this awful business on Monday that some truth will come out of what’s happening now.”

Megrahi was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds while terminally ill with cancer.

He returned to Libya and died in 2012.

A panel of five appeal judges in Edinburgh is currently deliberating on whether to acquit Megrahi over the Lockerbie bombing after the conclusion of the third appeal against his conviction last month.

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