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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Swire Fears For Megrahi Safety

A father who lost his daughter in the Lockerbie bombing says he is concerned for the safety of the man convicted of the atrocity as he announced he was stepping down from frontline campaigning.

Dr Jim Swire, who has been a spokesman for UK Families Flight 103, which represented British relatives, said he was concerned US special forces could kill Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Megrahi, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer, was released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds, after serving nearly eight years of a 27 year sentence for killing 270 people.

Of those, 259 victims were on Pan Am Flight 103, with 11 residents killed by falling wreckage after it exploded over Lockerbie, in Dumfries and Galloway, on December 21, 1988.

Dr Swire's daughter Flora was killed in the bombing.

The former GP, who lives in Chipping Campden and believes Megrahi is innocent, said: "I am worried for him. I can just see the unit they sent to kill Osama bin Laden being sent to extract Megrahi. Presumably, they wouldn't extract him but kill him on the spot."

Dr Swire said he was stepping down from frontline campaigning as a group of British lawyers, including QCs, were keen to look at evidence from Megrahi's trial.

"There's a whole cohort of senior lawyers who are keen to get involved," he added.

Dr Swire also said the emergence of the Justice For Megrahi campaign group was another reason for his decision.

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray, who is also an MSP for East Lothian, said: "This poll and comments from Libya's newly-recognised government show how wrong this decision was and why it is time for Alex Salmond, on the second anniversary of al-Megrahi's release, to apologise finally to the relatives of the victims."

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