Borders MSP Grahame joins call for Megrahi conviction probe

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THE call for an inquiry into the conviction of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has been backed by a Borders MSP, writes Bob Burgess.

Scot Nat Christine Graeme is one of 42 signatories to a letter calling for an independent probe.

Others include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former BBC war correspondent Kate Adie, one-time hostage Terry Waite,Dr Jim Swire whose daughter Flora was killed in the 1988 Pan Am 103 atrocity and Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

The letter has appeared in the Scottish Review magazine and other signatories include friends and relatives of victims and a number of authors.

Ms Grahame - the MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale - twice met Megrahi in Greenock prison.

She commented this week: “He told me he wanted to clear his name and thereby restore the reputation of his much-maligned family.

“A posthumous appeal by one of relatives could achieve this, while a fresh investigation by the Westminster Government will provide a chance to consider all the evidence in detail.”

The letter claims Scotland’s criminal justice system has become a mangled wreck as a result of the Lockerbie conviction.

It states: “If Scotland wishes to see its criminal justice system reinstated to the position of respect that it once held rather than languishing as the mangled wreck it has become because of this perverse judgement, it is imperative that its government acts by endorsing an independent inquiry into this entire affair.”

Megrahi maintained his innocence right up until his death in Tripoli on Sunday.

Ms Grahame stated: “Having studied the evidence, having been given access to new evidence which no Scottish court has yet seen and having met with a wide range of professionals and UK relatives involved in the case, I do not believe he was guilty.”

The Scottish Government maintains the conviction – obtained at a special court sitting in Holland under Scots Law in 2001– is safe.