Grahame demands UK-led Lockerbie bombing inquiry

The plane's nose-cone/cockpit landed on Tundergarth Hill near the Borders town of Lockerbie, where Pan Am flight 103, a 747 Jumbo jet, crashed after a bomb exploded on board in December 1988.
The plane's nose-cone/cockpit landed on Tundergarth Hill near the Borders town of Lockerbie, where Pan Am flight 103, a 747 Jumbo jet, crashed after a bomb exploded on board in December 1988.
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BORDERS MSP Christine Grahame has called for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing nearly 25 years after the atrocity which killed 270 people.

The Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP, who heads the Scottish Government’s justice committee, last week lodged a motion at Holyrood calling for a UK-led inquiry.

Last Thursday she wrote to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urging him to support the move.

Her letter follows calls by Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie for the Scottish Government to hold an inquiry.

Ms Grahame argues the inquiry needs to be wider, given the CIA and British Government involvement in the investigation.

She said: “Under the Inquiries Act 2005 (Section 28) any inquiry undertaken by the Scottish ministers must deal only with matters wholly within its devolved competence. This would restrict it to such a degree, in my view, that it would not be satisfactory, given that there are political and international issues which remain unresolved.”

Mr Clegg is on record criticising the decision in 2009 to release Abdelbaset al Megrahi, convicted of the bombing, on compassionate grounds.

Ms Grahame wrote: “It seems from those statements that you harbour no doubts over this conviction, but that does not chime with the sentiments, as I read them, of Willie Rennie MSP.

“You, as Deputy Prime Minister, have it within your power to deliver that full public inquiry and if you do, the Scottish Government has it on record that it would support any such inquiry.

“I would therefore ask that you do so and in so doing, and with the support of the Scottish Government, put an end to speculation and at long last expose the truth behind this hideous crime.”

In her motion to the Scottish Parliament, the MSP says: “Many questions remain as to whether the conviction of Abdelbaset al Megrahi is secure.”

She urges Holyrood to agree with calls for “a full public inquiry into UK and international issues such as the prisoner transfer agreement between Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi and the $2million reportedly paid (together with a new identity) to the shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, who is considered to be the prime witness.”

Ms Grahame, who is a member of Justice for Megrahi, also wants MSPs to note the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) findings that “there may have been a miscarriage of justice and what it considers was the unsatisfactory abandonment of appeal proceedings, which left the SCCRC case untested”.

She hoped the Scottish Government would agree with calls for the UK Government to instigate that inquiry “without further delay in order that, not least, the victims’ families and the residents of Lockerbie can finally be free of speculation”.

Her motion needs the support of an opposition MSP to move forward.

She said this week the inquiry request was going through parliament.