Author: By Jonathan Brown
In contrast to their American counterparts, relatives on this side of the Atlantic have remained sceptical of the evidence brought against Megrahi and voiced support for the decision to release him, although they spoke of their frustration that his decision to abandon his appeal may mean the true culprits are never brought to justice.
Jean Berkley, 78, whose son Alistair, a Lockerbie resident, was 29 when he died, said: “Our big disappointment is that he had unnecessarily dropped his appeal, because he didn’t need to drop the appeal in order to have compassionate release,” she said.
“We were attaching a lot of importance to the appeal. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review said there were grounds for the appeal and we cannot now hear the new evidence that made them come to that decision. We know very little really and we are not in a position to make a judgement. We are left with a mystery here.”
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter, Flora, died on Flight 103, welcomed the Libyan’s release and said he would now focus on other countries’ roles in the attack, including Britain. “He should be able to go straight home to his family and spend his last days there,” he said. “I don’t believe this man was involved in the way he was found to be involved.”
Martin Cadman, 84, whose son Bill, 32, was killed, said: “I’m very pleased he has been released on compassionate grounds because I don’t think he was the right person to be there anyway. It is just righting a wrong.”
Professor Robert Black, the Scottish barrister who helped devise the original trial format, said: “It gets him home to die, which has been his primary objective and I’m pleased ? but saddened he will die a convicted man. The appeal which might have cleared his name was abandoned unnecessarily.”
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