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Lockerbie: why we should be proud of Al-Megrahi’s doctors

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1725 (Published 30 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1725
  1. Jim Swire, retired GP (and father of Flora, a Lockerbie victim)
  1. drjimswire{at}aol.com

    In December 1988 a Boeing 747 was destroyed by a bomb in a baggage container in its hold at 9500 m over Lockerbie, 38 minutes after leaving Heathrow, where it had been loaded from empty. The criminal investigation was placed in the hands of the United Kingdom’s smallest police force, Dumfries and Galloway.

    By May 2000 the investigation, following the lead of a random selection of clothing found at the crash site and originating in Malta, believed that the bomb had also entered the aviation chain there, aboard an Air Malta flight, placed by Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, a Libyan. A trial began at Zeist, near Utrecht.

    Despite Air Malta’s denials of being the initial carrier, reinforced by substantial payments to them from a UK television company that had repeated that story on air, and despite the lack of any evidence in court as to how Al-Megrahi was supposed to have breached security at Luqa airport in Malta, he was found guilty. Then on the failure of his first appeal in Zeist in 2002 he was transferred to a Scottish prison.

    Only …

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