UK
06/02/2015 15:39 GMT | Updated 06/02/2015 15:59 GMT

Lockerbie Families In US And UK Clash Over 'Disgraceful' Campaign To Have Al-Megrahi Cleared

The families of US Lockerbie victims have called for an end to the "disgraceful" campaign to have the only man convicted of the atrocity cleared. Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the 1988 bombing, and some other UK relatives believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi suffered a miscarriage of justice. They have applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to refer his case back to the High Court for a fresh appeal.

But Mary Kay Stratis, the widow of US victim Elia Stratis, has written to the body to voice relatives' opposition to the petition. Writing as chair of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 group, she said: "We do not support this petition nor do we support the position of the UK family member, Dr Jim Swire, and those with whom he stands on this matter."

Stratis added: "While Dr Swire is a family member of a victim of the bombing, he speaks for himself and not for the US families of victims. We believe that justice was done in the Scottish judgement and the appeal, and we believe that the Scottish judicial system is praiseworthy, despite the calumny visited upon it by Megrahi's supporters. It will never really be 'over' but it is past time for Dr Swire and the Megrahi supporters to end their disgraceful and expensive campaign."

The SCCRC is considering a joint application from members of Megrahi's family and the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which includes relatives of British victims, to review the conviction. But the body said the Libyan's family have failed to provide the appropriate evidence to support their involvement and it has asked the High Court to rule whether the appeal application can continue.

Megrahi, who died in 2012, remains the only person convicted over the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on December 21 1988, in which 270 people were killed. The SCCRC confirmed it had received the letter from US families. Dr Swire told the Herald newspaper he was "saddened" by their view but said he would continue with the campaign.