Lockerbie trial move welcomed

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER of a Lockerbie victim has welcomed reports that a secret delegation from the Arab world travelled to Libya over the weekend to press for a trial of the two men accused of the outrage.

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the 1988 bombing that claimed 270 lives, said yesterday that any move to persuade Colonel Gaddafi to support a trial on neutral soil was a positive development.

His comments come after reports that Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, had set up a meeting between the Libyan leader and representatives of the Arab League in Tripoli.

"If this is true then I regard this as a very positive step forward," he said.

"They [the Egyptians] have made an extremely helpful contribution and if Mr Mubarak has set up another meeting I would be delighted because they have the best chance of getting a positive result."

Dr Swire, a spokesman for relatives of British victims, said he was now very hopeful of a trial of the two suspects, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, in The Hague, Holland.

"Now that the principle of a neutral trial is being looked at by Britain and America very seriously it is impossible to stop the process which has been initiated. This is a time of optimism and I think we have made tremendous developments in the past weeks."

Britain and America are widely tipped to drop their opposition to a trial on neutral soil in the coming weeks.