The Lockerbie bombing, the mass slaughter of 270 people over Scotland, has been mire in controversy with charges that justice for the victims was sacrificed in the interest of international realpolitik.
Both British and American officials originally claimed that Iran commissioned the attack on the Pan Am flight using the Palestinian guerrilla group PFLP (GC), based in Damascus, in retaliation for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the US. That changed, however, after the first Gulf War when Syria joined the US sponsored coalition against Saddam Hussein and the same officials now held that Libya was the culprit state.
Col Gadaffi’s regime eventually paid out £1.4 million in compensation to the families of the victims but that was seen by those sceptical of the new theory as one just of the deals which brought him back into the international fold and Al Megrahi was sacrificed for the same end.
Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was one of those killed, said after the trial into the bombing "I went into that court thinking I was going to see the trial of those who were responsible for the murder of my daughter. I came out thinking he had been framed. I am very afraid that we saw steps taken to ensure that a politically desired result was obtained.”
Last October Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission identified six grounds where it believed " a miscarriage of justice may have occurred" at the original trial into the Lockerbie bombing, at Camp Zeist, in Holland, six years ago.