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Lockerbie father to take a step back
11:10am Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
AFTER 25 years of campaigning, the father of a young woman who died in the Lockerbie bombing says he is ready to step back from the spotlight.
Dr Jim Swire, from Chipping Campden, has spent more than two decades attempting to uncover the truth behind the attack, in which his 23-year-old daughter Flora died.
The medical student was among 270 people murdered when terrorists blew up the Pan Am Flight 103 above the Scottish town of Lockerbie after the aircraft had taken off from Heathrow Airport.
As the most prominent spokesman for British families affected by the attack, Dr Swire once gave up to 30 interviews in one day, but now says he is ready to “disappear from the battlements”.
“It doesn’t mean I’m going to disappear from the face of the planet,” he said. “I just want to get out of being the initiator of so much of the action. It just takes up too much time.
“At times it’s been exhausting. I was doing about 20 or 30 interviews in a day. The problem is, it’s too time consuming. I need to spend more time with my family.
“Campaigning has been my way of coping with the bereavement. It’s given me something worthwhile to be doing.” In 2010, al- Megrahi, the ex-Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the bombing, was released from Scotland’s Greenock prison on compassionate grounds due to prostate cancer. Dr Swire supported the decision because he believed the Libyan was used as a “scapegoat”.
But he said investigations were still ongoing about why the information about a break-in at Heathrow 16 hours before the attack had been withheld from the defence during the al-Megrahi trial.
“It’s become a rather extraordinary campaign altogether,” he said.
“Watch this space from late December, the 25th anniversary of Lockerbie.
We have a number of projects that will be ongoing mostly in Scotland.”
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