Father speaks at Lockerbie service

Cotswold Journal: Dr Jim Swire Dr Jim Swire

THE father of a young woman who died in the Lockerbie bombing has spoken at a service commemorating the 25th anniversary of the atrocity.

Dr Jim Swire, aged 77, from Chipping Campden, joined about 600 people for the service at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, December 21.

Simultaneous remembrance services took place in Lockerbie and at Arlington National Cemetery in the US, where most of those killed were from.

Dr Swire 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 on December 21, 1988.

Dr Swire told the congregation at the service his “beautiful vivacious first born” had been on her way to spend Christmas with her American Jewish boyfriend when the attack happened.

“Lockerbie was a revenge attack, but no philosophy can justify the slaughter of innocent people,”

he said.

Speaking to the Cotswold Journal after the service, Dr Swire said the anniversary was a poignant occasion.

“So many other people still express a genuine concern and interest,” he said.

“But for us who have suffered loss of close family, it’s something we have to live with every day of every year.”

Libyan Abdelbaset al Megrahi, the only person to be found guilty of the bombing, was released from Scotland’s Greenock prison in 2010 on compassionate grounds due to prostate cancer.

After his death in Tripoli, Libya in May last year his brother Abdul- Hakim al Megrahi is considering lodging a fresh appeal to clear his name.

British relatives of victims who believe he was wrongfully convicted of the bombing are also planning another appeal against the conviction.

Dr Swire, who has always maintained al Megrahi was used as a “scapegoat”, said he supported a further appeal.

“When he will lodge it I don’t know,” he said.

“When he does, if he wants any British relatives in lodging the appeal he will certainly have my support in doing that.”

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