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Full truth about Lockerbie bombing .

Malcolm Ward

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The full truth about who planned and perpetrated the Lockerbie bombing could become public after the Libyan government promised to open all files they hold on the atrocity.

Speaking on the 24th anniversary of Britain’s worst mass murder, Mahmud Nacua, the Libyan ambassador to the UK, predicted: “Everyone will know what happened in that crime.”

However, he said it would be at least a year before the fledgling government in Tripoli has enough “security and stability” to open the files for inspection.

The promise was given a cautious welcome by families of the British victims and campaigners convinced that Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, the only man ever convicted of the bombing, was innocent.

Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 with the loss of 270 lives. Megrahi died of cancer in May this year after being controversially freed from prison on compassionate grounds in 2009.

Frank Mulholland, the Lord Advocate and Scotland’s most senior prosecutor, has agreed he could not have acted alone and hopes to use the downfall of the Gaddafi regime last year to pursue other suspects

He and Robert Mueller, the head of the FBI, travelled to Tripoli earlier this year to meet the Libyan prime minister and ask for cooperation into the ongoing investigation into the bombing.

Referring to the victims’ families, Mr Nacua said: “We sympathise with them, with their loss and I think our government will, when we have enough time, enough security and stability, all these files will be open and everyone will know what happened in that crime.”

Asked if the atrocity was an act of state-sponsored terrorism by the Gaddafi regime, he said: “I can’t say because I haven’t enough details, only the information which is published in the media, but maybe in the future there is a chance we open the files and we know new information about what happened.”

He could not provide a precise timescale, but said this could happen after a new Libyan constitution is in place alongside a permanent parliament and government “after a year from now”.

Mr Nacua said his government was “very open to any demands” from the British about the Lockerbie case, including allowing Scottish police officers to conduct interviews in Libya.

But he indicated they would not support an international inquiry into the atrocity, pointing out Libya is an “independent country” and asserting that the “local judiciary will be fair for any case”.

Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the atrocity, welcomed the development but said the truth would not be discovered until “the nonsense of the case against Megrahi” had been exposed.

Dr Swire, the former spokesman for the British relatives of Lockerbie group, said: “Where Libya is concerned, we may discover some mischief from the Gaddafi days but the more urgent matter is showing Megrahi was not involved.”

Referring to Megrahi’s conviction, he said: “It is de facto protecting those responsible from investigation. Anything that might reveal something about the truth is welcome but Scotland is the first place to look.”

Robert Forrester, secretary of the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, said: "It is excellent news on the grounds that more openness on the part of all governments involved in this, not just Libya but Scotland, the UK and the US, is to be welcomed.”


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