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Lockerbie families demand answers

Jim Swire
Jim Swire: The bomber cannot have acted alone  

LONDON, England -- British relatives of Lockerbie bomb victims say more questions need to be asked after the mammoth trial which ended with one conviction.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, told a London news conference that securing a conviction was a huge step but they needed to know more.

"For many of us, it would help to know the identity and motives of those who ordered the murder of our loved ones, how they did it and why they were not prevented from doing so.

"We have learned, subject to any appeal, the identity of one of those men, thanks to the fairest criminal trial that we could ever hope to see."

But he said his own research had convinced him that the agent must have had accomplices and U.S. investigators say the case file will remain open until it has brought to just all involved in the airline bombing.

Flanked by members of the UK Families Flight 103 group, Swire emphasised that his comments were not meant to undermine the court verdict that Libyan secret agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was guilty on 270 counts of murder.

Swire, who collapsed as the verdicts were returned on Wednesday, said 12 years of campaigning for justice had taken its toll.

Another leading campaigner the Reverend John Mosey echoed Swire's sentiments added: "Because of this trial terrorists will never be able to feel safe in their beds.

"They will be aware that ordinary people do have the tenacity to pursue the truth and governments can and will support such pursuits."

He praised the "courageous initiative" of British Government and Clinton administration in brokering the compromise, which allowed the two suspects to be tried in the Netherlands under Scottish law.

"And to be fair I think we have to offer some thanks to (Libyan leader) Colonel Gadhafi for releasing the two accused for trial," Mosey added.

Emphasising that they were his personal feelings, Swire said now was the time for conciliation rather than confrontation between Britain and Libya.

Some victims' families have been pressing for the retention of sanctions against Libya which they accuse of ordering the bombing in an act of "state-sponsored terrorism."

In Edinburgh, Scotland's top legal officer also said that the convicted Libyan agent was clearly not acting alone, but new evidence was needed before any further charges could be pressed.

"The terms of Megrahi's conviction make it clear that he did not act alone," Lord Advocate Colin Boyd told the Scottish Parliament.

Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in 1998 killing all 259 passengers and 11 on the ground.

His co-accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted.

The judgment immediately sparked speculation about who was behind Megrahi.

"He was convicted of committing murder while acting along with others and in the furtherance of the purposes of the Libyan intelligence services," said Boyd.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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University of Glasgow - Lockerbie briefing
University of Syracuse - Remembering Lockerbie
Scottish Lord Advocate

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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