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Gadhafi death a lost chance for Lockerbie answers: relative

LONDON: The father of a woman who died in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing said Thursday the death of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was a lost opportunity to find out the truth about the attack.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was one of 270 people killed when a Pan Am jumbo jet exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, said he wished Kadhafi could have appeared in front of the International Criminal Court.

"Kadhafi, whether he was involved or not, might have been able to clear up a few points about that and now that he is dead we may have lost an opportunity for getting nearer to the truth," Swire told Sky News.

"Although we have not a scrap of evidence that Kadhafi himself was involved in causing the Lockerbie atrocity, my take on that was that he would have at least known who was."

Swire has repeatedly questioned the conviction in 2001 of Libyan national Abdelbaset al-Megrahi over the bombing.

Megrahi was freed in 2009 as he was suffering from cancer but is still alive. A second Libyan man, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, tried alongside Megrahi by a Scottish court sitting in The Netherlands, was acquitted.

"I would have loved to have seen Kadhafi appear in front of the International Criminal Court both to answer charges against his gross treatment of his own people and of citizens murdered abroad by his thugs," Swire said.

"But I would also have loved to have heard about what Kadhafi knew about the Lockerbie atrocity."

Swire said Kadhafi was "plugged into the terrorist networks of the world" at the time of the bombing, adding that he was "sure he would have known it was going to happen and I feel sure he would have approved of it if he did know."

Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond said Thursday the Lockerbie bombing remains "an open case" and that Scotland would pursue any leads brought about by recent events in Libya, the BBC reported.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Kadhafi's death was "day to remember all of Colonel Kadhafi's victims," including those from Lockerbie and from IRA bombings using Libyan-supplied explosives.

 
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