RELATIVES of Lockerbie bombing victims have renewed a call for a full independent inquiry into the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 following the 29th anniversary of the atrocity which killed 270 people.

John Mosey and Jim Swire, who both lost daughters when the aeroplane was blown out of the sky on December 21, 1988, believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the bombing in 2001, was innocent. Swire’s campaign group, Justice for Megrahi (JfM), lodged a legal appeal bid in July.

Megrahi was jailed for 27 years but died of prostate cancer aged 60 in 2012 after being released on compassionate grounds in 2009.

On July 2017, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed it had received a third application to review the conviction.

HeraldScotland:

Jim Swire

Meanwhile, a three-year investigation by police into nine allegations of criminality by Lockerbie investigators, known as Operation Sandwood, is ongoing. It is expected to conclude in February.

Jim Swire, 81, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora was on the flight, said it’s “essential” there is also “a full public inquiry which has to go beyond confines of Scotland”.

Mosey, 77, who lost his 19-year-old daughter, Helga, when the plane came down, said: “Maybe, just maybe, one or both of the two current direct approaches via Police Scotland and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission will bring us one step nearer to getting a full, independent inquiry and some honest answers to the big questions that trouble us."

“This would, at least, restore some of our confidence in our legal systems and in those who govern us and give us back a little of our national pride.”

Detective Superintendent Stuart Johnstone, of Police Scotland, said Operation Sandwood was at an advanced stage and that the final report would be closely scrutined by an independent QC before being submitted to the Crown Office.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We will examine the findings of Police Scotland’s Operation Sandwood report before we consider any future steps.”