Lockerbie bomber says backs call for inquiry

 @ibtimes
on August 29 2009 12:04 PM

LONDON - The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people said he would cooperate with a fresh public inquiry and provide documents he has, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Former Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the bombing, told Scotland's Herald daily the victims' families deserved to know the truth about Pan Am flight 103, which crashed into the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

Scotland freed Megrahi, 57, last week on compassionate grounds after eight years in jail because he is dying of cancer.

His release, and his rapturous reception on his return to Tripoli, has dismayed the U.S. government which lost 189 citizens in the bombing.

I support the issue of a public inquiry if it can be agreed, Megrahi told the newspaper.

In my view, it is unfair to the victims' families that this has not been heard. It would help them to know the truth. As I said, the truth never dies.

If the UK guaranteed it, I would be very supportive. I would want to help Dr Swire and the others with the documents I hold.

Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing and believes Megrahi was framed, has long called for an independent inquiry.

The British government has resisted the demands, saying little would be gained and Megrahi's conviction still stood, despite his release.

Americans angered by the decision by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to free Megrahi have launched a Boycott Scotland campaign.

Britain has denied wanting Megrahi to be freed to ease diplomatic and commercial ties with Libya, which has the biggest oil reserves in Africa.

(Reporting by Tim Castle; editing by Michael Roddy)

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