by Dr Morag Kerr
Not even those who believed Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty of the Lockerbie bombing ever imagined he acted alone. This was always understood to have been an act of state-sponsored terrorism, and the official line was that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had ordered the attack in revenge for the US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi two years earlier in 1986.
Megrahi was merely the pawn who had been caught. However, the acquittal of his co-accused Lamin Fhimah, who had originally been proposed as the man who put the bomb on the plane, left the identity of the other conspirators entirely up in the air.
Recognising this, the Lockerbie investigation remained live even after Megrahi’s conviction. Initially it was largely a paper exercise, and the search for his supposed accomplices was seldom mentioned before August 2009, when he was released on compassionate grounds. Instead the debate centred around whether Megrahi himself had been wrongly convicted, with the SCCRC report of 2007 enumerating no less than six grounds on which they believed a miscarriage of justice might have occurred.