The sole person ever convicted of guilt in the bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, has died at his home in Tripoli, Libya, earlier today. The historical facts of the Lockerbie bombings are well documented, and like everybody else alive at the time, the events that winter solstice day, 24 years ago, are etched on my memory. Was Megrahi the prime suspect, or just a scapegoat to hide the blushes of his alleged paymaster, Col Gadaffi? He is also dead, summarily executed in October last year. But it is unlikely that we'll ever really know the truth.
The more than 200 people who died when the plane was blown up continue to be mourned by their friends and family. Megrahi's conviction may have satisfied the lust for revenge in some, but others were not so sure. His early release, on compassionate grounds in August 2009, did not go down well in many quarters. His relative longevity, on the strength of a prostate cancer drug that isn't even available in Scotland (where he was incarcerated), served to embarrass the Scottish government and its Justice Secretary, Kenny Macaskill. However, I will close by echoing Mr Macaskill's assertion that Megrahi is now answering to a higher Authority. And whether Abdelbaset will rest in the garden of flowers and flowing streams, or in the fires of hell is beyond human knowledge. RIP to the victims of Lockerbie.